I was born and raised in Mexico City. Won my first creative award at age eight (I think). Got past through High Schoolwith minimal effort and a passing grade good enough to get me into college and earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design from Universidad Anahuac — an old-school education, all things considered being 1995 and all.
In 1999 I chased after my then-girlfriend (now wife and UnderConsideration conspirator), Bryony, who had moved to Portfolio Center in Atlanta, GA. I landed a job at what was then known as USWeb/CKS, which then turned into the marchFIRST behemoth at the cusp of the internet boom. My contribution to the web landscape was minimal (thank goodness, I think) but the inclination towards the internet was well fostered in me in those short and fast two years. During the last six months of our stay in Hotlanta I taught typeface design — the subject of my undergrad thesis — for three quarters at Portfolio Center.
As the internet bubble burst our days in the South were quickly numbered. In 2001, we moved to Chicago, IL.In the Midwest I found a job in a small design firm called Norman Design. The lack of power in numbers forced me to do many things myself and the three years and change that I was there proved to be quite the formative years for me as a real designer. (As opposed to the lax designer I grew accustomed to at marchFIRST). It was also in Chicago that Speak Up came to be.
With some free time to daydream in the subway I realized that the internet had nothing to offer traditional graphic designers. Only flashy stuff and three-dimensional exploding polygons filled in for what graphic design was supposed to be in those years and it became obvious to me that something had to give. Enter MovableType. Add some free time due to snow storms in the winter, an itch to keep exploring web design and some tireless e-mailing pointing to it and Speak Up was born in September of 2002 with no authors, no audience and no real focus. The rest is, as they say, history.
In 2005, Bryony and I decided to move to New York, for no other reason than it was New York and we wanted to be there. After some trials and tribulations — being from Mexico, I legally had to have a job in order to stay in the U.S. and find someone to sponsor my work visa, a feat not easily accomplished, specially during the tail-end of an economic downturn — I was welcomed to Decker Design, a firm with an appetite for annual reports where I had my first taste of such practice. After a short six months there I joined Pentagram, working with partner Michael Bierut. My first day there was accompanied by happy news of my accepted application for a Green Card. Meaning, I was here to stay. Two-and-a-half years later I would leave this golden opportunity to focus on the growth of UnderConsideration.
Since the launch of Speak Up many nice things have happened: I have met great people (some of whom are close and dear friends now), worked on wonderful projects, written about interesting subjects, got included in the Cooper-Hewitt’s third triennial Design Life Now, spoken publicly on many things and in many places, launched three more web sites (Brand New, Quipsologies and The Design Encyclopedia) under the UnderConsideration umbrella (plus an anonymous and heavily visited web site!), and have found a home in Brooklyn, New York — and a family with our daughter Maya.
In April of 2009, despite thinking that we would call New York home for a long time, we uprooted and moved to Austin, Texas — where we plan to stay for a long time and continue shaking the design profession from the ground up.
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