Penji’s world-class design team includes some of the best talent on the market today. But while you may have seen their work, you might have missed the individual behind them. That’s why Penji is dedicated to showcasing our designers and their work.

This week, we interview Philadelphia-based graphic designer, Poncho Machuca.

Q: Can you tell me a little bit about your role with Penji, where you’re from, and how long you’ve been with the company?

I work for the Daytime design team in the UX/UI Squad, an exceptional group of people. I’m from Bogotá, Colombia. I currently live in Philadelphia PA, officially I’m in Penji since July 4th, 2022.  Graphic designer for more than 25 years, with a change of direction to a new country with great expectations. I have worked in almost all aspects of design from project conception to execution and completion.

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Q: What originally made you want to become a graphic designer? 

Like anyone else, I am a person of many talents. The taste for color, shapes, light and creativity among others are skills that have accompanied me since I can remember. Graphic design seemed to me the best way to express them.

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Q: What are some stylistic tendencies that recur in your work?

When working with a client the priority is the style they already have or request. In the opposite case I put all my efforts into transmitting the communication of the piece in the best possible way. Of course, my design style is inscribed in each graphic piece I make. Although I try to be precise in the distribution of elements, typography and color management on the format, it may be a contradiction, one of my favorite influences is David Carson (American graphic designer) or Marta Granados (Colombian graphic designer).

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Q: What is your typical approach to a project? Do you have a standard method of operation or do you let each unique design set its own course? 

Whenever I’m assigned a project, I always stick to the brief, which is the most important thing, then I do a little research on the brand internally and check the client’s brand folder. If there is not enough info I do another research online. Once these elements are already gathered the workflow and creativity follows its path.

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Q: What is your favorite project you’ve designed for a Penji client? Why? 

In general, I don’t have a favorite project, each project has a different challenge and I like that. If I had to mention a particular client, it would be William Hamilton. The communication has been good, and the style proposed for his designs has worked quite well.

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Q: What was the most challenging project you’ve designed for a Penji client? Why?

More than difficult, I would say a multi-day project but with very good feedback from the client. With Renee Jacobsen’s guidance, the workflows very well because of the good constitution of her brand “Jacobsen” and the specifications of each project are very clear.

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Q: What would you say your strongest skill is? How have you honed that skill over the years?

I think I’m a talented graphic designer who adapts. Design evolves very fast. My bases as a designer are quite strong and experienced, I put all my skills in combination with the tools available. If I had to choose one area that I am currently comfortable with, it is UX/UI. 

My strongest skill is adaptability.

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Q:  Any graphic designers you would like to shout out? 

I would like to highlight a Penji colleague, Cristina Sanchez, who is a good, clean and creative designer.

World-known graphic designers David Carson and Massimo Vignelli, excellent references.

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Q: Graphic design is an insanely competitive industry. Any tips for the aspiring? 

Constant learning and perseverance.