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Art and Design Student Magazine .RAW Expands Production

“Create to Relate” is the slogan of .RAW, Cal Poly Art and Design Department’s student-run magazine. It’s fittingly named after the uncompressed file format that magazine photos need to be in so they can print on a larger scale.

Art and Design Students at the RAW Reception

The magazine began as a class assignment in professor Lana Caplan’s ART 329 Editorial Photography with a group of only eight students. It has since grown into a student-run magazine where students handle all aspects of creating and publishing a magazine including editorial content, model releases and photo permissions.

For its second issue, the publication took a step further by collaborating with Club 34, Cal Poly’s Art and Design club. The original plan was to publish 35 copies of the magazine through the Art and Design Department in winter 2018, but with fundraising and merchandise sales, enough money was raised to print 150 copies through UGS.

Art and Design Students at the RAW Reception

“I’m excited for students to have the opportunity to put together a creation, which is completely their own, in a real-world collaborative work setting,” said faculty advisor Lana Caplan. She says her favorite part of the magazine is its diverse content in terms of subject and form, and she hopes to expand these themes throughout the continued growth of the publication.

To be featured in the magazine, artists pay a small submission fee to showcase their work, but they can pick up a copy of the magazine for free. The purpose of the magazine is not to make money, but to give the work of student artists the chance to seen by a larger scale audience. It has been a great way for student artwork to be represented and has increasingly gained more submissions each quarter.

Art and Design Students at the RAW Reception

The magazine is led by Noelle Merrihew, an art and design major with a photography concentration. As the editor-in-chief, she says her favorite part of becoming a leader in creating the publication has been interacting with work from those in the department. “I enjoy the diversity in the submissions, as well as meeting new people to collaborate with creatively,” said Merrihew. Next year, the project will be taken over by current assistant editors Hannah Travis and Kaiya Peralta.

Caplan is excited about the project’s potential to be used to attract prospective students, as many current students are becoming more engaged and interested in working with the magazine. Future goals for .RAW include increasing the number of works submitted and securing additional funding to print more copies. Caplan hopes that the project will eventually be able to extend and reach major cities such as Los Angeles and San Francisco, as well as possibly other CSU campuses.

.RAW is published quarterly in December, March and June. Submissions are currently open exclusively to art and design students. Questions about the publication can be directed to Merrihew at

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