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South Dublin County Council

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The County Development Plan is a master document for all development in the county for a given period. It acts as a formalisation of planning decisions and zonings previously agreed and allows stakeholders - residents, architects, engineers and developers - to visualise the direction towards which the county is moving.

Our graphic design team was commissioned to design and produce/print manage the Plan supplying the Council with a full design to delivery service.

It is a large document of approximately 400 pages. The six year term of the Development Plan and the types of use it expects to get contributes significantly to the brief. The document must visually appeal to all stakeholders and be while being durable enough to withstand the constant daily use of architects and engineers. Given its size it must be easy to use and clearly laid out.

In the design process we try to think of the end user first - what is it that they would like to use in terms of a Plan document? The expected use of architects and engineers demanded a durable presentation and so we decided on a hardboard cover.  Also with constant page usage over six years we recommended a wirobound finish. It was considered breaking the Plan into sections and thread sewing five documents but the possibility of sections getting lost over the period was a problem. Also wirobinding allows each page or spread to lie flat and negates the need to force flatten the spine.

In terms of structure we used five colour coded sections with tabs for easy access. The edge of each page maintained its title and chapter number.  We were very lucky to be supplied with excellent photography which complemented the tables and graphs. As designers we have a minimalist approach. We believe in letting the page breathe and this is of even more importance in highly textual documents. We allowed wide margins and gave clear space to paragraphs and illustrations. A sans serif font was used for ease of reading

The Development Plan was printed and bound by Waterman Printers in Cork. Throughout the project we met all schedules and the final delivery met the Councils expectations in terms of their own schedules and creative expectations.