Part Four: Expert Guest Gala

~ 16 June 2004 ~

This is the fourth and final part in the series,
“That Wicked Worn Look”

If there were ever a way to end a series with a stellar finale, this is about as good as it gets.

I feel confident (and humble) saying such because I didn’t write the finale. Seven expert guests did.

No joke. Seven guests. And did I say experts?

I cautiously invited each of the participants below to take part in the finale, realizing they’re all quite busy, and yet each of them accepted with enthusiastic replies.

Ocean’s 7

You’re likely familiar with most of the crew below. And with good reason — they’ve all been publicly recognized in some regard over the past year.

So please give a warm welcome to Greg Storey, Jason Santa Maria, Blake Scarbrough, Ryan Sims, David Hellsing, and Dave Rau & Josh Bertrand.

Greg Storey Academics of Worn
Greg Storey,
Greg’s slightly worn site speaks for itself. He’s got other worn projects up his sleeve, which I hope he shares with us in the future. But for now, enjoy a well-balanced serving of Golden Age design, written in classic Storey attitudinal fashion.

Jason Santa Maria Aged Aesthetic
Jason Santa Maria,
Jason’s flawless book cover design was a hit the minute it was uploaded. His Aged Aesthetic write-up is almost just as flawless. Enjoy a few smart solutions for reproducing aged print materials.

Blake Scarbrough The Awesome Antiquated Look
Blake Scarbrough,
Extending the invite to Blake was by far the hardest — I had to walk a full six feet over to his desk. He gracefully accepted (thank you, Blake) and now gives keen advice on brush techniques.

Ryan Sims Weathered: Subtle. Restrained.
Ryan Sims,
Ryan hearts that worn look, too. With a versatile style ranging from motion to distress, Ryan’s 2¢ are a sound investment. From V-Brush to a PSD download, Ryan contributes to the series with fanfare.

David Hellsing Time Traveling
David Hellsing,
David’s impressive collection of sites, including two Web Standards Awards winners and a CSS Zen Garden entry, put on the web dev map. Here, David shares tips for producing non-virtual, authentic aging.

Dave Rau & Josh Bertrand Analogue
Dave Rau & Josh Bertrand,
Take a peek at Red Labor’s portfolio. Need I say more? It’s replete with aged pieces. Chime in to hear Dave & Josh impart their wisdom. Includes source file.

No Encore Needed

Thank you, thank you, thank you to all who participated in, linked to, and enjoyed the Wicked Worn series. Smashing, wasn’t it? I think it’s safe to say that, with the expert advice provided above, no encore is needed.



Veer Veer: Visual Elements for Creatives.
Stock photography, type, and killer tees. Genuinely recommended by Authentic Boredom.

1   aliotsy ~ 16 June 2004 at 09:12 AM

Holy cow. This is like the Dream Team. Amazing.

2   Todd ~ 16 June 2004 at 09:19 AM

A great way to end the series Cameron. Thanks again!

3   Trish ~ 16 June 2004 at 09:24 AM

Wild enthusiastic applause.

4   Andy Mac ~ 16 June 2004 at 09:25 AM

A wonderful series of articles Cameron, thanks for taking the time to share your (not-so-secret-now) secrets.

5   Steve Lury ~ 16 June 2004 at 10:08 AM

The biggest thank you goes to the guy who thought it up and put it all together. Thanks again Cameron I’ve learned a lot.

6   Tomas ~ 16 June 2004 at 10:18 AM

Amazing. I feel like I owe you big time now. Hmm, what can I offer? A Gmail invitation? E-mail me if you want one.

7   Cameron Moll ~ 16 June 2004 at 10:37 AM

lol. Trying to get rid of two myself…

8   sosa ~ 16 June 2004 at 11:10 AM

What a incredible work is this.
This gonna be very useful, because right now i’m developing a site that pretends to have that vintage look i a wasn’t too pleased with the results, now this series had helped a lot.
Thank you so much.

9   Andrei Smirnov ~ 17 June 2004 at 12:41 AM

A helluva lots of thanks, Cameron and the team!
You’re incredibly open, guys. There’s no way of getting valuable information of such awesome quality for free (nor for money, actually) back here in Russia.

10   Terry Tolleson ~ 17 June 2004 at 03:59 PM

Just a fascinating, informative and helpful series overall. Well done, Cameron, and thank you for the time and effort you put into this. Not to mention getting the assistance from those fantastic designers to round this all out.
Spot on work!

11   Andy Fox ~ 18 June 2004 at 07:14 AM

Excellent series. Thanks so much for sharing this.

12   David Martin ~ 18 June 2004 at 10:00 AM

Bravo to everyone involved in this series. I just stumbled across this, I’m such a huge fan of the old worn out look. I recently found your site and am more than impressed!

13   jesse ~ 18 June 2004 at 10:11 AM

simply amazing…i love the dirty look and this has shown me a few techniques I’ve never used before


I’m inspired, I think I’m going to write a tutorial or two on some of the techniques I use…

(if you guys are just trying to give away a gmail invite, i’ll take one =D

14   Rob ~ 23 June 2004 at 11:39 AM

Very interesting series. Has anyone tried achieving this effect in Illustrator?

15   Sean Frangella ~ 02 July 2004 at 09:37 AM

every article very useful and helpful throughout the entire series!

16   dave ~ 06 July 2004 at 03:52 PM

For vector grunge try making a selection of black or white grunge and make work path from selection (in the paths palette); export paths to illustrator (under file); open .ai file in Illustrator; select all and fill with color. Presto! Vector grunge.

Use higher res files for work path creation for more detailed grunge.

17   Alexis Bellido ~ 07 July 2004 at 10:47 PM

Hey C, how did you get all those great guys writing their articles to finish the series? It has been an amazing ending. Congratulations and thanks for sharing.

18   Ray Wang ~ 14 July 2004 at 12:12 AM

this is cool. I think retro look adds a degree of subtle complexity to an image that makes more realistic, an effect seldomly seen on the net.

19   soo ~ 21 July 2004 at 08:36 AM

very inspiring! now i go to create my own stuff!

20   soo ~ 21 July 2004 at 08:37 AM

very inspiring! now i go to create my own stuff!

21   Steve ~ 24 August 2004 at 10:07 AM

Thanks for the tut… I’ll take a g-mail invite!


22   Chris ~ 20 September 2004 at 04:49 PM

Awesome stuff. Thank you for the time and effort.

I only hope to be just as helpful to other designers someday.


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A selection of fine reading, available for a limited time only:

In Print

CSS Mastery CSS Mastery: Advanced Web Standard Solutions A solid round-up of indispensable CSS design techniques by Andy Budd, Simon Collison, and Cameron Moll.

Mobile Web Design Mobile Web Design A guide to publishing web content beyond the desktop. Tips, methodology, and resources. Now available.


Letterpress Posters Letterpress Posters The unassuming beauty of a freshly letterpressed print.

Wicked Worn That Wicked Worn Look. Techniques for that worn, aged, distressed look.

Mister Retro Mister Retro Machine Wash Filters Turn the dial to “Instaworn” with these filters.

Blinksale Blinksale Dive in and enjoy shamelessly easy invoicing from Firewheel Design.

Basecamp Basecamp My preferred web app for internal and client project collaboration.


HOW Conference HOW Conference Austin, June 24–27. Pentagram, Adobe, P&G, et al.

Web Design World Web Design World Seattle, July 20–22. Practical sessions on web design.

An Event Apart Stimulate Salt Lake City, September 2009. Entrepreneurship and design conference.

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