David Carson

“Of course I could make beautiful brochures that everyone can read well. But life is too short to do boring things.”

David Carson is an American Graphic designer who was born in 1954. As early as the age of fourteen, he is one of the world’s top eight surfers.

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In 1977 he completed his studies in sociology “with honors and distinction” from San Diego State University. After he takes part in a two-week workshop in graphic design at the age of 26, he is convinced that this is the right thing for him. He begins a course in graphics at the University of San Diego and the Oregon College of Commercial Art, his education but not completed. In the years 1982-1987 he worked as a teacher of sociology, psychology, economics and history at Torrey Pines High School in Del Mar.

In the years from 1982 Carson violated any typographical and design rules for its design. He breaks with reading habits and works with a constant change of font sizes, types and styles (bold, italic). Words overlap, sets break off in the middle word, it creates a typeface whose readability is not guaranteed. Slashed photos are rearranged doubled and combined with text as a separate design element. David works less for a particular concept, but rather intuitive and free. In his opinion, it is time to break the old design rules and creating a new vision for typography, images, and overall design.

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To date, David works as a graphic designer and consultant for companies such as Bose Corporation, Quicksilver, Dali Museum active and has already several books (The End of Print (1995), 2nd Sight (1997), Photo Grafiks (1999) , Surf Culture: The Art History of Surfing, (2003) published.



Stefan Sagmeister

1370_253x190Born in 1962 in Bregenz, Austria Stefan Sagmeister has designed album covers for Lou reed, Ok go, the rolling stones David Byrne, Aerosmith, Pat Methany

In 2005 Sagmeister received a Grammy award in the best-boxed or special limited edition package category for art directing once in a lifetime box set by talking headsAizone1_1_1800_1114_75

He’s the author of the design monograph “made you look” which was published by Booth-clibborn editionsBrian-eno-and-David-Byrne_20_1800_1114_75

His motto is “design that guts from the creator and still curries the ghost of these guts in final execution”

He teaches in graduate department of the school of visual arts in New york

Vilcek2_1_1800_1114_75His fields of experience are Graphic design and film

He is different from other artists he literally creates the art work he had his one of his work colleagues carved into his skin for an advertisement for the AIGA

He also received a second Grammy award for his design on David Byrne and Brian Eno album ‘Everything that happens will happen today’ in the Grammy award for best recording package category on January 31st 2010

AIGA Detroit

For this lecture poster for Aiga Detroit we tried to visualize the pain that seems to accompany most of our design projects. Our intern Martin cut all the type into my skin.

sagmeisterYes it did hurt real bad

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Jessica Walsh


Wade JeffreeWade_500_500_75Santiago_500_500_75Santiago Carrasqullia

Links to all my information



Stefan Sagmeister: Design and Happiness (youtube)

Sagmeister 08(youtube)

Stefan Sagmeister: The power of time off(youtube)

Paula Scher and Marian Bantjes


Paula Scher has been described as ‘the Dame of Grande Design’ (http://justcreative.com/2008/07/10/7-female-graphic-designers-thatll-rock-your-socks-off),  ‘America’s first lady of design’, and a ‘giant of modern graphic design’ (http://srykim.blogspot.com.au/2012/03/paula-scher-research.html).images

Her design career spans over four decades during which time she has won hundreds of prestigious international and American design awards. She is the first female principal of the major international design firm Pentagram, and her clients include Citi Bank and Coca-Cola.

Her work is generally described as populist, iconic and bold.

original-citi-logoWhilst trained in Swiss international style of typography,  she has developed her own eclectic typographic style that uses font with big, bold and vivid colours and unusual spacing. She claims that this style emerged from her dislike of Helvetica, which she has publicly associated with corporate ‘war-mongering’.

Ironically, these same corporate values are precisely the ones she promotes so effectively that her images – and the corporations they represent – have ‘entered into the American vernacular’ (Idid, 2012) .  Her claims of rebellion contrast starkly against her long and very tight alignment with the very values she pertains to resist.

Alternatively, Marian Bantjes makes no such claims of bucking the system.                                      images-6

Yet her personal, creative and enquiring style – as well as the processes and philosophy behind it – does present a real alternative to this pervasive and generic corporate messaging.

1006-marian-bantjes-sugarMarian’s work aims to evoke etherial qualities –joy, curiosity and a sense of wonder. She describes her work as tapping into visual wealth to enhance intellectual wealth, and promoting inquiry to seed the imagination of the mind (http://www.ted.com/talks/marian_bantjes_intricate_beauty_by_design.html). To me, this very objective – combined with her use of unusual and often traditionally ‘feminine’ materials – constitutes genuinely rebellious design.








images-2Graphic design will save the world right after rock and roll does.’

Carson was born in Texas on September 8, 1954 and has gained a formidable reputation internationally, as a precocious graphic designer. He achieved his iconic status as an innovative magazine designer, in particular for his bold experiments with type, and was the creator of a new aesthetic in typeography, which was to become known as ‘grunge.

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No doubt Carson was influenced by the social and cultural context of the time in which he lived and practiced his craft. He immersed himself in his early career in the liberal artistic culture of Southern California, and then pursued his studies in Switzerland under the mentorship of Hans-Rudolph Lutz, who had a powerful influence on his style.

When he became art director of Transworld Skateboarding magazine (1984), and then Transworld Snowboarding magazine, he had honed his skills into a distinctive style, which he became famous for. He attracted attention by using techniques which were fresh, experimental, expressive and brash.


He became art director for Ray Gun magazine (1992) and achieved the status of the most influential graphic designer of the 1990’s. One of his more controversial projects was to publish an interview with Brian Ferry in dingbats’ font, because he thought it was boring.

He attracted a formidable and diverse stable of clients, including, amongst others, Pepsi, Ray Ban, Nike, Microsoft, Armani, Levi Strauss, Toyota, Quicksilver, Mercedes-Benz and Nine Inch Nails.

At the top of his profession, he became the Creative director of Gibbes Museum of Art (Charlston), Director of Design for Quicksilver Pro Surfing contest (France), became involved with the San Sebastion International Film Festival (Spain). Since then he has been in demand for lectures, workshops and exhibitions internationally.

Newsweek has given him credit for changing ‘the public face of graphic design’, and Graphic Design USA Magazine called him the ‘most influential graphic designers of the era’.

Carson has described his work as ‘subjective, personal and very self indulgent’.




Ray Gun Magazine

David Carson Design – official site

David Carson Documentary – CURRENTLY IN PRODUCTION – official site

TED Talks: David Carson on design, discovery and humor at TED in 2003

Tibor Kalman

Tibor+banner+copyTibor Kalman – “Curiosity is a beautiful disease”

Tibor Kalman was born in 1949 in Budapest, Hungary.

In 1967 he enrolled at New York University where he worked on the student newspaper.  He dropped out and travelled to Cuba to cut sugar cane and learn about Cuban life.

He returned to New York in 1971 and went to work as creative director of a student book exchange owned by Leonard Riggio.

Kalman taught himself to design advertisements and for next 8 years worked for Riggio’s empire.  In 1979 he left to set up M&Co – his own graphic studio.


Kalman’s sense of funky and absurd started kicking it with goofy furnishings – the reception window was a hole smashed in the wall with a sledgehammer.

By 1989 he kalman1was arguing for social responsibility through toys, products, corporations and music.

“I see this as a business that affects people’s lives and affects people’s brains”.


He went on the road and argued with lectures, writings and visual essays about waste and the hypocrisy of designing for bad companies.  “Good design for good causes can improve the environment”.

Whilst M&Co flourished, it became a drain on his energy.  Escape came from “Colors” magazine – sponsored by Benetton, which he co-founded with Olivero Toscani.  Here he flourished and honed in on how design could be used as a tool in communication and propagation of his ideas.

He died of cancer in 1997 – a humanist who found a way to make commercial art serve society – the ultimate client.



New York Times Obituary




Bruno Munari

Bruno Munari [October 24, 1907, Milan – September 30, 1998, Milan] was an Italian artist and designer, who contributed fundamentals to many fields of visual arts [painting, sculpture, film, industrial design, graphic design] and non-visual arts such as literature, poetry] and his research on games, didactic method and creativity.


Bruno Munari’s work combines humour with sophistication and intellect. Munari was the author of many books and articles including Design as Art in 1987. The Munari principle was “ lucidity, leanness, exactitude and humour.”

He flourished in advertising and design in the 1930’s and 1940’s mostly in graphics, in the company of Fortunato Deperoand and Ulrico Prampoline. In 1957 he started working seriously and consistently for Danese but never gave up on painting as a proper focus for creativity. In the 1950’s he helped found the postwar Movemento Arte Concreta, Munari was never political but he owed a great deal to the Futurists and their philosophy of modernity.


Munari was one of Milan’s intellectuals, seeing meanings in shape, colour, gesture and form. Bruno Munari was passionate about democratizing art and making good design available to all people therefore bettering a persons living conditions and encouraging people to develop their taste and sense of beauty.


Quote: ”The designer of today re-establishes the long lost contact between art and the public, between living people and art as a living thing.



Reference Links


David Carson

David Carson

RayGun David Carson

David Carson is an American graphic designer, an art director and an old timedc7 professional surfer, born September 8 1954. With an interest in graphic design he attended the Oregon College of Commercial Art and during that time had the opportunity to work with Hans-Rudolf Lutz, who became a great influence on his work. Carson became an art director of the magazine ‘Transworld Skateboarding’, and it was during the four years working there that he developed his non-mainstream photographic techniques and his ‘dirty’ style of graphic design. As his career developed he moved through multiple sporting magazines and the alternative music and lifestyle magazine ‘ray gun’ where he started to gain fame as a designer. From 1995-1998 Carson worked with many large companies as a designer, companies like Pepsi Cola, Ray Ban, Nike, Microsoft, Giorgio Armani and many others.

Aftdc6er 2004 Carson became the Creative director for Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston, at which time he also worked on a special edition of surfing magazine and directed a television commercial, expanding his area odc2f work. In more recent years Carson picked up contracts to work with Quicksilver as the design director for the Quicksilver pro Surfing contest in Biarritz, France and New York City. Carson also worked on poster design for an international film festival in San Sebastian, and other magazines and newspapers in Spain and Portugal.

            Today he is a well-known graphic designer and has lectured, held workshops and many exhibitions all around the world. Both Carson’s ‘dirty’ style of graphic design and his individual style of photography have helped him to stand out and gain recognition as a surf, skate and lifestyle graphic designer.