~ 26 October 2006 ~
It’s been well over two years since a few select designers and I authored “That Wicked Worn Look”, a four-part series of techniques and resources for creating that worn, aged, distressed, grunge look.
Back then I was certain the look would have worn out (sorry, couldn’t resist) its welcome by now. Perhaps it has. Yet it seems wornness is still hot as ever.
Add to that a new flavor of grungeness that has since entered our collective vernacular: “thornament”, as coined by Jessica Helfand in her article, “The Propensity for Density”:
Today’s decorative leanings, however, appear to lean less to the geometrical than the overtly botanical. I’ve participated in judging several juried exhibitions this year in which I’ve seen a preponderance of twisted and winding viney things, which I’ve taken to referring to as ‘thornament’.
Whether it’s the thornamental or wornamental look you’re after — or both, as they tend to blend well — the two aesthetics are still showing plenty of leg. Here’s just a handful of sites spotted around the web recently:
A few bookmarks for going all-out worn and thorn:
- Jason Gaylor’s Photoshop brushes: Worn I, Worn II, Worn III, Fresh Foliage I, Fresh Foliage II, Grafitti I, Tasty Tattoo
- Misprinted Type: Photoshop brushes
- Veerle: Create your own grunge brushes
- Veer: Worn typefaces
- MyFonts: Distressed typefaces
- Type Embellishments One
- How-to: Worn + “bulletproof” liquid layout
- How-to: Worn type using CSS
- How-to: Worn/weathered/stamped look
- iStockphoto: “grunge” vector and raster artwork
Wear yourself out, kiddo.
Stock photography, type, and killer tees. Genuinely recommended by Authentic Boredom.
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:
- Wornamental, Thornamental
- AJAX design terminology
- UI design sessions (and help decide where)
- The witty works of Hanoch Piven
- Jobs home page reorg
- Coming soon: Mobile Web Design, the book
- Dyson ad: Text as more than just words
- Setting sail for Europe
- Review: Sumo Omni bean bag chair
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 A guide to publishing web content beyond the desktop. Tips, methodology, and resources. Now available.
Letterpress Posters The unassuming beauty of a freshly letterpressed print.
That Wicked Worn Look. Techniques for that worn, aged, distressed look.
Mister Retro Machine Wash Filters Turn the dial to “Instaworn” with these filters.
Blinksale Dive in and enjoy shamelessly easy invoicing from Firewheel Design.
Basecamp My preferred web app for internal and client project collaboration.
HOW Conference Austin, June 24–27. Pentagram, Adobe, P&G, et al.
Web Design World Seattle, July 20–22. Practical sessions on web design.
Stimulate Salt Lake City, September 2009. Entrepreneurship and design conference.