Fifty Years of Friendship, From the Mayor of Whitehorse City Council Fifty Years of Friendship, page 98, Gourd with a white horse. Book cover design, Fifty Years of Friendship.

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Sister City

Commemorative coffee table book

Fifty Years of Friendship: Celebrating the Whitehorse–Matsudo Sister City Relationship 1971 to 2021, was designed for the City of Whitehorse, Box Hill, Melbourne and Matsudo (松戸市, Matsudo-shi) city located in Chiba Prefecture, Japan.

This multi-language commemorative book marks the 50th anniversary of the sister city relationship and captures important historical events that have brought our two cultures closer together.

Nikki M Group provided services including:

  • publication design
  • cover design
  • typesetting
  • project management
  • photo retouching
  • print management.

Publication design

Nikki M Group worked with Jennifer Forest the author and Whitehorse City Council to design and publish Fifty Years of Friendship.

The design stage included: 

  • developing a cover design
  • choosing fonts for typesetting in English and Japanese
  • creating the internal design
  • laying out a sample chapter for approval prior to production.

Production included:

  • typesetting the final manuscript
  • arranging images and body copy
  • adding rubi text to Japanese characters
  • paging out the book into print sections
  • taking in author corrections
  • preparing files for print.

Photo of the designer showing a chapter opener with English and Japanese headings typeset vertically.

For chapter titles and running headers both languages were typeset vertically to give the publication a Japanese style.

Cover design

The cover is designed to symbolise Japan in the Northern hemisphere, and Australia in the Southern Hemisphere – cherry blossoms reach down from the top and wattle reaches up from the bottom.

Photograph of Fifty Years of Friendship cover design showing typography in English and Japanese.

Fifty Years of Friendship cover design.

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Typesetting English and Japanese together

Fifty Years of Friendship was typeset in English and Japanese. To create the idea of ‘friendship’ and ‘working together’, we designed both languages to flow side-by-side in a multi-column layout. This included:

  • choosing fonts for English and Japanese with a similar style
  • aligning baselines to a grid
  • arranging both languages around images
  • running English and Japanese together in headings and captions
  • setting English and Japanese translations side-by-side
  • running headings horizontal and vertical.

Photograph of Fifty Years of Friendship showing Japanese and English languages typeset side-by-side.

Fifty Years of Friendship is typeset in English and Japanese. Both languages run side-by-side. The layout is designed to blend both languages together.

Print embellishments

The cover is embellished with a matt laminate, a special Pantone colour and a gold foil. These print embellishments give the book a commemorative feel and quality finish.

The gold foil is designed to celebrate the significance of the 50-year anniversary of the Matsudo and Whitehorse sister city relationship.


Creating a commemorative coffee table book

There are many things to consider when creating a commemorative book, such as ‘What will it look like?’, ‘Who will curate content?’ and ‘How many pages do I need?’.

Nikki M Group can tailor a package to suit your requirements, we offer a range of publishing services from content development to design and print. If you need guidance, we offer consultation to help you get started.

Fast facts

Total pages


Whitehorse City Council and the City of Matsudo
International history, sister cities
Jennifer Forest
Book design Cover design Typesetting Photo retouching Print management