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August 3, 2011

CARSON magazine

Detail of Carson magazine coverThe magazine that started as a project of designer David Carson and bore his name is now Untitled magazine. The cover of the latest issue shows this graphically.

That explains why I couldn't find any reference to Mr. Carson in the masthead of the latest issue. Apparently he has disavowed any connection with the magazine.

Not sure why they had this parting of the ways, but it's not totally unexpected. I'm a subscriber, so I've seen both issues. They've been a mixed bag of fresh content and stale design.

The content—each issue organized around a single theme—has been interesting. Issue #2 ("Fame") brings together contributors Noam Chomsky, Shepard Fairey and Paris Hilton. Not your average magazine table of contents.

The design has been much less interesting. I'd call it "Carson Lite"—the messy grunge look that DC made popular without the intelligence that makes the best of Carson's work memorable.

In fact the design has seemed to me rather embarrassing: a crappy knock-off of Carson that looks really, really dated in 2011. Maybe that's why DC has distanced himself from it.

[Ed. note, 8/5/11: I emailed David Carson and got this response ]

hi al.
seems yer a bit late to the party : )
you, like many others, were duped! surprised you couldnt tell.
i have nothing to do with the magazine calling itself 'carson mag', or the same company that named its new corp. "carson media"
a lawsuit is pending, and after two issues theyve been forced to change the name.
if youd like to see some new work I'VE actually designed, see davidcarsondesign.com
take care,

[Ed. note, 8/8/11: I received this email from Alex Storch, Editor of Untitled magazine]

We aren't entirely sure if Carson designed the first issue or not. He collected the money and sat on it for months on end, finally giving us a finished product after we threatened legal action.

Now that he claims not to have done the work (after being roundly criticized for it), it's clear that we had no other option than to move on.

The issue that we designed without him turned out much better than the one that "he" did, and the next one will be free from any Carson influence whatsoever.

A stress that none of us around here need.

Alex Storch
Untitled Magazine

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