We had the good fortune of connecting with santiago cantillo and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi santiago, every day, we about how much execution matters, but we think ideas matter as well. How did you come up with the idea for your business?
As independent freelance designers since 2000, our team joined forces in 2013, when Wynwood was just starting to develop. We worked together in the area and as graphic designers by trade, we were constantly inspired by the art and artists around us. We had the opportunity to get to know a number of muralists and artists in the area. We also had opportunities where client’s were seeking artists to collaborate with. We noticed there was a place in the market to help artists garner these opportunities and for us to connect them with brands, galleries, venues and event opportunities. We began assisting artists with creating their digital portfolios and assisting them with fine-tuning their respective brands. We dealt with a wide range of artists and thus our name is Mixed Media Collective. Years later, we still quietly assist artists’ in their endeavors. Though branding and graphic design is, and has always been in the forefront of our business, we are a multi-disciplinary studio of designers, developers and thinkers. We believe that visual story telling is an art form. We aim to tell visual stories through branding whether it be an artist, a small business, a hotel, a restaurant, or developer. We believe that exceptional visual’s are essential in communicating and connecting to people. Because of this belief, we take a tailor-made, individual-based approach toward each project. This approach ensures that the product is as unique as the individual or business. We elevate brands and organizations beyond design; we integrate the brand to give it a real-world presence. Being strategic, original and memorable is at the top of our to-do list daily. With a passion for supporting businesses we believe in, our goal is longevity in our work as well as in our partnerships. Art and design may not change the world, but it sure can make it look better.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
We feel as if graphic design is literally everywhere. From the street signs to price tags. In our every day life, we realize most things we see has as aspect of graphic design in it. We are always inspired by what we see around us, the visuals that have made an impact throughout history. As creatives, we thrive when presented with a challenge. It has not always been easy to discover a style as designers and once we did, we still had to recognize that its essential to design for others. Despite what we may feel might be best for us, it’t always about what the necessary for the client, their goals, their market and audience and what the brand calls for. We’ve learned that problem solving is more important than just making something look “pretty” it’s about what psychologically works visually and aesthetically as well. Our client’s are our partners and we share the same goal… to visually tell the brand story effectively.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If our best friend was visiting the area and we wanted to recommend places to eat, drink, visit and hang out it would be difficult to narrow down locations since theres a little bit of everything here in Miami based on what you like. We personally enjoy the outdoors so we would suggest spending a day exploring the Everglades starting at the Earnest C. Coe center and taking it down to Flamingo. There are so many trails and beautiful areas that are ever changing, it’s an incredible place to explore, especially during the fall and winter months. Upon leaving the Everglades, theres a small Mexican food truck and outdoor restaurant called Los Potosinos. We have eaten a ton of Mexican food not only in Mexico but locally. This place has been there forever and if you want an incredible Torta… this is the place to go. We always recommend stopping by Robert is Here for smoothies and fresh produce as well. For a more lively evening, we have been working with Joia Beach and it feels like visiting Tulum. It’s like taking a tropical vacation on an island since it’s outside. The food is amazing and so is the vibe. Our office is in Little Havana so it has our heart and we wouldn’t let a tourist leave without visiting our friends at Doce, Ball and Chain and Los Altos. Lastly for dining, we are obsessed with anything by Chef Adrianne Calvo anything by Brad Kilgore, our friends at Sherwoods and Morgans are a must! If in the Sunset area, Fiola, and don’t leave without getting chocolates at Garcia Nevett nearby.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are so many people and businesses in the community that have helped us grow over the years. They have trusted us wholeheartedly to take their brand and give it a look, feel and personality. Since 2013 we have worked with brands and clients from small local makers, to restaurants, to venues, to large cities, art districts and developers. Each and every one has given us a chance to create and has trusted us. We don’t see our “clients” as “clients”, we view them as “partners” for the simple fact that we grow with them and they grow with us. We have relationships with certain companies that have been with us since day one…and all of them have given us something to be proud of and grow from.

Website: https://mixedmediacollective.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mixedmediacollective AND our new shop for odds & ends https://www.instagram.com/thenowherecollective/
Other: Branding and Design Agency www.mixedmediacollective.com Online Shop for odds and ends from apparel to home goods www.thenowherecollective.com

Image Credits
Photos by Mixed Media Collective

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