Design Legends #1 - David Carson and Book Giveaway


We love featuring great designers and digital artists here on Abduzeedo. It's really good to see the creations of young and talented people from all over the world. However, we realized that we needed to take some time to post about the legends. There is no question, we've all had some inspiration from the masters of photography and Photoshop. This post is about one such legend, at least for me. His name is David Carson.

Everyone has probably heard of or read about David. If not, please do so right now because Carson has been one of the greatest influences on modern graphic design in the last 25 years. His inventive, and sometimes crazy methods of distorting and playing with typography have really influenced a lot of designers. Also, he came under a lot of criticism because of his experimentation.

David Carson became renowned for his inventive graphics in the 1990s. Having worked as a sociology teacher and professional surfer in the late 1970s, he art directed various music, skateboarding and surfing magazines through the 1980s. As art director of surfing and style magazine Ray Gun (1992-5), Carson came to worldwide attention. His layouts featured distortions or mixes of 'vernacular' typefaces and fractured imagery, rendering them almost illegible. Indeed, his maxim of the 'end of print' questioned the role of type in the emergent age of digital design, following on from California New Wave and coinciding with experiments at the Cranbrook Academy of Art. In the later 1990s he shifted from 'surf subculture' to corporate work for Nike, Levis, and Citibank.

Carson's work is familiar among the generation that grew up with Raygun Magazine and its progeny such as huH and xceler8, and in general, the visually savvy MTV generation, but his work still receives criticism from a generation that refuses to engage with his connotative excesses. Carson has been one of the greatest influences on modern graphic design in the last twenty five years. He took photography and type and manipulated and twisted them together and on some level confusing the message but in reality he was drawing the eyes of the viewer deeper within the composition.

We highly recommend that you visit his website or simply Google his name. You will be amazed. Also, his book "The End of Print", is a must have for your design library. For more information visit the links below:

UPDATE: We will give away one copy of The end of print book. Just leave a comment and we will announce the winner next week. Remember, you will have to be an Abduzeedo member to participate.



Written by

Fabio Sasso

I'm a Brazilian product designer based in Oakland, California currently working for Google as a Staff Designer. I am also the founder of Abduzeedo, an award-winning digital publication about design and a personal project that has become the source of inspiration for millions of designers and enthusiasts.