All For a Few Good Waves
Inside the chaotic mind of hugely influential graphic designer and former pro surfer David Carson
Once a top ranked professional surfer, and a high school sociology teacher, David Carson is now a graphic designer. Well, he’s still very much a surfer, and always will be, but it’s his design sensibility that’s made him one of the most influential and well known graphic designers working today. Best known for his radical, experimental work with type as founding art director of Ray Gun magazine—an iconic 1990s rock’n’roll rag—and before that Transworld Skateboarding (1984-1988), Transworld Snowboarding (1987-1988), and Beach Culture, a tabloid-sized quarterly publication by the eventual founders of Surfers Journal, Carson is now based between NYC where he holds down his own design studio, and the British Virgin Islands where he surfs all hours of the day.
To this day the self-taught designer is as in love with the water as he was as a boy, and this renegade, DIY attitude is what makes his work so special. “I have to think if I never surfed, the work would be totally different,” says Carson. “People will say you have to know the rules to break them, and I simply do not believe that. I never knew the rules, and other people said you’re breaking them. Well it worked out pretty well.”
All For a Few Good Waves is an insightful ~15 minute film by Dress Code, shot over the span of multiple years. Trust us, take the time and enjoy yourself here. You’ll surely walk away feeling invigorated and excited to create good work AND continue exploring the world around you.