Tuesday, May 13, 2008

David Carson Paper.

David Carson was born in Corpus Christi, Texas, on September 8th 1955. At a very young age, his family moved to New York City, an environment that has clearly influenced his design aesthetic. He received his BFA in sociology from San Diego state university, and was a professional surfer in college, ranked in the top ten in the U.S. In the 1980’s, he taught in a California high school, and here he discovered his passion for graphic design, diving into the unconventional bohemian artistic culture of Southern California. He began his design career by branching off from his surfing career, working at a magazine called Beach Culture. Here, he developed his signature style of innovation, unusual design elements, and “dirty” type. This became the blueprint for the popular “grunge” style of design so prevalent in the 1990’s.

David Carson’s client list has included some of the most well-known companies and groups of the modern time. These include Pepsi Cola, Ray Ban Nike, Microsoft, Budweiser, Giorgio Armani, NBC, American Airlines, Levi Strauss Jeans, AT&T, British Airways, Kodak, Lycra, Packard Bell, Sony, Suzuki, Toyota, Warner Bros., CNN, Cuervo Gold, Johnson AIDS Foundation, MTV Global, Princo, Lotus Software, Fox TV, Nissan, Quiksilver, Intel, Mercedes-Benz, MGM Studios and Nine Inch Nails.

Advertisements such as this for Kodak, and the above for Ray Ban sunglasses shed light on David Carson’s work. His interesting use of type is something he is very well known for. He was unafraid to mix sizes, fonts, weights, styles, and orientations of letters, making a statement of modernity, youth, and a laid-back atmosphere. His work for magazines, especially Ray Gun, also turned the traditional magazine design industry upside-down.

The above photograph of a spread in Ray Gun magazine, as designed by David Carson, shows the unprecedented unconventionality of his magazine design style. The bizarre placement of type goes against any and all preset rules of design, breaking them all and not bothering to create new ones. He places pictures in places most would not think for them to go. Yet somehow, this jumble of creative regurgitation still works and creates a fresh, hip vibe.

This Ray Gun cover demonstrates the same disregard for traditional graphic design rules and determination to be set apart. His use of all lower-case letters lends an air of informality and invites the reader in as an equal. The unexpected orientation of the cover photo catches the eye of a potential reader passing a newsstand, setting Ray Gun apart from other magazines as more interesting and unique. The design of this cover conveys the overall attitude and message of the magazine, one that promotes counter and subcultures and strives to defy expectations.

David Carson is best known for his use of photography in Graphic Design and for his innovations in the field of typography. He is often referred to as the “father of grunge.” His work created standards for a new field of graphic design based in unusual typographic elements and the incorporation of photography into design. His works do more to communicate the emotion of the product, article, or whatever subject he is designing around then they do to literally display the subject. He has won several awards, including Best Overall Design (Society of Publication Designers in New York), Cover of the Year (Society of Publication Designers in New York), Designer of the Year in both 1998 and 1999 (International Center of Photography), and The most famous graphic designer on the planet, April 2004 (London Creative Review magazine). His first book, The End of Print, published in November 1995, is the best-selling graphic design book of all time, selling over 200,000 copies in 5 languages. His other books include 2nd Sight: Grafik Design After the End of Print published in 1997, Fotografiks with Phillip B. Meggs in 1999, and Trek in 2000.


The end of print : the grafik design of David Carson / by Lewis Blackwell + David Carson.

"The History of Graphic Design" by Philip Megg


Friday, May 9, 2008

Blog Comments 5.

Blog comments on Core77: One Day Paper Waste Furniture by Jens Praet

This is so cool! This guy takes wasted, shredded paper, and mixes them with resin to make furniture. The end result is as sturdy as a piece of wooden furniture. So much paper goes to waste every day being shredded by everyone from big corporations to average people shredding their credit bills. This is an interesting, functional, and aesthetically kind of cool way to recycle this not-so-obvious building material. I find this to be innovative and exciting. And I think it would be interesting to use these pieces of furniture as the inspiration piece to design a room. The little snippets of text still legible would make for quite the conversation piece as a coffee table, people could sit around it and discuss what the documents may have once been. It is something non-traditional but still functional, and a very innovative piece of design.

Blog Comments 4.

Blog comments on Core77: Project H Design (Anti)Manifesto: A Call To Action For Humanitarian (Product) Design, By Emily Pilloton

Wow, what an article. I learned SO much and I'm really glad I read it. This is something really important to me, the idea of impacting the world through art and design. I really hope that people read this and take her words to heart, because this is one of the things the world truly needs right now. I really loved the way she explained the idea of function vs. impact with the hammer story. A hammer's function is to drive a nail, its short-range impact is that it builds a house, and its long-range impact is that it provides shelter for those who need it. And that long-range impact is what designers and everyone, really, needs to be focusing on. And she is also right about how "Green design" as a trend is becoming overused and cliche, when it shouldn't really even be a term used, because all design should be designed with its environmental impact in mind. I can't even say all the things I can say about this article, I could write an entire paper on it. She makes so many extroadinary points, and I love her company's focus on humanitarian design. I am in love with the idea of enabling people through design. It comes down to the idea that if you give someone a fish, they'll eat for a day, but if you teach them how to fish, they'll eat for life. Except in this case, its like, if you design a luxury fishing rod, someone can catch a fish and send it to a starving person in a developing nation, or you can design a functional fishing rod to be given to the person in the developing nation and they can fish for themselves.
Perhaps I'm not as gifted at expressing this concept as the author of this article...
But I definitely identify and agree with all of her sentiments.

Some quotes I really loved:

"Our real goal should be to design the biggest impact with the least amount of product."

"Separating function from impact is a critical step in the design process, encouraging us to look for consequences beyond the obvious, and grounding us in considerations beyond the often-irresistible distractions of form and function."

"If all our clients are corporate, we're only perpetuating the profit-driven machine. In order to move design toward a more humanitarian and global service-based industry, we've got to redefine our client base."

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Blog Comments 3.

Blog Comments on NussbaumOnDesign; New Solar Tiles For Roofs -- Tiles, Not Panels

As a person who considers herself concerned about the environment and the world around her, this post was very interesting. The marriage of design and environmentally friendly techonology is definitely a business on the rise, and this is a good example of that. Many people who could have afforded solar panels, but perhaps did not want to sacrifice the visual appeal of their home, can now put these aesthetically pleasing tiles on the rooves, and enjoy the visual impact that the tiles have as well as the reduction of negative environmenal impact that the home creates. If I had a home, and lots of money, I would tile my roof in these!

Blog Comments 2.

Blog Comments on NussbaumOnDesign; Is Apple innovative or just Adaptive?

I don't know the answer to this question, but the probing questions and points Nussbaum raises intrigue me. What is the definition of innovation? I do think that Apple is innovative, but that's from a design perspective. Many of the dissenting comments on this post concern Apple's innovation (or not) in terms of techonology, and I certainly do not know enough about that to decide. Apple is one of the first companies to integrate creative design into every aspect of their business, from sleek product and package design to aesthetically pleasing and user-friendly web design. From what I've heard, its even pleasant to work in an Apple office because of the interior design! In their use of design in a corporate atmosphere, Apple is certainly innovative.

Blog Comments 1.

Comments on annoyingdesign; The Big Apple is big on Design biz :

I think that this post presents a very interesting point of view. He really analyzes the differences between advertising & marketing versus design & innovation. It brings to light the importance of students such as myself in the design and innovation process, and the growing trend of businesses recruiting fresh ideas from academic atmosphere's. I found it especially interesting that he brought up the MIT Media Lab, since Leo Bonanni, a grad student studying in the aforementioned lab, came and spoke to us about all of the interesting (and most certainly innovative!) projects being worked on in the lab.


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