ROHS student wins first place in NAIAS poster contes

By: Victoria Mitchell | Royal Oak Review | Published January 16, 2017


ROYAL OAK — When Spencer Barrer makes the jaunt to the 2017 North American International Auto Show this month, the experience will have much more meaning than thousands of others gathering in Detroit.

“I know it will be an event to remember,” he said.

The Royal Oak High School sophomore will have his poster on display at the annual auto show after taking first place in the 10th-grade category in the 29th annual NAIAS poster contest.

The contest is open to Michigan students in 10th through 12th grades, and this year drew 890 entries from 70 schools.

“When I heard I had won the contest, I was very ecstatic,” Barrer said. “The competition is very reputable and is entered by hundreds of 10th-graders. To win first place is a very high honor.”

Barrer described his poster as multiple intersecting crisp, white roads with electrifying color coming off the sides. 

“Each road has a different array of colors creating a faint and abstract outline of the Detroit skyline,” he said. “Standing out in the center of my design is a bold, black car, driving through the street with the fierce wing of the North American International Auto Show logo trailing behind, leaving a blend of colors.”

Barrer said that on the top road of the poster is the event logo and the information in bold black. 

The student said he was motivated to enter the contest by one of his mentors at Royal Oak High School, Alyssa Reimold, who encouraged him to create his automotive design.

“I am very fortunate to have someone who supports my love for graphic design,” he said.

Barrer said he originally heard about the poster contest last year and was eager to submit a design as soon as he entered 10th grade.

“Once the contest was announced, I already had a plan in mind and began creating as soon as I could,” he said. “Little did I know we would actually have to do the assignment for class the following week.”

The posters were reviewed and judged by the 2017 NAIAS chairman, a GM automotive designer, A College for Creative Studies instructor and State Farm representatives.

“The work and creativity displayed by these young people is an exciting window into the future as to the talent the automotive design community may one day be the beneficiary of,” said 2017 NAIAS Chairman Sam Slaughter in a statement. “The winning posters are examples of what this contest is all about: the creative minds of Michigan’s future and a passion for the industry.”

Spencer said the entire experience made him more confident as a designer and has made his learning and dedication pay off. 

“I have put lots of work in doing graphics on my own time, and I am always looking for new ways to improve my skills,” he said. “I do lots of graphic work for my school and community, and this project will definitely be one to remember.

“I feel very thankful for the overwhelming support of my school and the community.”