Covidesign Spotlight: Designers Say Thanks


Nearly 1,800 digital billboards and screens across all five boroughs of New York City are displaying messages of public safety, gratitude, pride, and solidarity with essential workers.  The project will radiate out from New York City’s iconic Times Square, and reach all five boroughs through 1,774 LinkNYC kiosks and Silvercast billboards above the Lincoln Tunnel, all digital spaces donated to the project. The expansive campaign is the result of a partnership between New York City museum Poster House and Times Square Arts, the public art program of the Times Square Alliance.

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“This citywide PSA campaign is an incredible opportunity for artists to communicate the pride and overwhelming gratitude we all feel for our health care and essential workers here in Times Square and across all five boroughs of New York,” said Jean Cooney, Times Square Arts Director. “As it has so often in the past during moments of crisis or celebration, Times Square will channel the spirit of the city to the country and to the world,” added Times Square Alliance President Tim Tompkins.  The cultural organizations merged plans to produce digital PSA campaigns, bringing together their respective artistic and design communities and combining resources to reach as many New Yorkers as possible. “With people all over New York banding together to combat this disease and support those on the front lines, it was only natural for New York organizations to partner in that same spirit, bringing together the power of mass communication and public art, then magnifying it with our gratitude,” said Poster House Director Julia Knight.

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The initiative will roll-out in two phases. First with graphic designers rallied by PRINT in collaboration with Poster House, then with contemporary artists in collaboration with FOR FREEDOMS and Times Square Arts. Participating artists include Ola Baldych, Seymour Chwast, Pablo Delcan, Matt Dorfman, Milton Glaser, Jessica Hische, Joe Hollier, Mirko Ilić, Maira Kalman, Ross MacDonald, Bobby Martin and Jennifer Kinon, Richard McGuire, Debbie Millman, Emily Oberman, Gemma O’Brien, Edel Rodriguez, Paul Sahre, Paula Scher, Klaas Verplancke, Strick&Williams and Zipeng Zhu.

Shown here in order: Posters by Maira Kalman, Ola Baldych, and Matt Dorfman