Blog Post #4 Typography – David Carson

Annette Wagenhofer

March 4, 2015

4 D Design 2

Blog Post #4



David Carson was born on September 8, 1954 in Corus Christi, Texas. He attended San Diego University. Graduating with a BA in  Sociology. His was first introduced to graphic design in 1980 at the University of Arizona during a two week graphics course by Jackson Boelts. From 82-87 he worked as a teacher in Torrey Pines High School in San Diego. During this time he started to experiment with graphic design and found himself immersed in the artistic and bohemian culture of southern California. He attended a workshop in Switzerland in graphic design as part of his degree which he was working on at the Oregon College of Commercial Art. It was at this workshop he was greatly influenced by the teacher Hans-Rudolf Lutz.

He is an American graphic designer & art director. and. He is best known for his innovative magazine design, and use of experimental typography.. He was the art director for the magazine Ray Gun in which he designed much of the typographic and layout style for which he is known. His helped to define the so-called “grunge typography” era.

Carson first became the art director of Transworld Skateboarding Magazine in 84. He helped to give the magazine a distinctive edge.  By the end of his employment there in 88 he had developed his signature style using “dirty type and non mainstream photographic techniques.

Publishers of Surfer Magazine asked Carson to design Beach Culture, a quarterly publication. He would make his first significant impact on the world of graphic design and typography with ideas that were called innovative by those that weren’t fond of his style.  In a world which readers strict attention relied on legibility, he featured an ad on a blind surer, he opened this ad with a two page spread covered in black.

He worked for Ray Gun an alternative music magazine in 92. One issue he notoriously used Dingbat a font containing only symbols when he created the spread for a dull interview with Bryan Ferry. Carson eventually left Ray Gun to find his own studio in NY City. He attracted major clients all aver the U.S. over the span of 3 years from 95-98 he would do work for Pepsi, Ray Ban, Nike, Microsoft, Budweiser, Armani, NBC, American Airlines and Levi’s.

Carson along with Tina Meyers designed the crowfoot typeface used in the film The Crow: City of Angels. He went on to design the first issue of Blue and adventure lifestyle magazine. His cover design for the first issue was selected as one of the top 40 magazine covers of all time by the American Society of Magazine Editors. By 2000 he closed his NY City studio and relocated to Charleston, SC. He has worked as a lecturer holding workshops and exhibitions across Europe, South America and the U.S. He has changed the public face of graphic design.

His layouts feature distorted mixes of vernacular typefaces and fractured imagery, rendering them almost illegible. When Graphic Design USA Magazine listed the most influential disagrees of the era David Carson was listed on of the 5 all time most influential designers. He claims that his work is subjective, personal and very self indulgent.

David’s work continues to be subjective and largely driven by intuition, with an emphasis on reading material before designing it, and experimenting with ways to communicate in a variety of mediums. Carson remains a hands on designer, keeping his studio small and mobile.

Blog #3 – TYPOGRAPHY 2 Alexy Brodovitch

Annette Wagenhofer

February 25, 2015

Typography 2

Blog #3 Alexy Brodovitch


Alexey Brodovitch was Russian born photographer, designer and instructor who is most famous for his art direction of fashion magazine Harper’s Bazaar from 1934-1958. He was born in 1898. He had no formal training in art growing up. Alexey often would sketch noble profiles in the audience at concerts in the city of Moscow.

In his early twenties he wanted to become a painter. He lived in Paris with his wife. He took jobs painting houses. In Paris he met up with other Russian artists. They led him to more artistic work as a painter of backdrops for Diaghiliev’s Ballets Russes. Paris was a very cosmopolitan city. Here Alexey would be exposed to everything from Dadaism, to Constructivism, Futurism, Bauhaus, Cubism, Fauvism, Purism and Surrealism. Again these influences he found his beginnings of becoming a designer.

On his time off from working on the backdrops he began to sketch designs for textiles, china and jewelry.  He compiled many pieces for his portfolio and would sell his designs to fashion shops. Alexey landed a part time job doing layouts for Cahiers d’Art which was an art journal. He was good at fitting together type, photographs and illustrations for the pages of the magazine. He received public recognition for his work and won first place for his work in a competition. The poster was entitled Bal Banal. The graphic, light to dark inversion of mask shape, type and background showed not only the process of photography, but also the process of trading one’s identity for another when wearing a mask.

He went on to become a free lance designer for several companies. He would illustrate covers for books as well. Alexey embraced technical developments from the spheres of industrial design, photography and contemporary painting.  In his thirties Alexey became on of the most respect designers of the commerce art in Paris. He moved to the United States and was asked to teach Advertising Design and become head of the department at the Pennsylvania Museum School of Industrial Art. He was hired to bring the American school up to the level of the European which was far more modern.  His teaching techniques were unique. He always taught with a visual aid. Bringing examples of German or French magazines for his students to view. He would raise the question “Could this line be better?” Alexey would push his students to make a graphic impression of what they saw. Whether it was photographic, a drawing or abstraction.  They were taught to worship the unknown.

In the spring of 1934 he was asked to design a poster for the Art Directors Club of New York. When the editor in chief of Harper’s Bazaar saw his work, they knew that Alexey would transform the magazine’s revival. He had a fresh conception of layout technique. His pages bled, beautifully cropped photos, typography and design that was bold. He would design his layouts for Harper’s Bazaar by illustrations by hand. He would then use photographs of many different sizes made on a photostat machine. His different approach was to crop the picture unexpectedly or off center it. Designs also included torn edges on photographs. Never before seen in the advertising design industry. He also applied color to the layouts expressively, choosing to use colors of bolder value than that what is seen it the real world.

At times Alexey would take a series of photos and adopt a story line to go with them. He would use type, illustrations and photos to create multiple perspectives within a space. Dividing halves of one image across the gutter of the page. He would choose to use silhouettes instead of the whole form. The magazine resulted in images that one felt the reader could place themselves in those fashions.

Alexey would work at Harper’s Bazaar until 1958. His declining health resulted  him to plug into depression over the death of his wife. He died in 1971.


Alexey Brodovitch was a photographer, designer and teacher. He was most famous for his art direction working on the magazine Harper’s Bazaar. Early in his life he was in and out of the military. He spent time in Paris which is were he began a career in the graphic arts. He won a poster contest for a local theater. This put him on the road to embracing the arts.

A total of 15 years he worked at Harper’s Bazaar. His style of combining elegantly set typography with new and experimental trends in photography became very popular in the 40’s and 50’s. This style he created helped to keep the magazine on the forefront of its field in a changing world.

Almost every project that Alexey worked on was met with great success and he left a lasting impression on everyone including his students, co-workers and colleagues.

Blog Post #2 Russian Suprematism/Malevich

Annette Wagenhofer

February 18, 2015

Typography 2

Blog Post #2 Russian Suprematism/Malevich


Kazimir Malevich was a Russian painter in the early 20th Century. Born in 1879. He was of Polish descent. Malevich’s family moved around a lot, he spent most of his younger years in the villages of the Ukraine.  At the age of twelve he became involved with peasant style embroidery and paint. He was the pioneer of geometric abstract art and the originator of the suprematist movement. In his early twenties he moved to Moscow. There he would study painting, sculpture and architecture.

Malevich described himself as panting in a “Cubo-Futuristic” style in 1912. As all the main Russian avant-garde artists of this time, he absorbed the cubist principles and used them in his own works. By 1915 Malevich would lay the foundations for what we know as Suprematism. He published his manifesto from Cubism to Suprematism. Famous works include his Black Square from 1915 and White On White from 1918.

Malevich became interested in aerial photography and aviation. This would lead him to abstractions. Malevich defined the additional element as the quality of any new visual environment bringing a change in perception.

Malevich was a member of the Collegium on the Arts of Narkompros, the commission for the protection of monuments and the museums commission. He taught at many Art Schools and Institutions. By 1923 he was appointed director of Petrograd State Institute of Artistic Culture. The school was closed in 1926 after a communist party called it a government supported monastery. By this time the Soviet state was promoting a politically style of art called Socialist Realism.

By 1927 Malevich traveled to Warsaw it was here that he held his first foreign exhibit. He would then travel to Berlin and Munich, which finally bought Malevich international recognition. He left behind most of his paintings when he returned to the Soviet Union. During the time when the Stalinist regime turned against forms of abstraction, his works were confiscated and banned from creating similar art.

Critics felt his art as a negation of everything good and pure. He responded that art can advance and develop stating “art does not need us, and it never did”. Malevich died in Leningrad in 1935.


Russian Suprematism was a Russian abstract art movement. It was pioneered and founded by Kasimer Malevich around 1915. Russian Suprematism concerned itself with using elementary geometric forms such as squares and circles. Suprematism owed something to styles of earlier European avant-garde art. However, Malevich intended to take it further. Malevich wanted to develop a type of non-objective art which would allow him to dismiss all and any references to the natural world and put primary focus on art in its pure form. He would do this by creating many rigorously abstract paintings using fundamental geometric shapes such as squares, rectangles, circles, crosses and triangles. He used a limited range of colors. He staged the development of suprematism in three stages: black, colored then white.

Blog Post #1: Animation Studio Research

February 10, 2015

4 D Design

Blog Post #1: Animation Studio Research


Animal Logic design studio. Located at 1117 Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice, California. They established themselves in 1991 as a small digital studio and expanded now to multi locations working with Fox Studios in Australia and Warner Brothers Studios in Burbank, California. The have worked on films such as Babe, The Matrix, Happy Feet, The Great Gatsby and the Lego Movie. Their clients are producers, writers and directors of 3 D films. They are creative and passionate. They strive to develop and eclectic slate of animated and live action feature films. Their visual and technical excellence working with animation is their hallmark. The trend I see is that they master animation for a younger audience. I feel they really are very creative and capture the audience’s attention in animating stories that are enjoyable. They create animal animation as seen in Babe and Happy Feet. This is representation of the work the created and mastered. Here is a link to one of their animations.

My critical assessment of their work when comparing to other motion studios is that I feel they are restricting themselves to just one audience when working with characters only to be viewed by young adolescents or children. They need to expand to more mature audiences as well.


Wicked Liquid FX Studio. Located at 4120 Birch Street, Suite 122 in Newport Beach, California. They are a small studio that specializes in quality broadcast design, show titles, 3 D animation and visual effects. The have worked with partnerships such as ABC, NBC, FOX and Nickelodeon. They specialize in 3 D imagery for photo realistic imagery for medical, dental and pharmaceutical products and procedures. They have also worked in the automotive industry with Nissan, Toyota and Subaru creating technical and promotional animation. Their clients are many from large broadcasting networks, to doctors, dentists, pharmaceutical companies and automotive companies. The company creates the highest quality digital imagery and performs at the forefront of the 3 D animation and visual effects industries. The trend I see is that they master animation in a large variety of networks from automotive to medical. There are many different companies they cover and aren’t limiting themselves to just one audience. This is a representation of the work they have created and mastered. Here is a link to one of their animations.

My critical assessment of their work when comparing to other motion studios is that I feel they have really captured a multitude of clients and audiences from technical to automotive to photo realistic procedures.

Typography 2 – Blog #1 Text Alignment

Blog Post #1: Annotated bibliography

My assessment of text alignment. There are four primary types of text alignment. These four include left aligned, right aligned, centered and justified.

Left aligned is the most popular, it may also be know as left justified It will be used mostly as the default setting in most applications. When typing the left aligned type will start at the left margin and continue to the right margin. Resulting in a ragged edge as each sentence may be longer or shorter. Examples of left aligned text might be found in letters, books or magazines.

Right aligned is also known as right justified. This is when text flows from the right margin. It will be flushed from the right. Each line will create a ragged edge on the left side as each sentence is created. Examples of right aligned might be found on business cards or advertising brochures.

Centered aligned is placed in the center. Each line is centered within the document or page that you are creating. Each new sentence starts at the center or the page. Examples of centered alignment might be found in titles in magazines or newspapers.

Justified aligned is when your text flows from the left to the right margin. It will fill up the entire space leaving now ragged edges. Examples of justified alignment can be found in newspapers, magazines and books.


When designing you want the reader to be able to read. If the text is not easy on the eye, the designer has not created a good design. Left aligned works well because it will read smoothly. Your eye is trained to read from left to right therefore, allowing an easier transition when reading and absorbing the material that you are reading. The blocks of text that you view in the left aligned format is most common.

Cousins, Carrie. “The Importance of Designing for Readability.”. 22 July 2013. Internet.


When designing with right alignment when using text is not so easily read. Our eyes are not trained to read right to left. In using the right alignment you might consider if it is a simple block of words. Like that on a business card or a web page.

Hunt, Ben. : Readability – “Make Web Pages Easy To Read.”



When designing with center alignment the designer wants to create a focal or more balanced-look to the block of text. It helps the eye to navigate the sentence or what the focal point of text is. Using center alignment is frequent in titles or on business cards.


When designing with justified alignment its easier to read in columns that are justified. The justified alignment will fill the block vertically from left to right margins. Justified alignment can be a bit harder to read when using hyphens and there is too much white space as the kerning of the letters can be too wide or to narrow.

Adams, Ken. “Justified Verses Ragged-Right Text.” May 3, 2007.


In summarizing the four basic alignment text types I feel it is up to the individual designer to create around the design you are trying to portray. When dealing with the subject matter of text a designer has to make it easy on the reader to want to read the text. The basic most important rule is to enjoy creating pieces of text in blocks that are easily read and absorbed.

When the designer is typesetting the page layout the text must flow around the image. The proper placement of text is important to design a well read advertisement or brochure in the industry of design. There should be no gaps or too much white space when composing. It clearly doesn’t make for a well planned out text alignment when visually the viewer is too confused by such matter or gaps and white spaces.

A well thought out placement of text in itself can be a work of art. Choosing the right font and text alignment is critical to capturing the audiences attention and getting the message across. Something so well planned can be just as easy as left alignment, right alignment, centered alignment or justified alig