The panel were unanimous in selecting this many-levelled book, whose subject matter has been literally approached from many angles but which has still been designed with great restraint. This is a book over which time has been taken: time for the superb photographs of the Normandy coast, for example, for the microscopic examination of the granular quality of the sand, and for placing all this in a coherent historical context. Each element is given its own paper stock which again has relevance. An appropriate Otastar style of binding was chosen, along with a slightly thin cover in which the debossed figures of soldiers from a training manual might have been given slightly more weight – but that is truly a minor detail.
The seed from which the original idea for this book grew was an anecdote told by photographer Donald Weber’s grandfather, who in 1944 as a Canadian soldier in the Allied army took part in the D-Day landings. The story itself has ended up at the end of the book, illustrated with photos of touchingly innocent-looking scenes created with toy soldiers. And such a very carefully considered work would not be complete without an index and a map. Literally every detail must have been thought through at least three times – and despite all this, the book remains alive and natural organic. Impressive.