Name: Seán P.O’Mara        Nationality: Irish        Place of Birth: Holland        Date of Birth: 31/07/67


Brief Design Biog: Last updated 25/02/07

I was born in Scheveningen, Den Haag (Netherlands) quite by accident. My mother, who was carrying me, was evacuated with my brother from Nigeria due to the civil war, and they went to stay with my grand parents in Scheveningen. My father stayed on longer in Nigeria to help evacuate civilians out of the war zone (as his flying logbook attests). Having grown up in an eclectic way with a Dutch mother and Irish father I certainly had a different perspective on the life and the world. In my early days I lived in the Middle East and then Ireland. In Dublin I went to Johnstown National School, where I first learned unarmed combat. Later I progressed and went to Willow Park and then Blackrock College. I spent some of my time in school as a boarder and the rest as a day dog, as we were called. During this time my Father worked extensively in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Staying with him for my holidays was always fascinating, and is mainly responsible for all the madness I display in my work today and the collections I have amassed. (See O’Mara Archive section of the site). The Dutch side of the family was the creative bunch with my Grandmother studying fashion in the 1920’s, making many of my cloths as a small boy, and my mother making collages and paintings. Having said that my father had an adventurous spirit and a very good photographer. He was a chief engineer for Bristow Helicopters and at the time of his death when I was twelve, chief engineer of the Dubai Air wing (Police Helicopter division in Dubai UAE). The reason I decided to assembled the projects for this web site is that I have covered a lot of ground since I started as a designer and wanted to show my many friends in the four corners of the globe what I have been doing. In the world today its hard to keep up with everyone, so by putting all my madness in one place everyone can see what I have been up too and also what I am currently doing.

After Blackrock I took my first step on my commercial design journey and went to Dun Laoghaire Art College. DLAC was in my opinion the best art college for graphic design and visual communication at the time, and I had a fantastic experience there. Colleen Mc Mahon was the most important mentor in my time at DLAC and basically let me live in the print room. I won the Digital Design Bursary in 1988, which was a design competition sponsored by DIGITAL USA and set Nation wide across the North and south of Ireland. This award was a turning point for me and let me believe more in my abilities and design solutions. I had no idea of the magnitude of this award, and it only hit me when an article was written about me taking the whole rear page of the Sunday Boston globe USA. I was sent to Digital’s headquarters in Maynard Mass for four months and this is where I first learned to use an apple Mac. Something unheard of in DLAC as we still prepared everything by hand for which I am also very grateful. At Digital I met Barbara Grezslo who was a great mentor and friend. In that time I blew out having lunch with the designer Paul Rand in favor of getting my work finished. The old Irish/Dutch work ethic surfaced. I also managed to travel a bit in the States, getting up to Vermont and also NY to celebrate my 21st, partly thanks to the Digital Corporations helicopter fleet. When I Finished at Dun Laoghaire Art College I started teaching part time and also started a small studio. Dublin was a very different place then, and not the highly prosperous city that it is today. I had a small studio at 24 Eustace Street in Dublin (now a hotel I believe), which I shared with two other designers, and a hat Designer called Wendy Judge. Dublin was slow and I was eager to escape. I packed up in 1991 and enrolled at Saint Martins in London to do a master’s in Graphic Design and never looked back. London companies were eager for talent and John Turner the design Director of Imagination offered me a job from my Saint Martins exhibition. Many thanks to John for giving me my first start in London. I still feel like wherever I lay my head is my home. This has become an appropriate slogan for me. I have worked as a designer in 6 continents and have become somewhat of a culture junky. I suppose I might end my days on the Moon if I keep this up.


Seán has a Foundation cert and Diploma with Distinction in graphic design from Dun Laoghaire College of Art Dublin 1985 -1989. He also studied at Central Saint Martins College of Art, London, graduating in 1993 and received an MA with Distinction in graphic design. He has 18 years experience working with leading global businesses and international design consultants in Europe, USA, Russia and Asia.  Prior to joining Stuff international in 2005, Seán worked for the Works in Dublin Ireland and also founded his own successful experimental design studio ‘Xoncorp who’s work has been printed in many Japanese design bibles. Since coming to London he has worked for the PDU of the Department Guardian Newspaper, Imagination LTD, The Bodyshop Global design dept, Fitch PLC, Rodney Fitch LTD and ACW.

Seán worked for three years at Fitch PLC as an Associate director and Partner. He worked on many global brands Including Adidas, Shell, BAT and Agfa.  This work encompassed brand strategy, identity development, print, packaging, retail expression and environmental experiences. As one of his many roles Seá'87n was responsible for a major DTI exhibition in India and was Creative Director of entertainment projects implemented in Europe for Heron International. This required working in Barcelona and Stockholm. Sean led the design teams for the concept and implementation of the Bloggs retail stores in Bluewater UK. Junior Bloggs won 3rd best store in Bluewater. Sean was also responsible for working on many BAT projects such as Lucky Strike, BAR and designing the B+H type face used on international packaging as well as the new packaging design’s/brand look which was implemented into global manuals.

Seán Joined Rodney Fitch at the end of 1999 as Creative Director of Graphics bringing with him an international knowledge of graphic design. Sean has worked on groundbreaking projects in Europe and Asia having completed "Great" in Hong Kong, Bertolli in Holland, a complete brand overhaul for Matahari in Indonesia and the total signage systems for Turin airport Italy. Whilst at Rodney Fitch, Seán successfully completed the new Brand implementation of BT Cellnet through photography and brand expression, which also involved the creation of brand manuals and retail guides. This set in place the system for a smooth change to O2 where the same exercise was repeated with new photography and manuals.

Seán has extensive experience in brand strategy, branding, print, and environmental and signage design including implementation of signage systems and retail design. Seá'87n has worked on graphics and signage programs for Shangri-La, Manila and Matahari, Indonesia’s largest retailer. Leading design teams for Retail, Brand and Environmental design projects worldwide. He has extensive experience in Branding and implementation through multi channels. Seán has led teams to create unique and environmentally individual projects for Heron International in Barcelona, Madrid, Stockholm and Lillie.  Experience also includes several major environmental and signage projects for Xscape UK and Odyssey Belfast. The majority of all environmental projects included name generation, logo design, selling brochures, below the line materials and applications. In Addition he has designed and implemented extensive brand and packaging systems for Dyrup, one of Scandinavia’s largest paint manufacturers.

Seán is currently the Creative Director of Stuff International design. He is Responsible for complete creative company output. Currently working in Scandinavia, Egypt, Lebanon, Europe and Russia. Client list includes, Qatar International Bank, PDA, Pachin, Dyrup, Gadgetshop, Bridgehouse hotels, Ace hotels, Brightstar, Asset 21, Alpina Beirut, DARS and Molnia Russia. Pachin is Egypt’s largest paint and chemical manufacturer. The Pachin job spanned two years and was a complete company overhaul from internal company structures, branding, retail and packaging design. This job required working closely on the ground with the client in Egypt over a two-year period. Further work for market expansion is currently taking place. Alpina is one of the Lebanon’s premier chocolate manufacturers. The design criterion for brand and interior designed required working in Beirut. Seán is currently working extensively in the Russian mainland in locations such as Moscow, Kazan, Ulyanovsk and Chelyabinsk.


1985 / 1986.  One-year foundation cert, NCEA, Dun Laoghaire School of Art and Design. Dublin, Ireland
1986 / 1989.  NCEA Diploma with Distinction in Graphic Design (UK equivalent to BA Ist). Dun Laoghaire School of Art. Dublin, Ireland
1989 / 1990.  Part time Post Grad in Photography and Screen Print. Dunlaoire School of Art and Design. Dublin, Ireland
1991 / 1993.  Masters Degree in Graphic design -Distinction. Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design.  London

Design Experience:

1987 - Junior Designer - Audio Visual Dept - U.C.D.
(University College Dublin) Print and Exhibition Design.

1988 - Junior Designer - Digital Head Office, Boston, MA U.S.A
Print, Exhibition and interface design.

1988 - Set Designer - student film - "INK", IRL

1988 - Art Director - student film - "CHAREO", IRL

1989 - Production Designer - student film - "THE BIG SWINGER", IRL
BFI Archive Link:

1990 / 1992 - Established XON Corp. Design Studio, Temple Bar, Dublin.
Clients included Dunnes Stores, The Works, Genius retail, Turning Point, Gallagher Shoes,
O’Hagan Contract, The Malchicks, CC Garage, RTE.

1989 / 1992 - Lecturer in design, photography, ceramics and life drawing, Senior College, Sallynoggin, Dublin, Ireland

1989 / 1992 - Visiting Lecturer - Screen Print Dept. Dun Laoghaire School of Art and Design, Dublin, Ireland

1989 / 1992 - Lecturer International Winter School of Architecture, Ireland
Dublin. Organised and ran workshop with Michael Morris, architect for Morris/Sato studio, New York.

1989 - Founded the experimental design studio ‘XONCORP’, Dublin, Ireland (Still produces art based projects)

1991 - Art Director, "The Works" design studio, Dublin, Ireland

1993 - Designer - Guardian newspaper, London UK
(P.D.U. dept.). Print-Magazine design, guides and supplements.

1994 / 1995 - Designer-Senior Designer - Imagination Ltd. London UK,
Print and Exhibition Design. Clients included Private Theatres, Ford Europe, Ford Fleet, Ford Blue Print, Ford America, Greenpeace, Milton Keynes shopping center,
MEB, Holiday Inn, LV Group, Electrolux, Disney, 555 State Express cigarettes, Creative Review. (Print, Exhibition, Branding, Theatre)

1994 / 1995 - Visiting Lecturer - Central Saint Martin's, Contextual studies dept. London UK

1995 - Downlow Magazine `London UK, Regular Magazine Design Contributor

1995 / 1997 - Senior Designer/Team Leader - Global Team A, The Body Shop International PLC, London
Print and POS. Work includes All Women’s Rights Campaign work For America and Switzerland, plus window displays and retail POS for 42 markets.

1997 / 1999 - Associate Director (Partner) + Creative Director of Environmental projects, Fitch plc. London + Boston Office
Clients included. BCA (store and print), Woolworth’s (packaging concepts), Adidas (packaging) Trentham Gardens (print), Bankrupt clothing (design concept).
IDV Baileys (Public graphics). B&H (Identity design, typographic design and Brand manuals, Merchandising, POS, retail expression), DTI (Exhibition-Towards2000 India),
Shell, BAT, MFI - Hygena, Davidoff Cigarettes, Lucky Strike, Bloggs Creative Director -Heron city-entertainment graphics, Xscape, Odyssey Belfast.

1997 - Freelance Design consultant to Spacecraft design
In to the Void, comic retailer Bluewater + Shish F+B, London)

1998 – ‘NottingHill’ Film Released 1999. Richard Curtis.
Seán O’mara + Peter Barwick / Concept film prop graphics for film posters featuring Julia Roberts

2000 - Present External advisor to MA Industrial Design Expo's and external tutor Central Saint martins, London UK

2000 / 2005 - Research Fellow + Advisor Contextual studies, University of the Arts, Central Saint Martins, London UK
Working with DAC (design against crime) Research Initiative at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design and also with Vex generation crime resistant clothing.
Graphic design for DAC initiatives Italy expo. Branding for anti bag theft products. Print for West End Police.
Creation of print materials for Ma Industrial design and MA Textile Futures.

2001 - Seán O’Mara Designer and Co-curator of ‘Dirty Washing – the Hidden Language of Soap Powder packaging’
The Design Museum, London 2001. Concept creator and Designer of all associated graphics and structures. Also named designer of all exhibition artwork posters and
graphic affixations that featured in the exhibition, along side digital work and 3d responses. Dirty washing exhibited Seán’s personal collection + selection of research.

2000 / 2003 - Senior Associate (Partner) - Creative Director of Graphics Rodney Fitch Design London + Hong Kong
Retail-Branding-Entertainment. Responsible for total graphic output including strategy and team management, Branding, web interface design, Packaging, print and environmental
graphics. Clients include. Shangri-La, Matahari, Emirates, Unilever (Cha, Fariba, Bertolli) BTCellnet, O2, Coffee Republic, Park N shop HK, Great, Freedom, HOK, Union coffee,
Dyrup brand overhaul including Identities and sub Brands, Brand consolidation, print, packaging and manuals. Turin Airport signage strategy and Signage design.

2003 - Creative Director of ACW London UK
Clients include China White, Tamangang Mayfair (Identity, Branding and print) Dyrup Brand Development, Strategic Positioning and Print. Complete brand repositioning
and in store graphic expression for Gadget shop England. U'Lufka Vodka. PDA Web Design. Rose wheel properties.

2005 - Currently working on a design history book ‘Flake’
The history of detergent packaging and design to be published 2006/07.

2005 - Current. Creative Director of Stuff International design.
Client includes, PDA, Pachin, Dyrup, Gadgetshop, Bridgehouse hotels, Ace hotels, Brightstar, Asset 21, Molnia, APN, Whitelys, DARS, Dove Spa.
Tamangang, Chinawhite, Sipco, Working in Russia, Egypt and Europe.

2005 - Current - Freelance Design consultant to Bedrock design, London UK
Jack + Lulus

2006 - Current – Art Director Fashion in Film Festival

2005 - Also working towards a PHD on the Origins of the “FEZ”


1988  First Digital Design bursary award winner. North-South Ireland.
1988 "CHAREO" – film received S.D.I silver medal for design (Society of Designers of Ireland)
1989 "THE BIG SWINGER"  first prize, Fuji film awards - BAFTA, London. Film received S.D.I. silver medal for design
1989 N.C.E.A. student of the year
1989 Letraset U.K. - first prize Typography award,
1995 Creative futures - Designer of the year - Creative Review
1996 Design Week awards -poster section, runner up Exhibitions 1997

In Print / Magazine / Newspaper / Digital Media

1988 Digital News, Boston, USA.
1998 The Irish Emigrant, August 28 No: 28.
1988 Boston Globe, July, USA.
1989 Student Design Magazine -degree show work, August, London UK.
1995 Creative Review, Internet June spread, London UK.
1996 Graphics International, London UK.
1996 Design Week, a/w/, March, London UK.
1996 Creative Technology, October, London UK.
1997 Design Week, Oct. London UK.
1997 Financial Times. Delhi India.
1997 Business eye, Design Work featured on Film- (TV). London UK.
1996 BBC design awards (Bodyshop poster) London UK.
1996 Design Documentary-Body Shop, Japan.
1997 Design Documentary, European perspective on Indian Design. Fitch Delhi.
1995 A Queer Romance, Routledge. London UK.
1996 The Imagination Book. London UK.
1996 The Body Shop Book, reprint. London UK.
1996 Typography Now 2. Booth Clibborn. London UK. 
1996 Advertising illustration, Pie, Japan.
1996 Typographics 2, hbi. London UK.
1996 2 Colour print, Pie, Japan.
1997 Sight for Sound, hbi. London UK.
1997 New Typographics 2, Pie. Japan.
2001 Dirty Washing UK, Independent, Metro Page, Design Week, New Statesman.
2003 This end up, London UK.
2003 Oversize Graphics. London UK.

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