"The information we provide is similar to manufacturer's books," says Balas, but notes that it's been scaled down to read more lucidly among a wider audience of users. "We wanted to make the books shorter and clean with no brand names to influence readers," he says, or that "are out of date in six months." To help launch this project, both founders have kept the group small to cut-down on complications in what should or should not be addresses. Since last year, the group is packed with major industry players who donate their time and expertise, including Debbie Hutchinson of AGFA, Alan Darling of Western Laser Graphics, David Niles of Sappi Fine Papers North America, George Ryan of GATF and many others ranging the printing, paper and design markets.
Recently, Balas and two other BRIDG pioneers gave a seminar for the Dallas Fort Worth Production Club. Mark Geeves, president of Best Color, and John Sweeney of Graphic Microsystems each took turns explaining the BRIDG's books to demonstrate their accessibility and industry effectiveness. "The introduction was catered to color 101," says Balas. "And already Imation's [a participating company] ordered 4,000 copies."
The first book, published in January 2001, was followed two months later by the second installment. The third, says Balas, is expected to reach readers by December. It will focus on color management and workflow. He explains that the 24-page layout will be both colorful and distill information that is applicable to groundwork operations. At Quad/Graphics, second print runs satisfy the steady interest in the BRIDG books. Balas explains that since the books are written to outlast specific technology brands, the manuals are printed on 6 or 8pt. stocks with 70lb. bodies with coated covers featuring, not surprisingly, famous American bridges. The stock art is supplied by Fuji Film's Larry Warter, also a member of the small BRIDGs committee.