apologistics GmbH (


Die Botschaft


Design Director: Max Kahls
Creative Director: Ralf Lukowsky
Designers: Stephan Wolf, Jan Illmann, Andreas Sendker
Project Managers: Silke Bobbert, Nele Opel

My Services

Design Direction, Brand Design System, Brand Design Documentation (Frontify), Components, Webdesign

The online pharmacy, part of the group, is the third largest online shop for pharmaceuticals in Germany. Alongside brands such as juvalis, and, is the flagship of the group, which generates annual sales of almost €220 million with 250 employees.

To further expand its market position, apodiscounter engaged the agency Die Botschaft with a comprehensive rebranding including a new brand strategy for a clear target group approach.

I was booked by the agency as design director for the project. As part of an interdisciplinary team, I created a consistent brand design for all touchpoints. I also laid the foundation for a solid design system and built the first components according to the new design for the webshop.

*My clients are empowered to evolve their websites on their own. Live websites may not reflect my original designs.

The Briefing

I was integrated into the project when the strategy process was already well advanced. The task was to build on this and design a new visual identity. Certain elements (primary color & icons) were to be adopted, everything else could be newly formed.

The goal was to develop a new logo with an associated brand design system and to document this in the form of a basic CD manual.

The Process

First Part - Brand Design
For the logo design we were supported by the freelancer Stephan Wolf from Berlin. Together with the agency's creative director, I briefed and managed the logo design process and, after internal rounds, presented the favorites to the client.

It quickly became clear that the final logo with the imagined horizon responded precisely to the strategy and embodied exactly what we were looking for: Open, light, approachable, warm & positive.

I then translated these attributes and the element of the sun into a holistic design principle that works across all touchpoints: Stationery, digital banners, mailings, OOH, packaging, sub-brands, merchandise, buildings, etc.

As briefed, this resulted in a clear brand design manual. However, this very quickly reached its limits: For a digital brand whose main sales channel is its own webshop and where various internal and external service providers have to work with the new design, it is simply extremely error-prone and cumbersome to work with a PDF as a manual. The client understood these concerns and agreed to let us document the design manual on Frontify.

Second Part - Frontify Brand Guideline
While the PDF manual remained relatively on the surface (logo do's and dont's, typography, tonality, colors) Frontify allowed us to accurately document and make all aspects of the brand accessible. Since then, an extensive media and icon library as well as font and color packages for download have made the work easier for everyone involved.

What was missing now was the heart of the brand: the actual webshop.

Third Part - The webshop
At the latest after the rebranding, it became clear that the webshop urgently needed an overhaul of the UI. The quality of the new brand design and the webshop just didn't match anymore.

Therefore, I was tasked with redesigning the UI of the webshop and redesigning it with the help of a design system. A sequential approach was desired, with the top navigation to be redesigned first.

In the course of the extensive explorations for the TopNav I started to build the design system. The first components were the form inputs and buttons in all variations. Also the grid as well as cards, sliders, chips and the footer were created in this process.

The Output

As a result, we redefined and redesigned the apodiscounter brand from scratch and documented it digitally with the help of Frontify. We also successfully laid the foundation for the further redesign of the webshop.

The Takeaways

As is often the case, this project grew more and more and we managed to convince the client several times to take additional measures. Thus, the project grew larger and larger in the ongoing process until it reached a critical point, the core of the product. Here, unfortunately, it began that there was no longer a complete buy-in from the client.

The webshop had grown over decades and was consistently expanded, resulting in the creation of an "octopus." Getting to grips with this "octopus" proved to be very challenging, also due to client structures and processes. While the client was aware of this and intended to modernize the webshop and elevate the brand to a new level, there was no willingness to tackle this consistently in the end.

As a result, only the foundation was solidified, leaving the webshop with, at best, a fresh coat of paint.