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“My problem with design is this idea that fonts like Helvetica, or Swiss, German and English aesthetics speak for other cultures. When you’re designing something for an African community inspired by Swiss design it’s just weird, and it doesn’t really communicate the ideals and the culture of that community.”

Since establishing type foundry Vocal Type in 2016, the US-born designer has been working to break away from the established tastes he encountered throughout his formative years. A two-time brain tumour survivor at the ages of four and eight, Seals began drawing and writing in cursive as a way of coping with the pain and expressing his feelings.

“Around the time of the second tumour, I experienced racism for the first time in the third grade. The following year I went to an international school, where I started to learn about diversity and the history of different cultures, which made racism way more confusing. Those experiences combined made me way more observant and want to understand people more,” he says.

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Gustavo Tonelli

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