Duration: Five years.
Location: Mexico City, Mexico.
Key creatives: Bernabé Romero, BFA in graphic design and visual communication, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City, Mexico.
Career path: Curiosity is what led me to brand design. I’ve always liked exploring all areas of knowledge, and if you look at the world as though you were learning things for the first time, you can find everything fascinating. It is so hard to find a career where you can practice this every day.
When I was in high school, I liked the idea of communicating messages through simple shapes, and that’s what led me to study design. But once I entered college, I gravitated to branding and identity design. I discovered that to develop a good brand, you need a deep understanding of each project. And to get that understanding, you need to learn things that you would not normally be interested in. The idea of learning new things from other disciplines while doing something that I love is what drives me to create great brands to this day.
Now, our team at Manifiesto creates brands for all kinds of clients: restaurants, tech companies, real estate and development, nonprofit organizations, manufacturers and the cultural sector, among others. As brand designers, we love that we get to work in a wide variety of disciplines. We do research, creative direction, naming, identity design, web design and photography. The cool thing about getting to design brands is that we can see how all these elements come alive and how the users or customers of each brand interact with them.
Artistic influences: I would say that pop culture influences what we do, but I wouldn’t narrow it down solely to that. History itself is what fuels our approach. We always try to put ourselves in our clients’ shoes and understand their cultural backgrounds to know how their brands will get in touch with their users. Once we get this, we can select from the infinite options that history holds to inspire a new idea and transform it into something unique. Some of our projects have been inspired by artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat or Jackson Pollock. Others have been inspired by music, dancing or even cartoons.
Favorite projects: Boca and Pipiris Fries. Boca was the first project we saw come to life—and the first where the client started using our designs as we’d intended. Pipiris Fries was such a fun project, so it immediately became a lovemark. Also, we love both of these projects for what the clients do: Boca has some incredible desserts, and Pipiris Fries has the best loaded fries we have ever eaten.
Work environment: The pandemic has forced our team to work from home, but we try to keep in touch with at least two daily meetings: one at the start and one at the end of the day. We also do some fun online activities at the end of the week. Our talented team has a wide variety of different skills, so this helps us trust each other and know that we can rely on each team member’s talents. Manifiesto is a horizontal organization where everyone on the team can propose and discuss ideas. We like to know what the other team members are working on to help them with ideas and comment about their projects when needed.
Approach: Our deep understanding of each project makes us stand out. We become part of our clients’ teams: not only do we design for them, but we also work as a consultant and sometimes even propose business ideas for their projects. We don’t like to repeat ourselves: even if we have three different restaurant projects, all of them will look unique in their own way. We achieve this by getting to the heart of each project and find a way to make it visible. That’s where our slogan comes from: we shape the invisible.
Aspirations: We can see Manifiesto working with more clients all over the world on an even wider variety of projects. This is the only way we can satiate our curiosity. Opening offices in other countries is a goal we are aiming for. Finally, we’re excited by the idea of adding our first interior design projects to our portfolio in the near term.
Philosophy: Make things happen. Things like budget, time and distance are usually seen as limitations. We don’t care about limitations because we think of them as idea generators to create something unique. Creativity is a tool to solve problems, after all, and we always make the best out of what we have. There is always a way to make things happen.