FIDM SF Graphic Design Student Traveled to NYC as Third-Place Winner in National Design Competition

Maggie McCormick, a Graphic Design/Branding Student enrolled at FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising’s San Francisco campus, was selected as the third-place winner in a national design competition sponsored by the Independent Cosmetic Manufacturers and Distributors (ICMAD) trade association. Maggie traveled to New York City during the Summer Quarter break to attend the 2010 ICMAD Young Designers Dinner where the top three winners of the competition were announced.

Maggie’s design for “Core Daily Moisturizer” was selected from dozens of entries submitted by finalists at six highly acclaimed schools of design. After returning from her trip, Maggie shared the following interview with the Blog:

(FIDM) Tell us about your experience in New York.
As a finalist, I visited three different ICMAD member companies: Tarte, Purpose-Built, and Malin + Goetz. At each business, we received a behind-the-scenes look at how they work with cosmetic packaging and branding, which was the most interesting aspect of the trip for me. We also attended the Young Designer awards dinner, where we were given the opportunity to network with industry professionals before being recognized with our awards individually.

What was the best part about being a finalist?

Going to New York! I loved the energy in the city and the people we met. Everyone seemed passionate about what they do and were very encouraging when they spoke to us young designers about our future. I’ve never been so celebrated before!

What did you learn on the trip?
I learned there is a lot more that goes into packaging design than meets the eye. Beyond being beautiful, the details that go into the design can differ greatly based on where the product is sold and in what country.

How has this experience been helpful for you and your career goals?
It was helpful in that I haven’t had much experience in packaging design, so winning this competition gave me better insight into what does and doesn’t work in the industry. As a designer, it’s a constant challenge to come up with new, innovative designs that stand out on the shelf but are also usable at home.

What advice do you have for anyone applying for design competitions?

Do your research beforehand, and then create a design based on a niche that you feel needs to be filled. The three winning designs in this competition appeared to be the most realistic and usable concepts out of all the entries.

How has being a part of the FIDM Graphic Design program prepared you as a designer and applicant in the ICMAD competition?
My teacher, Lisa Hoffman, was the most helpful and integral part of my entry process. Without her insight and constructive feedback, I would never have considered entering this incredible competition.

Congratulations, Maggie!

Click here to read more about Maggie’s experience in the 2010 ICMAD competition.
Click here to learn more about FIDM’s Graphic Design/Branding program.
For information on ICMAD, visit

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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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