I would say that David Carson with his "dirty" typography may be becoming one of my favorite graphic designers. I had heard of him before and knew a few things about his influence in typography and design in the past and this century but I took this opportunity to really go deep into his story and works.
Having had another project that had to do with typography I thought it would be interesting to research a very influential typographer. Born in Texas he graduated with a Bachelor of the Art's degree in Sociology and while he was at it, he also got listed as one of the top best surfers of the time. David Carson only discovered graphic design at a mature age, about 30 years old, before that he had been a surfer and a teacher. He enrolled in Oregon College of Commercial Art and spent three weeks in Switzerland, where he met his firs influence Hans-Rudolf Lutz.
Maybe one of the reasons why he was so influential and advantgard was the fact that he didn't have any previous or lengthy studies therefore he experimented and went crazy on his mixtures. He is all about breaking the rules, distorting and his style in the 90's has bee described as anarchist. His design philosophy consists on first reading the article, looking at the product or listening to the music.
He has influenced many designers by taking part of the dirty grunge movement in design in the 90's for instead of following all the typographic rules he broke them all. Hence gave way to designers doing the same thing.
"Don't mistake Legibility for communication"
This was a movement heavily influence by Carson i the 90's.
It all hast to do with the word 'dirty' - distorted, filtered, blurry images - irregular text of different fonts and sizes - mixed media - scribbled lines - splodges of paint - unreadable font (in some cases) - of centred design - visually interesting - intentiona spelling mistakes - apears to be unorgaized.
His work became popular in the 80's and 90's where he worked as an art director for two sport's magazines before starting Ray Gun magazine as lead Art Director. This magazine explored experimental design and typography, the content was about music and art, very hip and notable for its choices of subject matter. Radiohead, Bjock, Eminem and more apeard on the cover.
Above you can see a few of the 70 issues that the magazine had. The cover art I find TOO COOL!, I know it's a word I should not use to describe something but, it looks hip, stylish I would want to be apart of a movement that involved such design. I admire his sense of creation and his courage to explore and publish absolutely crazy things without the fear of the public eye.
DIOHEAD that is soo absolutely awesom, smart, cheeky!!! I loove it
Apart from the DIRTY GRUNGE movement his work is very interesting to look at. The quote above I thought was was very true and is something that I have tried to do ever since I found an interest for design and art itself.
ANYWAY Carson's art is very characteristic for overlapping images - diversity of typeface - messy spreads - dull colors - mixture. It's a style I had never come across before (...) at first I thought it was a bit too much for me, too messy not clean enough. To much of everything. But as I came to investigate it more, I grew an acquired taste in Carson's style. Now I look at his as a pioneer in the breaking of rules in design.
In one of the issues of RAYMAN he distinctly used Dingbat font for an interview with Bryan Ferry, Carson claimed it as 'dull' hence he decided to spice it up a little bit with Dingbat symbols. The interview was however published in a legible font at the back of the page.
He's done it again, rule breaker, bad-ass typographer and anarchist designer.
HE HAS PUBLISHED FOUR BOOKS!