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David Carson The Father Of Grunge

2201 words - 9 pages


David Carson is a person, who broke the mold of traditional design, without having a proper graphic design education, not knowing the rules of design. He forced typography to change and inspired many creators to redefine what design is. David had an interesting way of creative development, through his design career which he started in 80’s. He commenced his activity as an editorial designer for a very limited audience, and then took his career further, and became highly demanded in more conventional areas of design.
The sub-topic title of this essay is ‘Explosion of subculture’. This metaphor refers to the definition of the process of explosion as an increase in volume and release of energy with destroying itself. It illustrates the process, which took place in many spheres, dealing with subcultures at that time, and in subcultural design of David Carson in particular.
American Heritage Cultural Dictionary gives definition of ‘subculture’ as:
‘A group within a society that has its own shared set of customs, attitudes, and values, often accompanied by jargon slang. A subculture can be organized around a common activity, occupation, age, status, ethnical background, race, religion, or any other unifying social condition…’
Subcultures are hidden or beneath the principal culture, and they preserve their authenticity. They deal with private attributes, which are valuable because of their uniqueness. In other words, the sense of belonging supports their existence.
‘Explosion of subculture’ in this case refers to the process of cultural appropriation of subcultural attributes, which leads to expansion and extermination.


Subjective design

David Carson is known best for radical and highly experimental layouts using text and imagery very willingly. Without having a proper graphic design education, David has an intuition-driven way of creating, which led him to find his own way to work with the material.
David Carson as a former professional surfer, has a different attitude towards design and life as a whole, than other designers which were taught to follow the directives and obey strict rules. It helped him to create his new approach to design. Surfing helped to develop his motional style which became the guiding force behind his artworks.
It is hard to find all references, which show the influence of surfing in regards to the design, but it is impossible not to mention them. There is even the philosophy called Surfism, that views existence in terms that correspond to surfing, which can explain the deepness of indirect references. Dan Webber wrote in his blog:
‘Faith could even be characterized by free-falling down the face of a wave on take-off, when one’s attention is momentarily suspended between interpreting the situation and anticipating what’s about to happen. The body knows what to do and responds accordingly. It has an innate relationship with the wave...’
Surfing, as a lifestyle, constitutes...

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