‘Young Guns’ Award Book With Concrete Covers

You can find design inspiration almost anywhere. And as it turns out in the case of this book of Art Directors Club ‘Young Guns’ Award winners, inspiration can even be as close as your nearest Home Depot. Designed by Dress Code and produced by our friends at Bolger, this 188-page (plus cover) book underscores its celebration of the “impact” that its Young Guns Award winners are making by tucking their bios in between covers…made of concrete!

Inspired by French design firm Murmure’s years-long dabbling in blending printing and concrete, Bolger was challenged to not only create concrete covers for the awards book, but also to add engraved titles to the front cover, too.

Strolling through Home Depot, Bolger’s engineer discovered large sheets of Durock cement board, which is often used as a subfloor or wall base beneath tile.

Living for these types of challenges, Bolger’s press maintenance team cut the Durock sheets down with a power saw (ensuring that they would be breathing dust for the next month).

This left them with book covers boasting rough edges – perfect for the tactile effect they were going for. Now all they had to figure out was how to engrave the concrete and attach it to the books.

After multiple engraving attempts left the concrete broken, Bolger asked Lasercut Plus to experiment with laser cutting until they ended up with the results you see here – something the company had never tried before. (Fun fact: They also split the print run of the book into 3 versions, each getting one of 3 titles: “Time is Forever,” “Delusions of Grandeur” and “Everything is Familiar.”)

Next, construction glue was used to affix the concrete to a false cover and 80 lb. Finch Opaque Smooth Cover endsheets; these were then attached to the book block.

The exposed Smyth-sewn binding they used to gather the signatures– provided by Midwest Editions – not only made for a book that lays open flat, but also gave the otherwise gray piece a splash of color along the spine, showing off Blue/Purple and Pink edges (and matching Pink thread), which all hint at the color palette used on the pages inside.

These pages were offset printed CMYK + Fluorescent Pink on 100 lb. White Finch Opaque Smooth Text to create Blue/Purple backgrounds and White text fields, complete with Pink accents. Keeping that background consistent from spread to spread, the printer points out, was extremely challenging.

The concrete covers of this book aren’t just a great attention grabber and conversation starter, they make the volume itself look and feel like something both valuable and profound.

Project Details

Title Art Directors Club 'Young Guns' Award Book With Concrete Covers Client Art Directors Club Design Dress Code
Print Printing: Bolger, Minneapolis
Laser cutting: Lasercut Plus, Minneapolis
Binding: Midwest Editions, Minneapolis
Paper Cover: Durock cement board;
Endsheets: Finch Opaque Smooth 80 lb. Cover White;
Text: Finch Opaque Smooth 100 lb. Text White

Production Details

Printing Method Offset Number of Colors CMYK + Fluorescent Pink Finishing and Binding Laser cutting, Smyth-sewn binding
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