Two Howell High School students have earned honors in the 31st annual North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) Poster Contest.

The graphic arts students, Kellen Walburn and Kirsten Smith, were recognized in the contest that drew more than 750 entries from over 55 Michigan schools. Walburn, a senior, won the Best Theme Award. Smith, a sophomore, claimed second place in the 10th Grade Award. Both Walburn and Smith received a $250 cash prize. Additionally, their poster designs will be displayed at the 2019 NAIAS and are posted on the NAIAS website.

Walburn says he first came up with the idea to make an old vintage poster design with the rough torn edges, before his teacher suggested something like a stamp. Walburn says when the announcement recognizing his poster was made, his heart was pounding really hard, and then when his entry popped up, there was immediate relief and it was “exciting in a way”. Walburn used Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop to create his poster design.

Using Adobe Illustrator, Smith created her design by blending the letters of NAIAS into one image. She says she wanted to do something different that she had never seen before, adding that because geometric design is one of her favorite things, she knew she wanted to incorporate that into her design. Smith says she was “shocked and so happy” that she won.

Both Walburn and Smith feel that the poster contest is a great way to get students involved in and excited about the auto industry. The NAIAS Poster Contest was established to engage the creative minds of Michigan’s Future artists.

Photos courtesy of Thomas Gould.
Picture 1: Kirsten Smith and Kellen Walburn.
Picture 2: Kirsten Smith's poster.
Picture 3: Kellen Walburn's poster.