Publicity Posters

Late last year I published a post about the concept of Drama/Theatre teachers negotiating with Graphic Design students at your school to do publicity posters for drama shows, school musicals etc.

After a very successful trial, I have a mutually beneficial agreement with the Visual Communication and Design teacher at my school, where Year 10 and 11 students design posters for events in the Drama department on the school calendar. For the students, I provide the poster copy (text) and along with their teacher, they may do a bit of research on whatever the topic is, before designing posters. I effectively become their client for the project and the resulting work becomes part of their assessment in their subject.

It’s win-win for both parties and the Drama department ends up with excellent student-designed posters. I choose the best posters from the class project for display around the school. This may be as little as three, or up to six or seven posters from a bunch of 15-20. I have ensured the students each place their name and subject on the posters, so it also becomes worthy publicity for the students whose posters were chosen for display and the teacher and subject also, for the wonderful work produced. My experience last year was that lots of students and teachers were commenting on the beautiful student posters. After gaining significant attention around the school, the hope is more students will attend the drama event.

I have a Year 12 Drama showcase coming up on the topic of the 1986 Challenger and 2003 Columbia Space Shuttle Disasters and below are four posters recently chosen by myself for display around the school. I seriously recommend this type of partnership in your own school.

Click on the thumbnails for a larger image.


My favourite poster of the four is probably the one showcasing the astronaut’s helmet because of its sophistication in design and reflection in the helmet and background of the the American flag. It is clear the student really picked up on the text “See how NASA failed the American people”.

I love the grey poster largely because the Space Shuttle on the launchpad was hand drawn by the student designer, plus the different colors used in the text, highlighting and differentiating various important words for the reader who quickly views the poster at a glance.

The poster with the astronaut walking appears to be on the moon (but of course, may not be). While research indicates Space Shuttle launches don’t land anywhere in space, but simply come back to Earth again after conducting multiple experiments, the student designer nevertheless got the explosion in the background right. Space in general terms will be swiftly detected by the viewer and considering both Challenger and Columbia exploded (technically, they disintegrated), the flames in the background of the poster indicated this.

I found the final poster interesting because of the fractured nature of the pieces that make up the Shuttle, itself. Although quite literal in its interpretation, I was nevertheless not after artistic posters, and the deign of this poster clearly focuses on the disintegration in flight of both Space Shuttles. A minor error is the omission of a “s” after “disaster”, but we have to remember, these are students in the first term of Year 11 learning their craft in graphic design.

2 Responses

  1. GD says:

    As a student graphic designer I would love to see some posts with past examples. And please consider posting future ones as well, that would be great.

  2. On Poster Printing says:

    What an excellent idea for encouraging students to practice their talent! It’s also a great way for any school to keep advertising costs low. Definitely a “win-win for both parties” with students getting a start on their portfolio and the drama department getting excellent designs for their posters. Plus, when printed and distributed, students’ posters get publicized on a mass level, something they probably would never get the chance to do in high school.

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