Poster designs created by Assistant Professor Jonathan Cumberland are posted on roadside billboards and other public locations around four Black Belt counties in west Alabama. Cumberland designed a series of five posters as part of a project funded by a grant from the CDC Foundation to promote COVID-19 and influenza vaccine education and acceptance in audiences of all ages.
The five billboard designs were also translated into smaller-sized posters and fliers and posted in public areas around Greene, Hale, Marengo, and Sumter counties. Staff and friends of the department snapped photos around Alabama as they traveled this summer. The posters are also downloadable as PDF files here.
UA’s project team, led by Professor Jason Guynes (chair of the department of art and art history), with Assistant Professor Jonathan Cumberland (graphic designer), Dr. Tricia McElroy (associate dean, humanities and fine arts, College of Arts & Sciences), Dr. Hee Yun Lee (associate dean, School of Social Work) and Dr. Martha Crowther (professor and director of clinical psychology, College of Community Health Sciences), lent their expertise to create a series of five poster designs to build vaccine confidence in the rural west Alabama counties of Greene, Hale, Marengo and Sumter, where vaccination rates tend to be low, ranging from 53% in Hale County down to 41% in Greene County (in late 2021). By July 2022, Alabama had vaccinated only 51.9% of its citizens, which puts it 49th in the nation. The poster designs are featured on billboards, posters and sandwich boards in community institutions, health centers and businesses.
Designer Jonathan Cumberland’s illustrations and poster designs have won international awards and appeared on the covers of a variety of international magazines. Scholastic Publications has cited his work as an instance of outstanding U.S. poster design.
Professor Jason Guynes said, “We are pleased that the CDC Foundation has recognized through this grant project the expansive role that the arts play in our society, especially as it relates to the arts’ function of informing and shaping public opinion. We are also, of course, ecstatic that we are able to join in the important work that the CDC Foundation does and to be a small part of the global effort that is being mobilized to defeat this pandemic.”
Funding for this effort is made possible through a subaward from the CDC Foundation and is part of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) financial assistance award totaling $2,500,000 with 100 percent funding from CDC/HHS.
For more information about The University of Alabama’s programs in studio art and art history, visit our Degree Programs page.