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By Kendall

People say that graphic designers are the worst marketers: they design brands for other people, yet they don’t market themselves as a brand name. Here’s a great example of this in action: when someone asks you to name 5 classic rock bands, 10 celebrities, and some baseball players, you can rattle off all the names in probably less than a minute. Throw in a couple modern artists? Everyone has at least heard of Damien Hirst. But who’s heard of any famous graphic designers? How about David Carson, for instance? This post about David Carson is the second in the series on world famous graphic designers.

David Carson Bio

David Carson was recently named one of the top five most influential designers by Graphic Design USA magazine. His work can be considered post-modern, and he largely influenced the dirty-grunge movement in design trends of the 90s. Carson started designing in the 80s with no formal schooling in the field and has since focused heavily on typography and photography. His work became well-known in the late 80s and early 90s through skateboarding and surfing magazines. Later, he started Ray Gun Magazine, a lifestyle and music magazine, and went on to start his own design firm, David Carson Design. Carson has written and co-authored a handful of books characterizing design trends. He continues to be active in the surfing community. Clients include Quiksilver, Suicide Girls, Samsung, Adidas, Nine Inch Nails, Pepsi, and Toyota.

David Carson’s design aesthetic is best seen through his works. His typographical treatments are first-rate, and he integrates photography to produce a minimal, low-fi look. In his recent work, David Carson has branched out into television and video as well, producing commercials, documentaries, short films, and more.


David Carson: Aspen Design Conference


David Carson: “Don’t mistake legibility for communication.”


David Carson: Ray Gun Magazine

David Carson Lecture

David Carson spends a good deal of time lecturing and giving presentations. I found a talk he gave a while back on YouTube. He’s funny and thought-provoking, and his work speaks volumes to up-and-coming designers. I would highly recommend taking the time to watch it and gain some inspiration.

Famous Web Designers? (Post Script)

While graphic design and web design are sometimes used interchangeably, they are very different mediums. Not all graphic designers make great web designers, and not all web designers make great graphic designers. It’s good to know of famous designers in both fields to gain insight and inspiration from the two. However, web designers have not quite gained the same celebrity status as some graphic designers, most likely because the industry is so young and web design companies tend to come and go relatively quickly. Like many graphic designers such as David Carson, web designers are also only as famous as the brands they create and how well their work is received.

Since we love practically everything about the web here at Ars Grafik, including web design, I’m going to make it a point to showcase more web designers in upcoming posts for this series. Who knows, maybe we’ll uncover some diamonds in the rough in the process. Who are your favorite web designers?

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  1. Jason

    … I also find myself torn between the coffee shop and my dual monitor setup :)

  2. Cyndi Hall

    May I suggest ABR Viewer as an alternative to loading and trying each brush in Photoshop? It’s free, and I use it regularly. You may find this a great time-saving alternative!

    Hope it helps!

  3. Kendall

    Thanks for the referral, Cyndi! I’ll have to spend some time tonight trying it out.

  4. 4elves

    I love you to pieces man!!

  5. Lia

    I wished and wished for a Mac, then was given one at work.

    So I moved all my files over.

    I HATE it. I’m a designer. I have about 50 folders for 50 different projects. I name the banner psd “banner.psd” for all of them. Try and search for them all, yeah the Mac finds them but then you have to do “get info” for each one (or change some such setting and still click on each to see where the dang thing is located. On windows. I glanced at the path to the folder and voila. Yeah changing permissions on Vista is a headache but it’s far better than the constant problems I have on the Mac. Photoshop is twitchy at best, the thing crashes, although my Roku, PS3, Wii, personal laptop all do fine with my wirless, the mac drops it all the time. I use multiple monitors. Oh my god what idiot thought of leaving the application menu on one screen when the application is on another? You can only choose one little sprout because Steve Jobs knows better than you how you should work.
    can’t wait to ditch it.

    sorry tirade over.

    ps tons of free windows applications out there.

  6. Obcali

    Um… how about not naming all of your files the same name? Sounds more like an organizational issue than an operating system issue, either way.

    I might recommend using an identifier and THEN _banner.psd? I assume it’d be difficult to find photos as well if every picture on a drive had its own folder and was named “photo.jpg”.


  7. Russell

    Ok, so… I’m a total newbie to photoshop. I have CS5 and a brickton of brushes. I have tried renaming them, but they do NOT show up in the list like I want them to. I’ve played around with it for like a half hour. Can anyone please help?

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