CCS Alum Finds Solution For Small Businesses Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic

August 18, 2021
A photograph of the outside of CCS campus from Woodward avenue in Detroit

Alum Finds Solution For Small Businesses Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic


CCS alum works to find solutions for local businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fernando Del Rosario (‘96 Communication Design) is an entrepreneur who runs his own media company called Concept Zombie, which is a “Yes we can do that!” creative company that uses creative problem solving of art direction and design and strategic media buying with the ability to scale up or down depending on the opportunity. He also teaches at California State University, Fullerton. The class he teaches was intended to be an internship class that was geared towards providing students with hands-on creative opportunities, like working with real-life clients, brands and organizations—but last year’s lockdowns had other plans.

Rosario had to be quick on his feet and decided that the class projects would focus on working directly with local and small businesses by offering free graphic design services. 

He would go from business to business asking them what they needed assistance with to stay afloat during the pandemic. 

“I would find out their pain points and what message they would like to convey to the community,” Rosario said. “From this, I created a simple creative brief that I shared with the students, and we would present the ideas to the client directly.”

The work he began with these businesses snowballed into Creative Aid—a project through his media company, ConceptZombie.

“My students created and designed much-needed advertising and marketing materials to help ensure these businesses continue to stay open,” he said. “From concept to creation, these services were done pro-bono and offered to these businesses absolutely free. In return, my students received the experience of applying their skills to real-world scenarios.”

He and his students created five to six weeks of content free for these businesses to use. The content included business hours, gift certificate promotions, brand awareness and simple communication to stay connected with customers.

He and his students have worked with 32 businesses and organizations since March 2020.