Judge's Pick




Page Count

Number of Colors




18.375 × 26.75

Paper Stock

Crane's Lettra, Pearl White, 110lb cover

Special Techniques


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Poster for/by DePaul UniversityPoster for/by DePaul UniversityPoster for/by DePaul UniversityPoster for/by DePaul UniversityPoster for/by DePaul UniversityPoster for/by DePaul University


DePaul Uni­ver­si­ty is the nation’s largest Catholic uni­ver­si­ty, with about 25,000 stu­dents. DePaul is nation­al­ly rec­og­nized for incor­po­rat­ing ser­vice learn­ing through­out its 300 aca­d­e­m­i­cal­ly rig­or­ous pro­grams. DePaul serves stu­dents from a vari­ety of back­grounds, with par­tic­u­lar atten­tion to first-gen­er­a­tion stu­dents, and has one of the nation’s most diverse stu­dent bodies.


The poster hon­ors DePaul Provost Hel­mut Epp on his 2012 retire­ment. The cre­ative team used ASCII char­ac­ters to cre­ate a por­trait of Dr. Epp, refer­ring to his ori­gins at DePaul as the found­ing chair of the Depart­ment of Com­put­er Sci­ence in 1980.


We want­ed to give the art enough impres­sion to add to the depth of the por­trait, at the same time keep­ing the ink cov­er­age light enough for the char­ac­ters to remain open; the white space is key in mak­ing the pic­ture vis­i­ble. Uni­ver­si­ty clients on the whole have very demand­ing brand­ing stan­dards that must be fol­lowed, so we had to bal­ance these fac­tors while main­tain­ing a very exact col­or match.


The biggest challenge with this project was making sure every ASCII character was complete and perfectly washed on the plate. The entire rendering had to be contained on a single plate due to its density; so we spent a good chunk of make-ready time going over the plate line by line to ensure the plate had not been over- or under-washed in any area, and that there were no broken characters.

Judge’s Comments
The first thing that caught my attention was the amazingly fine letterpress detail. So much small type receiving such a delicate amount of ink, it took a lot of restraint to not over-ink. Equally remarkable was the evenness of the inking and impression over such a large print area. Clearly this was the work of a fine pressman with complete control of his press and an unwavering commitment to perfection. But what pushed this piece over the top for me was the smart design. Upon learning the poster was commemorating the retirement of a beloved and gifted Computer Science professor, and that the type used in the design was ascii characters, I loved it even more. — brad murph

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