Every once in a while you have to get up and stretch out your legs. After eight years of pushing page and cover layouts in many directions, I had been looking for an excuse for the art department to collaborate on a project outside—but related to—the content of Metropolis as a way to help fuel our “making” ability. We talked internally about different ideas, but nothing really clicked until associate art director Dungjai Pungauthaikan found a project based in her home state of California.
The So-Cal Fire Poster Project, initiated by Josh Higgins and modeled after the Hurricane Poster Project, in New Orleans, sells posters donated by designers to raise funds for the victims of the wildfires that seared the region in 2007. Thus began the art department Make-out sessions—weekly lunch meetings to research, plan, and design a batch of four posters. After six weeks we had secured all of the components necessary to realize our designs: funding from editor in chief Susan Szenasy, paper donated by Neenah Paper, and screen-printing equipment at nonprofit ABC No Rio, on New York’s Lower East Side. The posters are available for purchase at www.socal.reliefposters.com. As for future projects, who knows: maybe one day we’ll invite other designers to come make out with us.