Why a psychedelic cover page to a dry environmental impact report mesmerized the urban planning community
It was September 2014 and the urban planning community was astir with wonder. The reason? Not a proposed skyscraper or legislative victory, but the cover page of an environmental impact report. The cover, designed by a CalTrans employee, depicted a psychedelic menagerie of clip-art-upon-gradient teeming with desert flora, fauna, solar panels, and various modes of transportation. The bewildering forms evoked the work of Lisa Frank, Sufjan Stevens circa 2012, and a small child using Microsoft Paint. We were confused, we were incredulous, and we were delighted.