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Rafael Esquer, Principal

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. Clients have included The New York Times Magazine, Kate Spade New York, Nike, Björk, AIGA, The Philip Johnson Glass House, The Houston Rockets, Tommy Boy Records, Target, IBM, Scholastic, International Flavors & Fragrances Inc., Museo del Barrio, and MTV. Some of his work is contained in the Library of Congress poster collection, the Museum of Fine Art in Montreal, the Poster Museum in Poland and the Olympic Museum in Switzerland.

In 2007, Taschen named Esquer one of the world’s 100 most influential graphic designers working today. (Charlotte and Peter Fiell, eds. Contemporary Graphic Design).

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 currently sits on the Advisory Board for AIGA’s Diversity Archives, where in 2010 he curated the first exhibition of the most significant minority graphic designers over the last 100 years. Esquer received his BFA in graphic design from Art Center College of Design. He studied photography in both Mexico City and the School of Visual Arts in New York. He frequently serves as judge and speaker at national and international design events.

Minal Nairi, Senior Designer

Minal joins us from the home of Bollywood, where she designed campaigns for the film industry after earning a bachelor’s degree from Sir J.J. Institute of Applied Art in Mumbai.

Moving from one bustling city to another, Minal earned a Masters in Communications Design at Pratt Institute in New York. At alfalfa studio, she has worked on projects ranging from branding to interactive. Actively involved with projects for the World Council of People’s for the United Nations, online sports networks, amongst others, Minal’s incredible attention to detail and love for typography earned her an apprenticeship with legendary letterform designer, Tony DiSpigna.

Her work can be found in several online and print publications, including Communication Arts.