Oberlin Blogs

A Post about Posters

December 18, 2009

Ma'ayan Plaut ’10

For anyone that follows me on Twitter, I have elusively talked about a poster for several months. Poster? What poster? Post-er? Post-HER? Post-it? POSTER! And then I talked about captions. Captions? Cap-shuns? CAPshins? CAPTIONS! Sometimes Aries posted similar things, about a poster, about captions, about how she and I were to have a lovechild of epic proportions.

We will be elusive no longer. Aries and I, along with some help from some other photographers, and advice and support from Ben Jones, Megan Harding, and other people in the Office of Communications, has released a tour-de-force of college experience. Can't see Oberlin? Well, now you can, every single day of the school year. We present: A Year in the Life of Oberlin College.

I will try and contain my excitement within the post, but I need to note that haven't really stopped grinning for the last few weeks, and I'm just smiling at my computer while I write this. Because Oberlin makes me happy. And so does this poster.

So, what is it about posters, especially promotional posters? Let's just say they're a lasting memory of something, or inspiring to create more memories. My first memory of Oberlin was of the original Oberlin poster. A big black poster with a glistening blue globe, with the words, "Think One Person Can Change the World? So Do We." and simply, Oberlin, at the bottom. Secret: this poster was hanging in our outhouse for years before we had indoor plumbing, because my hippie parents are just that Oberlin. I'm positive it's still there actually, since the spirit of Oberlin can never die or it will weather any weather (we're in Ohio, guys. Kentucky isn't as bad as here).

Isn't that gorgeously classy? This poster has been in my life for as long as I can remember.

Despite my best efforts, I am not as gorgeously classy as the old Oberlin poster. I'm much more... whimsical and systematic. I like numbers, I remember dates like a fiend, and I love colors. I love capturing moments of sheer bliss that people encounter when they're doing something they love. Oberlin is full of beauty, and seeing and sharing it is one of my favorite parts of my college experience.

And this is where the new poster comes in.

When I first arrived at Oberlin, I had never laid eyes on this campus before. I started a photo blog to keep my family and friends posted on my Oberlin life (if you want to know more about why I like photos, I suggest my Oberlin story), and somehow that spun out of control (but in the way that a water raft is out of control; you're still on a river, you will end up somewhere, and you're along for a pretty memorable ride). I started writing for the Oberlin blogs (Thanks Ben!) partially because I started blogging about Oberlin even before Oberlin had blogs. My old photo blog has pretty much gone by the wayside, since I take far more photographs than I could comprehend daily. But before I stopped its daily postings, a couple of wonderful people caught wind of my photo blog, and thought I had a good idea going. Many meetings, decisions, editing, and hours later, we have released a poster baby into the world.

I love Oberlin. I really really do. And I think most of you know it by now. The way that I know best to display my love is through photography, because it can say more than I can ever say in writing. For those of you who like a side of writing with your photo entree, Aries and I worked on some captions with a dash of whimsy and a healthy doses of links. You can check them out, as well as larger versions of the images on the poster, at the admissions poster's website.

This new poster is not just something to put on the wall, but rather, contains all the vital statistics and information that every prospective student would need to know on the back. Essentially, it's a huge fold-out viewbook that will last well past the college application season. I can't get over how cool this is.

My cozy little room in Oberlin is filled with all my belongings, but it isn't a dorm room. For the past three years, I covered my Harkness peach-colored walls with ads from fashion magazines and a massive poster of a Nikon D3 (yes, I'm a total camera geek). My room now has white walls that reflect light very nicely, and I have decorated accordingly. I haven't put up my old room-decoration standbys, and I don't know if I will. I do, however, have up two posters: the classic poster than kept Oberlin on my mind, and the overwhelming testimony of my timeless experience at Oberlin.

To bring this full circle, I want to thank everyone who has given me/us/the poster such positive feedback on Twitter, by email, in blogs, and in person... and if you're a prospie, start checking your mailboxes!

Responses to this Entry

I like that the new poster is just a *little* bit bigger...

Posted by: Greg on December 18, 2009 3:00 AM

Wait, I wanna see the back!

Posted by: Ben on December 18, 2009 7:15 AM

I love your poster! Great job! -jb

Posted by: John Bucher on December 18, 2009 7:56 AM

YAY YOU. And yay for Aries and Megan and everyone who worked on this and yay for everyone in the photos themselves and yay for Oberlin.

More gushing about Ma'ayan here:

(Normally I get annoyed when people self-link in comments, but I think M deserves the attention. ;-) )

Posted by: Ben on December 18, 2009 9:25 AM

Great — "...of an extent, amount, quality, ability, or intensity considerably above the normal or average." That said: great idea, great images, great poster, great execution, great for Oberlin. Well done.

Posted by: Marsha on December 18, 2009 10:37 AM

I have both the posters hanging exactly like that in my office, too!

Posted by: Elizabeth on December 18, 2009 11:10 AM

@Greg I notice that when I put it up, and wanted to adjust accordingly so that they would be centered with each other. I like perfect presentation.

@Ben (brother-Ben) Check the mail before you leave for New York! Otherwise I'll bring you one and then you'll have another waiting for you when you get home. (I got one of the special cool first-edition board of trustees posters that actually doesn't have the information on the back.) Your picture is wonderful, of course :)

@John Thank you! Can't wait to talk photo with you in January!

@Ben (boss-man) Your post made me cry. The good kind of cry. Thank you.

@Marsha And if you looked it up in the dictionary, it would have a picture of all of Oberlin... or this poster.

@Elizabeth They belong together. I should come visit your poster partners.

@Everyone Thank you for the comments and I'm so glad you're enjoying the poster!

Posted by: Ma'ayan on December 18, 2009 11:43 AM

Amazing! I was missing Oberlin but this left me physically aching with nostalgia. I remember a lot of those events really well, and I probably have a similar set of photos from my time at Oberlin. It's a good reminder that there's so much to do and see every day - it's hard to find that outside of campus, that's for sure.

Posted by: Chris on December 18, 2009 11:54 AM

This is amazing! I just went through all the pictures online and they all look spectacular!

Posted by: Karl on December 18, 2009 5:41 PM

I'd never seen that original poster! Classy indeed.

I can't wait to get one of these. Can't wait can't wait can't wait. Finally I can have a legit, not b&w on printer paper Oberlin something to adorn my walls.

Posted by: Kate on December 19, 2009 3:06 PM

SO COOL! I need one!

Posted by: Alicia on December 19, 2009 4:02 PM

I was commenting to Aries the other day about how great everything turned out. It looks awesome and I know it was a lot of effort! Great job! [including Aries, Megan, Ben - everybody involved...]

Posted by: Terrance on December 19, 2009 11:04 PM

Let me ask the burning question of the day: can I just hit up Admissions to get one?

Posted by: Milner on December 20, 2009 12:39 PM

So I was just accepted to Oberlin, I thought it was impossible for me to love it more. That poster just made me wish i was a oberlin NOW!

Posted by: Julia on December 20, 2009 6:28 PM

i just want to say your project is incredible. i submitted my oberlin application today and have been combing through the blogs ALL day. your project got me so insanely excited at even the mere possibility that i'll get to go to this school. i visited campus a year ago but due to a disgusting amount of other college visits, my memory of oberlin is not as fresh as i would like it to be. thank you so much for making this poster to let all of us possible future obies experience the tour all over again.
bravo sister

Posted by: Zooey on December 22, 2009 12:12 AM

@Chris This is what photo editors do, they see Oberlin everywhere and capture it. :)

@Karl Thank you!

@Kate Any Ober-inspiration is good inspiration. Check your mailbox soon enough.

@Alica I think all the bloggers should have one.

@Terrance The whole office... you guys are all great! Thanks for all your help!

@Milner You're a tour guide, I'm sure you could ask for one.

@Julia I'm glad this will tide you over til you get here... Congrats on your acceptance!

@Zooey My brother is also applying to Oberlin! I wish you the best of luck (and check your mailbox soon, you should be getting one...)

Posted by: Ma'ayan on December 23, 2009 12:53 AM

You guys rock so hard, and you deserve every inch of praise you get. I can't wait to make you all sign my copy when I get back.

Posted by: Brandi on December 25, 2009 1:26 PM

Do you know if copies of the original poster are still available? It's part of the fabric of my time at Oberlin (and why I applied in the first place!) but I've never had one of my own. Help!

Posted by: Kate Chase '99 on February 7, 2013 11:37 PM

Hi Kate! I've heard so many folks say that this poster was high on their lists of reasons to apply to Oberlin. A small version of that graphic was included in my admissions materials and I was smitten, too.

I'm pretty sure there are no more copies of the original around or for sale... I have one that's in a treasured spot in my house, but unless we issue a reprint, I don't think it's available. Too bad, right? The original is amazing!

Posted by: Ma'ayan on February 11, 2013 10:47 AM

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