Hispanic retail design and communications for Cinco Five
Hispanic retail design and communications for Cinco Five, a premier discount store selling everything under five dollars targeting young Latina moms in Texas.
Hispanic retail design and communications for Cinco Five 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 wa 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.
Hispanic retail design and communications for Cinco FiveFitch went on to earn his BFA at Art Center College Design 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.”
One such success was for a tiny Tijuana bakery well-known locally for their donuts. Seeing an opportunity for both the small business as well as for himself, Fitch offered to develop the identity, branding, and packaging to allow for sales beyond the storefront. Strategic branding and design nfamiliar territory to the shop owners, yet after Fitch presented a mock-up that spoke to the concerns of each of the bakery’s stakeholders, the family was hooked and invested in Fitch’s design.
Fitch’s first company job was working with a design firm coincidentally named Fitch Inc.—no relation. As the only Latino among 200 employees, he proved to be a unique asset and was named lead designer on one of his first projects. Then, in 1999, the United States census was released, showing the rapid growth of the Hispanic population in the country—a whopping 40 percent over only 10 years. After going on to work for a number of major design firms on a career trajectory that ultimately led him Minneapolis, it suddenly became clear to Fitch that it was time for him to devote his efforts solely to his passion for cross-cultural communication design for the Latin American community.