Jesse Collins, and then some.

A blog dedicated to those who would rather be at the cottage.

Archive for the 'Design' Category

A change is as good as a rest.

Sunday, March 2nd, 2008

Well, I got entirely sick of my site design.

So in order to give myself a break from seeing the guy with the old outboard motor I decided just to park the site under Chris Pearson’s fabulous Cutline theme, just until I get a chance to redesign.

It’s going to be another Cottage-inspired design, once I get around to it. I’m just trying to collect some inspiration about how to have a site that really suggests Old Muskoka. The last one was a reference to the old National Geographic magazines that are found at every summer place, complete with ads for Evinrudes.

But I need some fresh Cottage elements. Wooden boats, sunsets from the dock and … what else? What are some of the iconic elements that really define the cottage experience?

Leave your suggestions in the comments!

Cartype : Car cut-aways

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

Cartype : Car cut-aways

Very cool. 


Saturday, February 9th, 2008

Not a lot of people know that I have a tattoo of an anchor on my right bicep with “Carol” & “Liam” emblazoned on a ribbon wrapping around it. It is an intentional reference to very traditional merchant marine tattoos, popularized by sailors to remember their loved ones. Norman Rockwell’s whimsical painting, showing a sailor editing his loved ones names, has always been on of my favourites. High art or not, it makes me smile and I think it may have been in part what led to my interest in traditional tattoos.

A Texas photographer recently shot a series of stills that were inspired by Rockwell’s work. He recreated that famous painting, but with a subtle modern touch. See the rest of his work at his site: and read about the project. Brilliant.

Below is a series showing Rockwell’s photo that he used to create his painting; the painting “The Tattooist”; and Randal Ford’s Inspired version…

Rockwell Working Photo

Rockwell Tattoo Original

Randal Ford's Photo Inspired by Rockwell

Distant relatives.

Tuesday, November 20th, 2007

Occasionally, one of the masses that read the missives on this page leave comments in unrelated articles about something they see in the list of links I provide. The links that appear there are little bits and pieces that I pick up from trolling the feedreaders for things that interest me.

I rationalize that I’m looking primarily for business, productivity and design articles, but invariably I trip over things that either provoke or augment conversations that I have offline among my flesh-and-blood confreres.

And so it goes that today I’m going to feature a couple of links that I’ve recently seen. I found them both this morning, and for some reason they seem related, although distantly.

One is Jeffery Zeldman’s amazing essay Understanding Web Design—in part about how web design is for the most part misunderstood. He provides a thesis that it bears as much or more in common with architecture and typography than graphic design and illustration. And Kevin Cornell’s illustration at the top say it better than my words ever could.

And the other is New York photographer Joseph O. Holmes inspired images of silhouettes of people viewing displays at the Museum of Natural History. The body language tells us so much about how they understand what they are seeing. The images themselves are references to the act of using the architecture of the Museum to view it’s content. They are defining it, and through the photographer’s work, in turn becoming a part of it. It’s what Zeldman posits that web sites are and can be and should be. And it is absolutely beautiful.

The thread is tenuous but the connective, somehow, is there, at least for me. That thread is why I am attracted to web design. That thread contains the work I want to do.

Apologies to all those looking for more uncredited photos of bears crapping in the woods. I’ll post more like that in the very near future. Promise.

ALA’s Web Design Survey

Wednesday, April 25th, 2007

I Took the Survey at ALANot that many other web professionals read this blog, but in the event that one does trip over it…

Nobody really knows about the dynamics of the web as a professional experience – thus spake the incomparable Zeldman who is, for my secular friends, kind of the grand-daddy of the whole web standards movement. (I can say that; he’s slightly older than I am.)

Two years ago, when I mentioned to my partner Rob at our traditional-media-corporate-communications-experiment Wild Imaginations Inc., he greeted it with something just this side of indifference. It wasn’t something that either of us knew anything about. He was happy that I was happy, but that’s about it.

But now we’re growing it. It’s bearing fruit—and it is absolutely compelling. I can’t remember being more excited about a prospect. It’s exhilarating, even though most of the people that I end up working shoulder to shoulder with are a little over twelve and seemingly 100-fold smarter than I am. Scary.

So that’s why this survey is important. And if you’re a web professional: fill it out.

When I haven't been fishing, I've been looking at these on the dial-up: