Ray Gun was an American Alternative rock magazine, first published in California in 1992 led by art director David Carson. Ray Gun pushed the conventions of magazine design to a new level. Changing typography, layout, headlines, columns, and even page numbers. Resulting in a chaotic, abstract not always legible magazine.
Every single type rule you could come up was broken in Ray Gun’s brief history, overlapping blocks of copy; light text against dark backgrounds; dark text against dark backgrounds; running text across pages; articles read horizontally across columns; photos upside-down. The name itself has had many variations such as rAY GUn, RAYGUN, ray gun and so on. In the April ‘95 issue the feature article began on the inside and finished on the front cover, truly unconventional.
The magazine had many critics about breaking the conventions of magazine layout, typography and getting away with it. Also some complained about the legibility of the articles. David Carson stated, “If you think it’s hard to read or too weird, you’re probably not the audience, and that’s fine.” But for the over 150,000 readers of Ray gun, decoding the text was part of the fun.