Significant Designers: David Carson & Aleksander Rodchenko

Throughout various art and design movements there have been significant designers that have paved the way for how we visual, design and create. 

David Carson

Davis Carson is known for being a postmodernism (grunge) designer, so much so that he was nicknamed the ‘Godfather of grunge’. Carson is a graphic designer from America, who is known for his designs of visual communication in the late 20th century.

“Graphic design will save the world right after rock and roll does.”

David Carson

Postmodernism (grunge) is a contemporary art movement from the 1990s. This art movement can relate its design to heavy rock and/or punk music. Grunge strays away from the conventional take on design and has a wide selection of work from different art forms that have been used to “express a climate of cultural change”

David Carson has worked on a series of magazines as an art director and designer. Carson is known for his take on a design style that utilises a chaotic layout. Disorganised type, overlapping images, objects and bright colours. Carson now has his own business ‘David Carson Design’ and has been contracted with big-name clients that have helped expand his portfolio of work. 

Beach culture by David Carson (1990) 

These designs that David Carson created with Beach Culture magazine in 1990. These are two of Carson’s most recognised pieces of work. Both demonstrate Carson’s use of typography and postmodernism style. The magazine was centred around its connection with surfing, music and the arts which all connected to Carson’s life. 

Ray Gun Davis Carson (1992) 

David worked with Ray Gun magazine for their first 3 years of publishing from 1992. Carson worked as their director and created some of his most well-known works.

Ray Gun magazine heavily focused on its use of typography and visual storytelling, in which Carson’s skills were used to influence the development of postmodernism and shaped the way for future designers. The magazine also had its relation to music and aggressive application of art which fit right into the grunge category. 

Aleksander Rodchenko

Aleksander Rodchenko was a Russian artist who was one of the main founders of the art movement, constructivism, which followed the Russian Revolution. Rodchenko was known for his art, design and photography. “Rodchenko was one of the most versatile constructivist and productivist artists to emerge after the Russian Revolution.” 

Aleksander Rodchenko’s works of constructivism can be visualised with geometric shapes, bold colours and a way to incorporate modern architecture into the designs. Rodchenko’s designs utilise bolded typefaces to reiterate strong messages. 

Photography has every right and every merit to claim our attention as the art of our age.

Alexander Rodchenko

This poster was created by Alexander Rodchenko in 1924, in Russia. The poster replicates the constructivist design principles and incorporates multi-media art forms.

The photo in the poster is of Lilya Brik, which is a member of the same constructivist group that Rodchenko was a part of. The speech bubble presents itself as a type of megaphone and translated from Russian reads “BOOKS!” the poster recognises the official soviet art period and also is a way to convey the message.

This poster is another one of Rodchenko’s designs and was made in 1923. The poster of Dobrolet, which is a Russian state airline, is a part of the collocation of the communist propaganda posters of the constructivism movement. The poster was created as a way to promote and advertise the airline. The black arrow on the poster draws attention to the advertising message that is trying to be projected.

Personal Conclusions

I find the different ways that the art movmeents changed over the 20th century and the way it has directed current perspectives of how we view art in todays society is a really important factor to make conclutions in history. As I said in my periovs blog, Myself as a design is more clean and organised, in the sense of Bauhaus over say Postmoderism (grunge). 

For my own design poster for “ALPHABET BEATS” I have decided to follow the direction of a postmodernism (grunge) design, with inspiration connecting do David Carson and the design that was creaded as a Ray Gun magazine cover.

This is moving a little bit out of my comfort zone and utilising this project to expand my creative boundaries. I experimented with other artforms also when creating my poster but in the end I was happy with my poster and the inspiration i was able to produce it from.

Reference list



Carson, D 2014, david carson design,

Doyle, AJ 2019, Design History: Postmodernism (grunge), Josephine Doyle, viewed 16 June 2022, <;. 2018, David Carson | Biography, Designs and Facts, Famous Graphic Designers.

Ray Gun magazine n.d., Process & Skills, viewed 16 June 2022, <;.

Rimmer, K 2020, The Influence of Iconic Designers: From David Carson to Paul Rand, Envato, Envato.

Seymour, C 2019, Ray Gun Lives Again, Vogue.

Strizver, I 2017, Russian Constructivism and Graphic Design –,

Tate 2020, Aleksandr Rodchenko 1891-1956 | Tate, Tate.

The Art Story n.d., Rodchenko Paintings, Bio, Ideas, The Art Story, viewed 16 June 2022, <;.

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