18 / Summer 2012 / RECORD
ean Martell always knew he wanted to
become a graphic designer and animator;
he just had to fi gure out the best path to
get there. Aft er a brief stint in computer
science, he decided to pursue Fine Arts at
His fi rst love in the program was photography, which was fuelled
by the passion of professor Th addeus Holownia. Martell credits
Holownia with pointing him toward the world of advertising.
"He really started my career for me," says Martell.
While at Mount Allison, Martell was production
Th e Argosy, worked for a local advertis-
ing agency in the summer, and developed a num-
ber of web site and other design projects for his
own clients. He evolved his graphic design skills
along the way.
"I learned the fundamentals of fi ne arts and then applied it to
the digital realm," he says.
Originally from Cape Breton, Martell and his (now) wife, Christi
Davis-Martell ('99), moved to Toronto aft er graduation. He
began working in web design and eventually created his own com-
pany, Radiant Core. He landed his fi rst Mozilla contract creat-
ing an interface for Firefox 2. Th is connection would prove to be
instrumental in his career.
His work garnered him a high reputation and he became a
sought aft er designer in the Toronto advertising community.
Th rough a series of freelance projects, Mozilla took notice of his
talent and he was hired as the California-based company's fi rst
As principal visual designer his day-to-day work includes a wide
range of visual design projects within the engagement team and
supporting the greater Mozilla community.
"Knowing that what I'm doing visually is for the
betterment of the web is very rewarding," says
Martell. "Mozilla is creating products to free the
web and to give choice to the user -- principles over
profi t. It is that kind of mentality that makes it so
exciting to work at Mozilla."
Today Martell is one of only three full-time designers in the
600-person staff , serving 450 million users worldwide in 82
diff erent languages.
"It has really opened my eyes working for a global company,
knowing that the style and font you choose has to translate well
into diff erent areas and languages around the world," he says.
Martell believes it is important to teach others his craft . He began
designing live for Mozilla by broadcasting his desktop. Th e public
can tune in and see in real time how his designs come to life.
"If I can teach someone to do what I do, all the better," he says.
You can connect with Sean Martell and see when he
is designing live by following him on Twitter at:
Sean Martell ('00) turned his Fine Arts foundation into a
career as principal visual designer at Mozilla
by Melissa Lombard