'Chasing the Wind - William Barr Craig 1875 - 1934'
Some 1,218 pages, two volumes, five designers and 20 years is what it has taken to publish the story of one man's life and how the legacy of his 60 years has shaped the family generations that followed. Volume one examines William Barr Craig's early life in Scotland as a young man forms his ideologies and volume two traces his migration to New Zealand and his early journalistic career and family life.
This project first came into the studio eight years ago when Stephen Lipple asked if we could help him with the production of his grandfather's story.
Stephen was working closely with Chris Walker with whom we had previously collaborated and his introduction to Stephen was the start of a long working relationship and good friendship. We began the process of organising the vast volume of text and and illustrations by providing some layout samples demonstrating how text, images, maps, headings tables, charts etc would by used. In doing so we created a set of styles that would be followed by several designers over the years as the project progressed. It was decided to treat individual chapters as separate tasks which helped to compartmentalise the large volume of associated assets.
Stephen is a stickler for detail with a lot of attention being given to sources, credits and endnotes, transcribing newspaper articles. As the time passes the scope grew and it became apparent as the number of pages passed 700 that the book would have to be split into two volumes.
As the first 12 chapters approached completion we were tasked with designing the two covers. Each volume's cover needed to convey the style of the whole story which was why two different pictures were chosen and both were positioned to complement the embellished book title type. Stephen's tasks were a bit more involved, including bibliographies, indexes, illustration lists and appendices not to mention introductions, acknowledgements and other front matter.
The books eventually went to the printer with the first volume amounting to 702 lavishly illustrated pages and volume two coming in at a handy 516 pages. This was by far the biggest book Flametree has put together and one of the longest jobs by duration that we have ever had. Even these two volumes won't tell the complete story and we have already begun on volumes three and four as the Craig story progresses to Australia.
We admire Stephen's tenacity and determination in seeing the project past its first milestone and were so pleased to see him holding the advance copies in his hand - a happy day.
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