Sometimes it’s nice to do a project on your own behalf: Set out your own criteria and objectives, and draw up a schedule that fits your life. Digital printing technology has made it easier than ever to make such visions a reality.
The ongoing story of the myriad railway branchlines that once criss-crossed southern Ontario reveals a great deal about how our present-day province came to be, and I felt it would be excellent fodder for a published work. Thus was born the first of a series of branchline-themed calendars, all designed within a fold-free, large-image format. With the invaluable help of supportive colleagues, industry contacts and government agencies, a wide-ranging collection of images was assembled and edited for each edition. While the primary goal was to create a striking visual piece that stood apart from others in this genre, the other was to balance the imagery with thoroughly researched background stories to inform the reader in a way that the visuals couldn’t. In the end, each calendar became a sort of ‘hanging coffee table book’ – nice to look at from a distance, with a rich reward for those who peered closer to inspect the details.