Drawing national acclaim in card design


After countless hours of hard work and dedication, 11 Diamond Bar High School students have made their way to the voting round of the Create-A-Greeting-Card Scholarship event with $10,000 on the line.

The competition, which is held annually by the card-making company The Gallery Collection, is open to all high school, college and university students in the United States. It lasts until March 2, with 100 entries being put up for voting on the company’s website each month. Of this years’ applicants, brahmas Dylan Carpino, Aidan de Guzman, Abby Kottke, Rita Mei, Sarah Cai, Haylee Darmawan, Chloe Huang, Claire Lee, Sunny Liang, Ziyan Wang and Grace Wen have reached this round.

Having discovered the program several years ago, computer systems and computer graphics design teacher Alina Gallardo has continued to encourage her students to participate in the event to teach them how computer graphics can be applied outside the classroom.

“Students learn basic art skills and vector graphic tools in Computer Graphics,” Gallardo said via email. “I encourage students to participate in the scholarship competition for the experience of creating art for commercial use.” 

The competition tasks participants with creating a greeting card for any kind of holiday or event. Designs must be original and can be created using computer software, in addition to traditional drawing or painting. The cards are graded on characteristics such as their overall aesthetic appeal, quality of execution, creativity and appropriate application.

“On birthdays, people have a tradition of wishing and wishing other people happy birthdays, so I decided to use some hands that looked like a pair of hands making a wish,” Mei said via email.

Although participants have the option to hand-make their cards, DBHS students used digital media-creation applications that they learned about in class when creating their pieces for the competition.

“I had to use a lot, if not most, of the techniques that we had been taught in our computer graphics class and I learned how to use the shortcuts more efficiently as I was using the tools a lot throughout this project,” Huang said via email.

Aside from the potential of winning a monetary award, most students took part in the competition simply for the experience.

“It is fun to design something and entering a competition gives me an experience or example of future goals [or] benefits I can achieve with [the] art that I create,” Wen said.

Because the students made it to the voting round for the month of November, students had the option of looking back at their project on their own and reflecting on possibilities for improvement. 

“I would pay more attention to details and perfect them more,” Mei said. “I would have also changed some of the color combinations that I used to make some things stand out.”

According to the participants, the competition provided an invaluable learning experience for students seeking to learn more about commercial art.

“I hoped to gain some experience and luckily I was able to get into the voting round for this competition,” Mei said. “Mostly, I wanted [to see] some other designs that were also submitted into the competition [for inspiration] and hopefully find them helpful for future designs.”