Somebody once said, "You don't choose to be a designer. It chooses you." Unfortunately, this is true. Otherwise, I would have followed the path my grandparents' wanted and gone to Harvard, then the JFK School of Government and now be a Senator or Governor.

I've found lately, that I am interested in "non-designed design." That's the stuff that is purposefully or unintentionally void of any design intent. It lacks any sense of typographic expertise of skill and is alarmingly without any pretense of being "designed." Tibor managed this by adding the genius of language, visual and written. But every once in awhile, I see something so badly designed, I love it.

Tibor Kalman, Restaurant Florent

Sean Adams

Sean Adams is the Chair of the undergraduate and graduate Graphic Design Program at ArtCenter, founder of Burning Settlers Cabin studio, and on-screen author for LinkedIn Learning/ He is the only two term AIGA national president in AIGA’s 100 year history. In 2014, Adams was awarded the AIGA Medal, the highest honor in the profession. He is an AIGA Fellow, and Aspen Design Fellow. He has been recognized by every major competition and publication including; How, Print, Step, Communication Arts, Graphis, AIGA, The Type Directors Club, The British Art Director’s Club, and the Art Director’s Club. Adams has been exhibited often, including a solo exhibition at The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Adams is an author of multiple magazine columns, and several best-selling books. He has been cited as one of the forty most important people shaping design internationally, and one of the top ten influential designers in the United States. Previously, Adams was a founding partner at AdamsMorioka, whose clients included The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Disney, Mohawk Fine Papers, The Metropolitan Opera, Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History, Richard Meier & Partners, Sundance, and the University of Southern California.

Tony Danza has the answers

I have no idea what this is about or means

Like most designers, I like going to other cities and observing the interesting vernacular typography of a region. I take my camera and intend to photograph the odd hand-painted signs in whatever city I’m visiting. I notice the closed sign at a barber shop in Omaha, or a truck with a hand-painted cow in Tulsa, or the sign on the side of a barbeque restaurant in Charlotte. When I am on the plane flying home, I find that I forgot to shoot these, and usually have only one or two images. They are not images of the interesting typography, but are usually the odd sign posted on a wall or in a window. I’d love to tie them together with an intellectual theme such as non-designer accidental design, or typographic mismanagement, but I can’t. They are just things I found that I liked.

On a wall in Philadelphia


Pittsburgh. Tony Danza?