18 May Who’s Sebastiaan?
Category: Personal

I really resisted the idea of writing a bit about myself, initially, but this year I was interviewed by newspapers and on radio shows and it seemed weird to not have something up on the place where I ‘live’ my professional life: on the internet. I think it’s also good to have something to link to for the ‘About me’ button.


Who are you?

I am Sebastiaan de With, a 2122 year old freelance designer and one-man company. I specialize in icon and visual interface design and consultancy, but I also design logotypes, and maintain a blog and a website service that teaches you how to design icons. I occasionally do presentations for teams and companies, too, on making apps that are beautiful and fun to use.

I live and work in my own studio in the northern region of the Netherlands, a tiny country in the west of Europe. I love Macs, technology, gaming, reading well-written stuff, mecha, and kittens – but that should be obvious. Everybody loves kittens.

Who do you work for?

I’m hired by small and large companies: independent Mac developers and software companies like Flying Meat, Tony Arnold, Extendmac, as well as bigger corporations like HP, T-Mobile, frog design, Mozilla, Publicis, Apple, and others. I’ve designed icons and interfaces for everything from touchscreen computers and phones to robots and ‘smart homes’.


If you want to hire me, tell me about your project, and I will see if I can help you out. Include as much details as you can about a project, particularly your desired timeframe in which the work needs to be completed. I am often booked full for a few months.

Who do you like?

Big shout-outs to my pals at the Iconfactory, Realmac, Panic, John Gruber, the Apple visual design groups, Macrabbit, doubleTwist, and my friends Louie Mantia, Sean Patrick O’Brien, Jelmar Geertsma, Susumu Yoshida, Wolfgang Bartelme, Bobby Andersen, and much more that I can’t list without turning this into some sort of link paradise. They’re all awesome.

What do you use to do your job?

My main workstation is a Mac Pro, with a 30 inch Cinema Display and a Wacom Cintiq 12WX. I do all my work on the best operating system that’s currently shipping, Apple’s Mac OS X, and design in Photoshop CS5. My websites were created using Adobe Photoshop, Allan Odgaard’s Textmate, Macrabbit’s CSSEdit, and good coffee. They are running on a variety of hosting services by Mediatemple.


On the road, I use a 17″ Macbook Pro, a Vaio UX UMPC and an iPhone 4.

Where did you study?

To make a long story short: nowhere, officially. I dropped out of school, instead enrolling at the local classic academy of arts where I spent 2 years getting frustrated with beginner’s lessons in Photoshop. It was a hard decision to take a leap of faith and all the associated risk, but I left the academy and started my own company to spend all of my time doing icon and interface design. I never looked back; it’s great to be able to do what you love.

What about the blog?

I started this blog in 2007, mostly to post about noteworthy things on the internet and write articles on Mac security and internals and the experiments in code and design I created during my study at the academy of arts. Since then, my focus has changed quite a bit. In all that time, I never properly introduced myself. I guess that’s been fixed now.

The Cocoia Blog runs on the WordPress publishing platform, with my own theme and a chunk of custom code to allow things like related posts, goodie posts, linked items, and the Cocoia footer.

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18 Responses

  1. 1

    i thought you had studied design, lol. fun story though, you should write more on it sometime.

  2. I thought you had studied design as well. Heh, it seems as though we have similar situations [I just turned 21 as well, weird]. Nice bio though, it was an interesting read.

  3. 3

    Interesting article, I never did take the time to read the “About You” page. Most of the information I’d already inferred from various tweets and such but still.

  4. Awesome! I’m a company :) (and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Sebastiaan to anyone thinking about getting some UI work done for their product – assuming I don’t need him :P).

    About time you introduced yourself, mate.

  5. Pleasure to find out more about one of my favs. I’m excited to hopefully meet you at some of the WWDC extracurricular events. I was looking at your source code a couple weeks ago and saw you were using WordPress. Being a big fan of your design and site, I decided if it’s good enough for you then it’s good enough for me. So I installed WordPress and yesterday I finally got to start working on finishing off my mockup and implementing it (getting close to being done). Thanks for the inspiration!

  6. 6

    Hi, first of all: Most of the things above I knew already. I’ve seen an article about you in the local newspaper (Eindhovens Dagblad). It’s really fascinating.

    I knew you were using WordPress because i’ve entered the login URL ;-) I’m working on my own WordPress theme, it will come out soon probably. Sorry for my bad English by the way.

  7. 7

    Hello Sebastiaan, your life is a dream!
    I wish in my 21 (18 now) will have done the 1/3 of yours!
    Now I am in a Audio and Visual Arts University and to be honest I’m not sure if this is the right place!
    Anyway, your work is awesome!

    P.S. Nice gear too!

  8. 8
    Marcus Pedersen 

    Hey, totally off topic but, what macross series should i see first…Macross or macross zero? heard macross zero is a prequel…so should I start with that one?

  9. 9

    Marcus: a good medium for those questions is my twitter, but I’ll answer because Macross is so damn awesome.

    Macross Plus is a prequel, but then pretty much any Macross series is. You *could* start with the first Macross from the eighties. You can start with Zero, which is a short OVA with elements in it that turned me off, or just grab the most recent Macross: Frontier. I’d recommend Frontier; it’s brilliantly animated, has a solid story, and makes you eager for more. Then watch Zero, and perhaps the original old series.

  10. 10
    Marcus Pedersen 

    Thx for answering! Love your blog and also follow u on twitter…but didnt think of asking there :p

  11. 11


    What typeface are you using for your site’s header? I like the nice, simple design design of it.

    Thank you.

  12. 12

    Heya Daniel.

    It’s Furet by Jelmar Geertsma. It’s currently not available for sale. Thanks!

  13. 13
    Like Humam 

    Hey!!! great idea, theway u presented urself was so nice… all d best n hv a luving life wth ur gal frnd!!!! ya, fogot to tell u… i liked ur articles a lot :-)
    God bless.

  14. 14
    Tania IT Geek 

    Thank you so much for sharing a little about yourself really great to read and it also helps to know a little about someone when you are reading their blogs.

  15. 15
    Andreas Lanjerud 

    Oh man, just when I recently decided not to go. Tell me if you happen to come visit Stockholm any day. :)

  16. 16

    Wrong post? But yeah, I will. Too bad we can’t meet :)

  17. 17
    Philomena Funk 

    Just keep doing good content.

  18. 18

    Hi and thank you for your great help in making the icons for iOS!
    I am a user of the brand new super cool service called Flattr (www.flattr.com) that enables people like me (a 3d animator in Sweden) to give something back top people like you (designer in Holland). Sign up for an account and let me know so I can Flattr you and your work.
    Have a cool winter!
    Best regards,
    Jonas from Sweden.