Freelancer Friday — Estefi Panizza

Umbrella Studios
5 min readAug 14, 2020


Thanks for taking the time to chat to us, lets start by giving everyone a little background, where you were born, how you got into design and so on?

I am originally from Buenos Aires. I was born and raised there, I studied psychology and photography back there. Then I moved to Barcelona for a job that gave me the amazing opportunity of being in Europe. I decided I wanted to go to London and do design and to build myself a career as an Art Director. I’ve always been fascinated by beautiful things with the love, passion and dedication that goes into making them. That is why I got into design and why my approach to design is very art orientated.

Illustration by Ben Longden

Over the last few months during the whole crisis how have you adapted your working day where do you spend your days working? Whats an average day like!

When this pandemic hit us, I was opening my studio at my house, so in a way it was a really good moment to settle in, check in with myself and really ask myself what is it that I want to work on and how? I guess during a time where uncertainty and instability comes we can use that energy in movement to create and to really dive into ourselves to find our internal flame. I have been very lucky and was able to carry on working from my home for clients and find also time to start other personal projects such us: studying tarot!

I am quite a “home” person, so I love to spend time on my own when I create. I guess it changed because now I share that space with my partner, and that makes us collaborate and share more projects even by accident! He is a designer and developer, so it’s great to have him around.

I wake up and do a coffee in my old school Italian Bialetti and then I now do a veggie/vegan/eco friendly smoothie to get my body up and running. Then I normally do a bit of yoga or meditation depending on my energy level and start the day! After working in the studio, I go for a run to Hackney Downs and walk Coco (our dog)

Anyone familiar with your instagram feed will be aware of your really nice mix of personal life and design work, your instagram stories feel like an ever changing mood board, is this intentional.

Thank you! I just use Instagram as a way of expressing myself and to share the way I see things. It’s not very planned or staged, it’s very intuitive, authentic and honest. I do love to share sometimes work that I am proud of, but mostly I share to show others what the amazing brands I work with do. I always like being a connector of people and I feel this is me doing that.

You are the self proclaimed Queen of Colour, care to elaborate?

This is something that came up as an in joke with my partner Ben, because I am always tweaking all his colour palettes! Sorry Ben haha. But not only Ben’s. A lot of designers that I know have asked me to create their colour sets. This is something that I found very interesting as I do love colour and I joke that is the only thing I know how to do. But in a way, for me design is colour, type and photography.

How do you approach a project, is there a lot of design thinking and research upfront or do you like to dive right in?

I do love research. I normally start a project with words, taking some notes on a paper or in my laptop. Then I follow that with mood-boards, I am the type of designer that can spend days looking at references. I don’t do sketches or draw. I like to try things on the computer and dive in. I find inspiration in everything and in everyone. I feel like design should be beautiful and passionate and exceed expectations, and that, if we work really well, generally with a good team, as designers we have an amazing opportunity to create something unique, iconic and inspiring.

You recently went freelance, how have you approached this and do you think working in a studio before you made the leap helped set you off on the right path?

I think this decision came up in a natural way. I like change, movement, and to be able to work at my own process and rhythm. Of course being able to work in a big studio in London helped but I think all experiences in my career helped me to make that leap. And yeah I feel it is definitely the right one.

And finally, dream commission or collaboration to work on?

I would love to be able to work with and for people who want to contribute to make good impact on the world. People who care about making good impacts on communities, Mother Nature, that want to bring up healthy and honest conversations. Being a Latin creative in London has taught me the importance of being aware of inclusivity, diversity and accessibility.

You can see more of Estefi’s work here



Umbrella Studios

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