Siobhan Keaney (1959)

keaney_3_1995_1014_l keaney_1_6a00e5532538c488330153924b0056970b-320wi CIS:E.602-1998

Siobhan Keaney was born in England in 1959. She has spent her career working in and around London, and continues to live and work there today. After graduating from the London College of Printing in 1982, Keaney spent three years working for three different design firms before opening her own studio in 1985, and has been working independently ever since. She has also been a visiting lecturer at several prestigious British universities, and is currently on the staff of the University of Brighton in Brighton, UK. She has designed postage stamps, posters, brochures, annual reports, and presentation materials. Her materials consist of photography and illustration; she almost entirely avoids the computer as a design medium because she finds that she cannot express herself effectively on it.

According to her page on the university’s site, Keaney is accurately described as having an “independent, even maverick stance seen in projects produced for both the commercial and cultural sectors.” The most recent article I could find on this designer is unfortunately from 1992, but nevertheless provides insight into her views on design. Although she liked the atmosphere and her coworkers at the design firms she worked at after graduation, she hated the lack of creative freedom afforded to her; opening her own firm solved that problem. Keaney’s design philosophy, in her own words:

Freedom is the most important element for me in design.
(p.124)

You have to satisfy yourself first, or how can you ever hope to persuade a client? I realize it’s a selfish way to go about things, but for me it’s the only way to create anything of any worth.
(p. 127)

Source: Bierut, Michael. “The Next Generation of London Designers.” Communication Arts 34.5 (1992): 117-141. Print; copy available at UMD library.