Why David Carson is the best?

So many people have tried to copy him, but he is the unique, the guru of design, considered for Apple Computers “a pioneer with profound impact” and one of the “top 30 innovators in 30 years of Apple” (only 2 graphic artist selected). He is the living legend. David Carson discovered the world of the design in 1980, at that time he was one of the best surfers in the world and he had a Bachelor degree in Sociology. He never had a formal education in design, even so, he turned his future upside down by becoming the designer number one in the world. Carson likes to say that he couldn’t know he was transgressing the rules: he didn’t know about their existence!


The mark of Carson is easily to recognize. In his works the letters change sizes and typographies. Carson mixes bold with italic characters, capital with lower letters. His most recently  work, his first work in ceramics, has the stamp of David Carson. His decorative tile collection designed for CAS Cerámica is an authentic piece of art. 

David Carson is used to work for the biggest international companies, the most renowned institutions and organizations. And nowadays he also lectures and masters classes worldwhile. In Europe and other countries (United States, China or India) the name of Carson is among the best artists. His style and his works are compulsory subjects for graphic design, fine arts and advertising students.


David Carson (1952, Texas) has lived the major part of his live between New York and California. He founded his first design study in the Big Apple, but nowadays he  has other ones  in California, British Virgin Islands and Zurich.

Carson obtained a Bachelor degree on Sociology by the University of Arizona. But in 1980, he felt suddenly an impulse in other direction: he bumped with a flyer of a course of graphic design. A few years later, he was managing the artistic department of some magazines about rock&roll, surf and skate, like Beach Culture or Ray Gun. He knew this world because in 1989 he was among the 10 best world surfers. In Ray Gun, David Carson developed all his potential and his artistic characteristics in typography: excessive or negative line spacing, dance of letters, texts on top of colorful backgrounds, text boxes with different sizes and shapes, turned text blocks, articles which continue in covers, omitted titles, letters replaced by numbers, orthographic handmade corrections… the transgression of the rules reached so high levels that the cover of Ray Gun changed in each new publication. Carson’s photographies had also their own characteristics: he used to use distort and broken pictures. He became the design into the content of the magazine.

As a  photographer, Carson is also very creative. He has some favorite technics like unfocused pictures, combination of colours, extreme framings, collages, ripped pictures, photos taken from inside the car, foregrounds of disposable objects… all is usable for him, even things that other people could consider mistakes.

Since the late 1990 until today, the last name of Carson consolidated culturally. He is considered one the most important avant-garde artists for the Smithsonian, the American Institute of Graphics Arts, the International Center of Photography, the European Design Awards or the American Center of Design among others.

Specialized media calls him “the contemporary legend” (Print Magazine), “the art director of the era” (Creative Review, London) or the “most googled graphic designer in history, even surpassing some well known fine artists” (Eye Magazine). 

Giorgio Armani, Mercedes Benz, Audi, MasterCard, Microsoft, Pepsi, Levis, Warner Bros, Nike, Quicksilver… Carson has worked with a lot of multinational companies before arriving to CAS Cerámica. He has worked for cultural institutions like the San Sebastian Film Festival, the Dali Museum or Harvard.

Carson has written four best sellers about design which were translated at five languages: End of print (1995), 2nd Sight (1997) and Fotografiks (1999), this last gave him the “best use of photography in design” award; and Trek (2000).




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