In corona-time designer’s trade organizations across the globe do whatever they can to help their members to survive the crisis. Everywhere tons of tips and advice are given for designers to cope with the challenges of this extraordinary period.

We were triggered by the dedicated page the Association of Dutch Designers (BNO) published on its website with all the information on available financial support from the government and how to get it. There are corona related FAQ’s, news and articles and for instance, a link to the open call by the Dutch government for (paid) design solutions for the specific challenges the healthcare system is facing today.

Webinar and weekly journal

How do other trade organizations throughout the world do this, we asked ourselves. In the UK the Design Business Association runs a free webinar every Friday at 1 pm to directly support design businesses through the coronavirus pandemic. The live webinars are open to anyone running a design business. Sign up here to receive detailsLast week’s webinar can be seen here:

Deborah Dawton, Chief Executive, Design Business Association


UK’s Design Council started last week with a weekly journal to share our reflections from the coronavirus outbreak. The first edition, published on 25 March, has short contributions from DC-employees who temporarily have new assignments as program managers on ‘localism’, ‘running remote events’ and ‘isolation’.

The British Institute of Interior Designers (BIID) also published a page of advice on strategies for interior designers to cope with the crisis. There are suggestions for suitable video conferencing apps, guidance for employers to look after their employees and links to financial and other government support.


Design Guide to Self-isolation

In the US the AIGA, the Professional Association for Design, compiled a super inspiring page for quarantined designers: The Eye on Design Guide to Self-isolation for Designers and Creatives. ‘From our respective home offices, we’ve been scanning the web over the past few days to collect tips and resources for designers, illustrators, and self-employed creatives during the COVID-19 outbreak’, the intro starts off. While it’s a scary time, it’s also heartening to see so many projects, initiatives, Zoom meet-ups, and open-source Google docs organized by the design community to keep spirits high and money flowing.

The page has tips on how to support freelance artists, small presses, booksellers, small type foundries, on how to find jobs and save money, on how to collaborate at a distance, how to teach yourself new skills or how to entertain yourself.

Among the tips the idea that you can support local bars and restaurants by designing merchandise for them, like sweaters or t-shirts. Or join the collaborative platform Or donate your home computer’s down-time to COVID-19 research by downloading and running crowdsourced distributed computing platform Folding@home.

The list is extensive, surprising, stimulating and is constantly updated as everyone is invited to add their own tips to an open-source Google Doc. A pure demonstration of the inventiveness and resilience of the designer’s profession.

If you have more tips on how trade organizations around the world are trying to help out, please let us know: