Around ten years ago, my friends and I would take turns reading the NCTV bulletin board out loud late at night during sleepovers. Why? Well, I’m not sure. I suppose maybe it was because we did our best Al Michaels impressions when we were reading them. Either way, I have been very aware of the existence of this bulletin board for at least a decade. Little did I know back then that I would someday be in charge of it.

The digital community bulletin board is not a complicated thing. It advertises various events or opportunities to the public. Organizations, committees, or whoever let me know who, what, when, where, and sometimes why and then I create a bulletin with that information on it. The usual approach is to have a decent background picture or solid color and then type the information on top of that. I still make use of that style depending on time or how serious the event is. But, when I took over responsibility for the bulletin board earlier this year I decided that when I could, I would shake things up a bit.

When I first started, I was told that I could create the bulletins on Adobe Photoshop. I had known and about and see Photoshop used a lot before that time, but never had access to it myself, so I had to learn. I kept the designs simple at first because, well I didn’t know any other way. For example, I made a bulletin about meeting opportunities with Senator Richard Ross. I had a blue background, but tried to add some flair by having a fancy gold border around a white box that held the information.

Later on, I was made aware of a public domain picture website called Using that site, I was able to get some cooler backgrounds that better fit the theme’s event. For instance, for the King Philip Winter Classic, I found a nice background that included snowflakes. I wasn’t quite proficient enough to make my own snowflakes. I’m probably not at that level right now either, but I haven’t been clamoring to make snowflakes these past few months.

Then, I discovered how to enhance text in Photoshop. I figured out how bevel and emboss can add a nice shine or glassy look to the layers in the project. After that, I learned that bevel and emboss isn’t always necessary. I think I found a good balance of text effects and public domain pictures with my bulletin for The Garden Club of Norfolk’s March 2015 event, “Gardening is Murder.” The beauty of the cartoon flowers paired with the red lettering might be what has made this one memorable here at NCTV. To this day, it remains a favorite of NCTV Executive Director, Katy Woodhams.

As time has progressed, I have learned more and more about Photoshop. I continue to try and make our bulletin board more exciting in order to grab the attention of our viewers. If I had any part in getting an extra person to see Richard Ross or attend Stony Brook or support the King Philip Band, then I have done my job.

As the keeper of the bulletin board I must encourage you to submit any bulletin request by going to On that page you will also find downloadable bulletin templates. That’s right, you can make your own bulletins and just send them to me! Honestly, at any given time I will have multiple bulletins to make so if you want yours up as quickly as possible, making it on your own would be the way to go. Although, just to be clear, I am happy to make them!

Keep your eye out for all my latest creations in between programs on NCTV!

AuthorAndrew Barker