"You have to utilize who you are in your work. Nobody else can do that: nobody else can pull from your background, from your parents, your upbringing, your whole life experience."
- David Carson.
David Carson is principal and chief designer of David Carson Design, Inc. with offices in del mar,california and zurich switzerland.
Carson graduated with “honors and distinction” from San Diego state university, where he received a BFA degree in sociology. A former professional surfer, he was ranked #9 in the world during his college days. Numerous groups including the New York Type Directors Club, American Center for Design and I.D. magazine have recognized his studio’s work with a wide range of clients in both the business and arts worlds. Carson and his work have been featured in over 180 magazine and newspaper articles around the world, including a feature in Newsweek magazine, and a front page article in the new york times . London-based Creative Review magazine dubbed Carson “Art Director of the Era.” The American Center for Design (Chicago) called his work on Ray Gun magazine “the most important work coming out of America.” His work on Beach Culture magazine won “Best Overall Design” and “Cover of the Year” from the Society of Publication Designers in New York.
Carson’s first book, with Lewis Blackwell, The End of Print, (forward by David Byrne) is the top selling graphic design book of all time, selling over 200,000 copies, and printed in 5 different languages.The work featured in The End of Print is the subject of various one-man exhibitions throughout Europe and Latin America,Asia and australia. Carson’s other titles include 2nd Sight, Fotografiks (with design historian Philip Meggs). He has two recently released books, TREK and The Book of Probes with Marshall McLuhan. David is also art director for the Mcluhan estate(“the medium is the message”).
Carson lectures extensively throughout the world, as well as at colleges throughout the U.S., including Cranbrook, ARTcenter, Notre dame, RISD and Cal Arts. he has had numerous one man exhibitions of his work worldwide, and has spoken at over 100professional symposiums, including “Designer As Editor” at the Design Institute in Amsterdam. He teaches a week long workshop at the school of visual arts in nyc each summer.
The International Center for Photography (NY) singled out Carson as the “Designer of the Year” for his use of photography and design. Print Magazine proclaimed his work “Brilliant,” while USA Today described it as “visually stunning,” adding that his design of Ray Gun Magazine “may actually get young people reading again.”
Typography, a title published by Graphis magazine (NY), lists Carson as a “Master of Typography.” I.D. magazine chose Carson for their list of “America’s most innovative designers”. A feature in newsweek magazine said of carson “he changed the public face of graphic design”. The graphic design publication Emigre devoted an entire issue to Carson, the only American designer to be so honored in the magazine’s history. And in April 2004, London based creative review magazine calls David, “the most famous graphic designer on the planet”. David recently picked up 4 gold awards at the Charleston ADDY awards, including a “special judges award” for “professionalism”.
In the past few years, Carson has branched out into film and television to direct commercials and videos. He directed the launch commercials for Lucent technologies and teamed up with william burroughs in Carson’s short film, “The End of Print”. He also collaborated with Harvard Business School professor John Kao on a documentary entitled “The Art and Discipline of Creativity.” David designed the worldwide branding campaign for Microsoft, as well as the worldwide advertising for Giorgio Armani (Milan). He has appeared in advertisements endorsing Apple Computers, Samsung monitors and various paper companies. Carson has art directed and designed Surfer, twSkateboarding, twSnowboarding, Beach Culture, and Ray Gun magazines. He has an extensive list of international clients: Nine Inch nails, Toyota, mercedes benz, Bank of montreal, Microsoft, Quiksilver, Meg Ryan, David Byrne, Bush, Pepsi, and Xerox.
David is featured in both “The History of Graphic Design” by Philip Meggs, as well as”The Encylopedia of Surfing” by Matt Warsaw.
He designed a special issue of Surfing Magazine titled “Explorations” which came out in july of ’04. He also recently directed a television commercial for the progressive UMPQUA Bank in Seattle, Washington.
David’s work continues to be subjective and largely driven by intuition, with an emphasis on reading material before designing it, and experimenting with ways to communicate in a variety of mediums. Carson remains a hands on designer, keeping his studio small and mobile.