As a brand
SEALS is rooted in the history of this familial name. Imagine a time when nobility rules, and knights protect, towns are small, everyone knows everyone, and all have a trade. As these towns grew, and more people had the same name, they needed a way to tell one John from the other. There came the last name. Determined by trade, Seals is the occupational name of a craftsmen who made wax seals and signet rings for members of nobility. As a maker of modern brands, history has come full circle.
As a studio
Seals’ history began in 1911. That was the year the Sarah E. Johnson Farm was established by Seals’ 3x great-grandparents. The stable that is now home to Studio Seals was built by his 3x great-grandfather in 1911, and expanded upon by his father in 1970. After going full-time freelance in 2016, Seals realized that it was time to move into a place where his talent can flourish, and he new that he wouldn’t be inspired by what thousands of other designers see in any city on a daily basis. So he broke ground in September 2016, and the rest is history.
As a person
From the beginning, Seals was set on a path to become the designer he is today. From kindergarten to 3rd grade he practiced writing in cursive until his handwriting looked like the sample sheets. In the 5th and 6th grade he started his first creative venture, graffitiing people’s names on index cards, laminating them, and selling them for $3 a piece. In high school he designed tattoos. And at the age of 20, Seals made a pact with himself that by the time he was 25, he’d become an internationally renowned designer—and he is.
Four months after graduating from college, he founded his company. Less than a year later, he started a font foundry, Vocal Type, that not only crafts industry shattering typefaces, but also works with a variety of non-profit organizations.
Since then, he’s been recognized as the youngest Ascender by the Type Directors Club, a Black Trailblazer by The Dots, and has been featured in Print, How, and Communication Arts magazines, and more.