They say travel broadens the mind – and this rings true for Tomillo, whose journey at 99designs began when he lived in New York for more than 2 years. And that time away from home has certainly inspired him. Tomillo (real name Raúl Tomillo) has been working hard on his own furniture brand and planning to launch it soon. Impressive!

We caught up with Raul to find out more about his work and his journey as a designer.

Name: Raúl Tomillo
99designs handle: Tomillo
Location: Valladolid, Spain

Tell us a little bit about yourself. 

I am 36 years old, born and raised in Valladolid, Spain. It is a small city about 125 miles northeast of Madrid. I am the third of 6 siblings and design has always been a part of our lives, as my father is an architect. I studied technical architecture in the International University SEK in Segovia, Spain. Afterwards, I continued my studies in architecture in ETSA of Valladolid.

I lived in New York from March 2012 to September 2014 and it was during this time that my relationship with 99designs began. Currently I am combining my work as a graphic designer with furniture design and I am working on creating my own furniture brand, which will be launched in a few months.

My greatest influences have been architects such as Mies van der Rohe (less is more), Alberto Campo Baeza, Frank Lloyd Wright, Oscar Niemeyer and Le Corbusier.

How did you first get into design? What made you interested in design on the first place?

I remember when I was young I was always sketching, so I suppose that design has always been a part of me. Growing up in a family where architecture and design was always present has also helped me discover my passion for this profession.

Logo finalist for 99designs

Describe to us your typical day as a designer (if there’s any!).

My fuel for starting the day is a good cup of coffee, which is all I need to start designing. I don’t have fixed hours or routines – there are days when I design 4 hours and others 14, but I always make sure that the end result is as professional as possible.

Personally, I prefer to design at night. There are days when I even get to see the sun rise, which is a pretty good compensation 😉

What inspires you?

When I am designing I am inspired by the complete satisfaction of the client. It is incredibly rewarding when your creativity is a match for what the client is looking for. On the other side, the 99designs community has extremely talented designers with excellent work, which also inspires and motivates me to be better designer myself.

What are you interested in other than design?

I love technology and all kinds of gadgets, and science in general. I also play guitar once in a while and one of my passions is taking short motorcycle trips. I enjoy traveling and immersing myself in other cultures, in which there is always something to learn.


Do you have your most memorable project on 99designs?

Yes, it was a logo design contest for MONUMENTAL. It was one of the first contests that I won. Michael Kalish, my client, was very participatory throughout the entire process and it was a positive experience from the start. Shortly after, I found out that Michael was an artist with very impressive work. I admire him and follow him on social media. People like Michael Kalish inspire me.

What do you think you’ll be doing if you weren’t on 99designs? How has this carved a different path for you?

I probably would be working in the architecture field or interior and/or furniture design. 99designs gave me the opportunity to explore my talent as a graphic designer, allowing me to, as of today, to make it a profession.

What did you think when you first heard about our logo rebrand contest?

It was a great surprise when I found out and right away I started to work on it as if it was for my own logo. I feel very much a part of the 99designs community and I was fortunate to have the privilege to be able to participate in this contest.

What were your first thoughts when you saw our brand guidelines / where we’re heading stylistically?

I thought that my style fitted perfectly with the brand guidelines and actually liked very much the direction in which you wanted to take the new design of your brand. I thought the subtle modernization of the logo was very successful, as shown in the one that you selected. Obviously, I knew that I was going to enjoy participating in your contest, which I did.


Looking at our old logo, what’s the one thing you want to change about it?

Actually I liked the former logo. Maybe the “99” and “designs” are a little too separate or disconnected. Maybe making graphic element of the canvas more symmetrical would work better? That’s only my humble opinion, but honestly, I also liked the old logo.

Tell us about the moment you found out you’re a finalist!

Wow! It was a big surprise and I felt very proud of having the responsibility, along with my other 5 colleagues, of taking on this challenge. Without a doubt, I knew that it was going to be the most motivating and exciting final that I have ever participated in 99designs. Thanks to the 99designs team for having confidence in me, it was a huge motivator.

Anything else you can tell us about this whole experience so far? What’s the most memorable thing for you during this entire contest?

I very much enjoyed the professionalism, respect, and creativity that I experienced during the whole contest. It was very gratifying to see how the community put in its best, and even though only 6 designers made it to the final, I have to say that I saw a lot of talent in the work of the other designers.

To participate in the 99designs contests is always fun and interesting, but in this case, it was absolutely exciting. Finally, I would like to congratulate the the winner, onripus, for the excellent design (I love it!) and to the 99designs team for its outstanding efforts in collaboration and feedback during the contest; you guys nailed it. Thanks to you all!

See more of Tomillo’s work here.