Artist Series with Hillman Curtis
Video: David Carson(music playing) David Carson: The lack of training probably helped me.
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Artist Series is a series of videos, created by Hillman Curtis, that showcases leading designers and design firms. The series takes an in-depth look at the work and processes of the design firm Pentagram and the designers David Carson, Milton Glaser, Paula Scher, Stefan Sagmeister, and James Victore.
(music playing) David Carson: The lack of training probably helped me.
When I started doing magazines, I just did what made sense to me. I read an article and tried to interpret it. And then later other people said, "Well, wait, you can't do that. Those don't go there. You can't," you know? It was just--self-indulgent was the big negative term, which I think is a very positive term. I wouldn't want anybody working for me that wasn't doing very self-indulgent work, totally absorbed in it. So as we get more computerized, I think it becomes more important than ever that the work actually become more subjective, more personal, and that you let your personality come through in the work.
So it becomes more important that you pull from who you are as a person and put that into the work. (music playing) I always realized like with Ray Gun that paid practically nothing, but I had total freedom.
When I was done with that magazine, I sent it to the printer. Nobody had to okay it, nobody had to cut it. I was always aware it was a very unusual situation, and I needed to run with it, and I did every issue--especially with the Beach Culture-- like it would be the last. So people used to say that I was disrespectful to the writing. What I was doing in Ray Gun, and I am very much the opposite. I was reading the articles, trying to interpret them, and trying to draw attention to them. Occasionally it wasn't unusual that the articles wouldn't be much there, and I was just interpreting the title and just having some fun with the title.
The starting point is never to make something ugly or to make it harder to read or to make it award-winning or to make it pretty. The starting point is to try to interpret something, what have I just read, what have I just listened to? (music playing) It seemed like there was Neville Brody, and then I came along, and then the next thing doesn't seem to have happened. It will.
It's inevitable, but I never thought it would be this big gap in there. (music playing)
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