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Our design heroes

Discussion in 'Graphic Design Forum:' started by YellowPeril, Dec 14, 2010.

  1. YellowPeril

    YellowPeril Member

    Another thread on this site encouraged me to start this one and hopefully older designers will have a pang of nostalgia and the younger ones perhaps a wiff of inspiration.

    At college I had three main heroes, one was Herb Lubalin (see A lesson in logo design on this site), the second was John Gorham (see this link Graphic Journey Blog: May 2009 ) and third was a part time tutor we had called Eric Lochrane. He was a man who would stand by you with encouragement and come up with fifteen brilliant ideas to your sort of OK one. He would show you a flick book animation he'd created on the train that morning, he would pick up someones guitar and play it, despite never having played one before, he would crash at your house and cook a gourmet meal, he was a brilliant photographer before becoming fed up with it and teaching himself graphics, he was reputed as having been the only photographer present with the locked in Glasgow docks strikers and to have taken the famous picture of David Bedford (the runner) collapsing. I was teaching part time at Redditch and mentioned him to a colleague and he said that h Eric had been his tutor at Stoke and how brilliant he was. It was said when being interviewed for that post, the interviewing panel representative came out and told the rest that they may as well go home - who knows, but he was inspirational.

    So come on blow your heroes trumpet!
  2. Ian Bonner

    Ian Bonner Member

    David Carson. I followed him at the start and still do now. He defied the rules with his typography and I think that design is all about breaking rules, not keeping to them.
  3. YellowPeril

    YellowPeril Member

    who is that masked man?

    Ian, I'm not familiar with David Carson, any links or samples?
  4. Ian Bonner

    Ian Bonner Member

    Yeah of course.


    The book that got me interested in him was 'The End Of Print - The Graphic Design of David Carson'

    I think it's probably on its 3rd or 4th reprint now.
  5. YellowPeril

    YellowPeril Member

    Once I'd seen some work I recognised the fact that I'd noticed his stuff but not gone out of my way to find out who he was, so I guess that probably means something. Quite liked certain aspects of his work but not all of it was my cup of tea. However someone only a few months younger than me, still with a full head of hair is liable to cause some resentment!:icon_wink:
  6. DanielMartin

    DanielMartin Member

    One of my design heros is born and bred Dot Design , :D He just seems to captivate the stylish unique fontaine of modern design ( check him out on the forums )
  7. Ian Bonner

    Ian Bonner Member

    I agree he definitely won't be everyones cup of tea. I think he was 'allowed' to use typography like that because he was working on RayGun. It allowed him more creative license. I also like the work he did for Pepsi and Nike over the years, where he seems to restrain himself a little, but the style of his work is still there.
  8. sthomas

    sthomas Member

    When I was studying at Uni (mid 1990's) everyone was into David Carson and lots of students (me included) bought The End of Print.

    At the time, we couldn't understand why our tutors weren't that keen on the work and instead pushed us to look at designers like Herb Lubalin or Paul Rand. Our tutors wanted us to learn the rules of typography before we followed Carson's path and completely destroyed them

    Now when i revisit Carson's work, I have to admit that I'm not that keen on that style anymore. While some of it still looks exciting and was a major factor in why I become a designer, it hasn't really lasted the test of time. It definitely seems like he was painting with typography with no concerns for legibility.

    For any design students who don't know his work, it's definitely worth checking out to see what all the fuss was about.
  9. Ian Bonner

    Ian Bonner Member

    I feel stupid for mentioning him now. lol

    I think to use typography in that way you need to know the rules in order to break them. The style he used was directed at a particular audience and as I said before, won't ever be to everyones liking. But he also produced work for some extremely large brands and successfully. He was able to adapt his style in order to do that. His typical style wasn't going to work for them brands so he toned it down.

    I think sometimes people like design to follow the guidelines but to quote Paul Arden, "If you can't solve a problem, it's because you're playing by the rules".
  10. dedwardp

    dedwardp Member

    I don't think you should feel stupid for mentioning him, everyone has different ideas and that's what's so wonderful about an art such as design I guess!

    Personally, I'm not the biggest fan of the more radical pieces but, as has been said, each to their own :icon_smile:
  11. Boonbox

    Boonbox New Member

    Ha in my first year someone mentioned Carson in a type lesson, and they got shot down very quickly as someone not to follow for the same reasons as 'sthomas' mentioned.
  12. Tony Hardy

    Tony Hardy Well-Known Member

    I used to love Carson a few years back, but yeah, I think his work hasn't really aged that well. Obviously, he knew the rules, then broke them to his advantage. It just looks messy and irritating for me, what's the point in something that looks like that? It's not functional. He was like the punk of the design world I reckon. I bet tutors were having a nightmare when his stuff came out.

    One of my biggest influences at the minute is Olly Moss: Olly Moss
    I love his work.
  13. Ian Bonner

    Ian Bonner Member

    I think I have a problem with designers that use concepts and rehash them. Although Carson doesn't suit everyones tastes, it can't be disputed that the work wasn't his own. People criticised his work but he got the criticism because no-one was daring enough to try what he was doing and put themselves in the firing line.

    Designers look at it and question his motives but I believe he was brave enough to try something that hadn't been experimented with before. And he did have a lot of followers at the time because the market he was designing for appreciated his radical techniques, so in a way it did work. If he was designing for a business magazine or a broadsheet it wouldn't have worked but he was designing for the surfing community, and they appreciated it.
  14. Dave L

    Dave L Well-Known Member

    Saul Bass.
  15. SparkCreative

    SparkCreative Member

    That's more like it.

    Alan Fletcher for me. Genius.

    And for someone more 'modern', who, IMO kicks Carson's arse, Neville Brody.
  16. Ian Bonner

    Ian Bonner Member

    lol I know nothing. I stand corrected.
  17. SparkCreative

    SparkCreative Member

    lol not at all. It's all about personal taste and opinion. David Carson did some very innovative stuff, and it's been massively influential and found its way into the mainstream, albeit in a watered down format.
  18. Tony Hardy

    Tony Hardy Well-Known Member

    echoing the Saul Bass statement.
  19. slim jim ranson

    slim jim ranson New Member

    north staffs poly ( university ) late 80s

    interesting comments about Eric Lochrane.. I attended what is now North Staffs University in the late 80s
    and when i went for intereview there was Eric playing chromatic harmonica during the interview !!..
    my initial intention was to study graphics but actually chose to venture in to illustration which Eric was teaching at the time..Despite multiple digressions and tangients ith his teaching methods he taught me how to view the world in an entirely diffent way. His perspective was one of viewing EVERYTHING with creative possibility... I generate a living with this view / perspective.. I am a Potter, Musician and Builder respectively.. all of which involve creativity , design and problem solving.
    Obviously there are a great many varied influences in a persons life but I can honestly say that Eric really shaped my view of the world : a true creative genius.. Oh and I forgot to mention that Eric Lochrane had quite an illustrating back-ground too - he worked for an underground magazine called 'INK ' in the 60s as an illustrator( very hip and cool )
    I wouldnt mind getting in touch if anyone knows his wherabouts.. hes probably teaching sculpture to kids in the wilds of Borneo .............................
  20. YellowPeril

    YellowPeril Member

    Eric Lochrane

    I'd forgotten about his illustration talents - I believe that he won a Sunday Times illustration competition or something similar, I seem to remember a group of sheep forming the shape of the British Isles.

    I too would like to know of his whereabouts.

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