26 Nostalgically Cool Designs by Sean Kane

26 Nostalgically Cool Designs by Sean Kane

Interview with Sean Kane


Hello Sean! Let’s get to know you more. Can you tell us something about yourself?

My name is Sean Kane, I'm a graphic designer based in Adelaide, Australia. I’m 28 years old, so I grew up in the late 80's/early 90's which certainly comes through in my work. I'm fairly new to Graphic Design, but have a long history in the print industry. As well as design, I also love cooking, travel and beer :)

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Design Print Deliver On Time A3 Poster V1

What influenced you to become graphic designer?

I have always been interested in drawing and dabbled a bit in traditional art when I was younger, but never really liked the whole academic side of it and lacked motivation to continue studying. After putting education on hold, I landed a job as a printer and worked in this area for about 6 years, during which time I worked overseas in Ireland and England. I got sick of printing badly designed work, so when I returned to Australia, I made the decision to do a graphic design course and get a formal qualification. This was the first time I had used Photoshop properly, but I picked it up quickly, using techniques I learnt in traditional methods.

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Senna Poster V4

How have you evolved as a designer since you first started?

Some of my early work lacks direction, I just messed around in Photoshop or Illustrator until something looked cool, letting the computer do most of the work. The effects were simpler and my knowledge of type was pretty bad, I just used other people’s fonts. I look at that work now and have a bit of a 'What I was I thinking?' moment. Nowadays, I take a back-to-basic approach and always sketch out ideas on paper first. I use the computer as a tool to bring those ideas to life. I think this gives the design some kind of grounding in the real world. Once the design has been translated into the digital world, I spend more time on the small details that make up a piece and less time using a 'hit and miss' approach because I have a clear plan laid out on paper.

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Senna Poster V4

What is a typical day like for you?

The first thing I do on any day is take my Welsh terrier for his walk. I'm lucky enough to live in the Adelaide Foothills, a very picturesque part of the world and this always clears my mind and where any creative ideas I have come to mind. Plus, the dog will give me dirty looks all day if I skip this part! It's then time for coffee, check Emails and a few websites to stay up to date with what’s happening in the world before I get settled in. By the time I get started on the computer, I'm ready for some tunes and I sort of get into a 'zone' and stay there until its time for a break in the evening.
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Senna Poster V4

Is there an inspiration for each work you produce? What usually inspires you?

Each work has a different inspiration. The one thing that ties most of my work together though is nostalgia. Most of the time I will see an effect or style used by another designer and I will want to recreate it with my own ideas thrown in. There are so many talented designers out there, that the inspiration is endless. Specifically though, James White of Signalnoise and Aaron Draplin of DDC are huge inspirations when it comes to being motivated. The value they put on personal work really keeps me going on my own projects, for the love of it, rather than doing it for the money.

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Sentinel BG

You have such an amazing array of work in your portfolio. How do you develop a concept from start to finish?

Time spent in the planning stage always pays off in the end. So I do a bit of looking through my archive of inspiring images to get an idea in my head of what I want to achieve. Then comes the sketch I make any notes about colours, styles, fonts etc to keep me on the straight and narrow once I get on the computer. I start the layout and all main parts of the design in Adobe Illustrator firstly. Then afterwards come the time consuming part of going back and forth between Illustrator and Photoshop, pasting vector images and adding effects as I go. I find it much easier to work with the pen tool in illustrator rather than brushes in Photoshop as it’s just what I practice more of. I don't use a tablet, so this might also be the reason I struggle getting smooth lines in Photoshop, but it’s just a personal preference. It’s pretty smooth sailing from here, if I stick to the original sketch! If it’s a client work, before I put any finishing touches on, I get a bit of feedback and make the changes they request. If it’s personal work I save it, get away from the screen and leave it for a day or two to see if I can see any obvious changes that need to be done.

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Study of an Eagle A3 copy

Would you say that you keep a certain trademark or style in each of your work?

Lately I have been placing importance on keeping certain restrictions in my work. I use only a small selection of brushes, colours and fonts for all my personal work. There’s an abundance of gold on black backgrounds, bold type, simple perspectives, bold type. I guess its pretty masculine stuff. Generally though, I do have 2 distinct methods. The more realistic approach, done in Photoshop with gradients and blend modes and all those cool things. And the total Vector approach, staying just with the pen tool.

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What materials do you most enjoy working with?

I love vector work; I love the restriction of trying to create things just using simple methods. I also love quality papers, I have a collection which I scan in and always try to incorporate even in vector work to try and take away from the clinical/clean appearance that digital art can have.

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3 comments on “26 Nostalgically Cool Designs by Sean Kane”

  1. hi Sean Kane, i am very impresed about youe designing and i'm shocked to see it really i'm very impersed please tell me how i i do for it because i'm interested in it.please tell me.....

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