David Carson (once referred to by CR as “the most famous graphic designer in the world” which, admittedly, is a rather small field) has opened a studio in Zurich (shown above). The move marks a return to a country that played an important role in Carson’s development as a designer. Back in 1983, while at the University of Ohio, Carson attended a three week graphic design workshop at Rapperswill, just down the lake from Zurich “the first graphic design course, the first graphic design anything I had attended,” he says.
There’s an inescapable irony in Carson choosing Zurich – after all, he made his name with an expressive, freeform and, his detractors would say, self-indulgent style of design that seemed to stand in total opposition to the strictures of the cleanliness and orderly nature of the great Swiss Modernist tradition.
So will he have to start using Helvetica exclusively now? “Actually, there’s alot of non-Helvetiva in Swissland!” he says “There’s a pleasantly surprising new energy here with an independent and burgeoning design community. I can think of no better location for my next studio.”
“The main reason for opening a studio in Europe,” he continues “has been my desire to face new challenges and apply my experience to the projects I am working on for clients and advertising agencies here.”
In Zurich, Carson is working with just one assistant in a space shared with “5-6 other print, broadcast and web designers… it’s a common arrangement in Zurich. I’ve never been in a city with so many graphic designers!” he says.
Zurich will now be his main base, alongside a winter studio in Tortola in the Caribbean (handy for surfing).
He will be represented by Swiss agency Talent: “Our role in this is to promote David and his work across Europe and provide him with other services as needed,” says Talent’s Tom Maginnis.