beyond design ✷ here's what i'm about ☏ spoiler: it's nonprofits and ROWING ☻

about me
My full name is Dustin Mattaio Pangilinan Mara. I was born between two generational groups and have lived all across the Pacific Ocean. My life is full of highs and lows, wins and losses, juxtapositions and contrasts. Each give me great insight into my own biases, and empathy for a range of realities.
I graduated cum laude from the University of Washington with a Bachelor of Design in Visual Communication Design and Bachelor of Arts in International Studies. While there, I was selected to the 2022 Husky 100 Cohort (you can read more about that story here!), voted to be on our senior show jury, and was selected to represent our class as one of the SOA+AH+D's commencement speakers. 
Following that I pursued the age-old dream of moving to the big city to pursue a career in design at Lippincott in New York. I later returned back to Seattle to work at Studio Matthews, which focuses on environmental graphics and exhibition design. Both are award-winning workplaces that have since set the tone for my outlook on design. 
While my work from these two experiences has been recognized and awarded, so has my personal freelance work via my practice TAIO TYPE — we have been recognized by ADC and TDC for work completed in print, brand, and type design.
Recently, I moved to Paris to pursue further education in type design. From the TypeParis program I produced a 6 master, variable typeface that was awarded a completion diploma with distinction. I’m currently exploring scripts beyond Latin, such as Arabic and Hangeul.
When I'm not working I'm helping with a few local foundations with a spectrum of missions that I'm passionate about — from bringing awareness to gender based violence to creating diversity in a predominately white sport.
I'm the happiest when I'm in a foreign country people watching, adding to my Casio watch collection, and of course during a mid-day nap. I'm also fascinated by language, culture, and type design — and how all three intersect. If I'm not doing any of the above I'm either in a boat coxing, rowing, or coaching!
About You
Life is exciting and surprising at every corner thanks to the people around me. To those who throw me a bone every once in a while you make it even more so. You know who you are. You are awesome. You are exceptional. You are my family. Thank you for everything you’ve done to make my life a life worth living. Onward and upward!

2× Award of Excellence, Communication Arts Typography
Silver Cube, Typography via Typeface / Font Systems, Art Directors Club
Bronze Cube, Typography via Typeface / Font Systems, Art Directors Club
6× Certificate of Typographic Excellence, Type Directors Club
2× Merit Award, Art Directors Club
Shortlist, Young Ones Portfolio
Shortlist, Type Directors Club
Shortlist, Typography, Communication Arts
Ranked #1 Designer, Young Ones Awards
Ranked #11 Overall Creative, Young Ones Awards
Dean’s Medal Nominee, UW College of the Arts
Husky 100 Nominee + Selectee
Natalie Malone Graduating with Excellence Award
Kenneth L. Striker Design Award
Oarsman of the Year, Everett Rowing Association


Mastering Type, Typostammtisch Berlin
4× Feature, The World’s Best Typography
3× Type Directors Club Global Exhibitions
Interview, Global Visionaries
Best of Cargo, Cargo.Site
Studio Feature, Designer Daily
Commencement Speaker, UW SOAAHD
Interview, Steady State Network