“David Carson is a man who has transformed the field of graphic design throughout his career. Self-taught, resolutely grid-free, and unafraid to speak his mind (he’s also very funny), Carson’s work made designers realize that editorial layouts didn’t have to stick to the rules around image placement, consistent typography, or doggedly flowing copy issue after issue.
His attitude—one he sees as partly underdog, partly “why not?”—carries through not only his most famous projects like art directing Ray Gun magazine or his work for Transworld Skateboarding, but also branding projects, surfboard designs, packaging design for potato chips, and more; making him as relevant today as ever.
It’s rare to speak to a young designer who’s into zines, music, and a generally less strict aesthetic, and have them not cite Carson as an influence. The American Center for Graphic Design has exalted him as having made “the most important work coming out of America,” while Creative Review has called him “the art director of the era.” In 2014, he was awarded the AIGA Gold Medal. But for all the praise he’s received, he’s rather lovely when we chat—and pretty humble to boot. He’s also still really into surfing.” AIGA eye on design: august 2019
Final Jury Panel