Sean Steed is a Swiss/Argentine Graphic Designer, Artist and Architect. Before coming to the Royal College of Art, Sean graduated from Cornell University (Ithaca, NY, USA) where he completed a five-year Bachelor of Architecture with a concentration in Visual Representation and a minor in Fine Arts with a focus on Printmaking.
During his time at Cornell, Sean received the Charles Goodwin Sands Memorial Award for his thesis work “Codification though Cartography” as well as the Robert James Eidlitz Fellowship to travel to Iceland to produce a series of analogue photographs and drawings.
2019 – Typographic Singularity, Hockney Gallery, RCA, London (UK)
2018 – Multilayered: New Prints, International Print Center New York, NYC (USA)
2017 – Solo Show: “Tomorrow is Looking Great”, Hartell Gallery, Ithaca, NY (USA)
2017 – Horizons, Johnson Museum of Art, Ithaca, NY (USA)
2016 – Solo Show: The Unfolding, Bibliovitz Gallery, Ithaca, NY (USA)
Due to my architectural background, the combination of designing spaces and two-dimensional surfaces has made me comfortable working with a variety of scales and materials. This way of thinking and working has heavily influenced the way I see and tackle design ideas and problems.
My process-driven practice celebrates experimentation by testing the limits of both analogue and digital tools. Archiving every step of the design process from initial sketches to final design iterations is key to understanding the methodology behind my body of work.
This typographic collection of works covers three principal themes: Traditional formal type design, dimensionality and movement. Even though three-dimensional forms and animations beg to be developed digitally, I always start the design process with physical drawings. Influenced by my architectural background, it is the act of constructing forms and calculating transitions on paper that enables me to have a clear vision not only of the overall concept but of the smallest of details as well.
The digital realm naturally made me think about scale in a new way, as there are not necessarily any limits to work with, compared to the physical world where I am often limited by the edge of the paper. Exploring the micro and macro has been a theme in my work since my undergraduate thesis, experimenting with the notion of zooming in and zooming out. This naturally led me to consider density and unconventional grid systems.
This interest in scale can be seen in my typographic works. The final body of work ranges from typographic drawings done by hand with black pen on paper, inspired by architectural construction drawings, to the painting of large-scale letters influenced by sign painting and graffiti.
Set 08.01 – 08.03
Set 08.04 – 8.05
Medium:Black pen on paper
Size:A4 Canson gridded paper
Medium:Acrylic paint on paper
Size:2.40 × 2.40m
Medium:Acrylic paint on damaged second-hand sails
Size:3.00 × 1.00 × 2.60m
Stefan: Heavy, Medium, Regular and Light
RCA2020 Glyphsets in Motion
College-Wide RCA2020 Motion
School Specific Motion — School of Communication and Arts Humanities
School Specific Motion — School of Architecture and Design
Complete Glyph Set
The platform itself maintains aspects of the modularity initially used for the visual identity. We ensured that the students’ work remains the main focus of the platform, by carefully implementing the visual identity and making sure that the design is not overbearing.
Toolkit – 210 × 297mm
Toolkit Set – 210 × 297mm
Glyphs – Vectorized
Refined Glyph Set
The toolkit contained a series of modular shaped stencils which created the framework for the students to work within. This allowed for a series of outcomes that carry a visual language and maintain consistency in identity whilst showcasing variation and individuality across departments and students.