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Use of Graphic Design by Team Manila to bring about National Consciousness

Art, and the love and passion for it, can actually lead into a successful business venture. Check out this local design firm – who knows, maybe you can even work in the same field, if you consider yourself as an artist:

Back in mid 2000s, there was a sudden popularity in these cute and beautifully made graphic designs on t-shirts which concentrated on the Philippines and the quirky aspects of being a Filipino. You would see witty lines or sayings printed on shirts accompanied by technically made designs that will instantly catch one’s attention. These t-shirts gained quite a following and its producers easily obtained popularity. The masterminds behind these t-shirts is Team Manila, which proclaims their line to be a lifestyle brand. Team Manila gained great popularity because of their use of masterful graphic design to print on their shirts.

Team Manila is a multi-disciplinary design studio situated in Manila Philippines. It was founded in 2001 by college friends Jowee Alviar and Mon Punzalan who always had the same design sensibilities and liking the same artists and designers. Their designs mainly caught the attention of the people because of their use of typography, interestingly skewed images, and their play on textures and colors.

It is really remarkable how Team Manila was able in a way, to wake up a certain national consciousness especially among the youth, who are becoming more apathetic every day. It was really great how this brand was able to showcase quirky and eccentric aspects about the Philippines and show it in a way that you will be proud of it. Team Manila have made incredible and wonderful designs about the every day life of a typical Filipino or basically anything about the Philippines.

Some of their more popular designs include graphically designed images of Jose Rizal – the Philippine National Hero. In some designs, one will be able to see Jose Rizal modernized, such as wearing sunglasses and having headphones. Sometimes, there would be accompanied passages which he wrote like, Ang di magmahal sa sariling wika ay mas masahol pa sa malansang isda. Other images would be themes on local street food like fishball, squidball, kikiam, isaw and kwek-kwek. Some images would even be about games children play on the streets or larong kalye. Other designs would simple say or evoke a love for the Philippines.

It is true that the popularity of Team Manila is mainly because of the mastery of their graphic design and the themes surrounding them mostly come second. But people will not wear statements like these if they did not feel true about it in any way. Because of the popularity of their designs, their products have branched out to include wallets, pencil cases, tote bags, stickers, pins and so much more. It is truly amazing how art, specifically graphic design, has paved a way to bring about a certain national consciousness to a country. In the end, it is really remarkable how the designs were really well-received by their fellow Filipinos.