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UC Davis Centennial
100 years of service, solutions, impact
Poster: Every Trapper Should Have an Indian Dog, by Roy De Forest

Every Trapper Should Have an Indian Dog, Roy De Forest

Poster: Feminine Head, by Henri Matisse

Feminine Head by Henri Matisse

Poster: 19th century untitled work by Ando Hiroshige

19th century untitled work by Ando Hiroshige

Posters for posterity

They are green, print-on-demand and on the cutting edge (literally)

Thanks to a cross-campus effort, UC Davis has launched a poster initiative that promises to live far beyond this year’s centennial celebration.

Now, folks across campus can create their own high-quality posters and vinyl banners printed on large-format equipment owned by Repro Graphics, the on-campus printing shop. And people looking for campus-related posters can go online to buy and mount them, using environmentally conscious materials.

Collaborators from the Centennial Team, the College of Letters and Science, and Repro Graphics kicked off the effort this fall, with a vision for broader participation.

The goal is to have poster content from all over the campus — departments, programs, units, schools and colleges — and production to be handled by Repro Graphics.

In July, Repro Graphics invested $125,000 in two higher-end large-format printers as well as in a number of accessory items, such as mounting equipment, recyclable poster backing and display stands.

“We researched other research universities and in-plant printers and found that UC Davis is on the front end of a growing trend in acquiring this large-format equipment, especially because we bought on the higher end, with photo-quality printers and very versatile finishing equipment,” says Brian Wadell, director of Repro Graphics.

Since the Richard L. Nelson Gallery started the effort in late September with seven items from its Fine Arts Collection, Repro Graphics has sold more than 100 posters, printed on demand so that no inventory builds up, Wadell says. Those posters are priced from $34.58 to $60.78.

The first set features five pieces from UC Davis art professors: two sculptures and a drawing by the late Robert Arneson (who died in 1992), an oil painting from the late Roy De Forest (who died in 2007) and a hand-worked aquatint by UC Davis art professor emeritus Wayne Thiebaud (that will be limited to only 500 printings). The other two are a drawing by French Impressionist Henri Matisse and a 19th-century Japanese color wood block print by Ando Hiroshige.

The Nelson pilots the project

“Nelson Director Renny Pritikin and Collection Manager Robin Bernhard were the pilots,” says Amanda Price, director of communication and marketing for the College of Letters and Science, who has helped organize the poster effort.

“They chose images that pass through time, subject, presentation and medium. We wanted to represent professors and artists that were affiliated with UC Davis, but some were chosen — such as the Ando Hiroshige print — just because it was such a great piece.”

The first posters are just the beginning, predicts Laurie Lewis, art director for the Centennial Team.

“We’re setting up the foundation for this to continue into the future,” says Lewis, who has been encouraging centennial projects with a purpose beyond just this year. “I don’t think we should do anything only one time and never do it again.”

Other posters in the wings

Price and Lewis emphasize that the poster project is open to the campus community, not just the museums and collections. Other units interested in creating centennial posters include the Department of Geology, the Center for Mind and Brain, the C.N. Gorman Museum and the Design Museum.

“This project is intended as a campus-wide effort,” Price says. “I just can’t wait to see what others will come up with.”

Of the two large printers, one can print vinyl banners 60 inches wide and was already put to work creating banners for the Robert Mondavi Institute grand opening. The second printer prints photo-quality posters up to 42 inches wide.

In addition, Repro Graphics invested in mounting equipment for the posters and is offering a rigid poster backing called “eco board” made of recycled materials that is 100 percent recyclable. It also purchased a dozen banner stands for posters that are available for rent.

Campus units interested in producing a poster for the project can contact Laurie Lewis at For the UC Davis Centennial year only, she will work with interested people to create the poster. Following the Centennial Year (beginning July 2009), campus folks interested in creating a poster can work with designers at Repro.

Those interested in purchasing posters can use a departmental recharge or personal credit card.

Susanne Rockwell is the Web editor for University Communications.