Local artists across the United States, Mexico, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan and South Africa are designing custom signage for merchants to proudly display in stores, on their websites and through social media, to let their customers know they are always welcome.
“The Artist Series,” first launched last year in the United States, is a collection of complimentary signage that includes decals, “We’re Open” signs, and digital images designed by local artists and inspired by the phrase “Always Welcome: Proudly Backing Our Community Together.”
In 2022, three new artists joined the collective:
- Businesses in Mexico can now order or download signage designed by Lourdes Villagómez, a Mexico City-based painter.
- In the U.S., two more designs are available from illustrators Sabrena Khadija, a Sierra Leonean-American based in Washington, DC, and Marcos Chin from Brooklyn, New York.
“We’re backing new and loyal merchant members with more ways to welcome customers and beautify their storefronts,” says Rachel Levy, vice president of U.S. merchant marketing at American Express. “Our merchants and their customers are appreciating the artwork and the message.”
During the 2021 campaign, 58 percent of U.S. merchants’ orders were for complimentary signage from “The Artist Series” versus the standard Amex signs available.
Villagómez says, “Inclusion is an attitude of integration, and its purpose is for everyone to participate and contribute to society while benefiting from the process. It seeks to ensure that all individuals or social groups can access the same opportunities to grow and develop.”
“When I hear the words ‘Always Welcome’, it’s an invitation of openness – bringing unlikely things, people and experiences together, says Chin. He was born in Mozambique, and then lived in Portugal and Canada before settling in New York. He describes his work as pictures that tell stories.
Khadija sees art as a platform that can make others feel seen, included, and heard: “I see inclusivity as one of the foundations my work is built on.” As a non-binary creative, she strives to help others see beauty within themselves – and to recognize and acknowledge it in others.