Design for people

What the pandemic is teaching me as Brand Designer

Alvaro d'Apollonio
4 min readSep 29, 2020

As a brand designer, I’ve always been convinced that an office was a natural extension of the corporate visual identity. A place where everyone, from the intern to the CEO up to clients and customers, could have the possibility to breathe the true nature of a brand. Not just the visual style, colours, furniture and elements from the brand identity but rather a place where they can identify with a positive message. A true voice that impact lives, to think about why we do what we do, to help, to add value, to create meaning; something less tangible but strongly characterizing, a fundamental element that marks a successful company.

That fundamental message is:

do it for people

Although I am a firm supporter of remote working because it allows many to balance private life and work more effectively, I am convinced that the workspace remains one of the main corporate assets as it is not just a container for desks and meeting rooms.

Here at Eigen I was given the opportunity and honour of working intensively on our new offices in London and New York. Since the very first meetings, the goal has always been clear: let’s design it for us, for the people of Eigen, in support of every role, team and function of the company so that everyone can work in the best possible way, enhancing and sharing that culture and identity around that thing we simply call “brand”.

February/March 2020

Coronavirus has entered our lives so quickly that it didn’t give us enough time to realise how much it would have unsettled our everyday life. It is a long process and we will probably fully understand its real impact only with time. The pandemic has seen many losing their jobs, their social and economic certainties.

I am not in a position to make such broad considerations but I would like to take the chance to talk about my personal experience; to make an observation on how all this led to asking me new questions about my role and position, as a professional and as a designer.

Suddenly our offices closed and our calendars started being filled with online meetings; here’s the start of “working from home”. Since the first few weeks I could feel I was no longer the same, I was losing motivation, enthusiasm and it didn’t take me long to realise that probably the main source of motivation for me was waking up having a purpose; waking up and going to the office, living that workspace strongly wanted by me and by Eigen, sharing the place with my colleagues, finding constant inspiration and solutions to problems by simply sharing my thoughts with someone, face to face.

Here’s the main concern: how to keep doing brand design in a post-covid scenario so uncertain and mutable when you are missing one of your main assets?

How to keep growing ideas and initiatives of brand awareness that are not just connected to digital experiences. How to live and breathe that culture that is the base of any campaign of success? How to still identify yourself into something that is beyond your laptop screen and beyond your single responsibilities not having the chance of staying together?

On the other hand I am sure that all this should be taken as an opportunity and not as a limit. An opportunity to rethink brands in a much more ethical and honest way.

I keep questioning myself and I am yet to have all my answers but of one thing I am extremely sure:

No matter how, we’ll keep doing Design for people.



Alvaro d'Apollonio

Italian, coffee addicted Brand Designer based in London.