Three FIDM Graphic Design Students Win National Retail Federation’s Annual Holiday Card Contest

FIDM Graphic Design Students Emily Cooper, Alexander Rivera and Lilyan Urbanczuk have been announced as winners in the national holiday greeting card contest sponsored by the National Retail Federation, the world’s largest retail trade association.

Last month we told you about five FIDM Graphic Design Students who qualified as semi-finalists in the NRF’s annual holiday card design contest in which FIDM Students were among 10 college design student finalists challenged by the NRF to “create a card that showcases the work of the retail industry in a creative way.”

Cooper, Rivera and Urbanczuk’s designs were announced as winners whose designs will be mailed to more than 20,000 NRF members worldwide, along with their photo and college information featured on their winning card. Additionally, these students won a $1,000 cash prize and stipend to attend Retail’s BIG Show 2015 in January in New York City.

The FIDM Digital Arts team caught up with these students to get more information about their designs:

FIDM Graphic Design Student Emily Cooper, NRF Holiday Card Contest 2014 Winner

FIDM Graphic Design Student Emily Cooper, NRF Holiday Card Contest 2014 Winner

Q&A with FIDM Graphic Design Student Emily Cooper

Originally from Monrovia, California, FIDM Graphic Design Student Emily Cooper is in her sixth quarter at FIDM and drew inspiration for her design (shown above) from the holiday window displays at retailers like Anthropologie and J. Crew, she says.

“I would just like to take the time to thank the NRF for this amazing opportunity,” says Cooper. “Not only is it really flattering to have been one of the winners of a national design competition, but it is also a great asset to my resume and graphic design experience.”

Read more about what inspires Cooper below:

Do you have any favorite artists/graphic designers/bloggers that you follow?

“My current inspiration/obsessions are flat graphics and illustrations. I love the style of them and as well as the simplicity. I follow designers such as Tom Ford, Marc Jacobs and Michael Kors on their social media accounts, and I currently keep up with the work of Paula Scher, Brittany Lee, Charmaine Choi and Adele Charles.”

What have you enjoyed most about the graphic design program at FIDM?

“I’ve honestly loved everything about the FIDM graphic design program thus far. But my favorite part of the program would have to be the amazing teachers that I have had. The teachers expect a lot from their students because the genuinely care about us, and want us to succeed in this field. They are constantly pushing us to think bigger, try harder and achieve more in all of our projects and assignments.”

What are you looking forward to doing in NY with the NRF?

“I am not only looking forward to experiencing New York City for the first time, but also to meeting and networking with working industry professionals.”

FIDM Graphic Design Student Alexander Rivera, NRF Holiday Card Contest 2014 Winner

FIDM Graphic Design Student Alexander Rivera, NRF Holiday Card Contest 2014 Winner

Q&A with FIDM Graphic Design Student Alexander Rivera

Rivera drew inspiration for his holiday card design (above) from the Los Angeles Department of Transportation symbols found in subway stations, he says.

“I see [flat icons] whenever I commute to school on the Metro. They an also be seen in retail on receipts, clothing tags, etc.,” he says. “To break away from the rigidness of the symbols, I added a hand-drawn ribbon.”

Originally from Cerritos, CA and currently in his sixth quarter of FIDM’s Graphic Design program, Rivera shared more inspiration with us below:

Do you have any favorite artists/graphic designers/bloggers that you follow?
“My two favorite designers are Tom Ford, and Chip Kidd. Tom Ford has a very sleek and modern design with ’60s and ’70s influence, which I’m a fan of. Chip Kidd is a graphic designer and like me, Chip Kidd is also a comic book fan and it shows throughout his work. I love his use of text and imagery to help convey the message of the book covers he makes.”

What have you enjoyed most about the graphic design program at FIDM?
“I love the program at FIDM. The instructors here give a true hands on experience on what its like to work in the field. They all genuinely care about how we do and really put us on the right track.”

What are you looking forward to doing in NY with the NRF?
“I’m excited to be able to network in NY! New York is a huge place with many possibilities and one of my favorite places to visit.”

Is there anything else you would like to add?
“I feel honored to be one of the winners! I’d like to thank the NRF to this great opportunity! This is definitely one of the highlights of my year!”

FIDM Graphic Design Student Lilyan Urbanczuk, NRF Holiday Card Contest 2014 Winner

FIDM Graphic Design Student Lilyan Urbanczuk, NRF Holiday Card Contest 2014 Winner

Q&A with FIDM Graphic Design Student Lilyan Urbanczuk

Originally from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Urbanczuk is in her last quarter of FIDM’s Graphic Design/Branding program and created an interesting synergy between symbols of holiday cheer and retail.

“My inspiration came from the classic holiday depiction of Santa carrying his sack full of toys. To reflect the retail industry, I chose to depict Santa carrying shopping bags, just like many of us do when shopping during the holidays,” she says. “I wanted to keep a hand-drawn feel to my design so the holiday card would seem personal, which I feel is an important part of receiving cards during the holidays.”

Read more about what inspires Urbanczuk below.

Do you have any favorite artists/graphic designers/bloggers that you follow?

“Generally speaking, I find a lot of inspiration through nature and its natural form. Because of this, I tend to be drawn to hand-drawn graphics and type, which is typically reflected in my work. I find a lot of inspiration from Jessica Hische, who is an illustrator and type designer. Her work truly contains a ‘human touch’ and comes across as very personal. I strive to include those personal touches in my design.”

What have you enjoyed most about the graphic design program at FIDM?

“My favorite thing about the graphic design program at FIDM is the energy from the teachers and students combined. I always feel like we are all on the same page and working together, which I feel is a pretty rare thing to have at college. We all push each other and are not afraid to critique each other which is extremely helpful when learning design. Also, I am very grateful for all of the opportunities FIDM’s graphic design department sends our way.”

What are you looking forward to doing in NY with the NRF?

“I am looking forward to meeting a lot of new industry contacts at the NRF showcase, since I am graduating this quarter. It is a very exciting time and can’t wait to get a printed copy of my holiday card!”

FIDM NRFSA Student members

FIDM NRFSA Student members

More about NRF and FIDM

We also want to congratulate three current FIDM Business Management Students Karla Maldonado, Elizabeth Poteracki, and Amanda Villa (shown above with Cooper, Rivera and Urbanczuk) who made it to the second round of judging in the national NRF Student Challenge. For an entire semester, they worked to create a product idea and prepare a 10-page business plan, along with a 90-second video presentation to convince the CEO of a U.S. retailer of their choice how and why their product should be brought to market.

The FIDM National Retail Federation Student Association (NRFSA) is one of 30 college chapters nationwide granted access to exclusive education and networking opportunities to build a career path in retail, one of the most innovative and exciting industries in the world.

The NRFSA is supported by the National Retail Federation, the world’s largest retail trade association whose board of directors includes industry executives from Saks, Inc, Neiman Marcus, Crate and Barrel, The Container Store, HSNi, Ralph Lauren, and Macys which annual conferences that are considered epicenters for reporting on the most cutting edge innovations in digital retailing, dynamic and strategic marketing and other key retail trends such as “Shop.Org” and “Retail’s The Big Show.”

FIDM Graphic Design Alumnus Patrick Lee was the winner of the 2013 NRF Holiday Card Contest, and FIDM Graphic Design Alumna Sara Berkes was a semi-finalist (read more about their designs here).

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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.

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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 www.fidm.edu.

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 www.fidmdigitalarts.com.

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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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