Anti-Bullying Poster Assignment

I usually change the projects in classes that I routinely teach each year, but sometimes an assignment yields substantial educational rewards to warrant repeating. Last year’s anti-bullying campaign was important, relevant, and challenging, so we started off this year’s fall semester again with it. All of the original parameters and requirements remained the same.

The Newton Public Schools has a full anti-bullying curriculum in place that was designed by a local firm. We imagined ourselves as a design company being subcontracted by the firm to design a logo, poster, and t-shirt. After an initial orientation and discussion, each student selected their target audience: grades 2-8 or high school (all but one student in this year’s class chose high school). Everyone, including me, has their own Pinterest board for posting influences, inspirations, and ideas that contributed to their designs.

I made the logo design into a contest. Each student was required to design a logo that would become the umbrella identifier for the campaign. That was a challenging task, given the wide range of ages in the target audiences. The winning logo was used on all of the posters and T-shirts. The submissions were reviewed by me and a small group of colleagues. The results and some of my feedback comments are below.

October is anti-bullying month, which is one reason why we begin the semester with this assignment. October 21 was “Unite Against Bullying Day” nationwide. Next year, be sure to wear orange that day to show your support!

Project Requirements

Specifications (final pdfs should show bleeds and crop marks):
logo – Must show in black & white, as well as in 4/c (four-color = cmyk); must be 300ppi. Must use winning logo on poster and t-shirt
poster – 24″ x 36″, plus 9 pt. bleeds. 4/c (four-color), 300ppi
t-shirt – 8″ square. 2/c (two-color = combination of pantones and/or black), 300ppi
logo – Can be type, graphic mark, or a combination of both
poster – Logo, at least 1 image, 1 headline, 1 Call-to-Action that includes 1 phone number and/or 1 website URL
t-shirt – Logo, at least 1 image, 1 headline

Student Designs: Logos

Karen Burt – original logo

Karen’s original logo had a youthful graphic that was targeted for elementary school students. It might not be suitable for high-schoolers. There was a thumbnail in Karen’s concept book that I thought was more sophisticated and had more potential. I suggested that she develop it further, and she did (see below).

Karen Burt – revised logo

Karen’s revised logo is more abstract, clean, and effective. It would also work with the entire target audience.

This logo was a strong contender in the contest. A few refinements were suggested:

  • Switch the left and right thought bubbles so that the pointers will be pointing to the type below
  • Place the hand inside the right thought bubble to represent “Stop”.
  • Use a silo image of a person speaking to represent “Share”.

Diana Fitzpatrick

This is a lovely graphic, yet it has an unclear message. “Heal a Broken Heart” could mean a lot of things. The type color of type is too light and soft for the campaign it’s being used for.
 Pink contributes to a mixed message, since it’s usually associated with valentines and romance.

Cameron Fratus

There’s a lot of potential here. But the main problem was lack of clarity in its message: the mark alone is not sufficient. A tagline is needed to help communicate the message.

Julia Henry

The winning logo. Clear, direct message that works well for both student age groups.

Matthew O’Brien

This is supposed to be a “helping hand” that’s reaching out, but it looks more like a fist. The letters on top of the hand obscure the fingers
. Difficult to read “out”.

Chelsea Scannell

Another strong contender in the contest. Clarity of message: this is a very sophisticated concept, but it misses the mark a bit. Although bullying is negative behavior, “negativity” is an attitude. The statement implies that bullying can be stopped by changing attitudes. That’s true to an extent, but simplifies the problem too much.

Student Designs: Posters

Karen Burt

Eva Der

Diana Fitzpatrick

Cameron Fratus

Julia Henry

Matthew O’Brien

Chelsea Scannell

Student Designs: T-Shirts

Karen Burt

Eva Der

Diana Fitzpatrick

Julia Henry

Matthew O’Brien

Your Feedback

We do class critiques every week and the students are always curious to know what people think about their designs. We welcome your feedback, too! Sharing your thoughts adds new perspectives and contributes to the students’ educational experience.

Related Posts

Anti-Bullying Project in GD2 Class
Open Studios Marketing Campaign in GD2 Class
Sochi Posters by Design Students
Sochi Olympics: Lessons Beyond Design
Design Students’ Favorite Websites – Fall 2013
Design Inspiration: A.M. Cassandre

Filed Under: Graphic Design, TeachingTagged With: anti-bullying, safe campus, safe classrooms


Established in 2005, the Centre for Urban Schooling (CUS) connects the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) to urban schools and communities. The Centre conducts research on and advocates for critical practice that is focused on how to better serve historically marginalized and racialized children and youth in public schools. Our research projects include critical practitioner research projects, youth participatory action research (yPAR) projects, and arts-based research projects.

Upcoming Events

2016-2017 events TBA


April 21, 2016

KITL Lounge, 3-104

6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

The Critical Practitioner Research Collaborative in the Centre for Urban Schooling Presents: Collaborative Participatory Research: Invitation, Process, Representation & Publication

The Critical Practitioner Research Collaborative (CPRC) in the Centre for Urban Schooling invites students and faculty from the University of Pennsylvania and OISE to share experiences and perspectives on critical participatory research and practice in education. Join us for a video link discussion and film screening that explores participatory arts-based research with youth, educators, and activists, a forum for participants to respond to the film and connect their individual and collective research interests and projects.

After a simultaneous screening of the film "After Night" (2015) in Toronto and Philadelphia, we invite participants in both communities to engage in discussion via video link about the challenges and potential of collaborative research. What pedagogical and methodological concerns arise in community-based research? What does it mean to regard knowledge production as intrinsically collaborative? How might participatory research provoke new problems and possibilities within the contexts of urban education? How can widening the educational imagination (Greene, 1995) be a means of countering the prevailing notion that arts-based approaches to research and community organizing are not "real" work?


March 24, 2016

Room 5-150

4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Title: Volunteer abroad at elite Canadian private schools: Producing young elites through regulated racial encounters

Presenter: Leila Angood, Postdoctoral Fellow at the Centre for Urban Schooling


The production of young elites as caring national leaders and global citizens requires regulated racial encounters. At Canadian elite schools, these encounters are formulated as multicultural and humanitarian educational experiences. These carefully managed experiences obscure structural inequities and ongoing exploitation to help secure students’ sense of themselves as empowered and capable.

My paper follows the racial routes through which Canadian elite school girls – both white and of colour – use white femininity to secure ruling class status. This ruling class status requires and reproduces a Canadian brand of global citizenship that articulates through national narratives of innocence and moral excellence, particularly in relation to settler colonialism and peacekeeping. These racial routes to ruling class status recruit particular racial others to participate in liberal modernity through the practices and processes of global white supremacy and settler/colonialism, practices that aim to “assist” Black and Indigenous others “into modernity” (Razack, 2004, 2015).

I analyze ethnographic data using a critical race feminist framework to theorize the encounter between girls from an elite Canadian private school and the Zulu children in South African townships that they visited to teach. I discuss several of the techniques, such as enchantment, that the Canadian group deployed as effective self-making strategies that worked to conceal the deep colonial continuities of the encounter.

This paper answers three questions: (1) what is at stake for young elites in this humanitarian encounter?; (2) what is required in order for the humanitarian encounter to work?; and (3) what does this encounter do for young elites and elite Canadian private schools?

This is the story of how Canadian elite schools and students leverage gendered racial hierarchies to secure the material and symbolic advantages of ruling class status.


Leila Angod is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Centre for Urban Schooling at OISE/UT. Her current project is a youth participatory action research study of socioeconomic diversity at the University of Toronto Schools. This paper is drawn from Dr. Angod’s doctoral thesis, Behind and beyond the ivy: How schools produce elites through the bodies of racial others, a critical race feminist analysis of the multicultural and humanitarian encounters that are crucial to the formation of elite subjects and elite schools. The topics of her current writing projects include the heteronormative impulse of the volunteer abroad encounter, We Day, and the One Laptop per Child program. Her recent guest editorial in Curriculum Inquiry, The unruly curricula of the ruling classes, explores how divergent curricular approaches reproduce rather than disrupt ruling class status at elite private schools.


CUS Reserach for Critical Practice in Urban Schools Seminar Series 


October 16, 2015

Room 11-135

3:00-4:00 pm

Title: Exploring the relationship between school structure and student belonging

Presenter: Gillian Parekh, SSHRC postdoctoral fellow with the Centre for Urban Schooling


In school, students are organized across various programs and enrichment opportunities. Research has demonstrated that there is significant correlation between the representation of disability, class, race, and gender identities to the degree of value assigned to programs and academic streams (Sinay, 2010; Clandfield et. al, 2014). These disparities call into question students’ experiences of social citizenship and belonging within institutions that adhere to the organization of students along constructed notions of ability and meritocracy (Parekh, 2014).  Drawn largely from the Toronto District School Board’s Parent and Student Census data, this paper explores the relationship between institutional programming and students’ experiences in school.


Gillian Parekh is a SSHRC postdoctoral fellow with the Centre for Urban Schooling in the Department of Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning at OISE. Most recently, Gillian worked as a Research Coordinator for the Toronto District School Board. Her research interests include critical disability studies, institutional organization, and education equity.


November 6, 2015

Room 11-164

3:00-4:00 pm

Title: Feeling and hearing the difference: Toward an affective methodology for studying social in/justice in education

Presenter: Lee Airton, Lecturer, Master of Teaching Program and the Current Teacher Ed Program


The literature on social justice teacher education (SJTE) is full of specialized language: namely, semantic descriptions of what ‘good’ SJTE looks and sounds like in practice. However, ‘teaching the diversity course’ in pre-service programs is as much an affective proposition – one of intensity, awkwardness, discomfort, welling-up – as a semantic one: what is explicitly stated, whether by teacher candidates or teacher educators. Field leaders (e.g., Zeichner, Ladson-Billings, Cochran-Smith, Grant, Sleeter) have long called for empirical evidence of SJTE’s effectiveness at changing teacher orientations toward social difference in order to benefit their future K-12 pupils. With such evidence in short supply, this study used a post-qualitative methodology and neo-materialist affect- and assemblage-based theoretical framework to explore how SJTE practitioners together produce, in real-time, a sense of ‘good or bad SJTE’ and of themselves as SJTE practitioners. This paper draws on findings from material-discursive fieldwork at education conferences and in SJTE practitioner conversations to argue for a less language-dependent approach to the study of social in/justice in educational contexts.



Dr. Lee Airton is a Lecturer in the Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning at OISE, and received their Ph.D. in 2014 from York University’s Graduate Program in Education. Dr. Airton’s publications on gender and sexual diversity issues in education have appeared in Curriculum Inquiry and Sex Education, and they blog about gender-neutral pronoun usage, user support and non-binary gender identification at Dr. Airton currently serves on the executive committees of the Canadian Association for Teacher Education and the Queer Studies in Education Special Interest Group of AERA.



CUS was a co-sponsor for this event which brings together students, educators, 

hip hop academics, and the GTA's finest hip hop education workshop facilitators


Check out the documentation from the STEMposium!


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