David Carson is an American graphic designer. He is best known for his innovative magazine design, and use of experimental typography and his time as art director for the magazine Ray Gun. Carson was perhaps the most influential graphic designer of the nineties. In particular, his widely-imitated aesthetic defined the so-called "grunge" era.
His work does not follow "traditional" graphic design standards. Carson is emotionally attached to his creations. Carson's work is considered explorative of thoughts and ideas that become "lost" in the subconscious. Every piece is saturated, but Carson still manages to communicate both the idea and the feeling behind his design.
“I never learned all the rules, all the things you’re not supposed to do,”
Carson's work is familiar among the generation that grew up with Raygun Magazine and its progeny such as huH and xceler8, and in general, the visually savvy MTV generation. His Raygun layouts feature more daredevil design stunts like dripped ink and lines of type that extend across two pages. Once he had two separate articles run together simultaneously, and a Beastie Boys cover was left blank except for the two inches at the top that wouldn't be obscured by other magazines at the newsstand.
Carson has been one of the greatest influences on modern graphic design in the last twenty five years. He took photography and type and manipulated and twisted them together and on some level confusing the message but in reality he was drawing the eyes of the viewer deeper within the composition.