Posters have always been an important means of mass communication, especially in times of crisis. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Poster House 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, JCDecaux, Silvercast, Pearl Media, 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 20 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.



type-based poster with stacked words stay strong new york in yellow and white on a pink background

Stay Strong , 2020
Ola Baldych

illustrative poster of a man and woman standing six feet apart both saying combat covid-19

6ft. , 2020
Seymour Chwast

type-based poster with the red text call a loved one against a white background

Call a Loved One , 2020
Pablo Delcan

type-based poster with the phrase 6 feet in black text repeated on a yellow background

6 Feet is , 2020
Matt Dorfman

illustrative poster depicting four different scenes happening within four windows

Stay Home , 2020
Jessica Hische

illustrative poster by Milton Glaser of the empire state building

Empire , 2020
Milton Glaser

type-based PSA poster that illustrates what six feet apart looks like

6 Feet Means , 2020
Joe Hollier

type-based PSA poster encouraging people to not stop and read the poster but to keep going

Don't Stop to Read This , 2020
Mirko Ilić

illustrative poster of a woman looking out of window with a red curtain

Heros , 2020
Masashi Kawamura & Whatever Inc

illustrative poster of two people facing coronavirus with the words love in the time of corona

Love in the Time of Corona , 2020
Maira Kalman

I <3 NYC , 2020
Jennifer Kinon & Bobby Martin

Illustrational PSA poster of an orange hill against a blue blackground titled

What Goes Up Must Come Down , 2020
John Kudos

illustrative PSA poster on essential workers of an armored hand holding up a fruitful tree that children are picking

Essential , 2020
Ross MacDonald

type-based poster of the words together apart layered over another against a pink background

Together Apart , 2020
Debbie Millman

illustrative poster and outline of hands been washed under running water with the title wash hands

Wash Hands , 2020
Richard McGuire

Thank You Essential Workers! , 2020
Gemma O'Brien

type-based PSA poster being whimsical with the word APART

Apart , 2020
Emily Oberman & Lorenzo Fanton

Illustrational poster of a figure sitting at a table with an empty plate and a hole in their stomach.

Stop Hunger , 2020
David Plunkert

illustrative poster of a nurse with wings standing behind the NYC skyline

New York Loves You , 2020
Edel Rodriguez

photomontage poster of a shopping cart shopping bag and astronaut floating in space

Thank You Grocery Workers , 2020
Paul Sahre

type-based PSA poster of the words you and me over placed over coronavirus particles

You Me , 2020
Paula Scher

illustrative poster of a pair of red chopsticks on a blue background holding a note that says before you point fingers be sure your hands are clean

Clean Hands , 2020
Strick & Williams

illustrative PSA poster of two people playing tennis out of their windows in seperate buildings

Save Lives, Live Safe , 2020
Klaas Verplancke

type-based poster of the word American in two versions of white and blue against a red background

American , 2020
Zipeng Zhu

Thank You

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 thanks to the generous donation of Time Square Alliance, LinkNYC, JC Decaux, Silvercast, and Pearl Media.