Newport High School grad wins state graphic design contest

NEWPORT, Ky. (WXIX) – A Newport High School student recently returned from a national competition for students preparing for careers in trade, technical and skilled service jobs.

After winning at the state level, Brandon Harris traveled to Atlanta in June to compete with students in each state.

Even though he did not win at the national level, his skills will continue to improve beyond the competition.

“I made this t-shirt design and I was like in my head, ‘this is actually really nice,’” Harris remembers, “And I didn’t think really what my other competition would be like. As I got there I saw the other shirts and was like, ‘Wow! I guess there’s some pretty good comp!’”

A 2022 Newport High School graduate, Harris, recently won a state competition.

He’s been taking a graphic design class at the high school since he was a freshman and he says that class and his teacher have allowed him to possibly pursue a career in graphic design.

Skills USA hosts a state and national competition each year for students in high school and beyond. Categories include things like carpentry and baking to graphic design and welding.

This year, Harris entered the t-shirt design competition.

Students were asked to represent their state in a unique design that had a deeper meaning to them.

Harris describes his design:

“An outline of Muhammad Ali with his quote, ‘Don’t count the days, make the days count’ on the inside jumbled up everywhere.”

Ali was born in Louisville and his quote is important to Harris.

“It means to keep going you know.” explains Harris, “And to just have that drive to keep going every day and just keep getting better and have patience as well.”

Harris won the competition in Louisville and that got him a spot in the national competition in Atlanta that happened in June. Even though he didn’t win in Atlanta, he knows that experience will help him down the road.

“I don’t just waste my days and waste my time. I try to make my days worth something and get something out of it to make myself better by the end of the day.”

Harris says through working in graphic design, he’s learned that the best designs can often take time and patience. He has some advice for

“Keep trying. If you don’t think something works out just think of new things,” says Harris, “Don’t always get rid of your original ideas because sometimes the worst are the best.”

Harris is going to take a year off from school and decide if he wants to pursue a career in graphic design or study pre-law.

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