Flametree was approached to produce a centenary book for the Hyden Progress Association. Different options were discussed and costed as the contents and structure of the book evolved. Once a firm direction was established we were engaged to design, layout and produce a coffee table picture book depicting 100 years of the Hyden region through pictures and embellished captions.

The Brief

It was decided by the authors, Sue and Rolf Meeking, that the story would be told primarily with pictures. These were to be arranged in chapters, each covering a particular period between 1922 and 2022. Each chapter would have an introduction to set the scene and the photographs would fill in the gaps telling individual stories with the help of extended captions where required.

This sounds easier than it actually was with thousands of photos needed to be sorted and researched to accurately tell the story. The book was growing in size daily and eventually a limit was imposed and a deadline declared with the final extent of the book being 280 pages containing 500 photographs. When the final pictures and text were handed to our designer there was only ten weeks to layout the whole book, proof it and get the book printed and transported to Hyden in time for the centenary celebrations. 

Fortunately while the writing and researching was being undertaken the book design had been worked on and styles set for the publication, meaning as soon as the content was at hand we had the green light to begin the layout. The layout was clean and open allowing flexibility to display one or many photographs on a spread. The design allowed readers to enjoy different levels of engagement - from reading cover to cover or just dipping in where a picture aroused particular interest.

Sue and Rolf were great to work with and proofed each chapter as it was finished and allowed us to use our discretion in sizing and placing images on the basis of importance and quality. They were also great at finding replacement images and filling in any potential gaps.

The final printer’s proof was approved leaving three weeks to print and deliver finished copies to Hyden. This happened with two days to spare. We are always happy when our books are well received and find their audience. 


“We received a lot of great compliments about the book, and it sold out on Saturday afternoon. I presume that the Hyden Progress Association will order a reprint.

Thanks again for the great work you did. It was certainly worth it.”

Sue Meeking

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