Cracker Jack Production

I found this issue while cleaning the bookcase. wALT was the student publication at CalArts in the 1980s. It included contributions from students in all majors including essays, poetry, and visual arts. Peter Grant and I designed this issue using the Macintosh 128K that Apple recently sent to the department. It was the one that required a floppy disk to run and had limited software such as MacPaint and MacWrite. There was no scanner. Apple included a set of typefaces named after cities, such as Monaco, Geneva, Chicago, and San Francisco. The typeface New York was the stand-in for Times Roman (but I called it Times Roman because I could).

To produce the publication, we set the Times Roman on the Mac and printed out “galleys” on the low resolution image-writer (no Laser-writer yet). We set the headlines in Gill Sans, a typeface on the Mergenthaler VIP typesetting machine. The whole thing was pasted-up as mechanicals and sent to the printer (see video below). We didn’t realize it at the time, but this was a first step toward digital design production. It was a wacky hybrid that required endless typing and rubber cement. But it was fun.

Apple Macintosh 128K, 1984

One of my favorite online comments with this video: What’s wrong with this guy? He’s shaking like he’s on crack.

wALT Issue Five, CalArts: 1985

ArtCenter Lecture Series 2018-19

Sometimes life is stressful and we all need some relaxing tunes.

Yes, it’s that big.  Frank Aymami Photography

Yes, it’s that big.
Frank Aymami Photography

Motion Design: Primal Screen


We asked a group of internationally recognized designers to each design a card for an intelligent album deck of cards embedded with NFC chips to accompany an exhibition on the future of digital music forms from Beatie Wolfe. “Beatie Wolfe: The Art of Music in the Digital Age” featured the world’s first anti-stream from the quietest room on earth (in collaboration with Nokia Bell Labs and Design I/O); a 3D vinyl for the phone; and a musical jacket designed by Mr Fish (the tailor who dressed David Bowie) made from BeatWoven fabric woven with Wolfe’s music.

Sean Adams

Sean Adams

Francis Frith: Lost Worlds

A Garden Can Be Anywhere

LinkedIn Learning: Fundamentals of a Redesign


Running a Design Business: Selling to Clients

Color Design Workbook, Rockport