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Youth Designer Daniel Smelansky designs Back Bay billboard

November 30 2015

Seeing my work on a 36ft x 36ft billboard in Back Bay is quite a surreal and thrilling feeling. I never thought I’d see my work displayed at such a large scale in public! 


The billboard was commissioned by one of Youth Design's key supporters, Liberty Mutual Insurance, who asked us to create a fall-themed illustration.

To begin the process, fellow Youth Designer Christina Fernandez and I each sketched several concepts. With input from Youth Design and Korn Design staff, we arrived at four designs to present to Liberty Mutual. Although they plan to utilize all four designs, my joyful leaves design was chosen for the billboard!

While leaves are a somewhat clichéd image to represent fall, the style of the illustration and the faces create a lively and original composition. I drew the two leaves sharing a moment of happiness and emphasized the emotion with a vibrant, textured orange circle in the background. The orange is not only a reference to the changing color of leaves but is also the primary color of Youth Design.

I wanted the design to have a friendly, lighthearted feel so I retained the hand drawn illustration without refining it digitally. It's meant more to simply attract people's attention and brighten their day rather than explicitly promote Youth Design. I hope that people who pass by the image are pleasantly surprised by a billboard that, for once, isn’t trying to sell them anything, but is instead meant to invoke a feeling of delight.

Note: Daniel Smelansky is a freshman at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, planning to major in Industrial Design. A recent graduate of Boston Latin Academy, Daniel's experience in Youth Design while still in high school included design workplace internships at Korn Design, Essential Design, and Digitas. Additionally, through Youth Design, he has interned at Ideo.

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