Random Images with No Reason

You need to be careful what you wish for. Last year, I thought, "Gee, I haven't written a book in awhile. That would be fun." Within a week, two editors called me and asked me to write a book. I wrote the proposals and designed some spreads and the projects went off to publishing world. After a couple of months after not hearing anything back, I figured they were gone. Last month they both came back with the thumbs up. 

So now, in addition to my next LinkedIn/Lynda.com course, I'm working on two books. They all require examples of design, art, architecture, and products. I spend more time than I should researching imagery and looking for examples. 

Along the way, I find the most wonderful images that are entirely not relevant to the courses or books. I collect them and add them to the photo library and admire them. These, then, are some of my recent finds that have absolutely no reason to be.

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/Lynda.com 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.

How to write a book

Masters of Design: Corporate Brochures (my preferred title was Corporate Communications

My newest book in the Masters of Design series hit the shelves recently. A few years after we founded AdamsMorioka, a large publisher approached us about a monograph. Saul Bass gave me the advice, “Never get hot. Always stay very warm.” He suggested that we get some more experience under our belt first. We passed, and decided that if we were to write a book, we’d rather make it about something we loved, not just us, although we do have a love/hate thing with ourselves. The first book we wrote, Logo Design Workbook, has remained a bestseller in its category for years. We were asked to write others, Color Design Workbook, Masters of Design: Identity, and the new book.

The Masters of Design series idea came from a book I have, Graphic Designers in U.S.A.: Louis Danziger, Peter Max, Herb Lubalin, Henry Wolf v. 1. It’s a wonderful book with four great designers who weren’t over-published. Emily Potts gave me the green light, and I started writing. I delivered a list of the 20 designers who I believed were the masters in each category to the publisher. We negotiated back and forth in a process not unlike selecting a Supreme Court Justice. Fortunately, everyone I invited agreed kindly to be part of the book. We sent a list of questions and request for images. Most sent everything back in a timely manner, and I began writing. However, some designers didn’t seem to want to send me images or information. That was the hardest part of doing this book. In the end, we received everything we wanted and I love all of the work included. I feel fortunate that I have the true masters in the book.

Now here’s the truth that I don’t typically tell. This happened in the midst of my term as AIGA president, and I was writing a monthly column for Step magazine with a different designer each month. When I was done with this book, and my term was over, I was, well, burned-out over promoting other designers. Not that I don’t love it, and as my mother always says, “A life without service is not a life.” But now I’m taking a break, and just relaxing—except for this post, which is kind of promoting the designers in this book. Old habits die hard.

spread, Michael Vanderbyl


spread, Carin Goldberg

spread, Pentagram