THE LAST SALUTE
A celebration of life, designed for generations.
In 1948 Sunnybrook Military Hospital, in Toronto Canada, was opened. Today Sunnybrook Veterans Centre is the largest facility of its kind in the country, caring for over 300 veterans from the Second World War and Korean War.
2023 marks the Hospital’s 75th anniversary, and as part of the commemoration, Galati Creative was chosen to design a book celebrating the centenarians that live in the Veterans Centre.
The book is a collection of 40 interviews conducted and written by broadcast journalist Alannah Campbell and photos by world-renowned photographer Yuri Dojc. The source material was originally part of a photo exhibit and video. You can watch the video here.
My goal was to avoid the typical somber eulogy-style expression. Instead, I recommended the book be a celebration. A ‘thank you’ for the over 100 years of life each of the 40 centenarian veterans shared with us.
The traditional ‘Canada red’ was replaced with a bright blue accent colour. The formal serif font was substituted with a quirky sans-serif to offset the rich black and white photography. The result reflects the refreshing lightness of the stories, and accentuates the smiles in the photos.
A book designed for generations
The book is designed, first and foremost, for the veterans themselves. The large font, simple layouts and high contrast makes the book easy to read for older eyes. The size of the book was chosen not only to accommodate the portrait photography, but also to allow it to sit open without flopping closed. Even the book jacket material has some texture to it, so as not to slip from your lap. I worked alongside Paul Bradbury of Exodus Graphics to get the materials and print quality just right.
However, each story also includes a QR code that can be easily scanned with your smartphone to access the audio of the interview, hearing the centenarians own voice, in their own words.
Digital and print. Traditional and modern. For yesterday and tomorrow.
The result is an experience you cannot put down once you begin. Each interview is a treasure trove of beautiful and memorable vignettes.
It was a pleasure to be selected to commemorate and celebrate these wonderful people. Myself and the team were able to present the book to the veterans and their families personally. It is a memory I will cherish.
Sadly, several of the 40 centenarians that were celebrated in the book had passed before the book was published.