David Carson-Crystal Spencer Post 1

Posted: March 6, 2012 by crystalspencer30 in Uncategorized

 D  avi  d Cars   on

David Carson, born September 8, 1954, is an American gra phi c desi G ner.

He is best known for his innovative magazine design, and use of                          experimental typography.

       In            grained within the surfing sub-culture of southern California, by the late 1980s he had developed his signature style, using “dirty” type and non-mainstream photographic techniques.

“Dirty” type adheres to none of the standard practices of typography and is      ofTe  n   illeibLe,   with the widest audience.


He became renowned for his inventive graphics in the 1990s. In particular, his widely imitated aesthetic defined the so-called “grunge typography” era.

‘Theres a saying in Graphic Design, that you have to know the rules before you can break them, I don’t believe that. I didn’t know the rules’, ‘I just did what made sense to me’ David Carson.

His layouts featured distortions or mixes of ‘vernacular’ typefaces and fractured imagery, rendering them almost illegible. Not afraid to break convention, in one issue he used Dingbat as the font for what he considered a rather dull interview with Bryan Ferry.

Steven Heller, of the New York Times said “He significantly influenced a generation to embrace typography as an expressive me dia m
Carson broke the traditional mold of type on a page and demanded fresh eyes from the reader. Squishing, smashing, slanting and enchanting the words on a layout, Carson made the point, over and over, that letters on a page are art. You can see the repercussions of his work to this day, on a million Flash intro pages.

Steven Heller, of the New York Times


‘you tube’ – ‘Graphic design: Use your eye not the rules!’



  1. christineslabb says:

    Love how David Carson didn’t know the rules of Graphic Design and how he just went with what made sense to him. Carson gave type life yet he turned words into art.
    Great layout and research on David Carson, he is an inspiring Graphic Designer.

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