Matthew Portch is a Bristol born lad who now lives in Melbourne, Australia. After a successful career in graphic design, photography captured his interest. He was particularly inspired by the work of North American large-format colour film photographers of the 1960s and 1970s, which is evident in his latest portfolio. Rather than combine a variety of images from different commercial and personal projects, his folio focuses on a single photographic series that walks the line between quietly understated and high impact. We asked him about the process of putting it together.
Sybren Kuiper is a contemporary Dutch graphic designer who specialises in narrating stories through images and text. His ten rules below are written from the perspective of a graphic designer when working with a photographer on a photobook project.
#1. Never forget the basics: a photo book has two defining qualities: 1. it is a book; 2. it is full of photographs.
#2. When you start designing don’t listen to the photographer. Listen to the photos, then to the photographer.
Great layout and page design is not intuitive, a fact that has been proven by thousands of books that have passed through Momento’s print facility. We see many good designs but many would also benefit from using a few design fundamentals.
While photographers are more visually literate than most, the ability to compose within the frame of a photograph doesn’t always translate to composition within the frame of a double page spread, but if you want to create the most effective photo book, good design is critical. Depending on the purpose and budget for your book you can choose to design it yourself, or seek assistance from a professional. In either case, the design should always be driven by the purpose and intention of your book.
Just in case you didn’t know, in addition to our standard book range, we also produce custom books in bespoke sizes, cover materials and packaging for publishers, artists, designers and corporates.
One of our favourites is Year Of The Monkey, a collaboration between illustrator Paul Garbett and Formist Editions, an indy publisher of books and collectibles for lovers of art founded by Mark Gowing.