Oberlin Illuminated – a Print Sample with Spark


With each issue of The Parcel, we like to include samples of “real-life” projects to demonstrate what is possible even under real-life constraints. We found a beautiful example we included in the summer issue of The Parcel. Oberlin Illuminated is an elegant, high-end photo book commemorating the end of a seven-year, $317-million fundraising campaign titled Oberlin Illuminate.

Mailed as a thank you gift to the campaign’s top donors, Oberlin Illuminated features beautiful, dynamic photos of the Oberlin spaces, programs, and people that best reflect how the campaign dollars were directed.

The book is purposely light on copy, unlike other text-heavy pieces previously sent to donors. This piece is meant to rekindle an emotional connection between donor and campus.

What we love about this piece is how it uses paper as the conduit to evoke that emotional connection. That’s a critical element for a piece that relies on zero copy to tell its story.


Two versions of the cover feature either a blind emboss or an embossed white foil stamp, both on Neenah Environment Raw Concrete in a hefty 120# Cover.


Upon opening the book, a flysheet on Mohawk’s Curious Collection Translucent in Blueprint provides a jolt of unexpected delight. At just one sheet, it’s a smart and simple way to add an element of surprise to a piece.


The text pages feature some pretty spectacular photography printed on Cougar Smooth. The images are incredibly vivid, this is the result of UV printing. The ink cures instantly when exposed to ultra-violet light resulting in crisp, vibrant color.


A limited quantity featured the book inside a highly tactile slipcase, produced on Curious Collection Matter in Adiron Blue.




It’s easy to see why this piece was a recent winner in the AIGA Design730 competition – it’s a stunner.

Oberlin Illuminated was created in-house by Graphic Designer, Ryan Sprowl and Art Director, Emily Crawford, and printed by Oliver Printing & Packaging Co. in Twinsburg, Ohio.


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