Hedgehog Productions

Book Packaging Projects

Project management from concept to printed books (and booklets).

While I enjoy book publishing projects generally, I particularly liked these books because they allowed me to pursue my love of archival research. The opportunity to create beautiful books about interesting people and their times was icing on the cake.

Houseworthy of GodThe Project: A House Worthy of God, 80 pages, 2006
The Client: St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church, Napanee, ON (Kingston Archdiocese)
Designer: Janice Maclean
Assignment: Research, write and publish a book to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the church
Approach: The early history of the church told a fascinating story about a community of Irish Catholic immigrants whose success in the new world of 1850s Upper Canada allowed them to construct the first stone church in the diocese. Although interior renovations had stripped much of the church’s architectural heritage, a series of beautiful stained glass windows had been preserved. The book was designed to deliver an official history of the church combined with a series of stunning photographs of the preserved windows, accompanied by the stories of the founding families who donated them.

Cultivating the Wilderness
The Project: Cultivating the Wilderness, 80 pages, 2005
The Client: County of Lennox & Addington, Napanee, ON
Designer: Janice Maclean
Assignment: Commemorate an early pioneer family of United Empire Loyalists whose descendants were the major financial donor to a county senior citizens complex. The Parrott family had moved out of the county early in the 20th Century and a book was commissioned to establish their historic links to the county which was about to receive its financial gift.
Approach: Archival research revealed the colourful story of John Parrott who started out as an American farmer before he  joined British invasion forces in 1776 and served as a British spy before moving to Upper Canada in 1784. Through the 19th Century his descendants parlayed Parrott’s initial land grants into a massive holding that gave them a role in local politics, enterprise and agriculture, as well as the militia units that defended the area during the War of 1812.
Links: Read a letter of appreciation from the client.
View a spread from the book.

housing memory
The Project: Housing Ontario’s Memory, 16 pages, 2009
The Client: Archives of Ontario, Toronto, ON
Designer: Frank B. Edwards
Assignment: Produce a short history of all the buildings that have been used to house the Archives’ massive document collection since 1903.
Approach: Affordability and quick turnaround were key considerations. Four days of intense archival research provided the necessary information and historical images. Additional pictures were taken of building exteriors. Once written, a simple but attractive design was created and delivered as a pdf that would allow Archives staff the option of printing the booklet internally on office laser printers. The first press run, however, was printed for the client on high quality paper by a print shop. The job was delivered in time for the opening of the Archives’ new, state-of-the-art facility at York University.
Links: View sample pages from the booklet.

Fraser display panel
The Project: Archivist of Ontario Display Panels, 2009
The Client: Archives of Ontario, Toronto, ON
Designer: Janice Maclean
Assignment: Produce four display panels telling the stories of Ontario's first provincial archivists.
Approach: After initial research into the careers of the four archivists, their contributions and the state of the Archives during their terms, we created four individual designs that were based on graphic styles of the relevant eras (e.g. the Bauhaus movement of the 1920s). The posters were to hang in the Archives' new boardroom so our challenge was to make them aesthetically interesting and different enough from one another that each would stand out from the others. At the same time, they needed to share some common elements to make them complementary. In keeping with the role of the Archives, the final posters appear to have been collected from different periods of the 20th Century. The project proved to be extra interesting as photographs of three of the archivists did not exist in the Archives' main collection so other sources -- including university archives and family photos -- were investigated. In the end, the project was a success through the efforts of client, designer and myself.
Links: View sample panels.

Queens Sesquicentennial book
The Project: Queen’s: The First 150 Years, 180 pages, 1990
The Client: Queen’s University, Kingston, ON
Designer: Linda Menyes
Assignment: Produce a memorable illustrated sesquicentennial history book that would be accurate, academically sound and visually appealing.
Approach: We chose a coffee-table book format that would appeal to alumni and filled it with a mix of lush new photography, striking archival pictures and a well-written text that would give meaning and context to the visual elements. The text was presented in short, interesting blocks that kept the book lively and interesting. With an ample budget and a full year to prepare, a talented team of freelance photographers, researchers, a writer, designer and production editors was assembled. The book is stunning. Fifteen thousand copies were printed and sold to alumni for $75 each.
Links:  View two spreads from the book (4 mg).

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