For my latest installment of The Good
and the Bad
, I have the newest Victoria’s Secret
catalog. Since I haven’t seen any horrible printed pieces come across my desk in the last few weeks, this one piece wins both categories. How can it be both good and bad?!? Let me explain…
Honestly, it is pretty much all good. The shot is simple, colorful and bold. I love the way the lighting makes the model pop right off the page, and I love her eye contact with the viewer. But, the thing that really pushes me over the top? The way they used the shopping bags to form a sort of puffy, ballerina tutu-inspired skirt
for the model was brilliant! I love finding ways to be playful like that in my own photography. I wish I would’ve thought of this idea.
Now, you may be asking, how can this winner of a photo also grab the “bad” category? Well, it’s a minor issue that detracts from the power of the image. It’s the design… the excessive text. Victoria’s Secret already has huge name recognition. They already know that people will flip through the catalog if they pick it up. So, why would they water down the power of that wonderful cover image? Too much text just clutters up the cover.
Now, I understand the point of putting all the sale and discount info on the cover. However, customers can discover those sales as they flip through the inside. Let the cover be clear, bold, beautiful. Let it be what grabs the viewer and makes them WANT to read the inside!
With a couple seconds of Photoshop magic, I hacked out much of the text, leaving the store name, the important “Semi-Annual Sale” text and a subdued/lightened version of the free shipping info. Which, if you wanted to be more hardcore, even the shipping info could be put inside, making the cover even more streamlined! (Go ahead, put your thumb over that shipping info to see what I mean)
To be fair, Victoria’s Secret hasn’t cluttered up their cover too bad. I originally had a Macy’s advertisement from a few weeks ago that was going to be my “bad” for this installment. It also had an amazing, mesmerizing image that was hidden behind a ton of text. The Macy’s ad was the poster child of clutter, with the beautiful image getting lost in the shuffle. Unfortunately, I had a really booked shooting schedule over the last few weeks, and I think I accidentally threw the ad out while I cleaned the studio in between shoots. But, trust me… it was miles worse than this minor infraction!