Congratulations! Interview with FIDM Graphic Design Grad, Nico Cruz

A graphic designer’s portfolio always seems to be reflective of the personality of its creator, and Nico Cruz’s is no exception. Originally from Arizona, Cruz graduated from FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising this month from the Graphic Design/Branding program. Cruz incorporates edgy graphic elements such as blood splatters, clown faces and other menacing-looking characters in his logo and T-shirt designs, but is able to maintain a playful aesthetic by combining such dark elements with bright colors and 3-dimensional illusions. It’s not surprising to hear that Cruz draws inspiration from the graphics of the horror movie genre, which tend to incorporate similar design elements to capture both a macabre, yet tongue-in-cheek, dark sense of humor. Cruz presented his final graphic design portfolio last week and shared the following interview with FIDM:

Tell me a little bit about your professional background before attending FIDM.
Before I graduated high school I entered the FCCLA competition held in Arizona. The competition consisted of all the school districts that had fashion programs. Students compete against each other by building a visual display of merchandise with a concept and presenting it to a panel of judges. The winner would achieve a scholarship for FIDM. Luckily, I won which was the next step to my journey at FIDM.
What made you decide to attend FIDM?
I’ve always had a passion for graphic design and once I heard about FIDM having a graphic design program I became interested to attend the school.
How did it feel to present your final graphic design portfolio?
Rejuvenating! I couldn’t believe that it was the end, but yet a new beginning. I was a very anxious to see the reactions to my wacky portfolio.
Tell me about your experience in FIDM’s graphic design program.
I learned various perceptions of graphic design, which has made me grow as an overall designer. It takes a lot of dedication and the experience was well worth it.
How did you find your inspiration for the pieces in your graphic design portfolio?
I love to tell stories throughout my graphics and creating different concepts were good inspiration for what I wanted to achieve. I also used different inspiration in my graphics from the horror genre and creating optical illusion effects.
What are your plans now that you’ve graduated?
I’m moving back to Arizona. I want to gain as much experience in the apparel/street wear industry and eventually I want to create a brand called ‘PottyMouff’.
Check out Nico’s Blog here (
To contact Nico for Graphic Design work, email:

Congratulations, Nico!

Photo Captions (From top):
Newly graduated FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising Graphic Design Student Nico Cruz. Logo design for T-shirt brand, “Potty Mouff,” designed by Nico Cruz. Logo and T-shirt designs for “Potty Mouff,” designed by Nico Cruz. “Smear” Magazine cover and logotype design by Nico Cruz. CD Packaging redesign and promotional posters for M.I.A. “Kala” album, designed by Nico Cruz.

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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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