Competition Says Something Good About NESADSU

Shawn Semmes' Remember You're Not Alone

In the short lifespan of the national Say Something Poster Contest, sponsored by HOW magazine (, NESADSU students, under the guidance of graphic design faculty Marie-Anne Verougstraete and Anne-Mary Wood-Mann, have brought home the top prize three times. Last year it was Shawn Semmes (Graphic Design 2012), followed this year
by sophomore Olivea Kelly and junior Brigid Griffin.

Say Something is a design contest and gallery show that gives designers the opportunity to create posters that will “inspire, motivate and educate teenage kids” (howdesign website). Each year the winning designs are donated to a non-profit organization. Last year Boston’s Home for Little Wanderers was the beneficiary; this year the posters went to the Dorchester-based Blue Hill Club, one of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston. HOW has been a sponsor of the competition since its inception, as part of their efforts to encourage design for change.

Gabrielle Kozera
Alan Auger

This year, Marie-Anne had the students in her Computer Applications in Design course enter the contest as a class assignment, as did the students in Anne-Mary’s Graphic Design I class. Of the total of 156 contest submissions this year, four NESADSU students’ posters made the semi-final round of 25, to be exhibited in two shows, one in Boston, the other in Los Angeles. They were Brigid Griffin (Free Your Mind), Olivea Kelly (Be a Lamp or a Lifeboat or a Ladder), Alan Auger (Be Here Now), and Gabrielle Kozera (Grow). In addition, the poster show judges added a new category this year, called “Staff Picks”, five posters that didn’t make the final round but that so impressed the Say Something Team that they were included in the exhibition (but not in the awards judging). NESADSU had an alum in this category as well, Silvi Naci (Graphic Design/Fine Arts 2011).

Olivea Kelly

From this group, two NESADSU students emerged among the top ten, Brigid and Olivea. Both posters spoke to teenagers in a way that words alone cannot. Olivia’s Be a Lamp (“shed light, help someone understand”) or a Lifeboat (“save a life, be there in a time of need”) or a Ladder (“help out, reach new heights”) carries a message for people of any age, while Brigid’s Free Your Mind was “inspired by a

Brigid Griffin

video I watched on the process of tall painting. The way the paint gracefully poured down inspired me to fluidly hand-draw all of these elements in order to convey a free feeling, encouraging others to open their minds.”

Congratulations to all the winners and runners-up from NESADSU. Great job!