David Carson


David Carson’s boundary-breaking typography in the 1990s, in Ray Gun magazine and other pop-cult books, ushered in a new vision of type and page design — quite simply, breaking the traditional mold of type on a page and demanding fresh eyes from the reader. Squishing, smashing, slanting and enchanting the words on a layout, Carson made the point, over and over, that letters on a page are art. You can see the repercussions of his work to this day, on a million Flash intro pages (and probably just as many skateboards and T-shirts).

His first book, with Lewis Blackwell and a foreword by David Byrne, is The End of Print, and he’s written or collaborated on several others, including the magisterial Book of Probes, an exploration of the thinking of Marshall McLuhan. His latest book is Trek, a collection of his recent work.


“he changed the public face of graphic design” -newsweek “the art director of the era” creative review london “the most important work coming out of america” american center for design “the most influential graphic designer of our times” surfrider foundation, july ’09 “He significantly influenced a generation to embrace typography as an expressive medium” – steven heller 2010 “our biggest star”  AIGA(american institute of graphic arts) “the greatest living graphic designer..” -brain pickings, feb. 12, 2012


A Story of David Carson: Graphic Designers Influential Spotlight September 5, 2011

David Carson’s story could strike a chord with younger people because he didn’t start off as a graphic designer, but a sociology teacher. After being introduced to it, he was designing for things that he liked and knew about: magazines for skateboarding, snowboarding, and surfing, using a style of grunge typography that was his favorite.

I’d say this appeals to younger artists because he not only didn’t have much experience in the discipline, but he was able to pave his way and start a trend using a style all his own that he loved. Most graphic designers, once they’re out in the world, are confined to working with what the client wants and are held back from self-indulging. David Carson himself stated that his style is the opposite–shamelessly self-indulgent. For most of us, that would hold us back in our designs and careers, but for David Carson, it meant work with companies like MTV, Pepsi-Cola, Levi-Strauss, Mercedes-Benz, and the band Nine Inch Nails. It suggests that yes, I’ve done it, and you can do it, too, by doing what you love and that conformity is not always necessary. Carson even won the “Most Famous Graphic Designer on the Planet” award in London of 2004.”


I don’t feel like I have much to say about David Carson’s work, I have a mutual kind if view where it does not stand out to me, I don’t love it nor hate it.


About bonny83

I am currently studying at Glyndwr University, North Wales School of Art and Design. Design Communication is the main subject body while also looking at a large variety of the many forms of Art. My main interest is illustration and I am considering illustration for children's books for the future. Art and Design has always been a huge part of my life and i am enjoying taking things further for a possible career.

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