What keeps the Alfalfa Studio team excited is the challenge of solving complex problems for clients through simplicity, innovation and visual power. Read more

Rafael Esquer, Founder and Creative Director

A native of the Sonora desert of Mexico, Rafael Esquer has made New York City his home for more than 15 years. As Creative Director at radical.media, his group’s work in communication design received the National Design Award in 2004 from the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum.

Esquer now runs Alfalfa Studio, his own design studio, which was established in 2004. He specializes in design for sports, culture and entertainment. Clients have included The New York City Football Club, The NBA’s Houston Rockets, Nike, The City of New York, The New York Times Magazine, AIGA, Kate Spade New York, Björk, Tommy Boy Records, Target, and MTV.

Taschen named Esquer one of the world’s 100 most influential graphic designers working today. (Charlotte and Peter Fiell, eds. Contemporary Graphic Design). His work has been shown at MoMA in New York and is contained in the Library of Congress poster collection, the Museum of Fine Art in Montreal, the Denver Art Museum, the Poster Museum in Poland and the Olympic Museum in Switzerland.

Rafael teaches at the School of Visual Arts, and he has taught at the Art Center College of Design and NYU. He has been a visiting artist in the graduate graphic design program at Yale and served on the board of directors for the American Institute of Graphic Arts/New York.

Esquer received his BFA in graphic design from Art Center College of Design. He is the current President of New York Toastmasters and frequently serves as judge and speaker at national and international design events.

Jesus “Chuy” Ortega, Graphic Designer

Born and raised in Harlem, Chuy’s work is inspired by the grit and energy of New York City. Growing up in the midst of the City of Dreams, Chuy’s visual education was informed by both, low and high culture; from the streets to museums. He earned a Bachelor of Technology in Communication Design from New York City College of Technology, CUNY.

As a bilingual, creative soul, he translated his multifaceted experiences and knowledge in a myriad of projects for clients such as Repertorio Español, Booz | Allen | Hamilton, L&L Holding, and The Goethe Institute.

Chuy is a competitive team player in and out of the field, literally. As a semi-professional soccer player, getting his hands dirty doesn’t phase him one bit. He keeps his eyes on the prize. Want to challenge him in a race? Oops, you already lost.


Celeste Hylton-James, Graphic Designer

Celeste is not one of those graphic designers that took her family by surprise when she decided to pursue image-making as a career. From the time she was a child, she was always caught drawing, painting, or playing instruments, fascinated with self-expression, non-verbal communication, culture, and psychology.

In 2016, she earned her Bachelors of Fine Arts in Integrated Arts and Design from the East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania, a local college where she embraced her love for illustration and symbols. Her work has spanned across multiple digital and analog mediums such as illustration, graphic design, and web design, but mainly her work is inspired by the diversity that surrounds her every day.