Stunning BCNMCR book celebrates the creative connections between Barcelona and Manchester

The third and final BCNMCR – a design event which brings together the best creative talent in Barcelona and Manchester – is about to get underway. And to whet your appetite, organiser Dave Sedgwick has given us a sneak peek at the conference's accompanying book.

Opening today on 20 April at Manchester's Unitom at 6pm, BCNMCR is a one-off event where attendees get to bask in some of the best graphic design work to come out of Barcelona and Manchester, as well as able to listen to talks from speakers such as Lo Siento, Javier Jaén, Ingrid Picanyol, Pràctica and Cabeze Patata.

We caught up with organiser Dave Sedgwick earlier this year to learn why he decided to bring back the popular design event one last time, and now the big day is almost here. If you can't wait or make it in person, fear not, as Dave's kindly shared a preview of the celebratory BCNMCR book he's been working on.

Described by Dave as a snapshot of design in Barcelona today, the BCNMCR book is a unique look at the city's creative output. "It's a collection of 60 pieces of work from 60 Barcelona-based or born creatives," he tells Creative Boom.

"The majority of work in the book is completely exclusive for this project and either represents a connection between Barcelona and Manchester or answers the slightly abstract brief as to what the next ten years may bring design-wise."

Interestingly, the book was not always on the cards. In fact, it was borne out of the unfortunate news that a planned exhibition would have to be cancelled at the last minute. "I'd already contacted several creatives from Barcelona, and they were all really interested in being part of the event," Dave explains. "So when the plans fell through, a book felt like a great way to give some legacy to the BCNMCR event.

"I decided to try and get as many submissions as possible and spent days and weeks contacting designers, illustrators and creatives in Barcelona to take part. I was so grateful that they all responded, and some of the work is stunning, with many going above and beyond with their submissions."

This theme of drive and optimism runs through the whole book. Rather than letting BCNMCR fade away, this book ensures it goes out in a blaze of glory by looking ahead. "I decided to use this as a chance to not only look back over the past ten years but also look forward," Dave adds.

"So I asked the simple question, 'What do you think the next ten years will bring to you, or your studio' and the responses are all included within the book's pages. It's a really interesting insight into people's concerns or plans for the future.

"As well as this, I decided to interview a large collection of creatives, including Veronica Fuerte from Hey, Pablo Juncadella from Mucho, Mario Eskenazi and Fernando Gutiérrez, as well as many others. These interviews took place over video calls, and I transcribed the responses myself. It took many hours of work!"

However, all that hard work has paid off, as the book is a beauty to behold. Running at 180 pages, the case-bound book printed by Team Impression on Winter and Company stocks references the official flag of the Catalan region – the Senyera – with the help of yellow foil provided by Foilco.

"The flag features five yellow stripes on a red background," Dave reveals. "I turned the flag sideways to create a portrait version for the book's cover. I realised I could use the stripes to create a tally chart-style graphic reflecting the 60 submissions I received.

"This also felt a really nice way of showcasing the process of pulling the book together, which resulted from many emails, messages and phone calls, and literally ticking off or tallying up each time a submission arrived."

Feeling that a simple straight line would be too clean and neat, Dave decided to make these tallies look more like flags fluttering naturally in the wind. "In order to do this, I hand-made 12 flags using insulation tape and scanned them in," he concludes. "This resulted in the tally chart looking more flag-like and with pen-like lines."

The book itself is limited to just a few hundred copies but will be available for a reduced price of just £20 on the launch night, with the remaining books available at the main event on Friday for £25.

If any books are left over, Dave will sell them online via the BCNMCR site.


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