Positively creative: Poster campaign aims to spread smiles on campus

Students put up their posters across campus for classmates and staff to see

Sometimes a simple, upbeat message is all it takes to change someone’s day. That’s the thinking behind Damian Powers’s Commercial Art students’ latest project, a campuswide public service campaign aimed at brightening the spirits of anyone who needs it. 

“There’s too much negativity out there in the world right now,” Mr. Powers said. “A lot of public service announcements say, ‘Don’t do this’ or ‘Don’t do that.’ We wanted to change that around.”

His students did just that with a series of 17 posters bearing original student designs and messages like “Life is like a dessert, enjoy it” and “Be someone’s guardian angel.” The assignment put their creative and technical skills to work on a messaging campaign modeled after real-world public service announcements.

Mr. Powers and his students took some time to post their 3-foot-by-2-foot banners in the hallways of their classroom building and the main administrative building of the Careers Campus in Valhalla.

“The campus is going to be elevated,” Mr. Powers said. 

The colorful designs, which were created in smaller format before being digitally enlarged and printed, vary according to the inspiration of each student.

“I don’t want people to be sad or down,” said Elijah Haynes, whose poster implores students and staff to “Be Happy at School.” Two happy figures emerging from a school building will put smiles on the faces of those who walk by, Elijah hopes. 

“I want people to be smiling, to respect others and to be good people,” classmate Hector Cosme said. 

“I want people to be strong, to know their worth,” Brycen Williamson said. His message: Be Brave.

Sela Campbell, a senior from Woodlands High School, was happy with how her poster turned out. “Let your light shine,” it reads around the figure of a person emerging from a bright light.

“It was pretty easy to put together once I had an idea of what I wanted to say,” Sela said.