On penning titles

~ 14 July 2004 ~

Every so often I’m surprised at where my name surfaces next. Generally flattered and seldom disgruntled, I track the influence of my writings and work as measured by your comments and articles on sites other than mine.

But Eric Meyer’s “Luminous Beings” wins Sorpresa de la Semana hands down. I followed the link to “Wanted: CSS Luminary” only to see my name mentioned sparsely among the reader feedback.

“Weeeeeeeeeeeee!!!” was my first reaction.

“Wait a minute… huh??” was my second.

The mere fact that my name was mentioned — despite writing very little about CSS — led me to question how I contribute to the design community.


…which ultimately led to this question:

If I were to write a book or speak at a conference, what would you expect the title to be?

I have an honest interest in knowing. Why do you turn to Authentic Boredom daily, weekly, or on occasion? Framed as a title in your own words, how would you define my expertise?

Of course, I have my own ideas about where my expertise lies, but perhaps I’m slightly off.



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

1   Ryan Brill ~ 14 July 2004 at 06:49 AM

Design. Definitely.

If one were to look through the archives, he’d see that a large percentage of them are related to design. There are plenty of sites out there that predominantly talk about CSS and web standards, which is great, but I enjoy your site because you seem to focus more on visual design. Your “Wicked Worn” series was awesome - I can’t wait to use it for something. It’d be great to see more content (or a book ;) along those lines.

2   Marc Jones ~ 14 July 2004 at 06:53 AM

Call the book “Cameron Moll” and make it as pleasant on the eye as this site.

The function calls me back, and given it’s your design I guess I’m saying that you’ve earned the right to talk the talk as you quite clearly can walk the walk.

Oh, I also come back because your RSS feeds into my RRS reader ;-)

3   Todd ~ 14 July 2004 at 07:03 AM

I visit Authentic Boredom everyday just to see what you have to say about graphic design. Your writing is great, the tips you offer are always helpful and you obviously know a lot about this field. I like reading people’s opinions and observations on design and with your obvious experience and love of it, I put a lot of stock in your writing.

As for titles…On Design by Cameron Moll?

4   Kristian Walker ~ 14 July 2004 at 07:13 AM

I’d agree with the above posts. There are gobs of sites that talk code and standards and CSS and back-end stuff. I like that you speak to the visual aspect.

“Easy on the Eyes” by Cameron Moll

“How to avoid looking boring” by Cameron Mol

“First Impressions” by Cameron Mol

5   Dave Child ~ 14 July 2004 at 07:23 AM

No idea what you should call a book (though I do like “Easy on the Eyes”). I read here because I like your design work and you write interesting stuff about things that interest me as a designer and developer. But mostly because this site is a visual treat.

6   Ed Knittel ~ 14 July 2004 at 07:27 AM

CSS and design go hand-in-hand on the web so many others, like myself, visit the sites that we feel are the truest and most sincere in particular areas that interest us. When I read your site I implicity trust your reasoning and methodology. I enjoy coming here becuase it reminds why I did get my BFA in communication design - even though I do a lot of coding now.

As for a title - “Authentic Design” by Cameron Moll

7   Brian Cornett ~ 14 July 2004 at 07:28 AM

Yea,there are plenty of people yapping about CSS. Your site is one of my favs because you are geared more towards design and you definitely seem to have a knack for it.

Your book has gotta be about graphic design(branding, marketing, UI, web…)

8   Steve ~ 14 July 2004 at 07:31 AM

The honest reason I visit your blog everyday?

To be honest, it’s the same reason I visit everywhere else - to see what’s new!

The reason I have bookmarked you above others though, is simply because I find your design *happy*. I look at it, regardless of it being updated or not, and it makes me smile. It does genuinely inspire me. And I think that says a lot.

As for the book title?

‘Worn’ - Boredom as inspiration.
A look at ageing, downtime and degredation of design.

Or something.

I dunno. (It’s lunchtime and I’m browsing) ;-)

9   Gabriel Mihalache ~ 14 July 2004 at 07:35 AM

Process, aesthetics, standards,inspiration… and, of course, tales of the parties of the Design Fab Five :-)
I’ve been checking your RSS feed since that D.F.F. makeover of Nielsen. *Good stuff*

10   Andrew Hayward ~ 14 July 2004 at 07:37 AM

Personally, I keep coming back because your site combines all that is good in this sort of field.

There are several sites that have compelling and interesting content. There are also some sites that look fantastic. There are even a few that are relatively usable. However, very few (IMHO) manage to blend all of this in to what can only be described as a pleasurable experience.

Basically, what you write is great, easy to understand, and practicle, and is presented in a way that, whilst not being distracting, is visually stimulating.

Does that make any sense? Not so sure, myself. And book titles? “Book” is a good start, though I too prefer “Easy on the Eyes”. How about “Peek a boo”?

11   Wallace ~ 14 July 2004 at 07:41 AM

I think you need to borrow from an old children’s rhyme, ‘The Farmer in the Dell’ and call the book:

Cameron Moll : The Cheese Stands Alone - A no holds barred view on design.

Great Work Cam.

Zip It Up and Zip It Out,


12   Jason Cale ~ 14 July 2004 at 07:56 AM

I keep coming back, normally a few times a day, because i love the design, the writing is good and its one of my hops around the good writers on the design/development circuit.

As for the book or speech title, who cares id come to see it on the author alone.

Rock on :P

13   Chris Owens ~ 14 July 2004 at 08:01 AM

To be quite honest, I was quite shocked to see several peoples name mentioned in that list.

Its not that I don’t believe they are good designers… just that many of them have not really written about CSS before (like yourself).

Surely a book about CSS needs to be penned by an authorative figure on the subject?

However, if you were to write a book on *Print* design as well as the aspects of web design that contribute to great designs, then I’d buy it. :)

14   Jason G ~ 14 July 2004 at 08:35 AM

No clue about what to call your book…I bet you’d find something cheeky enough, though.

I check out your blog because you DO have great wisdom and skill when it comes to design, and the fact that you know your way around CSS is an added benny.

I also enjoy your writing style and sense of humor. I think this is most important of all…writing a book about CSS and design is EASY. Making it enjoyable and entertaining is a whole different animal!

15   Geoffrey ~ 14 July 2004 at 09:37 AM

Your site is a daily visit because you have managed to blend a unique design sense, a sharp wit, and more importanly concise writing. There’s something very trustworthy about the Authentic Boredom brand.

16   Kim Siever ~ 14 July 2004 at 09:47 AM

I come here because I enjoy your work and find it inspiring. It’s also nice to see (what I presume to be) an LDS designer who is as prominent as you are.

17   Greg ~ 14 July 2004 at 09:59 AM

At least your name doesn’t have a question mark next to it.

“Which one of these is not like the other, which one of these does not belong…”

18   Nic Johnson ~ 14 July 2004 at 10:14 AM

Of course your rss feeds me and satisfies my constant design cravings. It’s just refreshing to follow a great designer’s thoughts and ideas to spark one’s own.

One of the most interesting facts is that your degree is in business management (marketing); hardly anything to do with design. Congrats on being brave enough to do what you enjoy.

It’s also refreshing to see that a fellow LDS designer is doing well and not falling into all the world’s hype.

Call it, “Aesthetic Wisdom” or something…

19   Marty ~ 14 July 2004 at 10:21 AM

I like the fact you talk about design without being about design - if that makes any sense. You’re much more matter of fact about the whole thing and don’t seemingly get caught up in the pretensions of design.

You more or less seem to approach it from, “YO, you can do this this way - or not, go play! And now here’s a snippet from my real life.”

As per titles of the book, Authentic Design would automatically attach itself to your branding but not cheeky enough. Maybe due to recent events - “Jeeps Aren’t Swimming Pools (Or Are They?): Thoughts on Design by Cameron Moll”

The brackets you could leave out…

Your also like that cool laid back next door neighbour we would all like to have. Peace.

20   Keith ~ 14 July 2004 at 11:03 AM

“That Wicked Worn Book”

No really, I would think a book on visual design technique (for print and Web) by you would be great.

21   Jeff Croft ~ 14 July 2004 at 11:21 AM


I think you are a brilliant designer, who happens to have an interest in the web and web standards. This is what differentiates you from many others. Many great designers seem to not give a rat’s ass about standards, often resorting to 100% flash sites or huge images to avoid having to write code.On the other hand, many great coders lack either the interest or the ability to be great designers.

If I bought your book, I’d expect it to focus on visual design, but with the idea of implementing those designs in CSS/XHTML. You’ve seen the Photoshop books that offer tutorials on how to create common effects and replicate often-used visual cues? I might expect a similar book from you, but for CSS, rather than Photoshop.

As for the title, here’s a couple ideas:

“Simple Tricks for Great Visuals with CSS” by Cameron Moll.
“That Wicked Worn Look and other Fabulous Effects for the Web” by Cameron Moll.
“Using Photoshop with CSS to craft brilliant visual web designs” by Cameron Moll
“Why my blog looks so damn much better than everyone else’s” by Cameron Moll.

22   Ryan Brill ~ 14 July 2004 at 11:54 AM

“Why my blog looks so damn much better than everyone else’s” by Cameron Moll.

Haha. Too funny. (And for the most part, true!)

23   Ian Gordon ~ 14 July 2004 at 12:04 PM

“A Daily Journey with CSS” by Cameron Moll

I think its true that you learn something new everyday, at least to the extent that when you learn it you know that, there is that much more you don’t know.

24   Cameron Moll ~ 14 July 2004 at 12:22 PM

Greg: Ha! Didn’t see the ? the first time. I shouldn’t laugh, but I have no idea why that’s there and not by my name.

25   Cameron Moll ~ 14 July 2004 at 12:27 PM

Love the feedback. Fav titles so far:

- Easy on the Eyes
- Worn
- The Cheese Stands Alone
- Jeeps Aren’t Swimming Pools: Thoughts on Design
- That Wicked Worn Book

26   Kyle ~ 14 July 2004 at 12:49 PM

Authentic Design.

Why do I keep coming back? Because your blog is visually stunning, your work is top of the line, you write for a purpose, and have the knowledge to back it up.

27   Rick ~ 14 July 2004 at 12:55 PM

I agree that your blog is visually stunning. I think the reason you can be seen as a good resource is because you may not have the answers, but you know where they are. You link to useful sites and you have great writings of your own. Your Book would probably be called “I found it and you want it”

28   joe ~ 14 July 2004 at 01:11 PM

Jason G mentioned a strange phrase ‘an added benny’ so you could probably combine it with something like:

‘That Wicked Worn Book:
CSS, an added benny’

or simply:

‘An Added Benny’


‘Wickedly Worn:
Design in contemporary America for those who design and those who would like to design and especially those who like to think they can design or just like to pretend that they do, maybe even for those who just like to look at design?

Now with a begrudging chapter for those marketing majors if they so choose that they fall into an above-related category


‘Authentic Boredom:
What did you expect? This is a book.’

29   Dave Marks ~ 14 July 2004 at 01:11 PM

My reasons:

First off, I would buy anything written by you (and several other authours) assuming an appropriate subject, as like someone else said - you have proven you can talk the talk and walk the walk - Buying a book by an authour you know at least a little about (I come back here, everytime my rss reader shows you have updated) gives you so much more confidence its worthwhile

Secondly - I know CSS, well at least i know enough to get me by. I have Eric’s programmers reference here, and I have google, so if i have a “langauge” (?) question/problem i can find the answer.

But, putting that into practice is different. Creating a design etc. This is where you come in - you take the langauge and shows us how to create great designs.

30   Seth Thomas Rasmussen ~ 14 July 2004 at 02:37 PM

I became aware of you as I became aware of standards. I tune in daily (or frequently at least) because a) I just like looking at your site, but b) you offer yet another experienced professional opinion that helps guide an up and coming noob like myself.

Thanks, by the way. :)

31   Mark Boszko ~ 14 July 2004 at 03:37 PM

I guess I’m partially to blame for that. I totally agree with Ryan Brill’s comment— the Wicked Worn Look series was excellent, and a book full of such wisdom (and obviously, you know your way around CSS) would be right up my alley.

If I hadn’t said it before, thanks for the excellent site!

32   Jon Linczak ~ 14 July 2004 at 06:54 PM

“Sensible Design”

Well, outside of Mr. Cameron designing our website for us (see Hiram’s post), I come here for a couple of reasons:

1. You just have an all-around amazing way of communicating, so much so, it’s actually easy to understand what you are saying. That’s why reading articles you write on design are easy and keep attracting me back to finding out more about how you do what you do.

2. Your designs are “sensible”. (Sorry, I can’t seem to muster up a sense of humor on this one.) Seriously, what’s so great about coming back here is being inspired by your amazing, eye-catching designs that amazingly, are still incredibly sensible. I think that’s a something you can’t find on other sites and designs.

So, there you have it Mr. Cameron, I come back to witness your sensible wisdom, articulated in an unusually easy-to-understand way. Keep it up!! :)


33   gb ~ 14 July 2004 at 08:08 PM

Why do I keep coming back? Because Cameron gives me hope for Utah design…

seriously. makes me proud to be a designer in utah.

34   Peter F ~ 14 July 2004 at 09:01 PM

I’m agreeing with pretty much every statement above so I’ll spare you from the repetition. Suffice it to say the ‘Wicked Worn’ series was excellent.

Why do I come? I come to your site because it inspires. From the links to the articles to just the style of writing it helps ‘unclog’ and get me moving. For me it’s all about that inspiration.

The ‘worn’ road to excellence, you might say.

As far as the title goes, I’m not sure it matters. It’s safe to say you’ve got a name for yourself, and can obviously put your money where your mouth is so the name is purely for the window shoppers at Barnes and Noble. Go crazy. That said, I thought “Moll About Design” (a play on “All About Design”) sounded kitchy.

In any event, great writing and great site. Now go get started on that book ;p

35   Lukas Grumet ~ 15 July 2004 at 11:44 AM

to answer your question: Why do you turn to Authentic Boredom daily, weekly, or on occasion?

i saw your wicked worn look mentioned on zeldman.com. Since then i visit your site every day. oh and…call the book authentic CSS ;-)

36   chuck ~ 15 July 2004 at 01:30 PM

I think we all realize that you know what you’re doing with CSS, but your real “value add” is your ability to just make things look freaking beautiful.

I visit your site because it looks cool, I enjoy your writing and also because you offer not only op ed type entries, but “how to” stuff and real-world application content that really pulls me in.

I would call your book:

Freaking Beautiful
A Designer’s Guide to Integrating Art & Code
by Cameron Moll

37   Terry Tolleson ~ 15 July 2004 at 05:02 PM


I come to your site because it visually intices me. It is relaxing and tells me to pay attention to the content. To which the content itself is rather inciteful and clever.

It is one of the more design related blogs, of which the web seems chock full of techie related ones. This is a nice break from my other bookmarked pages.

As I find your site to be honest and straight forward, as well as your design style, I can imagine no other title for a book on design (for print and web), that you might author, than just “Authentic”. Simple. Relaxed. And 100% real. No perservatives added.

Keep up the great work and wonderful posts.


PS: if this posts twice, I am sorry, the page refreshed back to the post dialog.

38   Caleb ~ 16 July 2004 at 01:04 PM

How about Designing With that Wicked Worn Look ;) Enjoyed that tutorial btw. I had always just used grungy brushes up untill I read that. Your blog has also inspired me to re-design my own as well as gear my content to readers.

39   mattymcg ~ 18 July 2004 at 06:15 AM

Cameron I read your blog to learn about graphic design, web design and because I find your style interesting and amusing.

I don’t come here to read posts like this. Apologies if this sounds a bit harsh, it’s your site and do whatever you like, man. But this entry comes across as incredibly self-indulgent.

“Folks, tell me what I’m good at!” ??? I mean, honestly. You are the best person to answer that, not a bunch of people who you’ve mostly never met. Requesting reader feedback on a site design is quite different from a shameless call for having repeated praise heaped on you.

40   cmcooper ~ 18 July 2004 at 01:18 PM

“Visually Speaking: A Guidebook to Cross-Medium Design”, by Cameron Moll

An Authentic Boredom production.

Concepts for beautiful design that are appropriate to all mediums, including the web. Web design is becoming segregated from other design mediums due to the significantly different disciplines required, and that sucks.

41   PushStop ~ 18 July 2004 at 08:10 PM

So when are you going to write your book?? :) Does the winner of the title get royalty fees? How about CSS That Doesn’t Suck??? or HTML Web Pages Suck?

42   Jim Amos ~ 19 July 2004 at 12:50 AM

All of the suggested titles so far appear to be completely irrelevent to the subject matter.

The title should of course be: “I don’t often argue with inebriated Donkeys, except on Tuesdays”

You really need to focus on what’s important.

43   Matt ~ 19 July 2004 at 03:59 AM

I agree with Jim. The title bears no relevance to the content these days. If you call it some thing along the lines of “100 Ways Of Using CSS To Burn Catholics” people will be shocked, and intrigued as to how on earth it is possible to indeed burn Catholics using CSS only. They’ll read your book, and realise that you’re a great writer and designer. And then the title’s context will be buried and forgotten. I suppose, you could always call it “The Bible - by Cameron Moll”…

Oh, and by the way, I’m a Catholic, so I wasn’t being nasty!

44   Cameron Moll ~ 19 July 2004 at 06:12 AM

mattymcg: I hear ya. But I’ve learned quite a bit about what to continue focusing on and what to not waste any pixels on. So I hope my short-term self-indulgence will lead to long-term benefit for you and other readers.

45   B.Man ~ 20 July 2004 at 12:59 AM

it’s the car. chicks dig the car.


Authentic Boredom is the platitudinous web home of Cameron Moll, freelance new media designer, author, and speaker. More…

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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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