The New Book “Designers Against Coronavirus” Is a Powerhouse of Positivity
Design can be a powerful tool in times of crisis, when creativity is a crucial element for survival. At the start of the Covid-19 outbreak last year, the team at the Milanese design studio Carosello Lab found themselves confined to their homes, pondering what they could do to help. In an effort to encourage people to express themselves and inspire others, they asked artists on Instagram to send their personal interpretations of the public health emergency—and in less than two weeks, received more than 2,000 submissions from around the world. The studio published a selection of them in a digital archive titled Designers Against Coronavirus, and in the fall, took the project a step further by documenting 272 of the works in a book of the same name. Nearly all the resources to publish it, from the paper to securing the copyright for each image, were donated, and the entire proceeds will benefit the Italian Red Cross, the book’s exclusive retailer.
Divided into four chapters—“Let’s be careful,” “Let’s stay safe,” “Let’s keep thinking,” and “Let’s remain joyful”—the book features buoyant work by emerging and established contributors, including Dutch artist Sophia Twigt, whose pared-down figures carry out everyday activities while cramped inside tiny homes; Swedish illustrator Alva Skog, whose drawings of outsize palms play up the importance of hand-washing; and the Parisian graphic design duo M/M (Paris), who were among the 17 artists interviewed for its pages. While flipping through the book elicits a range of emotions, its contents express a sense of solidarity that provides much-needed optimism to weather the storm.