Behind the Scenes with TeamManila


How did Team Manila start? Can you introduce the brand, its history and mission to us?

TeamManila is a creative agency with a core service of graphic design and branding, the agency has also established a lifestyle retail brand. TeamManila aims to represent the country within the design community. Seeing the value of design in bringing improvement and order for a better Philippines is what TeamManila believes in.

Since its conception in 2002, TeamManila has been working with a number of established clients such as SM Supermalls, Globe, Nike, Condura, among many others. Eventually it has led to the establishment of TeamManila Lifestyle, a retail brand which is now on its 13th year, followed by other multiple brands such as Daily Grind, Design Dept. Suez & Zapote store.

TeamManila offers a variety of design services ranging from branding, print, packaging, environmental graphics, space, digital, and video production by TeamManila Videos, as a response to the rise of digital content.

TeamManila Lifestyle has always been giving emphasis to Filipino visual culture through creating designs translated into a merchandise collection which is composed of shirts, caps, tote bags, to name a few.

TeamManila has also established its independent store and events space Suez & Zapote which is always open for collaborations.


Who started TeamManila and why did they decide to create this brand?

TeamManila is the brainchild of Joseph “Jowee” Alviar and Raymund “Mon” Punzalan. The two created the brand to give importance to the colourful Filipino history and culture and to promote and strengthen the Philippine graphic design industry.


What does the brand stand for?

TeamManila mainly makes use of Filipino visual culture to represent the country in the design community.


Where do you get you design inspiration from?

TeamManila designs are inspired by Filipino nationalism as well as the different trends in art direction and/or design.


What are the three key collaborations or even own brands that you are most proud of?

TeamManila is proud to have collaborated with a number of brands such as the merchandise collection for the San Miguel Beer Pale Pilsen’s (SMB) 125th year in the industry and Philippine Airlines’ (PAL) 75th anniversary celebration and the self-initiated applied typography project Baybayin New which has won Gold at the adobo Design Awards Asia 2018. We are also proud of the launch of our Design Dept., a concept store for producing design merchandise as an extension of Team Manila Graphic Design Studio’s works.


What is the design scene like in The Philippines?

The design scene in the Philippines is currently emerging as new developments in the field are being studied and applied. Design is now recognized as a medium in making the world a better place to live in.

What kind of person follows your brand?

Usually the younger generation (students and young professionals), those who follow TeamManila are those who love everything about the Philippines and those who find their voice and identity through well-designed clothing.


How has your brand changed over the years?

Through the years, TeamManila continues to feature all things Filipino, while following trends and applying a number of art directions in merchandise and design. This has led to the establishment of its reputation of promoting Filipino visual culture. TeamManila also targets collaborations with local and international brands especially those that we share the same values with.

More recently, TeamManila integrated its design process with its newest subsidiary company TeamManila Videos which produces motion graphics, animation and videos.

We have opened Suez & Zapote Gallery, selling TeamManila and Daily Grind merchandise along with other brands on consignment.

As an extension of TeamManila Graphic Design Studio’s works, we have launched our Design Dept., a concept store focusing on design merchandise which also serves as a venue for workshops, exhibitions and collaborations, aiming to build a spot in Manila for design exploration in the creative community.


What do you do to keep your brand relevant and ahead from everyone else?

To keep our brand relevant to everyone, we feature Filipino culture and history, for example the trending topics that the country is facing (e.i. West Philippine Sea, peace, etc...).


What do you think is great about The Philippines?

Having 7,641 islands, means the Philippines has an array of beautiful places to visit and explore. The people are welcoming and always have a smile on their face, this combined with the countries colourful history which has shaped our islands since the ancient period.


And what is not so great about The Philippines?

On the other side of the coin, the Philippines is facing a lot of difficulties. There is a proliferation of extrajudicial killings, as well as the arguable assigning of position in the local government and politics. Furthermore, there is an abuse of our natural wonders leading to closures for a much-needed clean-up.



What do you think makes Filipinos different/unique from other people in the world?

The thing that separates the Filipinos from the rest of the world is having the trait of resiliency in face of difficulties. Having a brave heart. the Filipinos do not give up easily and still face their problems a smile.


What criteria do you look for when you get someone on your team?

More than the necessary skills and knowledge, we are looking for someone who has the right attitude---discipline and dedication towards their work.


How have you seen peoples taste change? Can you give an example and how you incorporated this into your business?

People like design to be minimalist and something that they would wear to express themselves without saying a word. What we do is just keep on following trends in design while maintaining the classic TeamManila style and brand.


Over the years, how have you seen The Philippines/Manila change?

The Philippines is thriving in terms of tourism. There is an influx of local and international travellers ready to explore the numerous tourist destinations.