Monday, March 1, 2010

DAviD cArsoN

David Carson's jarring and visually chaotic magazine spreads; posters and print ads have consistently challenged the boundaries of legibility and typography.

Known best for his work with experimental typography and his cutting-edge magazine design and is the creator of Generation X’s new standard for type.

"He was the first to mix and match funky off-beat type faces with traditional ones in order to add texture and diversity into his work. His typographic experimentations have been admired by recent generations for their rebellious messiness that closely imitated the social scene of the 1990s."

For a self-taught designer he is thought to be one of the most significant graphic designers of the nineties.

Carson busted the old typography practice, as a result of his use of desktop publishing programs like, PageMaker, QuarkXPress and Illustrator. He was able to trail new methods like, overlapping and warped fonts and combined these with his impactful photography.

During the late 80's and 90's Carson transformed the design world with his innovative typeface designs. His 'Dirty' type and his fringe photography resulted in his characterized title 'father of grunge'. Clearly having worked as a sociology teacher and professional surfer in the late 1970s strongly influenced his style and designs.

Carson finds much of his motivation in the visual garbage of modern-day livelihood. Hand lettered signs, torn and layered poster kiosks and the eroded storefronts experienced in city streets work as backdrops that Carson equates into the digital realm.

Graphic designers would be wise to follow the advice of David Carson: “Trust your gut. Do what you love. Life’s to important to be taken seriously.”


  1. i really love carson's type - it totally goes against everything he was probably taught and perhaps that's why he seems to be a typographical spokesperson for gen-x. he has such a knack of designing type that catches the eye for the simple fact that at first it seems illegible - but then you see how clever the design actually is. it's a piece of art and has a practical purpose... love carson!

  2. p.s. love how you wrote the title of your post in different sizes/colours/etc!!! perfect for carson.

  3. I really like Carson's use of type, reading your post has made me want to look more into his work. I can see how his style is still infulencing designers now.
    I also really liked the quote at the end..."Trust your gut. Do what you love. Life's too iportant to be taken seriously". To me looking at some of his work he really seemed to enjoy what he did.