It was a real pleasure and an honour to be part of Canadian history. In 2002, Evolving Media & Design Inc.® was commissioned to create the first digital library of the Orders, Decorations and Medals our brave Canadian Soldiers received for active peacekeeping and combat. We later created the second and third editions of the Orders, Decorations and Medals digital library too.
The digital library is available to almost any creative, writer, publisher, or media outlet, around the world. It is simple, and allows for easy drag-in-drop of an image into a page layout application such as Adobe InDesign or Quark Xpress.
Every image is colour corrected for ease of use, the designer has to do very little to use the images from the digital library.
A small sample of the catalogue is provided in PDF format. The file is 13 MB, secured, so you can not copy, edit or print the catalogue. It is for your viewing enjoyment only!
Any problems with the file were corrected or fixed.
For example, there were instances where the ribbon didn’t exist and had to be digitally recreated, or the ribbon was reversed. In other instances, the wrong ribbon was placed on a Medal or the ribbon should have been Yellow, Red, Blue, instead of Blue, Red, Yellow. If a Medal was damaged, we had to digitally repair it.
We were not allowed to photograph every Medal. One in particular had to be photographed by the Official Photographer of the Governor General of Canada.
Other Medals were taken by there units photographers, because of distance and the location of the Medal, Order or Decoration. For Example, Vancouver and New Foundland, to name a few.
For the most part Jeff Poissant, photographed nearly 70% of the collection in our studio, over 700 pieces. He also edited every single image, correcting and fixing any problems that were present in the photo.
Some items were so rare, they were priceless, and came from a private collection. The collection includes important items that span three centuries. What was amazing and sad at the same time, was you could really notice the difference in workmanship and the quality of the Medal. The pieces from the early 1800’s to the early 1900’s were very intricate, detailed, and just wonderful to look at. When automation came into being and Medals were stamped in the mid 1900’s, you could see the loss of detail and the plain look of the Medal.
They call that progress I guess. The sad part, the knowledge and craftmanship from the artisans of that era have all but been lost.
With each Medal, Order, and Decoration verified and approved. The file was saved in the Adobe Photoshop file format to ensure future proofing of the files, and to minimize image degradation. Once the items were finished, the files were named in the order of presidence to limit the amount of time it would take to research and find a requested image.
A collection of JPEG images were sent to the Directorate of History and Heritage for use within there new website, showcasing the Order, Decoration and Medals. You can view the catalogue on-line by visiting the Canadian Honours Chart.
The final stage of each digital library was to design the catalogue, identifying the Order, Decoration and Medals by there order of presidence. Design the CD-ROM and DVD labels. Then deliver the final products.
EvolvingMedia had the opportunity to work on the second (in 2005) and third editions of the digital libray. The third edition, the cover displayed above, was delivered in 2008.
Evolving Media photographed each Order, Decoration and Medal. Working with the team at the Directorate of Honours and Recognition. Each Order, Decoration and Medal was verified to make sure the right ribbon was used, inspected for damage, verifying whether the Medal, Decoration or Order were real and not costume jewellery — a real problem.
Each item was brought to our studio and carefully unpacked while wearing white photo lab gloves. The Directorate of History and Heritage required that the front and back of every peice be photographed. Once the images were reviewed, verified, and authorized for quality, part two of the production process began.
13 MOM Medal Front
Order, Decoration and Medal — 13 MOM Medal
13 MOM Medal Back
Evolving Media had to take each file, open it in Adobe Photoshop and meticulously remove the background, leaving the Order, Decoration and Medal on its own layer in Photoshop. A keyline was added, or working path, around each item to ensure a transparent background when placed into older Quark Xpress publications.
Order, Decoration and Medal
Adobe Photoshop file with layers intact.
Backwards compatibility was very important to ensure the longevity of the files. Adobe Photoshop was selected as the master file format (.PSD) with layers intact, since Photoshop, to this day, is the Industry standard.