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Nov
21
2013

The Birth of the Annual Heirbook - Part 1

The annual photobook, or heirbook as we call them, is the cornerstone of our work, designed to be a treasured family heirloom. As photobook designers, our aim is to create the best premium photobooks to tell a family's story every year, and the annual heirbook is the culmination of our hard work.

Creating the perfect annual heirbook requires a lot of planning and dedication. We can still create beautiful photobooks for all your past photographs, but creating the perfect annual heirbook is something you need to plan towards. It is about ensuring that you have collected all the photographs and notes to tell a story of your year as a family. It is an evolutionary process, even for us, and for each annual heirbook we create we learn more about what we can do during the year to improve the book for the following year. We learn what additional photos we should be taking, how we should be framing them, the kind of details we should be shooting and so much more. We learn what additional notes we should be taking, and the easiest way to keep a useful journal.

Today I would like to share with you some images of my family's heirbook for 2012. I know we're already approaching the end of 2013, but this has been a personal project very close to my heart and it took some time to collate the annual book, write all the additional text for the book and complete the final cover design for the book, and to finally blog about it. As the concept of the annual heirbook only really started taking shape in the second half of 2012, it was a more challenging task for us to go back in time and attempt to piece together all the missing bits of the story. For 2013, I have been creating my book all through the year so I should be able to share the 2013 heirbook with you pretty soon after the year end.

The first set of images below are of the mini quarterly books:

 

A key part of our annual heirbook concept is to have quarterly publications (whether just digital or actual print publications). There are a couple of reasons for this. Firstly, these quarterly publications would allow us, in our increasingly globalised world, to share our stories with all the important people - grandparents, uncles and aunts, cousins, nephews and nieces, close friends - who are not able to be present in our day-to-day lives. Secondly, having these regular publications would allow us to re-visit memories with our children on a regular basis so that these memories are reinforced before they fade.

The photos below are of the large hardcover annual heirbook:

We enjoyed working on the cover design for this 2012 series of books. Coming up with a concept was the most difficult bit, as we wanted a design that was artistic and creative, that said something about the year and that offered flexibility each year to allow each annual heirbook to be 'different', yet similar enough to be part of the same collection of books.

 As 2013 draws to a close, it has been a wonderful year for us at Catch Stories. We enjoyed working with all of you, and we enjoyed creating gorgeous books. One thing however has become clear. Creating these books has proven to be very time-consuming indeed, so much so that we've been unable to handle the workload of projects. Thus for 2014, until we are able to expand our team (but still maintain the same high standard of work), it looks like we may have to be very selective in the projects we take on. We have decided to prioritise the heirbook concierge concept, and will take on just a few of these clients in the year - those who show the same dedication as us to create books of the highest quality! But in the meantime we'll keep on blogging and sharing our thoughts and ideas, and hopefully slowly spread the heirbook concept to every corner of our planet. The perfectionist in us wants to create only the best quality heirbooks, but don't let perfectionism stand in the way of a good idea. An average heirbook is better than none at all, and would still be a cherished family heirloom.

Continue to Part 2.

 

 

 

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