Synergies is a series of specific activities in the barrio aimed at generating alliances and promoting creative actions that impact the imaginary in the community while stimulating citizens’ consensus for the benefit of the barrio. This program also connects community initiatives with professional and financial networks.

As part of Synergies program, the project Visual Identity for Neighborhood Businesses­­ began. Its purpose is to create a graphic identity of the metal curtains of local businesses—mainly those with a longstanding tradition in the barrio. The designs are a result of active dialogues between graphic designers, artists, and the business owners in Santa María La Ribera. The project is intended to create a local network of jobs among those involved, and to stimulate local economy, while building awareness about the need to regenerate the image of businesses that share a public space in the community, thus improving the urban landscape as a result of the neighbors’ efforts.

The first stage of Synergies: Visual Identities for Neighborhood Businesses began near the end of 2015 and was coordinated by cultural manager Clarisa Moura. Four curtains—for a coffee shop, a cosmetics business, a tailor shop, and a home appliances repair shop—were decorated, as well as the light boxes for an optic shop and an acrylic nails salon. The graphic designers were José Daniel MoralesHugo MendozaAna Laura Hernández, Mora Díez, and the Zoveck Group.

The second stage began in May 2016. Now the goal was to design metal curtains for eight businesses. As in the first stage of this project, each designer or artist spoke and worked with the business owner, considering the needs of each establishment, while developing a design that would also express the taste and interests of the owner. A domestic cleaning product business, a beauty shop for teenagers and young adults, a barbershop, a tamal shop, a home appliances repair shop, a computer repair shop, a rotisserie, and a printers workshop were the participating businesses in this program intended to regenerate public spaces. The metal curtains were painted by local signage artists working closely with designers Jimena VidalAlejandro GarcíaAndrés RamírezKaren Vega, Carmen CamachoAna Laura Hernández, and architect Heby Lucas.

In October 2016, we began the third stage of Synergies: Visual Identities for Neighborhood Businesses. Eight businesses were involved and the following participants collaborated: Iván Álvarez, Lorena Jáuregui, Xadiani Calderón, Alejandra Torales, Miguel Angelo Sánchez, Cristina García, and architects Juan Pablo Guzmán and Heby Lucas. As in previous stages, professionals from the barrio worked closely with business owners to develop the visual image of their businesses.

In the summer of 2017, the fourth stage began, now working with five businesses: a laundromat, an automobile products shop, a food-to-go diner, a construction, plumbing, and electricity services business, an acrylic nails salon, and a unisex hairdresser salon. Graphic designers were Karina Oropeza, Gibrán Turón, Ximena Yépiz, and Lorena Jáuregui.

This project is a social program focused on business owners in the Santa María La Ribera neighborhood; their participation does not imply any cost to them.

Signage artists who collaborated in all the stages of the Synergies Program were Adán Navarrete, Alberto García, Mario Mena, Enrique Cadenas, and Guillermo Gutiérrez, who painted both light boxes.