Haga Family Stories Book

The Haga Family Stories book project is a labour of love, blood, sweat and tears. And that was just at our end.

It was all made possible by our dear client who spent close to four years devoted to gathering and writing content in painstaking detail (including several visits to see the surviving senior family members in Vulcan to get their stories). 460 pages, full of authentic family history and memorabilia. We started the design of this book at the beginning of the journey and saw it through to completion three and a half years later. By the end of it we felt like family.

This book is a tribute to the Haga family, who immigrated from Norway, and chronicles the life story of the family’s hardships and victories growing up in Vulcan, Alberta between 1905 – 2010. There are 13 chapters that represent each sibling (and their extended families) from the Haga family. The idea of the book all began when our client discovered a trunk in her Uncle Omer’s closet that had been there since 1928 – having travelled from Norway with her grandfather in 1868. Upon opening it up, she discovered that the belly of this trunk held letters, jewelry, legal documents, photos – you name it, it was in there. Right in that moment, the client realized that her family had a story to tell and if she didn’t write it, to pass onto their children and children’s children, it would be lost forever.

Each photograph in the book belongs to the Haga family, aside from a few that were supplied from the Glenbow Museum’s archives. Countless hours were put towards designing all layouts, charts, features, sidebars, timelines and all supporting details such as actual signatures, letters, handwritten notes, personalized mementos and memorabilia of the era.

Each chapter contains at least one feature story, which is illustrated by Vancouver artist, Doug Sandland. Doug worked closely with us to reflect every detail correctly, working from an arsenal of family portraits to get the likenesses correct. Doug’s paintings add life, character and colour to the book.

The book is designed in muted, sepia earth tones, representative of the era. Timelines showcase specific moments, and photos from decades past start to sprinkle into a brighter presence. The cover is embossed with the monogram “H” and includes a tipped in image framed in gold foil, as is the book title and spine. The book was printed, bound and shipped to Vulcan just in time for the 2010 Haga Family reunion.