DC Named to Most Influential list,


luke, times square,

nyc taxi, 1.8.07

folly beach office, 2007

new years day email check spot, tortola

work in progress, follyt beach studio

comin intonyc, jan 8th,2007

DC Named to Most Influential list
Graphic Design USA magazine(NYC) recently listed the “most influential graphic designers of the era” David was listed as one of the top 5 most influential designers, with milton glaser, paul rand, saul bass and massimo vignelli.

new york city, jan.8th 07

Dominant Wave Theory, review


“Dominant Wave Theory, Photography by Andy Hughes”
published by Booth-Clibborn Editions,

Dominant Wave Theory
Photography by Andy Hughes
Reviewed by Stephen Brigdale
July 2006

This forward thinking photography book features over 150 photographs by the artist Andy Hughes made on different beach locations from California to Western Cornwall. The book explores and examines the relationship of beach waste as both an object of visual enquiry and as a reference to the global environmental crisis. “Dominant wave theory”, we are told, ” is loosley based on a scientific term used in the prediction and observation of wave models”. The book sets out to parallel this idea visually through the observation of the beach as a local site for the interplay of nature and consumer culture.
Through extraordinarily focused colour photographs of found waste objects, the reader is offered tangible stilled moments of reflection on the nature of these objects and left to ponder their place in the world now that their original purpose has been washed (eroded) away. This extensive archive of images forms the core of the project with the design and development of the book by David Carson working to heighten the visual scope and pace of the work. This is apparent in the scale, ordering and pairing of the images, creating thoughtful and revealing relationships throughout the book.

The photographs are complemented by a collection of essays by five eminent writers, who are here linked through the common thread of the project but coming from a wide range of perspectives. They discuss ideas connected with the beach from eco-activism through to cultural theory and marine biology; their contribution extends and puts into context ideas initiated within the photographs.
The essays open with a discussion by Dr Christopher Short, of the visual context of Hughes’s work as a contemporary art practice. The wider implications of these photographs, in terms of art history through formalism and the development of modernism in St Ives (Hughes is based in West Cornewall), are speculated upon together with tourism in this locale to draw anthropological perspectives. The political dimensions of environmental activism; the tackling of waste and changing our relationship to waste generation, are developed in writings by Chris Hines and environmental advocate Joshua Karliner. The latter in his essay, discusses ecological and industrial development and counters with alternative futures. In contrast, the existence of the beach as a physical and metaphorical site are explored and linked with histories and archaeologies in the essay “The Beach as Ruin”. Here Lena Lencek makes wide ranging connections that play histories into the present and focus Andy Hughes’s work in time: as both representative of the present while simultaneously prophetic of possible dread futures. No less prophetic is the discussion, by Dr Richard Thompson, of scientific marine data, gathered about the effects of plastic debris in the world’s oceans; the scale and persistence of which makes shocking reading.
The photographic work produced in this book creates references that allow a wide cross comparison between the images; this is carried through into the page design of the appendix which acts as both a catalogue of all the images and locations as well as an accumulating visual glossary of beach waste. The structure of this book is striking visually, defined by the everydayness of the objects and the uniqueness of their depiction.
The breadth of ambition of this book is wide and the issues that are addressed of contemporary significance. Visually it deals with these in a thought provoking and seductive way; the essays extending these images into far reaching debates, the whole work culminating in an important contribution to the ecological paradigm.
© Stephen Brigdale 2006

one of the top 50 creative people in america over the past 20 years


The Creativity 50,
david selected as “one of the top 50 creative people in america over the past 20 years”,
by Creativity Magazine, NYC.2006

Creativity Magazine 20th Anniversary-
David Carson, a former professional surfer who studied sociology at San Diego State, rode his quirky art direction of magazines like Beach Culture, Ray Gun his style is “intuitive,” he says, “I’m self-taught” to the pinnacle of the design world, amassing media accolades like “The most famous designer on the planet” and “art director of the era.” His first book, The End of Print, with Lewis Blackwell (1995, revised 2000) is the top-selling graphic design book of all time, having sold more than 200,000 copies in five languages. That book title was somewhat prophetic, it seems; in recent years Carson, via David Carson Design, with offices in New York and Charleston, S.C., has launched a career as a film director, having become “fascinated by moving images,” as he puts it, with commercials and branding projects for clients like Lucent, Microsoft, Quiksilver and Armani, as well as music videos for Nine Inch Nails and other bands. He says (on the nature of creativity): “All work needs to be personal it’s where the best work comes from, and it’s the only way to do something truly unique. Nobody else can pull from your background, upbringing, parents or life experiences. The best work is always the most self-indulgent. Do what you love and the passion will show.”

blue magazine: the 40 best magazine covers over the past forty years


dc cover selected as best by editors association?
the amercian magazine editors association has selected the 40 best magazine covers over the past forty years. (thats alot of magazines published in 40 years : )
davids design and art direction of the first cover of blue magazine was selected as #20.
photograph by laura levine that david saved for many years from a contact sheet he was sent for beach culure magazine. dc’s in some good company :
check out this link, and remember, EDITORS selected this cover with no cover lines -
and no head : )

the end of print by david byrne.

archive: review-the end of print by david byrne: the end of print by david byrne.
I first saw David Carson’s work, as did a number of others, in the short-lived magazine called Beach Culture, and I immediately wondered what the hell was going on. Who was reading this amazing magazine that seemed to be in the wrong place, directed at the wrong audience? It seemed to act like a popular mag, but sure didn’t look like one. Were sufers really into this radical design? Were they actually more savvy than I gave them credit for? Well, Southern California was the home of Kustom Kars and Low Riders, both examples of beautiful, radical, impractical design of and by the people. Maybe this was another step along those lines? Popular culture proving once again that it could be more revolutionary than high culture.
Then Beach Culture disappeared and we never found out the answers.
I was beginning to despair that rock music culture was becoming square, conservative, stuck. The mass-market mags were all towing some kind of party line, getting excited when they were suposed to, and narrowing their interests and focus until the world started becoming a suburban backyard. And that was what we were trying to escape from!
Then along came Ray Gun, and hey, it’s that guy again! Now we’re talking.
Design was cool again! Suddenly, visual expression was, as we always knew it was, as hip as Rock & Roll. Even the readers were contributing great drawings, paintings and sketches. This was not an isolated designer freaking out, but a catalyst for who knows how many people who knew that there is no difference between anything anymore-between “professional” musicians/artists and amateurs.
For decades, public art programs have tried to “bring art to the people”; museums and great institutions of learning strive to “enlighten the masses”. When all along the “masses” have been doing it for themselves-maybe unrecognized, and in slightly different forms. With guitars and offset fanzines. With kustom kars, surfboards and skateboards.
I suppose a lot will be made of David Carson’s work being the perfect example of Mcluhan’s theory of sprung life-that when a means of communication has outlived its relevance, it becomes a work of art. That print-books, magazines, news-papers will become icons, sculptures, textures-that they will be a means of communication of a different order, and that simple information transfer will be effected by some other (electronic) means. Print will no longer be obliged to simply carry the news. It will have been given (or will have taken, in this case) its freedom, and there is no going back. Print is reborn, resurrected, as something initially unrecognizable. It’s not really dead, it simply mutated into something else.
David’s work communicates. But on a level beyond words. On a level that bypasses the logical, rational centers of the brain and goes straight to the part that understands without thinking. In this way it works just like music does-slipping in there before anyone has a chance to stop it at the border and ask for papers.
-david byrne , nyc