My name is Julio Martínez. I'm a designer, illustrator, and educator living in San Francisco, California.

My name is Julio Martínez. I am 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

Occasionally writing about the design process in Medium.

Occasionally writing about the design process in Medium.


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

I am 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. My clients have included the Computer History Museum, the San Francisco Arts Commission, Aspen Digital, Golden Gate Park, the Commonwealth Club, the 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.

I am 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, I 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. Over the years, I got the opportunity to discuss topics related to education, design, and diversity on several instances, both in local places  (AIGASF Profile, Inneract Project, Letterform Archive, Cha Cha Cha Podcast) and national publications  (Design Observer, AIGA SHIFT Educators Conference, Type Directors Club, Google Art & Culture). After my tenure at AIGA, I launched Design Spectrum, an independent initiative that connects SJSU design students with various organizations in the Bay Area.

©2023 Julio Martínez. Typeface: Elisetta, by Sudtipos