Duration: As a merger between two previously established studios, Monumento has been operating since 2017. Its key creatives have more than twelve years of prior experience.
Location: Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico.
Key creatives: Cindy Fernández, partner and project manager; Eduardo Hernández, founding partner and art director; Grace Martínez, business development manager; and Raúl Salazar, founding partner and chief creative officer.
Design mission: We create a brand’s visual system through a bespoke, punctual branding strategy: identify and define the project’s key elements and attributes, and find the optimal way to express them according to the brand’s intentions and audience. We define long-lasting creative concepts for brands, enabling them to grow and evolve with guidance. We create beautiful identities that are functional and easy to understand. We collaborate in the creation of projects for a very diverse clientele, from big multinational companies to individuals who want to take their passion to the next level.
Artistic influences: We embrace global culture and artistic expression and try not to close ourselves off to anything. Every project comes with their own world we love to explore, and we like finding new, authentic elements that we can incorporate in a natural, smart way. The north of Mexico is something that we all have in common, and that probably influences us more than we expected.
Favorite projects: We love our in-house projects, like Feria de Arte Mexicano Accesible, an annual art fair connecting exciting new talent to audiences; our concept store, Materia, which brings good design made for the everyday from all around the world; and an upcoming wine tasting room. These projects support artists in the very industrial, art-forgotten city of Monterrey, as well as break the mold on local design and gastronomy. These projects are challenges that excite us.
Work environment: Pre-COVID, we all worked in our office: a lovely little black house with a charming backyard located in the Monterrey suburb of San Pedro Garza García. You could easily locate our office because of the black façade, which our neighbors made even more striking by painting their houses pink and purple. Inside, the black turns into a cozy ambience of pinewood and white, with silver iMacs working the perimeter of the Design Room on the first floor of the house. The backyard, with big shadows provided by trees and local cats chilling on the deck, provides a nice background for the Design Room. We also have a little kitchen full of well-arranged empty bottles of natural wine. The second floor holds a meeting room and the offices of Salazar and Hernández. The third floor has a balcony and another office for the administrative staff. Everything is surrounded by wood, plants, art and music, inevitably coming from someone’s computer speakers on the first floor.
Unfortunately, things are different now. We are all working from our own homes. We miss the office, and the office misses us. Hopefully we’ll be back soon.
Approach: Having our own ventures and projects helps us develop empathy for our clients, as we understand the challenges of building something from scratch. With our diverse team, we have a unique combination of talent, skills, hearts and brains. This is irreplaceable, and the way we manifest projects is the product of this combination.
Aspirations: We see ourselves with more in-house ventures and an office at the beach for our summer work. Luckily, our clients always bring interesting projects for us to work with, and we have built long-lasting relationships with them. This is something we really value and look forward to continuing.
Philosophy: Listening is a lost art. Better decisions are always made when you make the conscious effort of listening to others, yourself or your imaginary friends.
Anything else? We all love pizza, basketball and natural wine. If somebody were to give us all three of these things, we would probably work for free.