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Student cashes in on disaster relief design

Woodford's winning graphic and broadcast designs netted him $11,000.

Photo by Tanner Woodford

May 11, 2009

TEMPE, Ariz. – Tanner Woodford’s artistic take on calamity has resulted in cash prizes. The ASU College of Design undergraduate student recently took two top awards and $11,000 home for his graphic and broadcast design entries about disaster relief.

Woodford entered the Center for International Disaster Information’s (CIDI) 2009 PSAid: Public Service Announcements for International Disasters competition. Contestants were asked to provide public service announcements that demonstrated the importance of giving monetary donations – as opposed to in-kind donations – in response to international disasters. Woodford’s graphic and broadcast designs entitled “Cans Can’t Cash Can” demonstrated the difference between the cost it takes to send one can of food to Zimbabwe, and how the same amount of money could benefit more than 800 community members there with healthcare for an entire year.

The winning entries were selected from a group of approximately 50 semifinalists from college and university students nationwide. The final winners were selected based on an online public vote and the scores by a panel of esteemed judges that included last year’s student winners in both the broadcast and print categories. The winners split $30,000 in cash, of which, Woodford received $5,000 for placing second in the broadcast division. His first-place print design netted him $6,000 and he may have his PSA distributed to national print media. Despite the monetary gains he received from the competition, Woodford feels that his graphic design work goes far beyond collecting cash.

“I believe graphic designers have the unique understanding and responsibility to motivate the public to participate in events that benefit local, domestic and international communities,” Woodford says. “I find the work at CIDI particularly interesting and found this contest to be a unique opportunity to use some of my newly realized design skills for a good cause.”

Scheduled to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Visual Communication Design from Arizona State University in 2009, Woodford also lives in Tempe, Ariz. with his wife. For more information about Woodford, visit:

The School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University offers a holistic approach to design, blending teaching and research in a forward-thinking environment. Our more than 1,600 students are challenged to think creatively about architecture, industrial design, interior design, landscape architecture, urban design and visual communications design. The school also houses InnovationSpace, a transdisciplinary research and educational laboratory that unites design, business and engineering. Phoenix and the Southwestern desert’s extreme environmental conditions provide an innovative laboratory for teaching and applied research. To learn more, visit:

Media Contact:
Wendy Craft 
Media Relations
ASU Herberger Institute