CHICAGO – An American-born graphic designer is working on a project to explore Cuban brands. It’s a visual exploration of Cuba through the lens of branding, and the designer, Emily Lozano, hopes to document the Cuban brands in order to tell about daily life.
As an American-born Cuban I grew up surrounded and influenced by brands before I could even articulate what a brand was. From the cereal we eat to the cars we drive our lives can be roughly described through the brands we prefer. Coke or Pepsi. Cubs or Sox. Democrat or Republican.
My plan is to document Cuban life through these very broad brand categories. It’s a chance to look at Cuba in a way that has not been done before — through branding. I’ve taken a few sample photographs around Chicago (as well as some stock photos of Cuba) to give you an idea for the layout of the book.
It’s an interesting idea; there is a large amount of nostalgia in Eastern Europe for old Commie brands of the Iron Curtain. Even though they can remind people of a system that was oppressive, because they were so ubiquitous, there is some nostalgia for them as time goes on.
One overlooked part of tourism branding is local brands. Where there are none, the place becomes generic. Brands are intimately connected to a community’s sense of place.
Lozano is raising money on Kickstarter for the project.
Interested in Cuban brands? Read the original BrandlandUSA story on the history of pre-Castro Cuban brands.