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Matt Eich: Book Design

Overview

Carry Me Ohio is volume one in The Invisible Yoke Series by photographer, Matt Eich. Matt and I have collaborated over several years on various iterations of this long-term project and his “love song to Ohio”. This book is the culmination of his provocative body of work. We worked closely with Reto Caduff of Sturm & Drang to create a template for the series. The book is 120 pages, 24.5 cm x 25 cm hardcover, linen printed and embossed with 16-page insert “Spitting in the Devil’s Eye”.

My Contribution

  • Art Director
  • Designer
  • Project Manager

Team

  • Client & Photographer: Matt Eich
  • Picture Editor: Mike Davis
  • Publisher: Sturm & Drang

A selection of interior spreads

Deb’s patience and understanding helping me navigate the many choices that come with laying out a series of images, and bringing them to life on a printed page.

— Matt Eich

Process & Thinking

Understand the story and photographer’s vision.
It was vital to understand the stories and themes in the body of work as well as Matt’s understanding, feelings and vision for the final artifact.

Edit, sequence, then design.
Editing together is ideal and working with printed thumbnails of each image allowed us to see how each image played off each other and as a whole. I like to think of editing, pairing, and sequencing images as taking the viewer on an emotional journey similar to how a motion picture flows from scene-to-scene.

Design and proof. Rinse and repeat.
Show designs early and often to the team. Matt, Reto and I would communicate frequently to identify strengths and weaknesses in the flow of pictures. I continued to test the typography, image sizes, and color use through each draft.

Reflections

Editing, pairing, and sequencing work is a practice that is rewarding and subjective. I learned that the final book is a reflection of the publisher’s vision and brand as much as the photographer’s. The collaboration results in an artifact that is ultimately elevated.

Carry Me Ohio was published in 2016 by Sturm&Drang and is currently sold out. The next volume in The Invisible Yoke series is in progress.

Our efforts were recognized by Photo District News (PDN) with a 2017 photo book award.