afterburn sectional graphic


Print Production

The printed materials generated by Burning Man are the product of a unique collaborative effort between the year-round staff and a variety of members of the community. The efforts of artists, graphic designers, printers, mapmakers, and photographers -- each drawing inspiration from his or her experience as a Burner -- are coordinated to produce items such as the Burning Man Newsletter, the Survival Guide, the What Where When, ticket sales postcards, Burning Man stickers, and various other printed items throughout the year. In this way, these individuals contribute their own talents and skills to the community, and participate in helping to keep us all informed.

In 2000, the Burning Man newsletter's designer, who was proud of her involvement and work on previous newsletters, came forward with a proposal asking to design the publication in color if she could keep the cost low. The enhanced layout was a beautiful way to show the art and people of Black Rock City, and was approved. The newsletter was again beautifully printed in color in 2001.

A new designer was chosen for the What Where When 2001 for the first time since its creation. By using the volunteer database, we were able to find a list of designers who wanted to help, conduct an efficient search, and have the new candidate working on the publication within a matter of days. Feedback from participants indicate this is a well-liked and well-read publication.

At the Greeters' station of Black Rock City, participants are handed a packet of materials including the What Where When, the document explaining "Exodus" (event departure), the Gate edition of the Black Rock Gazette, and several stickers. These items arrive on the playa in separate boxes and are collated so the Greeters can hand them out to each carload of participants. Rather than pay thousands to have this done at a mailhouse, an ad hoc team of volunteers was assembled on the playa and collated these 25,000 packets in under three days.

2001's Survival Guide received a complete overhaul by another participant/designer. The redesign was created with a "Boy Scout Handbook" look and feel, and contained witty line drawings illustrating the finer points of playa survival. The design was very well received, and the 12-page document had a print run of 30,000. For 2002, we expect few revisions to the content, and hope to have the Survival Guide in the mail earlier in the year.

In early 1999, we began to announce ticket sales with a postcard mailing. The designer for the 2001 ticket postccard will remain the designer for 2002, and the mailer will be sent to 43,000 names on the mailing list. An additional designer creates the Flambé Lounge postcard and some of our sticker designs. The theme art sticker and car sticker are two additional designs submitted by volunteer designers.

The future is bright for the participants wishing to showcase their talent as we have chosen to work with a new ticket vendor. In addition to providing us a number of other benefits, we'll also be designing our event tickets for the first time since 1997.