Monday, March 29, 2010

Magazines & David Carson

David Carson is well known for his unique design contribution to various magazines in music, skateboarding and surfing during the 80’s and 90’s. As a professional surfer in the 70’s Carson was influenced by the rebellious messiness of the 80’s scene of that time and developed his own distinctive style that is often referred to as having a “grunge” appearance. His designs in Transworld Skateboarding and Beach Culture (lasting only for six additions) were chaotic and abstract in style, which he often experimented with the use of typography. Carson’s designs would often display words that would disappear into illustrations, photos that bleed off pages in mid images along with stories which were so densely layered the images often appeared to be almost unreadable.

In 1992 Carson became art director for Ray Gun magazine, an alternate

rock and roll magazine. He was recognised world wide for his unique ability to transform the norm of conventional magazines by experimenting with unusual ways of communicating, using different varieties of mediums. Carson defied the rules of design even though he claims he never learnt the rules to begin with and designed magazine covers with an unconventional appearance. His designs appeared as visually stunning and often illegible, which captured a wide audience including appealing directly to the youth market. USA Today quoted Carson’s magazine designs in Ray Gun “may actually get young people reading again”.


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