Hernandez Artesania is a design case study which illustrates how design practices can help promote indigenous culture, and how cultural capital can empower an individual's sense of identity while improving their economic outcome


Rivera is a graphic designer/artist currently pursuing her MFA in Graphic Design at Cal State LA. She recalls that, as a young child in Mexico City, she saw a mural by David Alfaro Siqueiros, near the entrance of the building where her mother worked. The mural’s massive composition with its vibrant colors captivated her and she yearned to paint.

She moved to Los Angeles when she was 10 years old, and remembers how the art that was prevalent in her everyday life in Mexico City was also to be found in Los Angeles.

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2914 N. Main St
Los Angeles, Califas 90031


Ethical Branding Strategy_

Hernandez Family (Rosa,Carlos,Cesar,Victor and Narciso) 
Photos by Maya Santos

“According to many folktales among Chiapas women, the Goddess of the Moon taught them how to weave and brocade sacred designs.”

The methodology behind designing an ethical brand strategy for the Hernandez family focuses on field research and studies done on traditional weaving techniques. Capturing videos and audio recordings of the family's oral history not only helps archive their work, but also gives buyers an insight on the handcrafted object they've purchased. Research done on similar collaborations between designers and artisans is also vitally important in order to gain an understanding of what has worked in the past, and how the Hernandez family can benefit from these prior findings.
During my Summer 2019 visit to San Juan Chamula, Chiapas, I had the opportunity to spend time with Rosa Hernandez and her children; Carlos, Cristina, Cesar, and Victor. I wanted to learn more about their process, and what sets them apart from other families making the same textiles in San Juan Chamula. The most valuable takeaway from these conversations was the family's shared ethos on keeping their traditions alive. They also revealed textile weaving is their only form of income, and that they wouldn't have it any other way.

Logo Design for Hernandez Artesania 

“Each textile is an expression of the weavers' personal vision of the world and their community.” 

The research approach for designing a logo that would distinguish the Hernandez Artesania brand was thoughtfully crafted, as I knew the importance of incorporating the Hernandez Family into the overall brand was crucial. I found some of the most used symbols in the embroideries which adorn the family's textile designs, and narrowed it down to three visuals.

An important aspect of the logo design focused on translating the tactile components of the embroidery techniques. The tactile component is a key element of the work made by the Hernandez family. The color choices, patterns and embroidery technique applied by the Hernandez women share many insights into their family’s lineage and traditions.

The second and final round of the logo design combines both research methods (the visual and tactile) in order to come up with a final logo design. The logo is indicative of the Hernandez Artesania brand, as it communicates the tactile component of their work as well as their traditional weaving practices: from the cleaning and spinning of the wool, to the traditional back-strap loom weaving technique, and even the natural dyes used to color textiles. The Hernandez family was also a key part of the logo design process from start to finish. It was important for them to feel confident that this was a proper representation of their work and brand.

Promotional Strategy for Hernandez Artesania

The promotional strategy consists of rolling out a simple brand identity using the newly designed logo for Hernandez Artesania. A rubber stamp application allows an easy and simple way of solidifying the Hernandez brand.It can be used for packaging a shipping order and/ or tagging articles for sale with a handwritten note about the garment.
Rubber stamps are a simple and unique technique for banding Hernandez Artesania. A throwback to the handmade process that have managed to survive the digital world.

The rubber stamp includes the website information, and email address as a form of contact. A business card would have served the same purpose, but I wanted to find a sustainable method for the family to reproduce in Chiapas without having to spend too
much income.

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Resource Guide for Hernandez Artesania

The resource guide was one of the final components of my project. It was meant to anticipate any possible issues which may arise while using the website, posting a product either on the web or while using Facebook, and fulfilling an online sales. The approach for this new guide followed the same format as the entire project: creating a sustainable system focused on a user friendly model.

The resource guide has limited text, as the approach is more visual focused content, and much easier to understand without language as a barrier. My approach for the guide was to also design a user-flow system using screenshots guiding step-by-step instructions focused on solutions and problems. A logical hierarchy and flow is important, so that the user does not get lost and/ or confused until it becomes intuitive.

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