David Carson

David Carson started out as a professional surfer and with a sociology graduate, and turned a self-taught graphic designer. With no prior knowledge in design before he started it allowed him to freely break the rules without knowing. His work gives an emotional response from the design before a viewer can read it to get an understanding of the work. This means readers are focused to engage with the design, to work out what it means and get involved. He is exploring how the mind can understand information that isn’t complete and can fill in the blanks. Of course some readers won’t bother, is his work still as effective?

For his obscure and sometimes unfinished looking type he takes inspiration from taking photographs of eroding and draw on signs, looking for wore out type, colours, grids and structure. He also uses fax machines and photocopiers to experiment by moving the paper as its printing. He uses a mix of hand rendered and digital type. It also feels as if he arranges a layout and then crops and moves the type about.

Carson designs mostly on magazines for surf culture, music and lifestyle; these are the perfect environment for his design style as he can be freer. He became well-known for his work on Ray Gun magazine.

Features I noticed on his magazine covers and designs:
  • His type leads the viewer’s eye around the page and expresses movement in the type. 
  • The type will follow images, to give a flow to the piece.
  • More important information will be in larger type and has been used as a feature for the rest of the text to be placed around, as viewers see the larger type they will catch other information from the smaller type.
  • The bar code is placed into the design.
  • Simple images will allow viewers to concentrate on the typography.
  • People featured in the magazine are in all different font sizes, which could show which people are featured more.
  • The covers give viewers an idea of what to expect from the magazine with use of images.
  • The magazine logos are often changed, keep aspects are kept so it will still be recognisable. 
  • Images are used a whole background.

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