Marc is the founder, chief executive officer, and president of The Tactile Group. A highly motivated serial entrepreneur, he has more than two decades of experience in creative direction, design, business management, and client relations.
Marc is an innovative leader who knows the power of teamwork. He inspires collaboration by building widely diverse and effective teams of designers, programmers, and other IT-professionals to meet the specific needs of clients. He is also the driving force in developing business relations and The Tactile Group’s artistic vision. As a Philadelphia native, Marc is passionate about his Tactile Group team and about inspiring and training Philadelphia youth as the future generation of technology leaders and innovators.
With a diverse staff of 16 in 2016, the firm’s mission states “Designed to give a damn, we actively seek work whose goal is to improve the quality of life for all people.” The company’s clients include the U.S. Department of Education, the City of Philadelphia, Philadelphia International Airport, PGW, the City of Boston, The University of Pennsylvania, small and medium size not-for-profits, and professional corporations including attorneys and architects.
Marc serves on the Boards of the Philadelphia Merchants Fund and the William Way LGBT Community Center. He is a member of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, the Philadelphia African-American Chamber of Commerce, and the Independence Business Alliance. His agency, The Tactile Group, is a certified Minority Business Enterprise via NMSDC, an 8(a) certified business through the U.S. Small Business Administration, and an LGBT Business Enterprise as certified by the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC). Marc was trained in electrical engineering at Princeton University and architecture at Temple University. He also was a leading member of Cohort 2 in 2013 of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program. Starting his own business as a DJ in live music venues and on the radio while a university student, he handled promotions and advertising, developing graphic design-based guerrilla marketing solutions in an age before the internet. Transitioning to a second business, owning and managing a Center City Philadelphia bed and breakfast, Marc was responsible for all promotions and marketing and business management, as well as property management and maintenance. The business was transformed into a home-based graphic design and photography studio, Tactile Design Group, in 2004, developing products for print for a variety of clients, including retail establishments, not-for-profits, and small business organizations. Web design and development became the predominant product as Marc hired his first staff and moved to a small office in Philadelphia’s Midtown Village in 2007. Reflecting its growth into a broad-based digital agency, the company began doing business as The Tactile Group in 2012.
Marc relaxes with the occasional video game, and he and his husband enjoy travel, fine food and wine, camping in Pennsylvania’s Endless Mountains, and spending time with family and good friends. His snark factor can go from 0 to 11 in 3.7 seconds.
GDLOFT talks about winning the Print Magazine Regional Design Award and Grand Prize, and what drives their design firm beyond the pursuit of clients. This talk will cover running a design studio, what working in their firm is like, and the partnerships they’ve built.
This event is FREE. You can RSVP here.
Partner, Creative Director, GDLOFT
Associate professor, Rutgers University
Allan Espiritu is a Philadelphia based graphic designer and educator. Espiritu received his BA in graphic design from Rutgers University, Camden Campus and his MFA in graphic design from Yale University, School of Art. He is the founder of GDLOFT, a small collaborative design studio made up of photographers, fine artists, students, designers and (aspiring) competitive food eaters, focusing on design for educational, arts and cultural and non-profit institutions. GDLOFT’s work has been published and acknowledged by AIGA, GDUSA, UCDA, Graphis, Communication Arts, Print Magazine, HOW, STEP, and Art Directors Club. His work has also appeared in Gestalten and Rockport publications. In 2017, Espiritu was included in the Barnes Museum’s critically acclaimed show Person of the Crowd. He is an active member of AIGA Philadelphia, serving as president in 2013 and most recently he was named the 2017 AIGA Philadelphia Fellow, the chapter’s highest honor given to a member. Mr. Espiritu heads the graphic design concentration at Rutgers University, Camden Campus.
Principal, Art Director and Managing Director, GDLOFT
Kevin Kernan is a principal at GDLOFT, overseeing project management, business development, and art direction. Kevin has an extensive background in print production, social media, and web design, having worked with Current Medicine/Current Science, Philadelphia City Paper, and Drexel University. He received his BA in graphic design from Rutgers University-Camden and holds a master’s degree in Arts Administration from Drexel University, where he specialized in working with nonprofit organizations and universities. Kernan’s work has been published and acknowledged by AIGA, Print Magazine, GDUSA, UCDA, Telly Awards, Creative Quarterly, Print Magazine, and TED.
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