Marv Castillo Designer Interview

Designer Interview With Marv Castillo


Designer Interview With Marv Castillo

Marv Castillo is a 24-year-old designer, screenwriter, and illustrator who founded Geek Broadside magazine and co-owns the fitness platform MO Project, both designed by himself. Castillo is currently working at Garnier BBDO, one of the most important independent advertising agencies in Latin America.

Marv Castillo has been part of Emmy Award winning and Effie Award winning teams and has won over 30 illustration contests, worked with brands like Amazon, Netflix, Marvel, Sony, World Vision, Chevrolet, among others. His work has been featured in sites, magazines and books like: Peppersoul Magazine, Critics Choice Awards, Sony, the Favourite Design Book, and Designcollector.

Marv Castillo Designer Quote

The Logo Creative – Hi Marv, Good to chat again and I’m thrilled to feature you in our designer interviews

Marv Castillo – Hi Andrew, Thank a lot for this opportunity. I loved this interview. I’m more than happy for being a part of this.

The Logo Creative – What was the turning point in your life when you decided to become a designer and how did you proceed?

Marv Castillo – I have been drawing since I was 4 years old and I designing since the age of 13 years old. So, I always had an interest in art and design. When I was like 13 years old, I had a band with some friends and I created the logo using Adobe Photoshop. Back then, MySpace was like the ultimate platform for music so I created a profile for that band and after looking at other band’s profiles – like Metallica, Megadeth, Green Day and even Lady Gaga – I forced myself to make the design that made our band look like those artists, something that put it on that level and make people believe that we were something real – with history. That band was my first experience with graphic design since I did everything related to branding, promotional artwork and album cover art. People thought that we were a band with trajectory, they sent us fan pictures, and we got over 16,000 contacts because of how the design made us look because we never released any music. I wanted to be a designer after that.

Designer Interview With Marv Castillo

When I turned 20, after studying one career, my parents made me go to engineering school, and I was there about four months, I hated it and I told them I was going to leave engineering school so I can go to a design school instead, where I studied Advertising Design.

The Logo Creative – What does your day consist of?

Marv Castillo – The standard day is: I get up, I make coffee or tea, I get ready for work, I go to the agency and while I’m doing so I see every billboard and every piece that I can. I work on my tasks, get lunch and after that, I keep working on my tasks. After work, I go home and hang out with my girlfriend, eat dinner with a friend or go to a MO Project meeting. However, days are not the same, there’s always something different, I may go to an event or something else.

Weekends are always a surprise.

The Logo Creative – What was the first logo you ever designed?

Marv Castillo – The first actual logo was for Acorny Co. which is a t-shirt company. It’s a very simple logo, created in the time where people used letters, symbols, and numbers to create emoticons. I used the “{“ symbol and a “D” to create a acorn in a simple way that may be recreated by people, hopefully, like the Nike swish or the Apple logo.

Designer Interview With Marv Castillo1

The Logo Creative – What is your favourite Logo you have designed?

Marv Castillo – I really like my first logo, but I think I have to choose the Burg Studio logo because it contains a good amount of elements in one simple symbol.

Designer Interview With Marv Castillo

The Logo Creative – What is your favourite Logo of all time?

Marv Castillo – Apple by a mile. It’s easy to digest (no pun intended), bold, and iconic. It has a lot of history and it’s a symbol that doesn’t need to be changed, everybody knows it and its one of those effective logos with power and life on its own. People sometimes buy some of the worst and most expensive products just because it has that logo stamped on them.

Apple Logo Design

The Logo Creative – Can you describe or give us an overview of your logo design process?

Marv Castillo – I sent my potential client a questionnaire where I ask them what is their business about, what they like, what they don’t like, if they want to rebrand, if they want the logo or they want a brand book with every file and stuff like that. Also, there’s questions about their budget to see if we can move on the project or if I have to pass.

Once the person/company completes the questionnaire, we discuss the answers to have a better idea of what the design should for their brand.

I follow the brief and start doing a lot of research. I make a mood board with images, patterns, marks and references given by the client or with things is consider important for the design. I read the words and turn their essence into symbols by sketching A LOT. Sometimes I get the final logo with my first idea, but I have to make sure I will give the less risky design. I sketch about 50 logo proposals just because my job is to reduce risk and give something timeless.

After the research and sketching phase is done, I open Adobe Illustrator and start working on the logo proposals, always in black. Then, I choose a color palette for the brand and add it to the logo. When this is all done, I use the logo in some mockups to show how it would in real life and create a nice presentation for the client with the proposals.

Then, revisions and feedback. After that, I deliver the final design if there’s something they needed to fix something.

The Logo Creative – In your opinion regarding Logo Design pricing do you prefer working on a fixed rate or customer budget and can you explain why?

Marv Castillo – Fixed. It’s complicated because of the people I have worked with. Sometimes I get a big construction company and sometimes I have to work with a musician. Both of them, obviously have different needs for their brand and I can’t charge the same. Sometimes you get huge clients who have been in the business for years and you can’t charge the same amount you would charge to someone who is just starting out. What I’m trying to say is I never work on customer budget, only on project fees. Also, I avoid working on hourly/daily rates.

The Logo Creative – How long does it take to complete the average logo design project from start to finish?

Marv Castillo – About a week or two, depending on the company. But I prefer to spend at least 7 days working on the logo design and be completely sure about it. Applications and brand book takes more time depending on the size of the company and their needs.

The Logo Creative – Are you a MAC or PC User and is there a reason for your choice?

Marv Castillo – MAC user. I used PC to design and it didn’t work out for me by the time I started working at an agency. Of course, I used the wrong PC to design, it didn’t have enough RAM and things design software needs to run properly, but I can run Adobe software on a 4GB RAM MacBook Air with no struggles. Also, the software created by Adobe is made to be used with a MAC keyboard.

The Logo Creative – Which software do you use frequently?

Marv Castillo – Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, Adobe After Effects, Adobe Animate, Final Cut, Keynote, and Blender.

The Logo Creative – What is your favourite style of logo design? And why?

Marv Castillo – The icon. I love to see how a shape summarizes everything and has the essence of the company.

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The Logo Creative – What is your daily inspiration when you design?

Marv Castillo – I see everything. Sure, I can go to Behance or Pinterest and look for design inspiration, but I get inspiration by reading, watching movies, documentaries and things in the street or at work. I also love to see people working on projects that they’re passionate for.

The Logo Creative – In your opinion what’s the best and worst part of your job been a designer?

Marv Castillo – The best part is that I learn about everything. Years ago I didn’t know pretty much anything about cars and now that I design for Chevrolet I need to know a lot about cars. I need to understand their models, characteristics, and all that jazz. I’ve worked with restaurants, musicians, production companies and I always get something out of it.

Also, it makes me really proud when I see the design in a place that is not my computer. That is one of the best feelings when you’re a designer. The worst part is that sometimes I work too much, but that’s my own fault. I like to work on what I do until I end up exhausted.

Designer Interview With Marv Castillo

The Logo Creative – Who is the most inspiring person to you and why?

Marv Castillo – My dad. He gave everything for my family even in the toughest times. He always makes huge sacrifices and he taught me everything I know, from being someone who is good managing my own money (he is a stockbroker) to a person that always thinks about the wellness of the people around me.

The Logo Creative – Who is your favourite Graphic Designer and why?

Marv Castillo – Aaron Draplin. He is a huge talent and he is an extremely humble person who loves to share his knowledge with fellow designers. Draplin is someone who is never comfortable, he just keeps on looking for stuff to do and design to offer to the world. He’s the best.

The Logo Creative – What’s your favourite design quote?

Marv Castillo – “If you do good work for good clients, it will lead to other good work for other good clients. If you do bad work for bad clients, it will lead to other bad work for other bad clients.” – Michael Beirut

Designer Interview With Marv Castillo_Fav Quote

The Logo Creative – In less than 10 words what is graphic design?

Marv Castillo – Bringing ideas into reality.

The Logo Creative – What steps did you take to start your graphic design business? Did you have to make any sacrifices on your journey?

Marv Castillo – I had to stop playing around and being an illustrator for a while in order to learn more about graphic design through locking myself to read, learn, and practice. Then, I had to show people what I can do in order to get clients. Also, I learned how to present my work and how much I had to charge for it. There are business aspects I had to learn with time, and I had to work long hours to get where I am, but I would definitely do it again. I don’t consider it a sacrifice, just a hard step that will led me where I want to be.

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The Logo Creative – Do you have any regrets? Is there anything you would have changed early on in your career?

Marv Castillo – Trusting in the wrong people and accepting mediocre design only to finish a job in a faster way.

The Logo Creative – If you could go back in time, what would you tell your younger self?

Marv Castillo – Work harder, be patient, cherish your family and friends and always believe in what you can do without listening what people may say about your goals and decisions, as cliché and dumb as it may sound. I spent years studying something that didn’t appeal to me just to please some people and to fit in a certain group instead of just going to design school after I got out of high school. I lost a lot of time.

The Logo Creative – What’s the most important piece of advice you have received as a designer that’s helped you?

Marv Castillo – Not to be just an order taker. I had a boss who always told me to participate in pitches and share my opinion about something. Also: never design for myself, design for the client.

The Logo Creative – What would be your advice for new Logo and Graphic Designers?

Marv Castillo – Never feel too comfortable with your work. Always try to deliver something better than the last time and every time you get the chance, deliver the unexpected. Surprise people in the best way. Also, learn the business of design.

learn more about Marv Castillo | Behance | Instagram |

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