Creating Shared Vision by Alumni, Ramon Coronado and Marshall Rake

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August 1, 2013

Ramón Coronado (GRPH 09) has worked at Weiden+Kennedy, 72andSunny, SapientNitro, and Ferroconcrete. His works have been published in GOOD Magazine, Juxtapoz, Beautiful Decay Magazine, Current_, Fast Company and Gestalten. He’s exhibited in Pure DKNY, SFHT Pop-up, 2010 World Expo: Shanghai, Smithsonian, Cumulus 2010 and Fred Segal. Ramón studied in Switzerland under mentor Wolfgang Weingart and received his BFA from Art Center College of Design in 2009.

Marshall Rake (GRPH 09) has worked at 2×4, Rumors, Mother, 180, and he is a Project M alumni. He co-founded Epilogue Magazine and They Magazine. He has exhibited at the Tokyo Art Book Fair (Tokyo, Japan) and Facing Pages Festival (Arnhem, Netherlands) and in 2009 was awarded a Certificate of Typographic Excellence by the Type Directors Club. Marshall currently teaches at Art Center College of Design where he also received a BFA in Graphic Design in 2009.


Semester bicycle 3Life after Art Center has been a roller coaster for both Ramon and Marshall. The ups and downs of the industry and the constant chase for happiness fueled a hunger within them both. After graduating in 2009, Ramon worked at Ferroconcrete, a small design shop, before moving into advertising with agencies like 72 and Sunny, Wieden+kennedy, and Sapient Nitro. Marshall had a similar experience working for small studios like 2×4 and Rumors, which eventually led to larger-scale advertising agencies like Mother and 180. Ramon and Marshall used their first few years together to experiment, not only with different types and scales of companies, but companies focusing on a wide variety of design altogether. While trying to find the right fit, they decided to collaborate on a few small budget projects that afforded lots of great creative potential, allowing them to take complete control of the design and art direction. By doing this, they found a certain level of satisfaction and pride, but had trouble locating in other endeavors. They wanted to create with purpose and had the entrepreneurial spirit to start something that had the promise to be influential.

Ramon and Marshall both worked on projects that dealt with social issue during their education: Marshall worked with Project M to promote locally grown food in rural Connecticut, and Ramon was part of the Safe Agua Chile team at Art Center. Safe Agua Chile was a game changer for Ramon because he was able to experience the power of design. It was no longer just about beautiful visuals, it became a tool to help and solve issues for people and communities. As part of Safe Agua, he was able to develop new tools and methods for storing, utilizing, transporting and conserving water, in order to help break the cycle of poverty for some of the poorest communities in Chile.

Ramon and Marshall joined forces to create a shared vision and goals in the design industry. In 2012, they opened Public-Library, a cross-disciplinary design group that focuses on design with purpose. Their studio works in a wide variety of mediums including branding, interactive, art direction, brand strategy, exhibition and environmental, publication, packaging, print systems, book design, and title sequences.

In late 2012, they launched Public-Assignments and Public-Studies. Public-Studies is an on going series of experimentations and explorations. Originally created as a place to house their self-initiated projects, Public-Studies has since evolved into a place for collaboration and out-going communication. Public-Assignments are projects that take a non-traditional format, and typically involve designing for greater good. Over the past year,  Ramon and Marshall have been working with a group of multi-disciplinary designers and strategists to build their largest Public-Assignment project yet: Semester Bicycles, innovative bamboo + carbon fiber composite bicycles.

Each Semester Bicycle features a composite bamboo and steel frame, which is composed of a carbon fiber core, a hexagonal bamboo skin and a durable laminated coating. Other bamboo bikes use tubes that are inconsistent in weight and wall thickness, but the Semester Bike is consistent in size, strength, and performance.

The goal of this project is to not only produce a better bamboo bicycle, but to provide jobs in an area in need.   The project centers around the town of Greensboro, AL.  All bamboo for the Semester Bicycle is grown behind their workshop there, and every tube is assembled in Greensboro by people in the community.

We want to help spread the word about the Semester Bicycle, to help Public-Library advance a better bike for a stronger future by design.


For more information about the project, visit:

For more information about Ramon and Marshall’s work, visit: