Shepherdess is a quarterly printed publication that connects, empowers and inspires women across rural Aotearoa New Zealand.
Shepherdess was born to fill a gap by offering a place to tell the stories of rural women. They believe that telling these stories is a great way to reduce social and geographical isolation, stimulate ideas and thinking, and foster connections. There was nothing quite like this in the market and there was no print-based platform for female voices to tell their stories both in the agricultural sector and rural communities across New Zealand.
We were the creative partners right back to the very first edition and our creative lens has set the theme for all subsequent runs. We stipulated hero photography be used to enhance and tell the stories. Raw and unpolished where needed, the photography would capture the perfections and imperfections of rural life and dictate the layout of the pages.
Shepherdess is a standard magazine size which needed to stand out from other titles on the shelves. The white border was introduced to help with this. We introduced an infographic to showcase where these stories came from around NZ, as many people have never heard of some of these towns and villages, so we put them on the map (quite literally) in the contents page. The typography we chose was a combination of timeless serif, with a clean san serif to complement the other. The script we used added a level of femininity and elegance to the pages and also served as a feature font. Overall, Shepherdess is clean, clear and the photography standards super high to deliver only the best images that tell stories with the wow factor.
Shepherdess was produced to keep, and not throw away after a reading. Each edition is a work of art and beauty – not ‘just’ a magazine.
Shepherdess Magazine is committed to quality storytelling, photography and design work, and because of this it needed to look and feel the part with uncoated stock. The texture of the stock helped give warmth to the photography and ooze calm. The magazines are perfect bound and have the feel of a coffee table book – one to be picked up again and again.
“Sarah-Jayne is creative, clever, dynamic, and a storyteller. She is exactly the sort of person you want to have on your team when working on a project that uses visual communication to tell a story. She has an eye for good design, is experienced at designing for a variety of forms and scales - from a social media graphic, to a 100 page magazine.
The response to the Shepherdess has been heartwarming, and I believe it is thanks to Sarah Jayne’s eye for visual communication and storytelling. She has created a product that is beautiful, meaningful, and resonates with a rural audience. It has landed in letterboxes from the West Coast, to Te Karaka to the Chatham Islands, and we have had such a positive response.
Sarah Jayne is passionate about what she does, and this shows in every aspect of her work - when you are getting an idea off the ground, it is wonderful to work with someone who is equally as excited on a project as you! It feels like a true collaboration.
It is an absolute pleasure working with Sarah Jayne. She is organised, responsive and reliable. She gets things done when she says she will. I completely trust in her knowledge of the technical details of design and getting a magazine off to print - which when publishing a magazine is one less thing out of a myriad of tasks an independent publisher is juggling! And she can have a laugh when things don’t quite go to plan - as is required when working in publishing! Shepherdess would not be what it is without Sarah Jayne’s depth of talent, eye for design, creativity and thought. I am in awe of her skill, and very grateful to have her as part of the team.”
Editor, Shepherdess Magazine