David Carson is perhaps the most widely known graphic designer in the world today. Made famous by his controversial innovations in editorial typography, his provocative art direction for “Beach Culture” and “Ray Gun” magazines in the 1980s and 1990s was criticized by the predominant Modernist design movement. Modernist designer Paul Rand was an early critic of the budding design style. Historian Philip Meggs was critical of modernists for narrowly focusing on the deviation from standard practice instead of the broader relevant importance of the movement. Carson swayed the delicate balance between aesthetic form and the function of readability in communication. His typographic interpretations of editorial content marked a turning point in the history of graphic design. Without his experimental divergence from established design practices, Carson’s work may not have achieved the flood of notoriety that helped to elevate him to an elite status within the international design community. For Carson, form over function equated to stardom over obscurity.
|Keywords:||David Carson, Typographic Practice, Editorial Typography, Graphic Design History, Form Over Function|
Lecturer, Department of Design, California State University Long Beach, California, USA
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