Mark Alvarado Discusses Graphic Design Adrian Rubin May 16, 2018 Start Ups, The Arts 74 3 minute readThe San Francisco-based graphic designer, Mark Alvarado has spent much of the last decade building one of the most impressive and respected freelance graphic designers in the U.S. The UCLA graduate has spent a significant amount of his time seeking out new technologies and making sure his work is always of the highest possible quality. As a student, Alvarado wanted to make sure his studies prepared him for every aspect of his proposed business career including his impressive work as an entrepreneur. Mark Alvarado has always been willing to train with the very best in his field and learn to become one of the leading graphic designers of his generation. To prepare for the career, he is now enjoying; Mark made sure to intern with as many of the top graphic designers in California over the course of his college studies. The willingness to develop his skills has led to the top archer to repay the training he received by working with a range of startups who would usually not be able to work with a designer of Alvarado’s reputation. As a leading member of the Californian design community, Mark Alvarado San Francisco resident allows him to work with technology-based companies from nearby Silicon Valley. After beginning his career in 2007, Alvarado has now reached a position of success which allowed him to purchase a second home in Texas where he indulges his love of the outdoor life. How did you get started in graphic design? I always had an interest in art at school and made my way to UCLA to study design. I graduated UCLA in 2007 and had built up a large number of hours as an intern before I got my first job developing the branding for a tech startup in Silicon Valley. My business has grown from there, and I have continued to take as many projects as I can from startups across California. What form of marketing do you use? When I was setting out on my career, I explored a lot of different marketing options but got most of my business from word of mouth. Many tech startups can be found in San Francisco and found myself at the heart of the industry simply by living in the right part of the country. After my first job, I found startups would contact me looking for a designer and simply tell those they worked with about my skills. As a freelancer, I like the kind of advertising which is free, and I’ve found a large amount of work has come to me from Linkedin and Instagram. Are you looking to extend any marketing ideas? I think Instagram is going to be the major trend for designers in the next few years. I think any sector of the arts lends itself to Instagram, particularly design which can be viewed quickly on mobile devices or larger screens. Do you use a lot of technology? Does this cause problems? I like to start my designs in a traditional way using paper and a pencil, but then I do have to use a computer to create a design usable for many different outlets. Graphic design does need hefty investments to be made in new software and hardware on a pretty regular basis which can be difficult to fund at times. I enjoy learning new technologies, and the changing world of design is a sector I love exploring. What trends excite you for the future? Without a doubt, artificial intelligence is changing everything in technology. I’ve been working with a startup looking to bring design into AI in a positive way, and I’m excited about what I’ve seen. Do you find time to relax? Freelance work is stressful and time-consuming, but I recently employed two graphic designers to work in my San Jose office space, so I have freed up more spare time. I enjoy archery in my spare time and recently bought a house in Texas where I can enjoy the outdoors. After completing some renovations my home is now a perfect place to spend my free time. Who are your business heroes? I work in a technological sector, and one of my heroes is Sir James Dyson who has designed a range of different technologies. Dyson is a hero because of his design skills, creative mind, and entrepreneurial spirit. Do you have any advice for your fellow entrepreneurs? You have got to believe in yourself because there will be some dark times during your entrepreneurial journey. Staying strong when everything and most people tell you to throw in the towel is an important skill to develop.