Freepik Unveils AI-Driven Design Transformations, Revitalizing Local Small Businesses in San Francisco's Excelsior District

Freepik Unveils AI-Driven Design Transformations, Revitalizing Local Small Businesses in San Francisco's Excelsior District

Apr. 19, 2024

Freepik, the leading global tech company and largest design platform with audio-visual resources and generative AI tools, announced today the recent reveal of its San Francisco Neighborhood Design project. This innovative initiative leveraged AI tools to swiftly revitalize three local small businesses within San Francisco's Excelsior District. From exterior design to interior enhancements and merchandise, the AI-powered transformations were completed in under a week, and usher in a new era of AI-assisted design.

The unveiling of the designs from Freepik’s San Francisco Neighborhood Design project took place on Wednesday, April 17th, at the intersection of Excelsior Avenue and Mission Street. At the event, Jose Florido, US Head of Freepik, along with the participating designers, business owners, ​​and government representatives including District Supervisor, Ahsha Safaí; Executive Director-Economic & Workforce Development at the Mayor's Office, Sarah Dennis-Phillips; and Excelsior’s Action Group, Director of Public Realm, Mel Flores, engaged with the local community, discussing various aspects of the initiative. Topics ranged from the use of AI in the creation of the designs to the inspiration behind each design and the anticipated impact on the local community.

District Supervisor Safai commented:

“Today is a big day for our Excelsior neighborhood, especially for our small businesses that make our streets feel like home. These businesses are the heart and soul of this community. That’s why I want to give a huge thank you to Freepik for investing in this storefront”.


Dennis-Phillips also shared a few words:

"What's so amazing about this Freepik incentive outreach that you've done with the neighborhood community is that it shows how critical private partnership is to the public sector. This is what San Francisco should be all about. From the economic development perspective, I'm really hoping to see so much more, it's a really exciting initiative."


Last month, Freepik launched an initiative to nurture emerging design talent. By holding a call for emerging designers, Freepik offered an exclusive opportunity to those selected to participate in the San Francisco Neighborhood Design project – reimagining storefronts, interiors and merchandise designs for local small businesses using Freepik’s cutting-edge AI-powered design tools. The San Francisco Neighborhood Design project’s aim was to contribute to the transformation of neighborhood businesses, making a tangible impact on both small businesses and the broader community, all while providing rising designers with invaluable real-world experience.

Through the use of Freepik’s comprehensive suite of cutting-edge AI design tools, the selected emerging designers collaborated closely with the three participating small businesses within San Francisco's Excelsior District, including Restaurante Familiar, Excelsior Coffee, and Razo’s Barber Shop, to transform the businesses' visual identities. This initiative showcased how AI-integrated tools can empower designers to work more efficiently, delivering exceptional designs with unprecedented speed without compromising on creativity. Earlier this year, Freepik brought forward revitalization initiatives in their global headquarters of Malaga, Spain through their Neighborhood Design Malaga project.

Joaquin Cuenca Abela, co-founder and CEO of Freepik said:

“We firmly believe that AI is the future of design innovation. Through the power of AI, projects like this one become possible – it shines a  light on how AI tools empower designers to work faster, delivering exceptional designs in less time. The Excelsior District is known for its strong sense of community and we're thrilled to have been able to lead this initiative in this iconic neighborhood, connecting hard working small businesses with up-and-coming designers who not only brought their dreams to fruition but exceeded expectations. "


Unthinkable Creative worked on the production of the new designs and supported with coordinating designers and businesses.

Sandra Manzano, Head of Operations of Unthinkable Creative UAE commented:

"Our Neighborhood Design work in both Spain and the USA showcases Freepik's commitment to empowering communities through design. We believe that technology and great design, can truly transform narratives and create positive stories. Seeing the meaningful impact of this campaign reinforces our belief that creativity knows no bounds and can ignite positive change worldwide."

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