Skip to content
Be seen. Be heard.

MSU Profiles

Poster campaign emphasizes growth and expands imaginations

What constitutes a poster? One might answer a beautiful, laser writer poster, and some might even say a print from your desk copier, pinned to a cork board. When Lori Willoughby, professor and chair within the Department of Business Information Technology and Graduate School assistant dean, asked Minot State University art professor Bill Harbort to put together an advertising poster campaign for campus, he decided to resurrect an old art form.

"I thought we could make it a little bit more artful ... elevate the quality of the presentation and have the prints screen printed, something that was done back to the 1800s," Harbort said. "They would be screen printed, hand pulled, framed and strategically placed around campus."

To promote the benefits of earning a master's degree, Harbort and Willoughby decided the campaign should center around growth.

"When prospective students contact the Graduate School about graduate programs, one central question revolves around ‘How will this degree help me advance in my career, what doors will this open, and can this help me move on to a PhD?' To me, this is all about growth in a given profession," expressed Willoughby. "When we began to discuss what should be on the prints, the focus was all about providing thought that would help the students see how graduate degrees could help them grow in their given fields."

"Growth is accompanied by words in each poster that are relevant to the degree and also accented with an illustration that speaks to growth," Harbort explained. "It can be as simple as a seed, to a seedling to a blooming flower. Each poster has an illustration that speaks to growth in an abstract way."

Three MSU art students, Cera Pignet, Alyana Albright, and Eyeiessa Darville, were brought on board to develop the posters. The students, trained to create screen prints by art assistant professors and co-directors of Flat Tail Press Ryan Stander and Micah Bloom, produced eight editions of prints, each print representing a different graduate degree. They were also mentored by Amanda Francis, MSU design specialist, who lent her expertise in design and composition and coached them on MSU branding, marketing and advertising.

"Everybody involved did an excellent job of providing ideas to help us understand the creative process in developing and designing prints," exclaimed Willoughby. "I was very impressed with the professionalism displayed during the entire project."

"It was three imaginations running wild, finding ideas in concert with the theme of growth. It all sounds so simple, but it's been going on since December," Harbort said. "This kind of project takes time and is very involved, but it was really a cool assignment for the students. I'm super proud when I see those prints on campus."