Marc English : Design


“Marc is a real designers’s designer — he’s fearless.“

DJ Stout, partner : Pentagram

“As a filmmaker, I recognize the authenticity of Marc’s visual storytelling.”

Richard Linklater, director : Detour Film Productions

“He’s the closest thing we have in [design] to Johnny Cash.”

Matthew Porter : Step Inside Design magazine

“So you know I not excited when you say someone in America and in Texas will make design for us that is suitable for Thai people. I think that person know nothing about Thai and we get design with cowboys and George Bush. If you show me this without me knowing anything, I would say someone Thai made them. I think they fit Thai people well.”

The above from a client, a member of the ethnic minority Thai, for a research project in Vietnam in which we were involved — Families and Communities in Transition (FACT), Penn State.

The fact is, our objective is to always be genuine, to be authentic, to be true to the spirit of the project and responsible to the audience. That our audiences have spanned the country, the globe, as well as any number of industries should underscore to our new clients how much we care about telling their story, in a way that reaches their tribe.

It's never about us, but about you. That said, our process of understanding authenticity is very much our own. It is born of living — and working — a certain way.

We are pleased our clients and colleagues have offered up the following words to testify in agreement of that certain way.

I trust Marc to do the right thing and I give him enough room to do so. Marc is great to work with and his ideas are always on target. I find his commitment to a project ensures that every detail is well thought out and executed. As a film-maker, I recognize the authenticity of Marc’s visual storytelling. I value his input and look forward to working with him again.

Richard Linklater, director : Detour Film Productions

“Criterion’s version may be the most attractive package they’ve ever put out. It’s the shit. I would be in awe of it even if it held a movie I didn’t like. It's got a beautiful design.”

Hi Marc,
I'd like to echo the above sentiments from a blogger. I couldn’t be more pleased with the way the package turned out. Everything about it is a delight to the eye. You managed to use BOTH my favorite cover designs, one on the box, the other on the disc holder fold-out. And I love the split photo of the gas station as you open the fold-out. And everything is so clean and simple.

Anyway, thanks very much for your integral contribution to the success of the DVD.

All the best, Monte Hellman, director

Wow. Let me just say, they do amazing work. I LOVE THEM. It takes a lot to get me excited after 10 years here, but Marc totally ‘gets it’. The best DVD packaging considers the entire concept of the production. Marc English Design is a perfect choice because they understand that presenting the world of each film is essential. The care and consideration with which each and every element is designed, makes it very clear how much they understand each movie. And we love their design as much as we love the films. Their design is the kind of presentation that involves the viewer and fan of the film; there are many tidbits to discover and make connections to. Just perfect. Marc English Design rocks savage.

Susan Arosteguy, producer : The Criterion Collection

I was very impressed by your work on Where Flavor Was Born. Having worked so hard researching and writing the book, I am always very nervous when, suddenly, the baby is in someone else's hands. What will happen? Will the designers see my project? How will they raise and nurture my baby on its way to adulthood and a place of its own in public? I found that you really saw the material and managed to create a palette for the palate, to communicate my stories and those of my photographer, and to present the book with a personality that was at the same time friendly, accessible, confident and unique. Chapeau! [hat’s off!]

Andreas Viestad, chef/author/host of New Scandinavian Cooking

Marc’s work exudes honesty, confidence and originality. He manages to surpass expectations. I’m not very glib, but his work is really fucking fantastic.

Tommy Davis, director : Quito Malo Productions

Working with Marc English Design has been key in our worldwide expansion. With their passionate and professional work we have been able to deliver a consistent visual image in all the countries we cover. With trade shows in Europe, Canada, Australia and the U.S., our corporate identity has been essential to establish a strong brand and presence with our customers. As of today, we use Marc English Design’s output on a daily basis: from our office design to our web site, including recent multimedia promotional tools.

Guillaume Deudon, Vice President Worldwide Marketing : Sharing Technologies, Inc.

Marc is a real designer’s designer — he’s fearless. If he has an idea for a design, he'll push it. A lot of designers won’t do that for fear of losing the job. Marc has an affective quality of getting people outside of design excited about it, and he does a lot of good for graphic design by sticking to his guns and speaking to the fact that design isn’t just decoration.

DJ Stout, partner : Pentagram

Marc English is an acquired taste — kind of like unfiltered Camels, jalapeño peppers, and tequila for breakfast. This writer first got a “taste” of English when I saw and heard him clank into a room at The American Institute of Graphic Arts/Austin’s infamous Design Ranch wearing more metal and leather than Mad Max while performing a version of that kitsch kuntry classic, Turkey in the Straw, that made everyone ashamed of themselves. But, like a lot of things you shouldn’t have, once you’ve had a little snort of English, you’re kind of hooked. He’s the closest thing we have in AIGA to Johnny Cash.

Matthew Porter, contributing writer : Step Inside Design magazine

Working with Marc English Design is an adventure in creativity, vocabulary, texture, color and design. Whether discussing my company’s web site, our brand, identity materials, or sales tools, MED has provided exceptional service and results that surpass expectations. They respond to every request with thoughtful consideration of our brand message and how each element interrelates to those projects completed or those yet to come. I truly enjoy our playful exchanges, bristling disagreements and ever-evolving understanding of each other’s ways of thinking about design. I can truly say I consider MED a partner in our business success.

Colleen Challenger, Vice President of Marketing :

We have collaborated with the highly creative Marc English Design team for five years composing our annual reports. They were brilliant in their artistry blending design, photo-illustration, copy and overall image to produce a quality and timely piece reflective of our high technology company. Year after year, we have relied upon Marc and his team for innovative ways to bring our message to investors, customers, employees and business partners.

Richard S. Chilinski, Sr. Vice President and Chief Financial Officer : Xetel Corporation_

When transforming the Fiesta art Festival to The Austin Fine Arts Festival, the AMOA Guild undertook the serious responsibility of changing a 51-year Austin tradition. While we embraced the opportunity to revamp the event, we wanted the festival to maintain a uniquely Austin flavor. Luckily, Marc English Design is a crossing guard at the intersection of culture and community in Austin. They created a distinctly Austin feel to the campaign for the 2001 Festival, which bridged the fine arts character of the festival with the reality of laid back Austin. Their design work creates, not just reflects, the cultural aesthetic of Austin.

Jacqui Schradd, Director : Austin Museum of Art Guild

Marc English Design succeeded in re-creating our corporate identity where others tried and failed for over a year. It’s tough coming up with an image that communicates “film” without the clichéd images of film strip, reel, projector; and one that communicates “Austin” without the clichéd river, bridge, hills; but Marc English Design never got bogged down by unoriginal thinking. Our new logo seemed to emerge naturally, after they listened carefully to our staff and board, and took time to experience our activities and understand us. The result was a logo that captured and reflected our essence — the beauty of light through celluloid — without constricting our business possibilities. Because of their talent, commitment and fearlessness, I firmly believe they can handle the needs of any enterprise, from the humblest to the grandest.

Rebecca Campbell, Director : Austin Film Society

Marc English is not your typical designer. That’s a good thing, because Girlstart is not your typical nonprofit. We needed someone who could understand our vision, in all its quirkiness and uniqueness. Marc got to know us the way you get to know a new friend: If you were as TV show, what would you be? If you were a superhero, what would your superpower be? What kind of music do you like? What are your favorite colors? It makes perfect sense. Understanding a company is about understanding its culture. Our culture reflects our mission: we are here to empower girls. That is an extremely important message we are trying to impart to people. That's what Marc English Design did for Girlstart. They didn't just create an identity for us — they learned who we were and designed an identity as intriguing, magnificent and unique as every girl we serve.

That was exactly what we wanted to communicate.

Rachel Muir, Director : Girlstart

Marc English Design gave us a rare combination of marketing savvy, spiritual understanding and creative insight. Being a new church in Austin, we presented their team with a unique challenge of communicating the church's unchanging message in a culturally significant manner. Marc English Design delivered. Big. They helped us see between the cracks and illuminated the ways unchurched people perceive church. They take their work very seriously without taking themselves too seriously. They were a pleasure to work with and learn from.

Mac Richard, Pastor : Lake Hills Church

Marc is able to capture something that is often forgotten about in modern society: an original idea. He manages to find the soul of the subject at hand and brings shape and color to the ideas that represent it.

Andy Melvin, Pastor of the Arts : Lake Hills Church

Marc English is a phenomenal talent. Always working within a constrained budget, he nonetheless made each piece distinctive and noteworthy. His easy-going temperament made for a productive exchange of ideas and, most of all, he knows when to listen. We could always count on him to produce a design that was highly original, yet not overdone; that carried the message, without shouting; and that communicated effectively, the final test.

Sandra Gregor, Executive Director : Texas Fine Arts Association

I knew that Marc would inspire, delight and push the edges of our package design.

He delivered with passion. His packaging designs are authentic and evocative, reflecting the origin and tradition of our favorite food artisans. The designs not only successfully stand out on a cluttered grocery aisle (a challenge in itself these days) but also live beautifully in the pantry of Whole Foods Market customers.

Patty Fair, team leader | creative services : Whole Foods Market Private Label

I used to think the whole idea of self promotion was dirty. Speaking as someone who avoided it for so many years I can firmly say that humble position is bullshit. If you do good work and contribute to the quality of design and art, people should hear about it.

I admire how comfortable you are speaking about design and appreciate how you force people to view/discuss design from an honest perspective. Too many designers speak to themselves. I think that we have more to offer than that.

I do wish some people would shut up, but you add a real level of credibility and fun to the practice.

David Kohler, creative director : Addison

. . . This glorious, hyper-creative cavalcade of all things Marc English — his lifetime essence, outlandish explanation, and never-ending quest to discover as much cool as his soul can hold — is as clear a glimpse into the soul of self-described “design shaman” Marc English as anyone with half a mind and a working knowledge of midnight fancies and south-of-the-border (any border) rambles could ever bear. Really, you might want to wear a welder's visor and some chain mail just to be on the safe side; in his hands, “design theory” is a radical, insurrectionist weapon. Joe Strummer would’ve dug this cat, but good. . .

His identity both as a human being and an artist is XXL life. Austin filmmaker/writer Cary Roberts has rightly called him “the Stanley Kubrick of design.” He fairly burns with passion for his life and work, and he wants you to burn, too. No sparks or embers here. English is a conflagration of design theory, overwhelming talent, and experimentalism, and his work with Criterion meets at the dirty crossroads of the artistic truth of what has been entrusted to him and the bottom line, the movement of “product,” the allure of the dream made [true], at midnight, beneath a full moon, with pistols and blood well spent. His aim is truest. . . .

With Marc English, you get what you pay for and whoa, Nelly, so much more.

Marc Savlov, writer : Austin Chronicle

Take it as professional respect, acknowledgment of a job well done, knowing how much it takes to just come to work much less end up in ink, tow the party line, and of course my way of saying thanks on behalf of designers everywhere for making us look good. If we are fighting a war of mediocrity in our arena, you my friend, are gripping the fucking flag at Iwo Jima!

Jim Mousner, principal : Origin Design

You’re the man!

Quentin Tarantino, director : A Band Apart