In 2005 Neiman-Marcus commissioned Kern to design and photograph a limited edition pop up book to celebrate the store's 100th anniversary. Consisting of seven spreads, each touching upon an important tradition and history of the store, Kern began the project by researching the history of paper animation going back to the 1800's. Armed with this knowledge he began making sketches of each spread and how they would perform when unfolded.
Once the ideas were approved Kern began to photograph the hundreds of images needed to build the spreads and their moving parts. The first pop up book designed for original photography (as opposed to using existing images), this necessitated objects and the model to be photographed in specific ways, often simultaneously from opposite sides. This was a challenge of perspective and gluing two sides together, especially with the human form.
The entire exterior of the original downtown Dallas store, plus every interior wall of every floor was photographed for one spread alone. Besides the main "pop up" functions of each spread there were many extras such as interactive features and hidden compartments. A sequence series of the model blowing a kiss was manufactured into a hologram disc designed to be a clock face.
Commissioned by Ann Richardson, Creative VP Neiman-Marcus, 2005
Concepts, photography, production, post direction: Geof Kern
Paper engineer: Kees Moerbeek, Netherlands
Retouching and die cut paths: Imaginary Lines
Publisher: Melcher Media 2007
Model, all roles: Ruslana Korshunova
Korshunova (1987-2008) tragically passed one year after the book's publication.
Examples of Kern's initial idea sketches for the spreads.