Meet FIDM/San Francisco’s Graphic Design Student of the Year Award Winner, Tovah Moreno-Black

As a former textile designer/product developer for Richloom Fabrics and Aussino Inc., and Art Director/head of the design department for John Robshaw Textiles, Tovah Moreno-Black had already made a name for herself as a designer when she decided to return to college to study Graphic Design at FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising.

“When I moved [to San Francisco] and was looking for work, it seemed that all of the jobs required a lot of computer skills I did not have. I knew how to use Photoshop, but that was about it! I felt I really needed to learn the Adobe Creative Suite,” says Moreno-Black. “I fell in love with all aspects of Graphic Design. Originally I had planned to take what I learned to apply to a job within the textile industry. But, I enjoy Graphic Design so much that I am excited to have both of these skill sets, and to combine them.”

Moreno-Black relocated from New York City in 2008 to attend FIDM’s San Francisco campus, earning her degree in Graphic Design/Branding. Three years later, FIDM recognized her as the 2011 Graphic Design Student of the Year/San Francisco Award winner.

“I am so happy with what I learned and the people I met at FIDM. It was such a great way to become involved in the design industry here on the West coast,” she says. “The teachers and students have been such an inspiration and wonderful support system. I am very excited to be able to add graphic design to my resume.”

(Below: Check out Tovah Moreno-Black’s final portfolio. Click the “expand” button to view in full screen)

Read more about Moreno-Black’s experience at FIDM and her future plans:

( Tell us a little bit about your professional background prior to FIDM.
(Tovah Moreno-Black) “
I attended The Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City where I received a BFA in Textile/Surface Design. After graduating, one of my internships at Richloom Fabrics turned into a paid job. From there I became a Designer and Product Developer at Aussino Inc. I designed bedding and specialized in Juvenile Bedding. I was promoted to Bath Design, where I created towel and bath products. I started working at John Robshaw Textiles in 2008, where I was the Art Director and headed the design department. I moved to San Francisco in December 2008.”

tovah_headshotHow did you hear about FIDM? What made you interested in the Graphic Design program?
“I actually applied to FIDM when I was in high school and was accepted. I got into FIT in New York and had dreamed of living in New York, so I chose to go there. It was a hard choice– two great schools and two great cities. I always knew that I wanted to go back to school, I love learning. So when I moved here, I decided to re-visit the campus and it was just what I was looking for!”

What were some of the most valuable skills that you learned in the Graphic Design program?
“Learning the Adobe Creative Suite was what I wanted to get out of my studies at FIDM. Which I did– and so much more! I fell in love with publication design and layout, typography and learned about digital photography. The character development and logo design classes were great and learning web design was very helpful.”

What area would you like to pursue career-wise?
“I am starting a new job in publication design, with Dressed Magazine, (which is scheduled to debut in September) which I am thrilled about. I would love to continue to do graphic design as a freelancer and I am very interested in starting my own company one day.”

How did it feel to earn the Graphic Design Student of the Year award?
“It was an honor and felt wonderful. The other students who were nominated are phenomenal designers and it was an honor just to be nominated with them. I am proud of all of us, and the entire Graphic Design class I graduated with. Each student was an inspiration and so talented.”


Are there any websites or designers that inspired/inspire you?
“I draw inspiration from the world around me. I love to travel, and my travels in Asia as a child have made a huge impact on my design aesthetic. I am inspired by art (Keith Haring, Edward Hopper, Georgia O’Keefe, my dad… to name a few). I am inspired by print design and publications (New York Magazine, Nylon, Print) and online publications such as Papercut Mag.”

Do you have any advice for current students, or people who want to get into the industry?
“INTERNSHIPS! They help you make connections and lead to jobs. Also, be involved in contests and design opportunities the school and teachers offer. It gives you experience working in the industry and with people.”

Congratulations, Tovah!

Visit Tovah Moreno-Black’s portfolio website here (

Questions/comments? Email the editor, Mani O’Brien at mo’




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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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