CAS Report: Designing school merchandise

Describe your selected CAS experience or project
My partner, Angela, and I have always wanted to design our Dwight uniform. Every year, we would see new hoodie and sweatshirt designs and dream up our own, so when Grade 11 started, we decided to email the principals and asked them if we could design new school merchandise for the new year.

We received approval to work with Dwight Communications to design 2 hoodies, and we spent a week or two brainstorming what we wanted to include in the design considering materials, application process, and colors of the hoodie. We came up with 4 designs, and the school selected 2 to be developed for the merchandise. After a few weeks, the school revealed to us the final product, which was exactly what we wanted. We loved the new designs, and the school started selling them to the Dwight community a week later.

We ended up with 6 varieties of hoodies: three zip-up and three non-zip. Each type would be available in 3 colors: red, white, blue – the colours of our school. The designs were made available for the Dwight community and were sold in the school spirit store and through online orders.

Describe your successes and challenges within this experience or project
My partner and I faced challenges along the way, but the main one was having some of our designs eliminated. When we were creating the possible designs, we did not know what type of clothing it would be for as this choice was to be made by school administration. So, we created a variety – some for hoodies, others for zip-up hoodies, and some specific to sweatshirts.

We also went for a different design approach as we wanted to focus on simplicity. We took a risk and created more minimal designs, which were different to those seen on Dwight merchandise in previous years. After we submitted our designs, the school informed us that they planned on producing only 2 types of hoodies this year, which meant that the 2 sweatshirt designs we created were immediately eliminated. We had created only 2 hoodie designs, but fortunately, the school liked them and decided to go ahead with them.

Having our designs accepted was a huge success for us. We were especially proud when our designs became the best-selling hoodies in Dwight’s history, selling more than 100 within a few weeks.

Describe how you met one of your selected learning outcomes within this experience or project
One of the learning outcomes we chose was “demonstrate how to initiate and plan a CAS experience.” We met this outcome through our project when we took the first step and asked for an opportunity to design the merchandise. We then set up meetings and worked with the Communications team to set our own deadlines for designs and feedback. We initiated and planned this experience and worked collaboratively to complete the project.

Anything else you’d like to add?
This project is more than a CAS experience for Angela and I. It was a dream come true, and at each step of the journey, we realized what a unique opportunity it is to leave our mark on the school in a way that involves school standards and still has room for student choice. To everyone who was able to purchase one of the hoodies, we hope you love the design just as much as we do. Thank you!

– Cynthia and Angela, Grade 12 students.