Biography

My name is Catalina García, proud Colombian and passionate adventurer, always seeking to discover new things about the world and about myself. I love to challenge the status quo and I'm passionate about making a positive impact in the world. 

Formerly Partner and Creative Director for a NYC design consultancy, I am now dedicated to addressing social problems by using design thinking methodologies. I specialize in social innovation, strategic foresight, design strategy, qualitative research and creative storytelling and work on a wide range of challenges across different sectors. 

Over the past few years I have had the pleasure to work with Collective Invention, a social innovation consultancy dedicated to helping leaders innovate for the common good and Tipping Point Community's Tlab, a social-innovation lab that brings together problem-solvers to design and test new solutions in the fight against poverty in the San Francisco Bay area. 

I'm currently designing and piloting a local child care community - the Gma Village - that supports and trains grandmas and connects those grandmas with parents needing affordable, flexible care. Through participatory workshops, systems analysis, and user experience design, the Gma Village is being implemented with community members and local organizations.

I have an MBA in Design Strategy from the California College of the Arts in San Francisco and a BFA in Graphic Design from The School of Visual Arts in New York.






Resume

More about me

Testimonials

“I really enjoyed working with Catalina -- she brought a very interesting, fresh and outside the box approach to our project, and her insights are fascinating, extremely helpful, and most importantly of all, tremendously inspiring!” 

Jonny Price, Senior Director at KivaZip.org

“It was an absolute pleasure working with Catalina. I learned a great deal (particularly through the journey mapping exercise!), and am pumped to implement all the suggestions. As Matt [CEO of KIVA] said towards the end of the presentation, “let’s do everything!” 

Akash Trivedi, Program Manager at KivaZip.org

............................................................................................................................... 

It's rare that you come across a stand out talent like Catalina and I consider myself very fortunate to have had the opportunity to collaborate with her on various projects while working at Collective Invention. Catalina is an expert in process design and strategy creation and possesses a unique capacity to hold big picture ideas while simultaneously paying attention to process detail all the way from conception to execution. She is skilled at handling multiple projects at once and her ability to translate ideas and frameworks into easy-to-understand visuals that aid in client understanding were incredibly valuable in moving our team forward very quickly on short project timelines. 

Catalina is a [productive] perfectionist and has gone the extra mile (several times) to ensure that our final deliverables were consistent through and through before presenting them to the client (from visual design and brand, to content consistency and tone of voice). Catalina's pleasant, can-do attitude and unrelenting creativity was such an amazing asset to our team, and will be to any team that's lucky enough to have her in the future." 

Morgan Mathews, Design Strategist at Collective Invention

...............................................................................................................................

"From the day I started working with Catalina, we connected. It was such a relief to find a designer with such sensory creativity. Her cultural background, education and life experience has led Cata to become a worldly and understanding designer. Her integrity and passion for branding has helped me align and maintain my long awaited brand in a strict but whimsical path. It has and always will be a great pleasure to work with Cata in many ventures to come. In this day and age, it is not easy to come across a wonderful person with such incredible understanding of the world we live in. Cata has been able to capture my inspiration and manifested it in the physical world, what a gift!"

Simon Guindi, Spenglish Brand Owner

............................................................................................................................... 

"Catalina Garcia has become a dear friend and someone who I trust completely especially when it comes down to graphic design and art direction. Having met Catalina a little over 2 years ago she was vital in two very huge areas of our business and its identity. She redesigned our outdated website and produced the marketing materials for our boutique real estate company based in Soho, NYC. Catalina helped us tell our story in unique way. She understood what we stood for and produced it to perfection. We could not have done it with out her. Her insight and commitment to excellence stood out in every one of our meetings and her bright and fresh ideas were well received. We are very proud of her work."

David Barreto, Cast Iron Real Estate Founder

...............................................................................................................................

"For my 20 Years of Photography exhibition this year in New York I needed someone to design the whole look and feel of the show. Catalina took on the project and did an amazing job! She came up with everything from the logo, to the postcards, posters and invitations. She also worked with me to determine how the photos would be displayed at the gallery exhibition. Her approach to understanding my work was very important to me and she made sure the whole project was done in an intelligent and tasteful way. Catalina's design skills and aesthetics were a crucial part of the success of my exhibition. Her work is flawless. She is a great person and an outstanding designer!"

Adriano Fagundes, Photographer

...............................................................................................................................

"I've had the pleasure of working with Catalina on the branding/design of my band's new image and I could not be more pleased with the results. Catalina was able to translate into visual language all of what my music represents. It is thanks to her methodic working process and vast experience that she was able to focus all that I wanted to say in the final results. Her professionalism is simply of the highest quality and her vision and concept are so clear that one can only aspire to achieve the same in one's field. I sincerely hope to work in many future projects with Catalina. Her kind personality makes it even more of a pleasure to collaborate with her."

Gregorio Uribe, Big Band Principal & Lead Musician

 [+]
X

“I really enjoyed working with Catalina -- she brought a very interesting, fresh and outside the box approach to our projectand her insights are fascinating, extremely helpful, and most importantly of all, tremendously inspiring!” 

Jonny Price, Senior Director at KivaZip.org

“It was an absolute pleasure working with Catalina. I learned a great deal (particularly through the journey mapping exercise!), and am pumped to implement all the suggestions. As Matt [CEO of KIVA] said towards the end of the presentation, “let’s do everything!” 

Akash Trivedi, Program Manager at KivaZip.org

............................................................................................................................... 

It's rare that you come across a stand out talent like Catalina and I consider myself very fortunate to have had the opportunity to collaborate with her on various projects while working at Collective Invention. Catalina is an expert in process design and strategy creation and possesses a unique capacity to hold big picture ideas while simultaneously paying attention to process detail all the way from conception to execution. She is skilled at handling multiple projects at once and her ability to translate ideas and frameworks into easy-to-understand visuals that aid in client understanding were incredibly valuable in moving our team forward very quickly on short project timelines. 

Catalina is a [productive] perfectionist and has gone the extra mile (several times) to ensure that our final deliverables were consistent through and through before presenting them to the client (from visual design and brand, to content consistency and tone of voice). Catalina's pleasant, can-do attitude and unrelenting creativity was such an amazing asset to our team, and will be to any team that's lucky enough to have her in the future." 

Morgan Mathews, Design Strategist at Collective Invention

...............................................................................................................................


"From the day I started working with Catalina, we connected. It was such a relief to find a designer with such sensory creativity. Her cultural background, education and life experience has led Cata to become a worldly and understanding designer. Her integrity and passion for branding has helped me align and maintain my long awaited brand in a strict but whimsical path. It has and always will be a great pleasure to work with Cata in many ventures to come. In this day and age, it is not easy to come across a wonderful person with such incredible understanding of the world we live in. Cata has been able to capture my inspiration and manifested it in the physical world, what a gift!"

Simon Guindi, Spenglish Brand Owner

............................................................................................................................... 


"Catalina Garcia has become a dear friend and someone who I trust completely especially when it comes down to graphic design and art direction. Having met Catalina a little over 2 years ago she was vital in two very huge areas of our business and its identity. She redesigned our outdated website and produced the marketing materials for our boutique real estate company based in Soho, NYC. Catalina helped us tell our story in unique way. She understood what we stood for and produced it to perfection. We could not have done it with out her. Her insight and commitment to excellence stood out in every one of our meetings and her bright and fresh ideas were well received. We are very proud of her work."

David Barreto, Cast Iron Real Estate Founder

...............................................................................................................................

"For my 20 Years of Photography exhibition this year in New York I needed someone to design the whole look and feel of the show. Catalina took on the project and did an amazing job! She came up with everything from the logo, to the postcards, posters and invitations. She also worked with me to determine how the photos would be displayed at the gallery exhibition. Her approach to understanding my work was very important to me and she made sure the whole project was done in an intelligent and tasteful way. Catalina's design skills and aesthetics were a crucial part of the success of my exhibition. Her work is flawless. She is a great person and an outstanding designer!"

Adriano Fagundes, Photographer

...............................................................................................................................

"I've had the pleasure of working with Catalina on the branding/design of my band's new image and I could not be more pleased with the results. Catalina was able to translate into visual language all of what my music represents. It is thanks to her methodic working process and vast experience that she was able to focus all that I wanted to say in the final results. Her professionalism is simply of the highest quality and her vision and concept are so clear that one can only aspire to achieve the same in one's field. I sincerely hope to work in many future projects with Catalina. Her kind personality makes it even more of a pleasure to collaborate with her."

Gregorio Uribe, Big Band Principal & Lead Musician

X

WORK EXPERIENCE

05/15 - present, The Gma Village, San Francisco, CA

Currently designing and piloting a local child care community - the Gma Village - that supports and trains grandmas and connects those grandmas with parents needing affordable, flexible care. Through participatory workshops, systems analysis, and user experience design, the Gma Village is being implemented with community members and local organizations.


08/13 - 09/14, Tipping Point Community Tlab, San Francisco, CA

As Problem Solver at Tipping Point Community's Social Innovation Lab, I used human-centered design as a framework to solve challenges greatly impacting poverty in the Bay Area. As a part of a team, I researched the challenge of affordable, responsive child care for low-income families and designed and prototyped the Gma Village, a local child care service that provides a trustworthy, informal care option.


08/13 - 09/14, Collective Invention, San Francisco, CA

As Design Strategist and Engagement Manager for Collective Invention I worked with the San Francisco Unified School District on developing a new vision for public education in the city.  We have engaged over 100 stakeholders, working with them to align priorities, programs and partnerships under one overarching vision. My responsibilities have included designing and co-facilitating multi-stakeholder engagements; analyzing insights and communicating all findings and recommendations through highly visual documents and stories. 

Other projects include: innovation strategy development for the SFUSD Innovation lab, strategy and vision development for Presidio Trust and ethnographic research/ impact assessment for the Thrive Foundation for Youth.


08/11 - 05/13, Independent Consulting, San Francisco, CA

As a Consultant I used human centered design methodologies to help companies facing complex challenges. During this time, as part of a multidisciplinary team, I worked with Kiva Zip, a lending institution that allows people to lend money via the Internet. We helped them shift their strategy to better meet the needs of their borrowers, increase their borrower pool, improve repayment rates and improved operational efficiency. 

Other projects included working with Hero Arts, an arts and crafts company, to reconnect them with their users (their customers customer), shift their marketing strategy and consider business model pivots to better navigate the very challenging arts and crafts market. 



12/10 - 05/13, The Happy Post Project, Brooklyn, NY

A self initiated social experiment, the Happy Post Project (HPP) was born out of the belief that happiness can be used to change anything (companies, governments, people). Empowered by the hypothesis that happiness can be contagious, our mission was to spread awareness. The experiment consisted of asking people to write or draw what makes them happy in a 3x3 post-it, and then share it with the world via the web and art installations. Within a period of 3 months the experiment had gone viral and we were hosting installations globally. 

During this time my responsibilities included concept development, process design, event coordination and brand development. 

The Happy Post Project has been featured at TEDx conferences, GOOD.com, and various news and radio stations. The Happy Post Project has now transitioned into a non-profit organization called the Make it Happy Foundation. 



04/08 - 03/10, Anti/Anti, New York, NY

As Partner and Creative Director of this start up design studio, I provided affordable design services during the economic crisis. My main focus was on building a client base, managing a design team, and running the business. Our main client was DWS Investments from the Deutsche Bank Group. As the 

company was downsizing radically, we worked with them to boost the moral of their sales department and encourage them to sell $300 million worth of product. By the end of our campaign, the sales team had surpassed that goal by 50%. 

Other projects included brand development for Cast Iron Real Estate & SPENGLISH apparel.



09/06 - 04/08, Chandelier Creative, New York, NY

As Lead Designer I worked on the rebranding of the Langham Hotels International group developing distinct graphic identities for their two main branches, The Langham Place and The Langham Hotels & Resorts, targeting each branches specific demographic but maintaining a consistent connection with their mother brand. Following the rebrand, The Langham Place was recognized as one of the “Best Five Star Hotels” by Travel Weekly Asia Magazine in 2007. 

Other projects included developing concept and pitch, brand identity and collateral materials for clients such as Lane Crawford, Nanette Lepore, Old Navy & 34 Leonard.



10/05 - 07/06, Pentagram, New York, NY

During this internship I worked under world-renowned designer, Paula Scher, developing packaging design, brand identity and editorial design for clients such as Citi Bank, The Metropolitan Opera, Mohawk Paper & The Public Theater. 

 

EDUCATION

2011- 2013, MBA in Design Strategy, California College of the Arts, San Francisco, CA

2002 - 2006, School of Visual Arts, BFA Graphic Design, New York, NY

2001 - 2002, Institut Catholique, Superior Level French, Paris, France

1985 - 2001, Colegio Nueva Granada, High School, Bogotá, Colombia

 

SPECIALTIES

Social Innovation, Qualitative Research, Design Strategy, Systems Thinking, Strategic Foresight, Creative Direction, Experience Design, Storytelling

 

LANGUAGES

English, Spanish, French (intermediate)



© 2010 Catalina Garcia. All rights reserved.