Julio Martínez is a designer, illustrator, and educator living in San Francisco, California.

Julio Martínez is a designer, illustrator, and teacher living in San Francisco, California.

Partner and Creative Director at studio1500, in charge of various brand development projects. Previously at Pentagram (SF Office) and a Design Volunteer at Taproot Foundation.

Currently a Lecturer in the Department of Design at San José State University, and director of Design Spectrum.

Constantly exploring digressions in illustration and typography at the-lines.com.

Occasionally writing about the design process in Medium.

Occasionally writing about the design process in Medium.


Originally born in México City, Julio and his family moved to San Francisco in 1990. He received a BFA from San José State University in 2001, where he also studied painting, drawing & illustration. Upon graduation, he spent several years at Pentagram, working on various branding, print, packaging, exhibit, and web design projects. He also worked extensively as an independent designer interested in community-oriented organizations.

Currently, he is a co-founder and creative director at studio1500, a design firm founded in 2007 that focuses on building collaborative relationships with partners large and small. His clients have included the Computer History Museum, the San Francisco Arts Commission, Aspen Digital, Golden Gate Park, Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley, BART, SFJAZZ Center, Berkeley Art Center, UC Berkeley Haas School of Business, XEROX Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), La Cocina, SF Indiefest, and many others.

Julio is also a Lecturer in the Design Department at San José State University, teaching a wide range of foundation-level classes—from introduction to typography to fundamental graphic visualization to experimental image-making. 

For six years, he served as the Diversity Chair for the AIGA SF Board of Directors, working on a range of initiatives aimed at introducing design principles to minority youth. He has discussed education, design, and diversity on several instances, both local (AIGASF Profile, Inneract Project, Letterform Archive, Cha Cha Cha Podcast) and national (Design Observer, AIGA SHIFT Educators Conference, Type Directors Club, Google Art & Culture). 

After his tenure at AIGA, he launched Design Spectrum, an independent initiative that connects SJSU design students with various organizations in the Bay Area.

©2022 Julio Martínez. Typeface: Elisetta, by Sudtipos