Three days after the September 11, 2001 attacks, I received a call from Sue Karlin, my good friend and president of Soho design boutique Suka Creative, to write the copy for a free-distribution World Trade Center tribute poster. Her idea of an inspirational tribute to the WTC had already spurred Mead Paper Corporation to donate the paper and Conceptual Litho Reproductions to grant her their printing presses. Art Director Gwen Haberman was prepared to start the layout. All that were needed were words.
I was given 45 minutes to generate and execute a concept before going to press. No edits could be made.
That morning I wrote Americans Side By Side, of which more than 7,000 were printed and distributed to individuals, press, corporations, and organizations of every kind around the world.
In February 2002, it was accepted to the permanent collection of The Smithsonian Institution National Museum of American History, and later, the Library of Congress. As well, this 15" x 24" broadsheet has been featured in press across the globe, including Communication Arts, Print Magazine, Advertising Age, Crain's New York, Étapes (Paris), and Metropolis Magazine.
Locally, the piece was extremely well received. On the morning of New Year's Day 2002, then-mayor Rudolph Giuliani autographed and personally handed copies out to Ground Zero relief workers. As well, Sue Karlin, the poster, and the team were featured on CBS 2 New York's "Hometown Hero" segment in March 2002.
Download a .pdf of Americans Side By Side
Visit the Smithsonian Institution's September 11: Bearing Witness to History Collection page [+]