Do Not Disturb

This collection of door hangers from hotels around the world was accrued by James Goodsell during a career spent working for the US government. To see more form the collection visit

When my grandfather, James Goodsell, passed away last year, my family gathered to go through his belongings. He had worked for the US Department of Commerce and the Foreign Service arranging international trade missions and directing trade centres in Sydney and Milan. (He staged trade shows featuring American computers as early as 1973.)

My grandfather had filled a wall of his study with hotel door hangers from his travels. Rather than relegating them to the trash bin or a yard sale, or dividing them up among the kids, I asked to keep them as a collection. Both the design language they embody and the personal story behind them seemed to merit being shared.

They’re also a metaphor. As an entrepreneur, I’m constantly working out when to open doors and when not to, when to clean up and when to leave people be. But more than that, what does ‘Do not disturb’ really mean? It means ‘Rest in peace’.


Michael Lebowitz


Michael Lebowitz founded digital agency Big Spaceship in 2000. He now serves as its CEO.


What's the story?

The Storytelling issue, Oct/Nov 2017, is out now.
We invited writers to respond to our cover image
this month: read their stories inside.
PLUS: Tom Gauld, Oliver Jeffers, Giphy & S-Town

Buy the issue

The Annual 2018

The Creative Review Annual is one of the most
respected and trusted awards for the creative
industry. We celebrate the best creative work from
the past year, those who create it and commission it.

Enter now


South East London - Competitive


London - £35,000 - £40,000


Birmingham - Salary £30-£35k


Leeds, West Yorkshire - £20,000 - 30,000