March Entrepreneur Spotlight: Marco John Design

It’s been said that like minded people work well together.  However, when creative minds come together, they have power to share their unique vision and build incredible elements in this world.  As with the case of Marco Manansala, founder and head of the Marco John Design, he talks about the importance of branding for business and how creating an image for others has become his own.

Recently completed packaging design for one of Marco John Design's European clients, Scaramouche & Fandango, a high-end men's skin care brand

Recently completed packaging design for one of Marco John Design’s European clients, Scaramouche & Fandango, a high-end men’s skin care brand

A native to Los Angeles, Marco stumbled onto his passion through necessity and exploration.  While in college double majoring in Civil and Mechanical Engineering, Marco began graphic designing as a hobby for friends and family as a way to pay for his school tuition and expenses.  He was simply helping those he knew create marketable visuals for their businesses and projects.  It didn’t take the completion of his college degree for him to figure out that his right brain had just as much potential than left brain was giving him credit for.  What started out as a side gig later developed into his own business after making the decision to change majors to study graphic design.  Now his company, Marco John Design, is a full-fledged branding and design studio.  [MJD’s] goal is to create brands that visually stand out from competitors, giving even the smallest start-ups the ability to compete with larger brands. This stems from the understanding that all creative work must begin with an idea. Without an idea, a design is merely something that looks good. Ideas are what generate interest and connections with the target market. Designs on the other hand should support the brand and its goals. This is how businesses stay consistent, and consistency is one important aspect of any successful brand.”

As with any new business owner, starting the business is not always the challenge until you learn that you have to actually run it.  “I would have loved for someone to tell me how much time and effort it takes to maintain the back-end of the business. The branding and design [are] the easy parts. It’s running the business that creates the headaches.” And even though challenges arise from time to time, he finds that having an imaginative people working with him and support friends and family, makes the obstacles less daunting of a task to tackle.  It’s been through trial and error that Marco has been able to perfect his both his craft and his business affairs. Such improvements and self teaching has lead to much of his success and relationships with a number of companies.

Marco John Design has worked “..with several local, national and international brands in the automotive, real estate, music, service, health and beauty, restaurant, non-profit, scholastic, construction, spirits/wines, and engineering fields.” It’s through of word of mouth that the company has garnered such respect and business from other companies in a variety of industries.  In spite of the service and education he provides to his clients, he continues to see businesses, small business particularly, make mistakes when it comes to branding.  That is, businesses do nothing in the way of branding their companies.  They focus on marketing, and not the direction and message of their business.  “Keep in mind, that a smart business will always invest in branding and marketing. However, a successful business will invest in idea-driven branding and marketing. Having an idea in place before attacking the problem leads to better results, more PR and lower costs. ” 

In the four years Marco John Design has be operational, Marco has learn to let his business speak for itself.  When you have something great and a committed team on board constantly pushing the envelop, the hype doesn’t matter.  The lessons matter.  The experience and self education matter.  And it’s always found on an unexpected journey. 

“For those ready to work with a friendly and helpful team of Creatives that will involve them in every step of the process, they can reach us at hello@marcojohndesign. Viewers can also follow us on facebook at and on twitter at twitter/MarcoJohnDesign.”

{photo credit: Matthew Joseph Photography}


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