April 17–September 30, 2020
Posters have always been an important means of mass communication, especially in times of crisis. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Poster House has teamed up with PRINT Magazine, Times Square Arts, and For Freedoms to launch a citywide public art campaign featuring PSAs and messages of love, gratitude, and solidarity with New York City’s frontline workers. The PSAs can be found throughout New York City on nearly 1,800 digital screens and billboards thanks to partnerships with LinkNYC, Silvercast, Pearl Media, JCDecaux, and Times Square Arts.
When Poster House closed its doors to the public on March 10, we looked for ways to continue our mission to educate and serve the public. Inspired by Steven Heller’s article in PRINT Magazine about posters commissioned during the polio epidemic, Poster House and PRINT asked more than 24 designers to contribute pieces that addressed clear public safety advice, support for our community in New York City, and profound thanks to everyone—doctors, MTA workers, grocery store workers, shippers, food banks, and more—who continue to make the city run through the shutdown.
But to make these PSAs function, they have to be seen. We contacted Out Of Home advertisers who were also feeling the effects of lost income and were willing to donate their screens to us. Silvercast donated an enormous two-sided digital billboard at the Lincoln Tunnel, which we decided to use specifically for messages of gratitude to essential workers coming to resupply and support the city. LinkNYC then offered us their 1,700+ screens in all five boroughs, which meant that New Yorkers could see these PSAs on their necessary outings. JCDecaux brought the first opportunity to take the project to cities outside of New York, with more than 300 screens on bus shelters and newsstands in New York, Boston, and Chicago.
We learned that Times Square Arts was putting together a similar effort, asking artists to contribute PSAs and messages to display on a series of digital billboards in the iconic media center of Manhattan on several gigantic and dynamic screens. Times Square is currently devoid of tourists, but necessary workers still travel through the area. In addition, the media uses Times Square as the world’s window onto New York, and featuring the PSAs in the press functions as another method of distribution. As the project grows to include more designers and venues, we are thrilled to be a part of this effort to give something to New York through the power of posters.
This PSA project is the result of the dedication and work of the artists who generously donated their talent; the hard work of our peers at Print Magazine, Time Square Arts, and For Freedoms; the digital posters debuted at OOH screens around New York City due to the generous donation of Time Square Alliance, LinkNYC, Silvercast, Pearl Media, and JCDecaux.
Stay Strong New York, 2020 Ola Baldych
6ft., 2020 Seymour Chwast
Call a Loved One, 2020 Pablo Delcan
6 Feet is, 2020 Matt Dorfman
Empire, 2020 Milton Glaser
Stay Home, 2020 Jessica Hische
6 Feet Means, 2020 Joe Hollier
Don't Stop to Read This, 2020 Mirko Ilić
Love in the Time of Corona, 2020 Maira Kalman
Hero, 2020 Masashi Kawamura & Whatever Inc
I ❤ NY, 2020 Jennifer Kinon & Bobby Martin
What Goes Up Must Come Down, 2020 John Kudos
Essential, 2020 Ross MacDonald
Wash Hands, 2020 Richard McGuire
Together Apart, 2020 Debbie Milliman
APART, 2020 Emily Oberman & Lorenzo Fanton
Thank you Essential Workers!, 2020 Gemma O'Brien
Stop Hunger, 2020 David Plunkert
New York Loves You, 2020 Edel Rodriguez
Thank You Grocery Workers, 2020 Paul Sahre
You Me, 2020 Paula Scher
Clean Hands, 2020 Strick & Williams
Save Lives. Live Safe, 2020 Klaas Verplancke
American, 2020 Zipeng Zhu
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