As hot as virtual reality technology is at the moment, nothing transports ME to another world quite like the perfect pairing of photography, paper stock and finishing techniques. I can’t think of a more beautiful example than this stunning portfolio of images from five New Zealand sheep farms taken by photographer Tadd Myers.
“Our New Zealand Sheep Farm booklet began in May 2017 as a commissioned shoot by SH8 Merino to photograph five family-owned sheep farms located on New Zealand’s South Island,” Tadd explains. “SH8 Merino is a co-op of farms located along State Highway 8 (SH8) in the central area of the South Island near the town of Twizel.”
Spending a day shooting at each farm, he quickly realized he had the makings of a fascinating self-promotional piece. Not only did the images demonstrate his own unique abilities, they also offered a compelling glimpse into a farming life that is both familiar to many in his own Dallas locale, while also being distinctly “kiwi.”
“New Zealand is a relatively untouched and unpopulated country that has a diverse terrain of mountains and valleys which is ideal for raising Merino Sheep,” Tadd elaborates. “Over the decades these farmers have worked hard to preserve their way of life in order to pass it on to the next generation. I’m excited to help share their story of hard work, tradition, and pride which they demonstrate every day.”
Designers Brian McAdams and Brian Owens at Dallas’ O & H Brand Design did precisely what any good designer does when faced with such lush, evocative imagery – they let the photography speak for itself with minimal design elements while running the photos large.
The cover alone is one of the best I’ve seen on a publication in quite some time, simultaneously humorous, pensive and dramatic – one of those instances where photographer and designer are in complete harmony. The red thread of the Singer sewn binding lends just the right amount of color without taking attention away from the photograph.
Not happy to merely LOOK good, the whole 36-page portfolio was printed by Ussery Printing on 100 lb. Mohawk Options Crystal White with a Vellum finish. This was a fine choice thanks to the guidance of the spec team at Clampitt Paper. The way the uncoated smoothness of the paper works together with the cottony look of the sheep is pure magic.
This brings us to the most unique part of this piece. Not only do we get gorgeous photographs of all those wooly South Island sheep – we also get a hand-stitched tag made from that very same sheep wool sewn into the corner of the cover! When was the last time you saw a print piece tied in so well with its subject matter?
In other words, it is touches like this that separate the design leaders…from the sheep 😉
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