The Facebook Analog Research Laboratory is a printing studio and workshop. Its primary mission is to produce work that reinforces the values of Facebook.
Everett Katigbak and I started working at Facebook on the same day in 2008. Everett has an extensive background in letterpress printing, and I knew screen printing. Almost immediately, we began dreaming of a way to infuse handcrafted elements into our work at Facebook. In 2010, through some friends on Facebook’s facilities team, we gained unofficial access to an unused warehouse and started setting up shop. There was no proposal written, or budget allocated, or permission given. In the beginning we scavanged, built, or bought what we needed ourselves. Over time the lab has grown into one of the most visible representations of Facebook’s unique culture, and even though both Everett and I have moved on from Facebook, the lab continues to operate and produce incredible work to this day.
Shortly after we got the lab up and running and started putting out posters, people all over the company started contacting us with ideas for new posters or projects. Instead of doing it for them, we invited them to come make posters themselves, and we offered classes to show them how the process worked. This has become one of the most popular team activities at Facebook, and we host demos every week.