TBC Layout design of a chapter sub-section, page 280, showing a merry‑go-round ride that was a regular feature of sideshow alley at the annual Cowra Show. Image showing double-column layout design, page 111 Cowra–Japan relationship: 1988 to 2018, with a photograph of the Japanese Imperial Highnesses Prince and Princess Akishino, 1995. Cover design showing part of a painting of the mural on the pylons of the Lachlan River road bridge at Cowra by Indigenous artist Kym Freeman, and an aerial photograph of the Cowra Japanese Garden.

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Regional history

Cowra: Into the 21st Century was designed and typeset for Cowra Shire Council, New South Wales, Australia.

Cowra: Into the 21st Century, book cover design. Regional history book developed for Cowra Council.

Nikki M Group provided publishing services including:

  • concept design
  • typesetting
  • photo retouching
  • creative artwork
  • preparing press-ready PDF files
  • print management.

Book launch

Cowra: Into the 21st Century was officially launched 5 November 2020 at the Cowra Civic Centre. Managing Editor, Leanne Peters said, “Everyone on the committee is really pleased with the final product, and it has far exceeded their expectations.”

Photograph of student book page spread from Unit 1, pages 2–3, showing a colour chapter opener with images of Italian people and places.

Book launch at the Cowra Civic Centre. Back row: Member for Cootamundra, Steph Cooke, General Manager Paul Devery, Emma Millward and Lawrance Ryan. Front row: Cr Ruth Fagan, Cr Bruce Miller, Cowra Mayor, Cr Bill West and Managing Editor Leanne Peters. Source: Cowra Guardian.

Publication design

Nikki M Group were involved early in the project’s conception, before content had been written. Design included three key stages.

  1. Reverse brief – a document where we proposed three alternative directions based on our research of Cowra. This gathering of information was done before creating any visual designs and helped to define our ideas before developing concepts.
  2. Concept designs – a presentation showing three cover design concepts and the internal text design. The concepts defined the narrative and design rationale.
  3. Design approval – an approved chapter and cover design ready for production.

An image showing details of an initial concept design.

A page from the intial concept design.

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Recording regional history.


Once the design was approved and content written, the manuscript was handed over for typesetting. The manuscript was well prepared as a styled Word document with an artwork list and numbered images.

The typesetting process involved three key stages:

  1. Initial typesetting – arranging text and images into a design template.
  2. Corrections rounds – taking in authors corrections.
  3. Final artwork – preparing files for print.

There were 392 images placed at initial typesetting. Any photographs that needed extra attention were marked up and retouched at second pages.


Production of Cowra: Into the 21st Century started during the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Melbourne was placed into a strict lockdown, which meant all Nikki M Group staff had to pack-up equipment and work from home. It is a credit to our staff who all worked remotely to coordinate the project. The project ran smoothly with staff conversing via video conferencing, and using cloud storage services for file exchanges. The project was successfully delivered with books from the printer arriving in Cowra early October.

Where to buy

The book is available for purchase at the Cowra Japanese Garden, Cowra Visitor Information Centre, Re'Lish, Kendal Street Newsagency, Cowra Newsagency and Cowra Regional Art Gallery.


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Fast facts

Total pages


Cowra Shire Council, New South Wales, Australia
Regional history, 1988 to 2018
Leanne Peters, Letterati Publishing Services
Book design Cover design Typesetting Print management