Karl Fredrick M. Castro (b. 1986) is an independent artist and designer currently based in Angono, Rizal, Philippines.
He was a Visual Arts major at the Philippine High School for the Arts, and has a degree in film and audiovisual communication from the Film Institute of the University of the Philippines. He also served as editor in chief of the university’s official student publication, the Philippine Collegian, in 2006. Beyond the university, he has further honed his sensibilities in film and photography through scriptwriting workshops under Filipino screenwriters Ricky Lee and Armando Lao, and a photography masterclass under Spanish artist-curator Nicolás Combarro.
Karl is the recipient of many awards for his design work, including several Philippine National Book Awards for Design for cultural and scholarly volumes made for the Ateneo de Manila University Press. In 2012, he was the only freelance designer to clinch an award in the agency-dominated Adobo Design Awards, winning Best Design in the Books category for Ricky Lee’s novel Si Amapola sa 65 na Kabanata.
His design and creative direction for ABS-CBN Publishing’s Vault Magazine was hailed as among Asia’s best, winning an Excellence Award for Best Use of Design, Layout & Presentation at the Asian Publishing Awards. He is also the poster designer for renowned independent films like Lav Diaz’s Norte, Hangganan ng Kasaysayan, Antoinette Jadaone’s That Thing Called Tadhana, Jade Castro’s Zombadings 1: Patayin sa Shokot si Remington, and the Philippine release of Anthony Chen’s Ilo Ilo, all of which have been seen in major film festivals around the globe.
In 2016, the Filipinas Heritage Library presented a 12-year retrospective of his book design work, Secret Lives of Books: Karl Castro, Book Designer, at the Ayala Museum. In 2014, he had his first solo exhibit, Two Things, at Silverlens in Manila. He is currently working on several bodies of work involving painting, photography, and weaving.