A One-of-a-Kind Gift

It's been so exciting and busy around here! I've been creating custom subway posters for some really fun people and today I've asked one of them to share their experience and how the poster was received. 

First, this is the poster I created for her husband's 50th birthday. Very cool, no? 

I'll let Liliana Romero describe the process and the poster in her own words:


Since the day you posted the Subway Art Posters with the Cuban food names I printed the info and placed it in my “Mami’s Wish List” Folder (I also have your Cookbook there.)

Don’t laugh! I started that folders many years ago and add clippings, torn magazine pages, etc. in it of things I absolutely love (and would love to have for myself one day) although most of the time I end up getting them for someone else, as was the case this time.

This folder also helps my boys (MDE and my two boys) with what they can get Mami. Then the idea came to me that MDE was celebrating his 50th (aka The Big One) in a few weeks and that a personal Subway Art Poster would be a great gift for his office.

I called our boys (one in Atlanta and one in Tallahassee) and together we started working on what would go on his poster. They had to be things that represented MDE and his life. Then the fun part began.

The boys and I went back and forth with ideas on the many words and things we wanted to add to the poster. It was truly inspiring to see all the words the boys would come up to describe their father. I always knew they felt that way, but to actually hear them say it and see it on paper, was very emotional (reaching 50 will do this to you.)

When we finalized the list I placed the order for the poster through your site My Big Fat Cuban Family (painless and effortless). When it came to the space you gave me to fill in what we wanted on the poster, we hit a roadblock. There wasn’t enough space in the section to write everything. Fingers crossed I wrote you a message and hoped you contact me by e-mail so that I can provide you with my full list -and boy was it a list!

You immediately e-mailed me and started working on it.

From the moment I received your e-mail you confirmed what I had felt the first time I found your site My Big Fat Cuban Family and you - I felt I had known you forever. You took a personal interest (somehow I feel this is second nature to you) in making this poster the best gift we could have created for the Birthday Boy, from the content to the symbols to making sure it all worked out on the poster, there was no detail too small for you.

I was also very grateful that you listened to our input when we requested small changes or tweaks. We were really doing this together and that made it even more special. The finished product was perfect and all it needed was a frame, some gift wrapping and a bow, and we were ready!

The night of the surprise both of our boys flew into town and they, along with our family and a few of his closest friends were waiting for us at his favorite restaurant. It was truly a huge surprise for MDE and an unforgettable night for all there.

The highlight of the night was when he tore through the wrapping and saw the poster, and then the boys and I proceeded to tell him why we had chosen those things and what they meant to us. Yes, there were some tears, but all worth it.

Among our top favorites on the poster (too many to name them all) were:

  • The coordinates which represent the location of La Carreta Restaurant, where we met almost 26 years ago at 2am (yes, I do believe in fate and in love at first sight);
  • The S with the Cross, not only represents Southern Cross, his favorite song by Crosby Stills and Nash, but also his eternal and strong grounded faith in God;
  • The Bat Signal represents what the boys have named a prominent area that is slowly clearing up on top of his head (yes, we went there);
  • The sun and the clouds symbolizing “our” favorite song Night and Day by Cole Porter (yes, we are still hopeless romantics too);
  • A list of his nicknames by family members such as Tata, Romero, Mi Negrito and Sparky;
  • Then from a previous poster you had created I got the idea of adding one of our favorite scriptures Phil 1:3(I thank my God every time I remember you) because we really do;
  • We also included our Church’s name, Prince de Paz, because it has played such an important part in our lives since the day we met;
  • Lastly, I had to add MDE, which stands for My Darling Esposito.

In one word: Espectacular. MDE said he couldn’t have asked for anything more on this special memorable night.

Un millon de gracias Marta.


 Liliana, your Cuban Sister from another Cuban Mister and #1 Fan from South Florida


I feel so privileged to have been a part of her MDE's big day. Thank you, Liliana for trusting me with creating your special gift! (Also, now I've got the song, "Night and Day" playing in a loop in my head, but that's not important right now.)

If you're looking for a unique one-of-a-kind gift, I'd love to create a Subway Poster for you! I think it would be a very cool Father's Day gift, too.

Here's the link:

Marta Darby Designs - Word Art To Make You Happy

Or if you're not feeling particularly creative, I also have the "Comida Cubana" Cuban Poster.

Because who knows more about WORDS and Cuban Food than us Cubans? I know. We can't help it. It's in our DNA.