About Elsa Antoun, Design Director at No One Agency | And Us Group

My journey started in 2010 when I was in grade 10, that was the year I joined the big kids in high school. A few months into the semester, a teacher walks in and hands us each the school magazine. It was a magazine written, curated, and designed by students. I still to this day remember holding the magazine and looking at the cover, it was a stylized image of a baby in a space-like illustrated setting, and I remember looking at it and thinking ‘I would like to make one of those’ (the design, not the baby).

Jump 11 years later, skipping through the bachelor’s degree I received at the Lebanese University and the 6 years’ experience I got in Beirut working for one of the coolest boutique agencies in the country. Let’s jump to 2021, the year I moved to Dubai and started working at and us Agency. 

Within these three years of working at and us, I not only had the privilege of working on some great branding projects, but I also had the honor of playing a key role in building No One agency, a baby by years, but the experience and talent within the team, makes it one of the wisest in the region. No One is a branding agency under And Us group, that started off as three designers trying to make it work and moved its way up to become a whole team of some really great design thinkers in the region.

About her thoughts for the industry

Design is everywhere, from the website you are reading this article from, to the phone you are carrying, moving up to the watch on your wrist, the chair you are sitting on, to the room/coffee shop/ bathroom (no judgment) you are currently in… and the list can go on. Design is an industry that will never die. The reason I say that with full confidence even though I’m sure your first thought when reading that is ‘With the rise of AI, all industries are at risk’. But the thing is, design is not what you see, it’s the story behind it. Because beauty is relative, but what remains untouched is a good story, one that can live the test of time. 

Imagine you went on two different dates with two different people. Date number one, was well dressed, poised, very polite, had all the qualifications the right date should have. But you still went on a second date with date number two. Why is that? Because, date number two didn’t necessarily fit all the perfections and repetitiveness of greatness, but rather had character, had good stories to tell and built a connection with you.

The same concept is applied to design.

Good design should entice you; it needs to resonate with you, or better yet, it needs to tell you something.

The design industry, like everything else is always evolving, new trends always rise, and people love to ride on a good trend, because if the design has proven to be effective once, so hopefully it will be effective multiple times. But the secret to not fall with the trend as it fails to continue to rise, is to not lose who you are and not get sucked into the world of Déjà vu. 

Within my years of working at No One, I have learnt a few great lessons within the industry that I hope would inspire all women around the world; don’t stop telling great stories that stand true to the brand, don’t lose the love, and don’t fall into the trap of sameness.