< View all news

American Express Launches New Artist-Designed Merchant Signage that Lets Customers Know They’re “Always Welcome.”

November 4, 2021

Majority of U.S. Customers Prefer to Shop at Businesses Where Inclusivity Matters

NEW YORK, November 04, 2021 – American Express announced today a collective of artists, Shawna X, Reyna Noriega, and Mariell, who designed new signage and marketing materials for U.S. merchants, based on the artists’ own interpretation of the theme “Always Welcome.” 

According to a new Amex-commissioned study from Morning Consult1, 78% of consumer respondents reported that when deciding where to shop, it is important to know that the store is welcoming of or inclusive to all people. Merchants also want to make sure their intentions are clear. More than 80% of business owners in the same survey said that they have made a point to make sure their customers know they welcome all people.

“Signage has long been an important tool for American Express; it’s the familiar blue and white square logo on merchant’s doors or website that signals American Express Cards are warmly welcomed,” said Mary Ellen Jelenek, Senior Vice President, Global Merchant Marketing and Analytics at American Express. “We know from marketing data that many of our merchants want these materials for their business. This new signage helps signal welcomed acceptance of American Express, as well as welcomed acceptance of all customers."

The Designs:

Shawna X

“In the piece I created, I was trying to bring a form of unity,” said Shawna X, a New York City-based independent artist and visual director, who works with various mediums across digital, spatial, and motion spaces. “I believe that we all come from one source and that's represented by the radials expanding from the center of my artwork. I created inclusivity by having a diverse array of people contributing to the source. I believe that when we all work together, we can create a better future. Inclusivity to me is us working together in community and unison to create for ourselves.”

Reyna Noriega

“I made inclusivity central to the piece I created for American Express by including loose representations of people from diverse walks of life in a space where they are in community, and full of joy and abundance with plants and organic shapes,” said Reyna Noriega, a Miami-based visual artist and author, whose works focus on women and themes of self-love, confidence and joy. “Inclusivity to me is the freedom to exist without having to worry about whether you were welcomed or thought of in a space, in a job, on a show, or in media. I think that inclusivity has to be something that we champion and something that we stand for.”


“American Express asked me to create this unique signage that any business can use to make everyone feel welcomed,” said Mariell, a Dallas-based mixed media painter, muralist, illustrator and installation artist. “I hope that when people see my work, they feel a sense of wonder and belonging. To me, inclusivity means creating a safe space where everyone can encourage one another to be free to be their most authentic selves to thrive at their highest potential.”

The new designs are now available at no cost to businesses who want to display them. There are a variety of ways to order the new signage:

  • Designs are available in printed form by online ordering, as well as for immediate digital download. See here: http://www.americanexpress.com/signage/artistseries
  • Designs will be included in the annual Shop Small marketing kits for small businesses that wish to join the annual Small Business Saturday movement. 
  • American Express onsite merchant visits with business owners, welcome kits for new merchants, direct mail with select small businesses, and additional opportunities through various American Express partners.

American Express committed $1 billion late last year to promote racial, ethnic and gender equity for colleagues, customers and communities. This latest artist partnership aligns with these efforts, helping to support messages of inclusivity and equity with customers and communities alongside our merchant partners.


American Express is a globally integrated payments company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at americanexpress.com and connect with us on facebook.com/americanexpress, instagram.com/americanexpress, linkedin.com/company/american-express, twitter.com/americanexpress, and youtube.com/americanexpress.

Key links to products, services and corporate responsibility information: personal cards, business cards, travel services, gift cards, prepaid cards, merchant services, Accertify, Kabbage, Resy, corporate card, business travel, diversity and inclusion, corporate responsibility and Environmental, Social, and Governance reports.

1This Morning Consult poll was conducted between June 2-14, 2021 among a national sample of 2,000 general population consumers with a household income of $50k+, and a national sample of 500 small business decision makers. Results from the overall survey have a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points. 

Jacob Wilson

Multimedia Files:

< View all news