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Meet the Founders

Autotype co-founders Derek Galkin and Tu Pham have been close friends and collaborators since they met in 2001 working at MEDIUM, an innovative footwear brand marketed to the creative class, and the first of many projects for the pair. Even after MEDIUM’s sale four years later, they continued to apply their creative synergy across a diverse portfolio of brands, from start-ups to niche businesses to nonprofits like Adobe, Pantone, House Industries, DWELL, James Perse, Quiksilver, Lynda.com, Sperry Top Sider, Favia, Johnson & Johnson and Girls Rock.

In 2007, when Derek launched SeaVees footwear, he knew whose creative genius he wanted to lead the visual tone for the brand. Derek and Tu’s synergistic creative vision guided the brand for the next 5 years, when it was successfully sold to Pentland in 2017.

By the time they founded Autotype—a full-service design firm, scholarship fund, and community of advocates—the duo had collaborated on numerous design projects, across eighteen years of business and friendship, and wanted to give back to the design community that nurtured them by investing in the future of design. With Autotype, they endeavor to create an inclusive platform for designers to entertain the impossible, showcase their work, and find support from a community that values great design.

The two continue to challenge themselves creatively, exploring unique artistic intersections and business ideas to make the design market more innovative, inclusive, and daring. They are also partners and the creative support behind ROOM Wines, an exploration in winemaking through analysis, art, and adventure.