FIDM Graphic Design Student Travis Cuellar Wins ICMAD’s 2015 Young Designer Award

The Young Designers Award was created in 1998 by The Independent Cosmetic Manufacturers and Distributors (ICMAD) to encourage creativity in graphic design and package design. This year, more than 85 students from 12 schools across the United States submitted an original design concept for a cosmetic or personal case product for chance to win some fantastic prizes and an invaluable experience. The top three winners were chosen and invited to attend the Young Designers Dinner on February 4th where Travis Cuellar, a Graphic Design Student at FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising was announced as the first prize winner.


FIDM Graphic Design Student Travis Cuellar's Winning Packaging Design


For winning ICMAD’s 2015 Young Designer Award, Travis earned a cash award of $2500, personal meetings with executives from the hottest beauty companies, a design contract with East Hills Industries, LLC up to $3,500, and gets networking opportunities with top industry professionals. For his project, Travis designed a shampoo bottle around a fictional children’s body wash called SUDZ portraying an important concept along the way.

“The kids shampoo they have today is boring, preparing these little kids to be adults. With SUDZ I wanted to let kids feel that it’s okay to be a kid forever. Having creativity and imagination is the key to life and nobody can take that away from you.” – Travis Cuellar

FIDM Graphic Design Student Travis Cuellar's Winning Packaging Design

We recently caught up with Travis to learn a little more about his project and overall experience designing this unique package.

Q&A With ICMAD 2015 Young Designer Winner Travis Cuellar

FIDM Student Travis Cuellar - ICMAD 2015 Young Designer Winner

FIDM Student Travis Cuellar – ICMAD 2015 Young Designer Winner

(FIDM Digital Arts) How did you get involved in this design competition?
(Travis) “Lisa Hoffman who is head of the Graphic Design program in San Francisco made this a mandatory project for my graphics and licensing class.”

Oh awesome! What was your design process with this package?
“…we only had five weeks to complete it and I didn’t start getting serious with the project until week three. The greatest ideas come to me when the assignment is almost due, I hate working this way but I guess it paid off.”

It definitely did. Where did you draw inspiration from?
“Around the time I started going to FIDM I started drawing this character I called Didas Dunhill. It was really a baby and the more I kept drawing Didas he grew into the character he is now and watching him come to life after painting him, illustrating him, and now winning a competition with him I just look at what’s next for the both of us. Thank you Didas Dunhill for the inspiration.”

Did you learn anything from project and process?
“I learned that I can take on any project you give me, and I can adjust to something that I know nothing about. When it comes to package design, a rectangle box is not the same as it was 10 years ago. These companies are looking for designers that go out of that box, so what are you going to bring to the table?”

Did you have any obstacles or problems along the way?
“Designing the package and the label for the bottle was the easy part. When you’re only given one chance to cut out this crazy shaped box out with a X-Acto knife and put it all together with rubber cement, you learn why you chose to be a designer. Other then that I didn’t really have a problem with this project.”

Can you tell us a little about the Young Designer Dinner & Gala reception?
“People in the cosmetic business are some of the nicest, caring, and coolest people I’ve ever met, they made me feel like family and I can’t wait to start working with these cosmetic companies. I’m glad I was able to attend the dinner it was very inspiring and such a great experience and I feel this is a perfect place for me to start my career.”


Chaz Dean, CEO of Wen Beauty (left) with FIDM Student Travis Cuellar (right).

Chaz Dean, CEO of Wen Beauty (left) with FIDM Student Travis Cuellar (right).


How did it feel to win?
“Like it didn’t really happen. Of course I was really happy but now my focus is getting done with school and seeing what’s going to come my way now.”

Any advice for current and future FIDM Graphic Design Students?
“Find your own style and don’t design the same way as the person sitting next to you.”

Congratulations once again Travis. Your package design and winning this competition has been really inspiring. We wish you the best of luck in your career!

graphic-design-branding-rocketStart college and kickstart your career in graphic design.

FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising isn’t just a recognized leader in the study of design and creative business– we’re a training ground for the exciting career in graphic design you’ve always dreamed of pursuing. No other graphic design program has the same unique focus on the fashion and entertainment industries, teaching creative expression in all aspects of print media, logo development, corporate identity, product branding, packaging, apparel graphics and more.


FIDM: Creative Careers Begin Here

Creative careers begin here.

With four California campuses located in the heart of the fashion and entertainment industries, FIDM is a leading, accredited college offering specialized Associate of Arts and Bachelor’s of Arts degrees. FIDM has been educating students with creative and leadership skills for the global industries of fashion, visual arts, interior design, and entertainment for more than 45 years. Learn more at

The FIDM Digital Arts Blog is dedicated to professional and aspiring graphic designers and filmmakers, illustrating the range of career opportunities within these fields written by FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising. See more at

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Author: James Peacock

James Peacock is a Digital Marketing Specialist at FIDM in Los Angeles, California. He received his A.A. in Graphic Design from FIDM and was hired as Social Media Assistant in 2013 by his alma mater in order to help grow the institution’s social media marketing efforts. James now combines two of his passions, telling stories and solving problems by managing data-driven marketing campaigns across multiple channels that ultimately result in a positive return on investment.

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