I recently returned from an amazing series of portfolio reviews in NYC where I spent the better part of a week sharing the new version of my portfolio with buyers, editors, and reps. Regular readers may have noticed over the past few months that I have made several mentions about the process of putting this new portfolio together alongside designer Nubby Twiglet in preparation for this marketing trip, and now I am ready to share the end results of our most recent collaboration with the above video and some photos of the final book.
Over many weeks of conceptual discussion, Nubby and I started to pull together the images and elements that would go into the book. We decided on an 11 x 14 landscape format, which is similar to previous versions of my book. I feel that it is a perfect size for the types of image layouts we ended up working with and avoids the transport and scale issues of larger books.
We also went with a completely custom solution for the covers rather than something pre-fabricated. It gave us so much more freedom in terms of our design and materials choices than working within the constraints and limited options offered by some off-the-shelf portfolio solutions. Nubby had worked with a bookbinder in Portland called Grossenbacher in the past and suggested them for the fabrication of the covers – they did not disappoint. The company has been around since 1925 and sports quite an impressive client list. They did a wonderful job with this project and the book itself became quite a conversation piece during several of my recent meetings because of its substantial artisanal feel.
Physical construction aside, we explored a few different versions of the body of the book, namely the image order and how it came together as a final whole body of work. Some layouts were built around various projects and assignments that I had shot, while others were built around a color story that progressed throughout the book, ending with a collection of my favorite black and white imagery. One of the most important decisions we made was whether or not to incorporate design elements other than just my photography into the main body of the book. Ultimately, we decided to take several elements from previous collaborations and incorporate them as a means of reinforcing the identity that we have built over the last few years, while giving the book a more finished and editorial feel – simple additions that I feel enhance the experience of the book.
Nubby also has some thoughts to share on the design process of the book.
When beginning work on Luke Copping’s portfolio, I wanted to leverage as many existing design elements from our previous collaborations as possible to keep the recognizability of his branding strong and consistent. After a few years of smaller collaborations, it was time to take on our most ambitious project to date: the print portfolio.
Luke already had a digital portfolio and even a magazine but the print portfolio was meant to be the most premium and tie everything else together. I designed the covers to mimic the look his letterpress business cards and had it produced at a local bookbinder with a silver foil wordmark and white foil cross pattern for a tonal effect. The covers are white linen with white lining and hidden screw posts. I wanted it to be as understated and premium as possible.
A lot of time was spent shuffling images into layouts that either revolved around a particular series or a color story. While the magazine had copy throughout, the portfolio was all about Luke’s photography so we kept the layouts in line with what you’d expect in a photography book. Big, beautiful and with a lot of white space when needed.
Luke’s book was printed at Pushdot here in Portland so I was able to proof it in person. He chose a premium matte paper with a slight texture that added a whole new dimension to his work. The prints and custom cover came together to form a book that we’re really proud of. I admire Luke for constantly pushing forward and investing in the presentation of his photography business — his passion for what he does really shows.
~ Nubby Twiglet
I could not be happier with the end result of this project. This new book is a culmination of a lot of new work and new approaches to how I want to present myself and my work moving forward. I hope you enjoy it. Feel free to leave your opinions and comments.