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Master Digital Design graduates join forces in producing medical masks for Dutch hospitals

In the midst of the coronavirus crisis, two students took their design talent to help set up an initiative: tackle the shortage of surgical masks at Dutch hospitals.

Leila Farhood and Boaz Prinzen, graduates of the Master Digital Design, are currently assisting a design team responsible for the promotion of the first medical masks production facility in The Netherlands.

They have been working together with the agency Friends for Brands in developing some of the visual elements of the campaign.

The Mondmaskerfabriek (Medical Masks Factory) is an initiative by the Refugee Company – a social enterprise that employs refugees in The Netherlands to help them become financially independent. It was set up by Naz Kawan, a friend of Boaz with whom he studied fashion branding and design, and Fleur Bakker. Before the pandemic, Leila had already shown interest in volunteering for the company.

Boaz Prinzen and Leila Farhood have been assisting in the project
Boaz Prinzen and Leila Farhood have been assisting in the project

The unexpected arrival of Covid-19 caused a shortage of surgical masks much needed for medical staff fighting the virus. Already savvy in tailoring and sewing, the Refugee Company, geared its mission to tackle the shortage. Both Boaz and Leila embraced the opportunity to apply their design skills into a greater cause. “This is a universal crisis,” says Leila. “I think any ability to contribute and help is crucial right now, and I’m really excited to have the opportunity to do so.”

When lockdown happened in March, the two designers were starting to work on their third project together for the master's programme. By then it had become clear how great of a team they were. “Boaz and I have found that our skillsets and personalities balance each other out extremely well,” explains Leila. “And we are so much stronger when we put our heads together to work on a project.”

Check out Boaz and Leila's animation work on this video

It was this bond that enabled them to combine their studies with their contribution for the Mondmaskerfabriek. Part of the duo’s work can be seen in promotional video animations for the initiative and they’re currently developing the timeline visuals.

Boaz and Leila have been working on the time-line visuals
Boaz and Leila have been working on the time-line visuals

Despite both of the students having already professional experience (Leila worked in agencies for three years in New York; and Boaz has been freelancing for two years in Amsterdam), to them, this is also an excellent opportunity to collaborate with an established studio and do pro-bono work for a cause they truly believe in.

“Friend for Brands is a great company,” says Boaz. “They are very skilled and the work they make is something that I want to learn from.”

For more on the initiative go to their website: https://www.mondmaskerfabriek.nl/

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