Annual Report for The Mexican Cultural Institute of New York
Annual Report for The Mexican Cultural Institute of New York Luis Fitch on AIGA design journeys
Biography by Lindsay Reichart
“Thank you for calling UNO, a cross-cultural design agency.”
Annual Report for The Mexican Cultural Institute of New York This is the first thing you hear when you call the firm founded by Luis Fitch and his wife, Carolina Ornelas. Born in the border city of Baja, California, Fitch spent much of his childhood traveling across the United States-Mexico border between San Diego and Tijuana. It’s this upbringing, as well as an open and observant mind, that has equipped him with a uniquely globalized design perspective.
Fitch’s early education in Mexico focused on the fine arts, where he honed his illustration and technical drawing skills. After dabbling in architecture, his passion for the more creative aspects of technical drawing—merging the technical with illustration—became clear. In the early ‘80s while still living in Mexico, Fitch would take the trolley over to San Diego a few times a week to hunt for art and design books, so when his family moved to San Diego when Fitch was 20, it was unfamiliar territory. Fitch attended San Diego City College, where he was able to exercise his creative and technical skills attending classes in marketing and strategy, all while drawing from the rich source of inspiration he found in the work by Mexican painters and muralists.
Fitch went on to earn his BFA at Art Center Cesign in Pasadena, California. After graduation, he cultivated clients through freelance gigs for small businesses in Southern California and Tijuana, whom he knew had something to gain from communication design. Fitch says he wasn’t selling design, rather he was “selling opportunities from a small business perspective,” showing small shops the financial benefits of strategic design. “My portfolio was strong, with a different look, culture, and identity, and that was exactly what they wanted: a totally different view of things.”