It is noteworthy that as one travels around Cuba one does not see ads for the usual familiar brands – these famous products simply do not exist there. I can’t remember having been to a single other country where, for example, Coca-Cola does not exist…
Some of the buildings may have signs for local businesses but most have none at all. It was actually very refreshing to see empty building walls and taxis.
However, advertising is not totally lacking, especially when it comes to Cuba’s most profitable sector – tourism. Restaurants or home accommodations generally post informational signs. Therefore, it is interesting that those who have invested in their signs or have printed menus. And probably been assisted by a designer, have often ended up with a tasteless and visually confused result. While the hand-drawn signs are generally tasteful and artistic, often with calligraphic texts. Even the food stalls that can be found in the most random places had taken the trouble to paint their menus by hand.
Today a visit to Cuba seems like a trip into the past, however there are changes in the air and it is become more open to the Western world. Increased access to the internet will definitely change Cuban graphic design, and even now, one can see Western-style signs in some places that clearly make many tourists feel safe and at home, and therefore, these places often have many more customers