The Father of Grunge Typography Calls Out Lazy Design

Legendary designer David Carson on why you should just say no to Helvetica.

For graphic designers, success and controversy rarely go hand in hand. But David Carson flaunted that rule, along with just about every design principle when he became the founding art director of Ray Gun, a music magazine whose raucous look seemed to perfectly encapsulate the ’90s grunge era. A latecomer to graphic design, he did only what felt right to him, not what he was taught. He eschewed order in favor of a noisy, expressive approach to typography that, detractors famously claimed, compromised legibility.

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