design better, live better.

working with lol-balché honey cooperative

  We began this project in late 2006 to work with Cooperativa Lol-Balché, a 41-member cooperative who wanted, in addition to selling wholesale, to bring a portion of their gourmet honey to an international market.
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we design better to live better

We believe that design, in all of its many manifestations, plays an important role in fostering economic, cultural, and social development and change. To this end, we use design thinking, concepts, methods, processes, and products to engage its power and potential for the social good. In partnership with marginalized indigenous communities in Mexico, we focus on projects that have rich opportunities for...
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Immigration in Yucatan

It is estimated that 153,000 yucatecans immigrate. Many to neighboring Quintana Roo to work in tourism and related industries. Most immigrate to the United States from rural towns and are of Maya heritage. In San Francisco, there is even an area called “Maya Town.”
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Hach Ki’i Ka’ab orange juice

To develop an identity, business system, and packaging for “Hach Ki’i Ka’ab” orange juice, a product of Cooperativa Cuauhtémoc in Quintana Roo.
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Mint in Mexico

Mint in Mexico is a collaboration between UF Graphic Design and indigenous communities in Mexico. Our underlying principle is that design plays a critical role in economic, cultural, and social development. It is here we put these ideas into practice.
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how do you say ‘Got Milk’ en español?

Grupo Gallegos, a Spanish-language advertising firm, is trying to figure out how to market American brands to a diverse Hispanic immigrant population. Will they buy it? By CYNTHIA GORNEY. Published September 23, 2007 in the NY Times. > Read the article.
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what’s in a name?

One of the new challenges of this project is selecting a name for the honey, a product of 4 cooperatives, that we can trademark in Mexico. Because the producers are Maya and the product is one the Maya in general identify closely with, not to mention most people in Yucatán, one of the largest honey producers in the world, we’re determined to select an appropriate Maya name to work with the taglines of...
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honey bee crisis in the US

CBS Television program “60 Minutes” has an excellent segment on the honey bee crisis in the US. Honey bees are responsible for the pollination of approximately 1/3 of US crops. They are the “unsung heroes” of agriculture according to host Steve Croft. Click here to view the episode.
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hurricane dean affects the juice project

While our work is almost done, it’s in a state of limbo as our clients and their advisors work to develop their business model. Unfortunately, Hurricane Dean had a devastating impact on the region and wiped out most of the milpas, as well as the tourist site of Majahual, where Don Gualberto’s daughters work. Not only do they have to look for new jobs somewhere on the coast, but we have lost one of...
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inauguration of the honey center, cooperativa lol-balche in santa elena

The members of the Lol-Balche honey cooperative in Santa Elena, Yucatan inaugurated their new factory/workshop on June 27, 2007. To view Maria’s blog entry of her participation in this event, click here. To view the images of the event, click here.
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fresh picked oranges

Here is a photo of Cooperativa Cuauhtémoc’s fresh picked oranges. No pesticides – organic. We become so used to “pretty” produce that we forget what the real, unadulterated fruit looks like.
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honey labels

Over the summer, we put together a mini-site to get feedback on the project labels. Click here to visit the site. We received some great comments and appreciate the feedback, which we incorporated into revisions. We’ve not yet posted these because of the changes I mentioned in an earlier email such as the business expansion to 4 cooperatives. We also need to be aware of client confidentiality issues as...
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honey update

It’s been a while since we’ve updated our blog and a lot of changes have happened. During the summer, the honey project expanded to include three other cooperatives in the state. This is really exciting because the project has the impact to benefit more people. An impetus for this decision was the design itself – or how design can motivate and shape people’s vision. Now we’re...
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Some Label Samples

The Citrus group has been working hard at revising the designs for the orange juice labels. Here are some examples of their work:
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Words from Maria

hi everyone. i just spoke with alex regarding the labels. he mentioned some of his suggestions — including the whole map of yucatan peninsula and highlighting the state of quintana roo. good idea — if he thinks the context is lost without the other state, then let’s take it back to its original form. they are having a meeting tomorrow at 10 AM with lots of people regarding the project status....
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Editing Video

I am almost done editing done all the videos from the Mexico trip. We had about six hours worth and I only have two more hours left to cut down. The videos aren’t going to be too fancy. I just used iMovie to cut clips together. The editing processes hasn’t been too bad though. It has been fun to look at the footage. The still photos are nice, but with the video you get to hear all the languages that...
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Lunch with Alex

Alex, from the orange project, happened to be in Gainesville for a Law School Conference and a few of my fellow MINTies and I were able to meet him for lunch today to discuss the latest orange label designs. The following are some notes that I wrote down during the meeting: • a map of the Yucatan pan. should be on every label • have both Spanish and English on label • not sure about the Sun image on...
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honey updates coming soon

heya. I am currently gathering all the notes and recent honey project developments, so check back soon to catch up on what has happen since returning from Mexico.
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citrus news coming soon

There have been many developments since returning from Mexico. So many in fact that it will take me until tomorrow to get it all organized and put on here.
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colors and type treatment

When Jasmine and I were gathering up all the content for the site and reviewing the photos from the trip we were blown away by the vibrant colors of Mexico. So naturally the site is going to be colourful – drawing from the brightly colored flowers and painted buildings. (swatches coming soon) The type treatment for the informational content is going to be the  simple, sans-serif Univers.
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