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Balvir worked on Sign systems for one of the largest inner city National Health Service Trust Hospitals in the UK, (City Hospital Trust, Birmingham) with particular emphasis on the needs of clients from very diverse cultural backgrounds and mixed levels of literacy.
This project involved the total organisation and management of a ground breaking, comprehensively researched, purpose designed sign system strategy serving a very complex range of clients. As an intrinsic and crucial part of this project, Balvir supervised a full time postgraduate (MA) student assistant in addition to his specialist design input and project management duties.
During this period he also worked on several other design-led external projects for the University. One of these was as academic advisor to Hasmi Bucknall JV, Malaysia — Project Management Consultants to Telekom Malaysia. The project in question was one of the first major constructions in the ’Multimedia Super Corridor‘ city of Cyberjaya.
His contribution was in the sphere of information design, multimedia design concepts and applications and strategies for the delivery of mass education via electronic media.
Balvir's chief interest and contribution is in relation to phonetics and transliteration problems of Hindi, Punjabi and English, development of teaching and learning strategies and information design. He has attended various workshops, seminars, conferences and presented papers at IIT, The Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Pune Univesity and other art colleges throughout India. This work is still continuing with the emphasis on transferring a major element to the UK.
He has also developed major professional, business and personal links throughout the world over 20-plus years as a practising designer.
As a practising designer he undertakes selective freelance commissions. He has been an advisor and consultant to several major clients — The University of Central England, Design Research society, The Design Council and the Bucknall Group, UK, on matters of corporate identity and visual communication.
December 1979 — October 1986 Group Publicity Designer and PR Executive — MacGregor-Navire Centrex Ltd
This was a member company and principal public relations office for the International MacGregor-Navire organisation, comprising forty-eight companies located throughout the world. MacGregor-Navire specialised in the design and manufacture of various kinds of cargo access and transfer equipment for ships — world leaders in this specific market sector. Balvir worked as part of a team of five.
Balvir's personal contribution was the development, organisation and management of all corporate design and publicity requirements, including the estimating of budgets, schedules and all purchasing of print and allied services. His average annual budget topped 200K. Design work ranged right across the board — from audio-visuals and print, including the UK‘s leading maritime publication, to national and international exhibitions, conferences and video productions. Liaison with individual group companies was an extensive and important part of his brief — either in a direct capacity or in an advisory role.
Balvir was also involved in organising training seminars for visual presentation techniques, interactive video training techniques and performance assessment at senior level.
He left in 1986 to pursue more selective academic interests and continued to expand his business partnership in a print production company established in London in 1981.
August 1978 — November 1979Senior Graphic Designer, Rapier Design Associates
This Charles Barker Group company specialised in exhibition and corporate identity design. Balvir's primary function was to design all exhibition graphics working alongside a team of 3D designers. Clients included various divisions of Plessey, GEC, Mintex and Thames Water Authority. In addition to this, Balvir also designed a complete corporate identity for a group of marine engineering companies — Amalgamated Power Engineering Group, based in Bedford, England — plus items for Rapier‘s self promotion.
June 1978 — July 1978Creative Consultant, Olympic Holidays
At the time, Olympic was the premier holiday operator to Greek destinations. Balvir joined the company to diversify his experience in a fast moving market. Reporting directly to the Marketing Director, he conducted an audit of all visual material and helped to form a new strategy for design policy. Work included brochures, press advertising, sales incentive and corporate graphics material. His input helped the company to consolidate its market position and further develop its services.
October 1976 — May 1978Design manager, Honeywell Information Systems Ltd
A major player in the computer hardware and software applications industry at the time. Balvir had total responsibility for the Design Studio, including the management of two full-time assistants plus freelance designers as required. The work of the studio ranged from simple leaflets to complex forms, sales support material, newspapers, various technical support publications, product and prestige brochures.
The majority of work was completed from concept, presentation, to artwork and final production. Extensive liaison with senior company personnel on the one hand and managing suppliers and printers on the other, was a daily norm.
Freelance commissions during this period included work on small and large projects for clients like the British Museum Design Office, London Borough of Merton, Dan Air, DuPont, Crusader Insurance Plc.