The Identity Graphic Design Workshop coordinated by Francisco Mateos worked with a group of design students from the barrio to develop skills in order to identify the need to have a powerful design that resulted from establishing a relationship with the food business owners in the barrio.

This training had two parallel learning tracks: the first centered on reviewing theoretical and technical issues concerning composition that are needed to establish a functional and consistent communication with the business owners; and the latter focused on encouraging productive dialog and collaboration between the participants and the business owners in order to make joint decisions about the resulting products that may express the identity and mission of each business.

As a starting point, Mateos briefed participants about the importance of collecting data that would be translated into a graphic language. During their first visit, each designer spoke to his or her corresponding business owner to collect important data such as: the origin of the business name, when it was established, the profile of its clientele, the business’ mission, its most popular dishes, the frequency with which the menus are changed, and the visual features of the place, among other data. Then, participants analyzed the data obtained to select the adequate graphic elements for each establishment.

In the process of developing each project, the group reviewed concepts about type fonts, basic principals of editorial composition, use of color and images, as well as printing tools. The business owners, on the other hand, periodically reviewed the material and asked for adjustments to be made until participants and business owners agreed on a final proposal.

Finally, each participant printed and delivered the products to each business owner who also received a digital file for future printings. To conclude the workshop, a feedback session took place giving participants an opportunity to evaluate their experience of establishing working relationships with their clients.