Alumni Stories - Manuel Ortega
Date: 30.10.2020
Alumni Stories

We are glad to introduce you to Manuel Ortega! Manuel finished the Postgraduate in Web Design in 2011 and is willing to share with us his relationship with design and connect with the Alumni community. Discover his professional career and inspirations! 

You were born in 


You live in


You work at

Z1, an international digital product creation studio that is part of Tiny, the Canadian fund that includes industry benchmarks such as Dribbble and Metalab. We work hand in hand with companies and technological entrepreneurs to transform their ideas into digital experiences of the highest level.

About your professional career

I started in advertising agencies in Seville, Madrid and Barcelona in the offline and online departments. In 2012 I made the jump to digital products, first in consulting and later as a freelancer and agency. Now I am the Design Director of Z1 studio, where I have the freedom to design and experiment with disruptive products and very interesting clients.


What is design for you

I consider design to be one of the fundamental disciplines for improving people's quality of life, something that society sometimes forgets. The importance of design is such that it literally draws the world and establishes our relationship with all the objects around us. Design is my way of life!

Who inspires you professionally

At the beginning of each project, in the moodboarding phase, I try to be as permeable as possible and get inspiration from any artistic branch. I use illustration pieces, classic paintings, photography, cinema, music... Although, perhaps, what inspires me most is architecture and, within it, the rationalist movement for the idea of the search of functionality, clear line, simplicity and the taste for geometry.

How would you define your time at Elisava

It was a very special time of discovery because I just moved from Madrid to Barcelona. It was the beginning of a new phase and at the same time as I discovered the School I began to get to know the city and my neighbourhood, Gràcia.

What has marked you the most about all you learnt at Elisava

Everything I learned from the level of my colleagues and teachers. Also, having access to design professionals who came every week to share with us their experience in the industry and the possibility of keeping in touch with them.

A good advice

Take great care of the relationship with colleagues and clients. Coddle them, be kind and try to help. A team (where I include the client) that feels loved and valued, designs with joy and feels free to propose more creative solutions.

A challenge for the future

To contribute more to the community through content that other designers can take advantage of as a way of thanking all that the community has contributed to me. Apart from that, I would like to position Z1 as a European reference in digital product design.

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