Parent to Southern California Gas Company and the Thrifty drugstore chain, Pacific Enterprises had been a family-run business since before the turn of the century. When the founder’s grandson retired as Chairman of the Board, management decided to produce the definitive history of the corporation — a history that is linked closely to that of Southern California as a whole.
To design the 200-page book, a committee of executives interviewed many of the top firms in Southern California. All had the visual skills to do the job, but the pivotal issue was the ability to produce the project within a very tight, very unforgiving timeframe.
Working closely with printers, binderies, and the authors, we proposed a phasing system where elements of the book would be in parallel stages of production. While some chapters were still being written, others would already be at the printer. Our day-by-day production schedule showed Pacific Enterprises how it could be done. And it was the deciding factor in their selecting us to produce this important project.
The result: With 103 years of history to reconstruct, and over 350 images to unearth, The Spirit of Enterprise took longer to research and to write than its authors had originally estimated. But as they finished each chapter, we produced it. And the book was printed without a hitch. It has since been hailed as an outstanding contribution, both by historical societies and by competitors.