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The Birth of the Annual Heirbook - Part 2

We've finally got some photos of the inside of our 2012 heirbook to share with you, a book of almost 200 pages. One of the key differences of this book as compared to a standard photobook is the sheer number of stories that are being told in a single photobook, through a combination of text and photographs. Unlike a photobook of one particular holiday or a particular event, where the entire book tells a single story, an annual photobook is designed to tell your family's story for the entire year. We don't want to have the photos of a single photoshoot fill up twenty pages, or a single trip encompass a quarter of the book. Rather, each 2-page spread has been designed to tell a story as well as to be a visual experience. And we think the result is a photobook that is so much more than just a collection of photographs taken in a studio, however pretty those might be. The stories and the context add depth and purpose to these books, which is why we thought these photobooks deserved a name in their own right - an heirbook.

We're not going to lie to you - collecting the photographs all through the year and keeping a journal to create these photobooks requires dedication. And putting them together and designing them is a lot of work. But the result is very rewarding - it is something that will stay with my family always. In a world obsessed with material things, it will be the most precious gift I can give to my children - the gift of memories of their childhood and the love we share.

Having designed lots of bespoke photobooks for our clients, we have found that the concept of the perfect annual photobook was one that was very elusive. I know our heirbooks may not seem to be particularly groundbreaking, but getting the right mix of artistic design, layout of photographs to tell a story, text commentary, typography and overall visual appeal really took some time. And it was only this past year that we felt the concept had sufficiently crystallised to allow us to create our very first annual heirbook. Undoubtedly, the concept will continue to evolve in coming years but we now believe we have a solid foundation from which to grow.

Go back to Part 1 (background to the heirbook and cover design).

What do you think about the concept of the annual heirbook? Do you already create an annual photobooks for your family? Do you have any ideas for other things we could include in our book? Do share your thoughts with us!


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