One of the things we had written down on the lists of things we aimed to accomplish over the summer was some sort of flyer to draw in new members. We had lost one member due to graduation, and although we didn’t know it, we would lose another who moved away without telling us. It was not a goal to start a new team, but rather to build up the team so that we might be able to start a second next year.
The flyer we had used last year had been pretty lame, and didn’t draw in the eye. So, starting in early August I began creating the first of 3 posters to really promote robotics at Kennedy.
At first I only used Microsoft Word, but I soon found that I couldn’t design anything with good detail and with the right formatting. So I decided to Google “robotics team posters” and most of the results I found were photo files (JPEGs, PNGs, and Bitmaps). So using Microsoft Paint, and sumopaint.com (online free version of Photoshop), I made the first poster.
This one was probably tied for first in terms of the amount of time it took to make it look good. The owner had a small watermark over the center, which I had to cover, and all of the green was at one time red. The text is something I add in using paint, and a downloaded font from Dafont.com. For those of you who like the band “Imagine Dragons”, this text is featured on the bulk of their more famous albums and it’s called “Devil Breeze”; I downloaded it for free.
The second poster was by far the easiest and took me only an hour or so. This was largely due to an amazing graphic I found that must’ve been created by another FIRST team. Whatever the case, it couldn’t have been more perfect for its use.
The third took as much time as the first, but was by far more annoying to work with. There was so much text to format, and it was really hard to just keep everything from looking cluttered. It may have ended up looking cluttered anyway, but I think it looks fairly descent. The numbers on the left are binary code, which is a code used by computer processors to represent every command it can receive with nothing more than ones and zeros. If you Google “binary code translator”, you can enter in all of those numbers and it will pop up with the same message as is on the right side of the poster. My mentor Jerry really liked it and hung it on his door at work.
When it came time to print them, Jerry used a printer at Rockwell Collins to print off about 120 posters. He was able to print them off on 11″x17″ paper which is standard poster size. I had not formatted all of the posters in that dimension, but I was luckily able to fix that issue in an hour or so. We printed posters for all of the teachers, plus forty or so in the halls.
These posters were up for five school days before the first recruit meeting. On one of those days, we had a speaker on our school announcements read off a small invitation to those who were interested. On that first day, we pulled in 14 new members. Most were freshmen, but some were seniors, juniors and sophomores. The second meeting was two days later and had our message over the announcements on both days. Three more people trickled into the mix that day, and the majority of the people from the first day came back (though they did not need to). Adding in current members, we have enough people to create a second team, and possibly a third (though my coach resents that thought).
Nevertheless, our posters and message worked at least 300% better than expected (team 6121 Cougarbots, for the win). In conclusion, if any team happens to run along this blog or find the images in it on the internet, please use them as you wish! They worked well for our purpose and I love the idea of continuing to grow the FTC program. Also, I would recommend sumopaint.com as a good alternative to Photoshop for those with good internet connection, and dafont.com for a variety of free (and some not so free) fonts.