TwentyTwenty Vision

SEA Design is twenty this month and it's celebrating with a book featuring highlights from the past two decades. Here SEA's Bryan Edmondson talks us through some of his favourite projects.

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Wow twenty years…Writing about two decades seems odd because it’s gone so quickly. I’ve learnt quite a lot over the years – firstly that time goes so quickly. Secondly, that you can’t do any of this without the support of great and talented people, and I’ve been lucky to have worked with some great friends. The team at SEA over the years has been wonderful and I dare say it is currently the best it’s ever been.  

SEA has grown and so have our clients. We still love the problem solving aspect of brand identity and also working with companies and individuals across the globe, all with very different perspectives on the world. Every project has been enjoyable – honest. Even when the more challenging ones make you think harder, they usually tend to create the most wonderful work. 

I’ve chosen five projects from the past twenty years that stand out particularly for me, and those that, looking back, have given the most enjoyment, and taught me something new.

Monotype

OK, where to start? The world’s greatest type company, an education in typography and a vast global business – what an identity project. I learned all about Monotype when I was still at college, and to help revive such a wonderful brand was a dream come true.

I love type. Most of SEA’s identity systems takes a typographical approach, so to be exposed to so many type experts was an eye opener. I thought I knew type, however working with Monotype was a real education and a true honour. Heritage and technology meets craft, reminding all of the ingrained world of Monotype, from global brands to the digital revolution of type.

GF Smith

I remember when John Haslam, a young and eager paper rep, called on SEA to sell paper. They sold lovely paper however the brand looked a little tatty and I thought that maybe I could help.

GF Smith supplies papers from around the world and between John Haslam, Geoff Burrows and SEA, we forged a great relationship that lasted over thirteen years.

I enjoyed every minute of working with them and we became very close friends. I don’t recall ever seeing a brief, a project was simply discussed and we got work that eventually spanned across the whole business. The highlight of all of the projects was probably the digital campaign which generated 10,000 unique variable data images which then wrapped around paper swatches sent out to clients. We were very proud when this project was nominated for Design Museum Designs of the Year in 2012.

Fedrigoni

I know… another paper company. However, this time it was a fine paper-maker, an Italian paper mill steeped in history and founded in 1888.

I love post war Italian graphic design, so after a few initial projects we proposed a campaign telling the story of their rich paper-making heritage and their association with design – Made in Italy. With the help of the AIAP team in Milan we created an exhibition featuring the work of Franco Grignani, Ilio Negri, Heinz Waibl and the sadly departed Giancarlo Iliprandi. 

The Fedrigoni brand has told a great story through the Made in Italy campaign and this year was followed up by Made in Italy: Bodoni in Print, featuring the work of Peter Saville, Paul Rand, Massimo Vignelli, Bruno Monguzzi, amongst others.

Matthew Williamson

I was introduced to Matthew by a mutual friend and photographer, Rankin. They were working together on a five-year anniversary campaign and needed help on the identity. Working together with other designers and photographers is always fun, but Matthew is an eclectic designer who travels and finds wonderful inspiration for his work which made it even more exciting. The work we did together over a few years was genuinely collaborative, even the Collection invites were inspired by wonderful papers he found whist travelling in India.

Over the years we have worked with architects, furniture designers and other graphic designers however Matthew Williamson was the most exciting and creative which resulted in some great work. Watching a catwalk show in NYC was also fun.

Regatta

Finally, Regatta. I loved this project for many reasons. The owner, Keith, is a wonderful, passionate and an all-round inspiring chap. It’s a family run business so decisions tend to be made quickly, if something is liked then it’s a question of how quickly can you do it?

We first started working in 2006 on a campaign art direction which was fun due to the locations – frozen Whistler to stunning Patagonia to wine-fuelled Cape Town. Years later the question of identity was raised and I was determined to find a great solution…sadly that didn’t happen straight away. After countless proposals it was time to take stock. I returned to my first drawings and noticed a simple solution that had been overlooked. This was sent to Keith’s house ahead of a meeting the following day. I received a text later that night from a very excited Keith. Lesson learned – don’t throw anything away. I still smile when I see that logo on jackets and recall ‘that text’.

See more of SEA's beautiful work at seadesign.com

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