Mark Alvarado has been one of the leading graphic designers in California for more than a decade and has already made his presence on the national and international stage felt. Alvarado spent his college years at the impressive UCLA and made sure he was fully prepared to take on a role as a freelance graphic designer by combining his artistic studies with those designed to prepare him as an entrepreneur and user of the latest computer technology. Mark Alvarado San Francisco resident currently divides his time between his home city and a small home in Texas he uses to get back to nature. For Mark Alvarado, the desire to push his freelance career forward has pushed him to become one of the top young graphic designers and brand specialists in the crowded market of the U.S.
What do you do?
The job of a graphic designer has changed over the short decade, or so I have been in in the sector. In the past, I was employed to launch a brand for a specific campaign meaning my work was focused on a single area of a marketing campaign. In 2018, the marketing world has changed, and design has to be capable of working on paper, the small screen of a mobile device, and a larger screen. This can be a challenge but provides problems I do enjoy solving.
How long have you been in business?
I graduated in 2007 from UCLA and set out to be a freelancer from day one. I enjoy my work and have now hit a stage in my career where I can be seen as something of a success and have the opportunity to pick and choose the projects I work on.
Are there any unique challenges in your industry?
As a graphic designer, I am at the fusion of artistic design and computer technology which can be tough to remain on top of. I enjoy learning about new technologies, but this can be a challenge regarding investment and the time it takes to train to use new software and hardware effectively. The more successful I get, the harder it gets to work effectively on training, but I must remain at the cutting edge of the industry.
Do you have any particular challenges that you personally address?
Not really. I think the most difficult thing for me to have done in my career in finance every aspect of it myself. I paid my way through college by working in different part-time jobs and have built my business from the ground up without any financial assistance from family or friends.
Is your industry growing, shrinking or remaining the same?
Graphic design is growing as the Internet is requiring every company to create a specific identity no matter how large or small. The opportunities available in graphic design will grow for the foreseeable future, in my opinion.
How does technology impact your company?
Technology is of major importance to my company as I need to make sure I am always aware of the latest technology being used as the industry standard. My designs are often used for broadcast on TV, and I have to make sure my work is capable of being broadcast positively. In many cases, clients will hear a piece of new technology and ask for their project to be completed using specific software, so I need to understand almost every piece of design software.
Have you ever been to Miami?
As a young man, I rarely left California, but I have now been to Miami on some occasions. I love the vibe of the city and have been on some business trips to a place I enjoy visiting.
What part of Miami?
I’m a graphic designer, so I enjoy walking around the Design District. My travels have taken me to lots of different areas of Miami, such as Miami Beach and Little Havana.
Did you visit any particular locations including restaurants?
Living in California and Texas has me hooked on Mexican food, so I was interested to see the difference between this and Cuban cuisine. A restaurant which stands out in my mind is La Carreta as the food was simple but filled with the flavors of Cuba.
Would you come back?
I will be back. Nothing is booked, but I have some clients in Miami and enjoy the city for its arts and multicultural approach to community.
Was it a business or pleasure trip?
My visits to Miami have been both business and pleasure. My first two trips were for business, and I loved the city so much I headed back for pleasure last Summer.
Where do you see yourself or business in 5 years?
Five years feels like a lifetime, but I hope to head my creative agency. I would like to create an agency with many creative minds specializing in different ways of launching and maintaining various brands from Miami and across the world.