Celebrating the Class of 2020 with Light Pole Banners

A Michigan sign-making company is helping American towns recognize their graduating seniors.


Front door decorating. Virtual proms. Minecraft commencement ceremonies. High school graduation has been upended across the country. But seniors, parents, and schools have responded by coming up with some creative ideas to honor and celebrate the Class of 2020.

“Using custom light pole banners that feature the names and pictures of seniors lets an entire city show some high-profile support for their 2020 graduates,” says Britten’s Melissa Kilbourn. “Sometimes the simplest things really can have a big impact.”

After word that American schools everywhere would be closing for the remainder of the year, organizers at local Kingsley High School approached the Traverse City-based printer. Plans for graduation and prom were up in the air, so parents and administrators wanted to surprise all 88 of their 2020 graduates by hanging personalized, custom banners along the city’s main streets.

With senior yearbook photos supplied by the school, Britten designed and printed the double-sided, 24” X 48” banners that are set to be displayed in early summer. Students will later be given the banners as a keepsake.

“We thought this was such a great idea,” recalls Kilbourn. “So we shared it on social media. And judging by the response, a lot of parents and high schools across America thought it was a wonderful idea, too.”


For 35 years, Traverse City-based Britten has been a printer and visual branding strategist for some of the country’s top sports teams and entertainment agencies. While Britten has pivoted into the manufacture of PPE during the near nationwide shutdown, the Michigan company is still busy taking orders to execute immediately upon the April 30th lifting of Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-at-home order.

Walking across the graduation stage to receive a high school diploma is a rite of passage. High schools and parents are scrambling to figure out how they acknowledge students' hard work and success, while still maintaining social distancing.

“Seniors everywhere could use a little pick-me-up,” says Kilbourn. “And we’re so happy to be able to help in this small way.”