Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Balvac 80th Anniversary

The use of concrete doesn't sound like the most exciting of subjects, but this book is about exactly that and it is a fascinating story.

Established in 1933, Balvac is a leading specialist contractor undertaking repair, strengthening, refurbishment and protection of civil and building structures throughout the UK. Their work includes road and rail bridges, tunnels, highways, marine structures, power stations, water treatment works, multi-storey car parks, residential and commercial buildings, and heritage structures. They are now part of the Balfour Beatty group.
Click on images to enlarge
The size of the publication is 245x180mm, portrait. The cover is printed on our Colorset Light Grey 350gsm, with a 56pp text printed on Omnia 150gsm

Designer on the project is Paul Grogan whilst at Manchester agency Make Complex Simple. The piece is profiled on his website as "a design project to make concrete sexy". Paul goes on to say... "It was a graphic designers dream. All this amazing source material to play with. The only problem was there was just too much to play with. The after wading through countless stories, news clippings and slides, we were finally able to agree a budget and page plan. The stories include the famous Summit tunnel fire in Lancashire, secret bank buildings, and a stolen dogs ear!"

The cover is beautifully blind embossed and it works perfectly with the black binding tape around the spine.
The cover has 135mm wide flaps on the inside front and back covers, which covers up the embossing on the inside. It also gives a "limp bound" publication, such as this, a "bookier" feel.
Below shows detail of the black binding tape around the spine.
The book is organised into spreads which tell a particular story, either of the company
...of a product, this is about Gunite
or of particular projects
Click on images to enlarge

The text is printed offset litho on Omnia, which looks and feels just beautiful. It perfectly shows the images, illustrating the stories - lots of detail and excellent reproduction and great solids - no patchiness or mottle. It is totally in sympathy with the rough concrete interiors - tactile and engaging.
The binding is section sewn and below shows the detail:
The publication is made from just the right weights, it flows in the hand and the pages turn over easily.
Photography is by Claire Wood Photography. Printing and finishing is by Galloways Printers in Poynton. You can read more about this project here:

Posted by Justin Hobson 31.01.2017

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Thanks for your comment! If I like it, I'll add it on. Cheers J