AFTERBURN REPORT 2008
2008 was jam-packed with exciting print projects helping us to get important and fun information out to our community. Print projects for the year included: the Ticket Announcement, the Event Ticket, two beautiful posters based on the event theme, the Survival Guide, an overhauled WhatWhereWhen guide, the fold-out map of our fair city, a smattering of fun stickers, a gorgeous Wall Calendar, a Playa Tip Sheet and a Recycling rearview mirror hang tag. Whew.
One annual piece that did not appear this year was the annual Summer Newsletter, the Burning Man Journal, which is usually used to communicate major cultural news along with an exploration of the annual art theme and the themed art pieces that have received funding in any given year. A combination of staff availability, budgetary constraint, and an analysis of the content normally published in it brought us to the decision to suspend its production for 2008; those same factors will be reexamined and will determine its fate in 2009.
The Survival Guide is always a challenge as it involves wrangling content from every department within Burning Man. Once again we were lucky enough to have back our talented volunteer designer from the past few years, and he managed to incorporate the new content in a fun and interesting way that makes all that detail reading a little bit more engaging. As with previous years, we had a dedicated team of volunteers who came in to stuff Survival Guides into envelopes so they can get mailed out to participants. We’re not sure if it was the caffeine or the pizza, but they finished this gargantuan task in record time.
Our production team was super excited to produce the 2008-2009 Burning Man Wall Calendar. In fact, the team had literally been counting the years until we could make this edition. The calendar features a historical retrospective of the past 12 years of Burning Man art themes and new written reflections on each by Larry Harvey. In addition to 69 gorgeous photos and 24 artifacts, the calendar showcased artwork from our collection of beautiful and historical Black Rock City maps. This year we experimented with using photo images as the background for the calendar section of the spreads and added a bit of razzle dazzle with some metallic gold ink.
Our biggest challenge, and ultimately success, for 2008 was the complete revamping of the WhatWhereWhen, the listing of playa events happening in Black Rock City. We assembled a very sharp team to reevaluate how the content was organized and presented, brought on a great new designer, and knocked it out of the park. Important revisions to the event submission process included capping the number of entries that would appear in the publication, and setting an earlier submission deadline, allowing us to more realistically schedule and budget for this project. We incorporated a dictionary-style header system, as well as side tabs that indicated what day/times each spread reflected. The result of all of our hard work was one of the most functional and stylish WhatWhereWhen guides to date, and we can’t wait to do it again next year!
All of our print projects this year benefited from having a combination of experienced team members and an openness to embrace new ideas. In 2009 we hope to continue in this direction of inspiration, communication and innovation in all of our print projects.
Rebecca Throne, Jess Bobier, and Heather Gallagher