Portrait of Mark Schafer
Portrait by Rue Song

Mark Schafer is a product designer, leader, online hermit, and serial hobbyist. He has a background in graphic design, a love for typography, and a penchant for hot pink.

He has worked at a small design studio, a cable television channel, a series A startup, and a social media company (the bird app)—not to mention a “super-secretive” data analytics company named after the magical seeing stones in The Lord of the Rings. He is equally comfortable designing a cutting-edge data analysis tool as he is designing a cheerleading poster or classic book of theology. (Yes, he’s designed all three.)

Mark has boots-on-the-ground management experience, having led a distributed design team and mentored new leads at a large tech company. That said, he is not interested in climbing big tech’s career ladder. He is much keener on finding and working with smaller teams where trust and a shared mission trump workplace politics and posturing.

He is an avid bicycle commuter, having been radicalized to cycling after winning a bike in an essay contest. His hobbies include chalk lettering, sign painting, film photography, playing the piano, knitting, and scouring craigslist for designer furniture. He once directed a music video for indie rocker My Brightest Diamond.

Mark believes design is best used to help real people in the real world. He is uninterested in the metaverse, but very interested in building digital tools that connect to the physical world. If you want to say hi or have a suggestion for Mark’s next hobby project, please: send electronic mail.