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Digital: TeamManila enters the NFT space with Philippine Genesis, Rizal Gold; more to come in the future

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – Even as TeamManila Graphic Design Studio prepares to celebrate its 20th anniversary, the maverick studio continues to push the design envelope further. This year, that includes entry into the curious world of NFTs. Non-fungible tokens are one-of-a-kind digital assets that cannot be interchanged with something else and can be bought and sold like other pieces of property. However, NFTs have no tangible form.  

In an exclusive interview with adobo magazine, TeamManila Creative Director and Co-Founder Jowee Alviar explains how the group decided to explore the NFT space and where they see NFTs going from here on. TeamManila’s first release was a Philippine Genesis Coin, which only has one iteration and was only available for bidding. Their second release was a series of the Rizal Gold Coin, which has had 20 editions.



“We recently heard about Crypto Art from the talk of GMUNK in Graphika Manila,” Jowee says of the annual design conference that was held virtually this past February. “I did some research and did a deep dive in some NFT rooms at Clubhouse App. We found it interesting as a graphic design studio and a brand to have a new platform to share our message. The NFT community is diverse and it would be great to have more designs and artwork that represents our culture. That is one reason why we are in this space.”

“TeamManila has always embraced technology, and we explore different ways for our brand to test new things. This is another way for our brand to innovate early in the game,” he adds. Since the pandemic struck last year, many artists have turned to producing art digitally in the form of non-fungible tokens and it has helped alleviate their monetary woes. In light of this, many artists, particularly in Southeast Asia, are offsetting their losses from 2020 by selling NFT art.

“Through this new economy, the artist has a better control of their career,” Jowee explains. “They can connect with collectors of their digital art and can claim royalties in the secondary sales of their NFTs. The value of digital art has increased with the new breed of art collectors. This new breed values digital as much as the physical artwork.”

With TeamManila producing several memorable designs not limited to t-shirts and posters in its near-two decades of existence, it’s safe to say that the studio has an impressive portfolio to dig through in terms of what artwork to produce in NFT form. Jowee has been very hands-on in this transition, and says that, “I was the art director for the NFT release of TeamManila and we worked with an amazing 3D artist, @gedrocks. We are also digging up our past designs and will be releasing them as part of the TeamManila NFT posters. So, there is a long history of different designers who worked with TeamManila throughout the years.”

“One thing interesting for TeamManila is the opportunity to connect with new collectors of our designs,” Jowee points out. “We want to give them incentives for being a collector so we want to give them surprise gifts or treats in the future. The NFT game is in its infancy and people are just discovering and creating ways on how to use them. It is interesting to see where this thing goes.”

Since their entry into NFTs, Jowee and TeamManila have marveled at how people have been connecting within the community. Since they are not limited by geographic borders, the NFT community has been very welcoming particularly to newer artists who are beginning to showcase their own artwork for a much wider audience than they could have done in previous years.

“We are creating the TeamManila NFT Collectibles and we will come out with different digital coins/collectibles that are very limited (20 editions per release),” he adds. “These collectibles will unlock different experiences and treats in the future. The more you collect, the more chances you will get something very special from TeamManila. We also see this platform for collaboration with different creatives. We are also excited for those projects that can involve musicians, illustrators, performance, etc.”

Since being founded in 2001, TeamManila has been committed to always being on the cutting edge of art and graphic design both in the Philippines and worldwide. “We are immersing ourselves to this new world of crypto art and NFT,” Jowee says. “We recently discovered Metaverses or alternate digital worlds, something like the move Ready Player One. Now imagine TeamManila coming out with an all-virtual fashion collection. A collection where your digital avatar or your player can wear in the games you are playing. These are some opportunities for the brand, and we find it very exciting. We are new to this space and we are enjoying the ride.”

Partner with adobo Magazine

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