Last year, FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising Graphic Design students created a larger-than-life sized high heel, and this year, an evening gown. No, these students aren’t confused about their course of study. These designs are created out of canned food as part of an international charity project called Canstruction during which various organizations compete and create giant structures made out of healthy canned goods that is later donated to food banks. 

This is the second time that the FIDM Orange County Graphic Design students have been involved in the program, in partnership with the Orange County chapter of the Canstruction charity project. This year, FIDM’s team is not only involved in the design and construction of a structure, but also with the branding of the Canstruction project on a broader level, says Orange County Education Coordinator and FIDM Canstruction team co-captain Cheryl Ianello. 

“This experience is good for the students and good for their portfolio,” she says. 

Third-quarter Graphic Design students from the Winter and Spring 2010 quarters were given the opportunity to create graphics for apparel that will be sold on the Canstruction Website to help promote the event, as well as T-Shirts that will be worn by the various teams who participate in the competition, and by volunteers. 

T-shirt Designed by Izsak Lopez for Canstruction OC 2010

Designing the T-shirts and baseball caps has become somewhat of a competition in and of itself, says Ianello, since students had to present their designs to the Canstruction Board of Directors who chose the most effective design to promote the charity project. 

For the apparel graphics, two students’ designs have been chosen: Izsak Lopez’s Team T-Shirts and Volunteer T-Shirt designs, and Citlali Pereya’s T-shirt design, which will be for sale on the Canstruction Website. FIDM Graphic Design Alumna Nicole Wright is also working to create all of the printed promotional materials for the project including table toppers, programs and signage. 

For the actual structural portion of the charity project, Breanne Cadabona’s evening gown was chosen as the design that will be constructed out of canned foods on Build Night on September 3, 2010. Cadabona’s design will incorporate an estimated 6,000-7,000 cans to create a “mannequin” made out of Bumblebee tuna cans wearing a red and purple “evening gown” made of Princella yams and Geisha mandarin oranges with a “skyline” backdrop made of Ranch Style black beans. 

“Overall it’s been a rewarding experience,” says Cadabona, who is from Anaheim, California and in her 4th Quarter in FIDM’s Graphic Design/Branding program. “It’s been really awesome to have the opportunity to do something fun; something I’ve enjoyed designing, and on top of that, giving back to the community.” 

Evening Gown Design Using Canned Foods by Breanne Cadabona

All of the entries for this year’s Canstruction Orange County project will be on exhibit at Southcoast Plaza from September 4 through September 19. Awards in the categories of Best Use of Labels, Best Meal, Structural Ingenuity, Juror’s Favorite, Honorable Mention and Viewer’s Choice will be announced at the awards banquet on September 19. 

Check back for updates regarding FIDM’s involvement in the Canstruction project, and congratulations to all of the Graphic Design student designers!

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Author: Mani O'Brien

Mani O’Brien is the Online Editor for the FIDMDigitalArts Blog and the Social Media Marketing Manager for FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising. She earned her bachelor of arts degree in print journalism from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communications at Arizona State University in 2006, and Associate of Arts degree in Graphic Design (Professional Designation) at FIDM in 2010. When she’s not brainstorming social media marketing ideas or writing about the graphic design and digital media, she enjoys practicing yoga, reading magazines, and hanging out with friends and family in Los Angeles.

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