ICES Publishing, USA

The Children of the Balwadi book is one of the studio’s most ambitious projects. It is a 368 page book that documents the ‘Balwadi’ education system given to children in Mumbai. Balwadi education is free education given to children from economically backward sections of society in India. ICES wanted us to design a book that was informative to read as well as interesting and pleasant to view. UMS accepted the challenge to design the 368 page book. To make the subject matter that could have been seen as drab and dull more fun, UMS created interest by using the bright and exciting illustrations from the children’s own artwork and scribbles as this would capture the spirit and energy of the children. These illustrations have then been resampled and colorized using digital techniques. By incorporating these into the design, the book achieved a visually strong and expressive aesthetic. The color palette uses warm and bright analogous colors with a focus on highly saturated orange and pink accented colors. The book cover uses a busy collage of fascinating details and the effect of the doodles and drawings was heightened by using a four color process but printing certain elements in two fluorescent inks. The inner pages feature dramatic black and white photo documentation of children from various Mumbai Balwadis with functional typography set using the Gill Sans typeface . To add relief to the monotone interior bright chapter intro spreads were created using children’s craft projects chalk writings, fingerprints and vegetable printmaking, which punctuate the book throughout. The result is a stunning book package that becomes a “book object” that is almost handmade in its look and also makes for easy reading! A detailed break down of the design process of this publication design is featured in the book “Instant Graphics” by Rotovision UK.