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Dec 11, 2018
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Melting message wins award

'The idea of passing this on to our children stuck with me, which is how the whole ice cream thing came to be,' Jason Melgoza said of his inspiration for his design about global warming, 'Ice Cream Melts.'
Photo courtesy of Jason Melgoza

Fresno State graduate Jason Melgoza used the fear that his 2-year-old son’s future could be threatened by global warming to inspire his award-winning design.

His design, “Ice Cream Melts,” won him first place in the Carnegie Counsel’s 2007 Graphics Competition.

“The issue of global warming scares the heck out of me,” Melgoza said.

Before graduating in 2007 with his degree in art with a graphic design emphasis, Melgoza created the design as a project for Professor Martin Valencia’s class. Melgoza said that he never expected to win the contest or even get a grade of ‘A’ in Valencia’s class.

The fourth time was the charm for Melgoza, who reworked his ice cream design four times until he felt like he was getting across the message that global warming is a real threat that should be taken seriously.

“The idea of passing this on to our children stuck with me, which is how the whole ice cream thing came to be,” Melgoza said.

It wasn’t until last month that Melgoza discovered he won the prize when he received a phone call from Valencia telling him that he won the competition and the $500 prize. Melgoza said that although he wanted to purchase a new TV with the award money his wife persuaded him to pay off his credit card debt.

Melgoza now works as an interactive designer for the Fresno Bee Web site. He used his ice cream creation to help him land the job and calls the award winning design, the “good luck charm,” in his portfolio.

Melgoza said that he describes his first place design as, “ice cream melting away on a hot summer day,” which echoes the message the Carnegie Counsel aims to convey. The Carnegie Counsel was created in 1914 by philanthropist Andrew Carnegie and is the leading voice promoting ethical leadership regarding issues of war, peace, religion in politics and global social justice.

The Counsel holds the graphics competition annually and opens it to colleges and universities nationwide. Two winners were chosen for the 2007 competition, the other being Megan Zang, a student at the International Academy of Design and Technology.

Melgoza said that wining the first-place award has taught him to really trust his instincts as a designer. He now utilizes the same techniques he used to create the winning design when he works on his current projects.

After unexpectedly winning the Carnegie competition, Melgoza considers entering more contests in the future. For now his main focus is on being a good dad and updating his Web site www.freshsqueezeddesign.net.

Additional reporting by Jessica Lester.

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