Photos on this Site
All the masthead photos on this site were shot in studio by Mitch. Product photography is yet another service available from MRDI.
Home Page Collage Filmstrip from a StripPrinter: this is the machine I used at my parent's print shop starting in third grade. I took great pride in kerning; though at the time I had no idea what it was called.
Page Headers are a result of much pain and suffering, doubt and reconsideration but look simple and obvious now; therefore I know they are well designed. I began using larger objects an stuck the lead type in the frame just like I had done with the front page image. I soon realized that the simple beauty of the type was the way to go. After scrubbing clean the type, I had to find oodles of small bilateral-symetric objects — all the photos were flipped because lead type reads in reverse! Thanks to Joe Paquet for helping me refine the concept!
Disclaimers at the bottom of the pages are from a collection I have been building for years. Like Helvetica, trite little disclaimers are ubiquitous in the modern world. So nonchalant and inoffensive, they foretell impending doom and simple ways to avoid harm. Thank you lil' disclaimer!
Thanks to Stu Nicholls at CSS Play for the transparent css navigation.
mitchrossow.com conforms to World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) XHTML and CSS Markup standards
mitchrossow.com 7.0 Juno
The Seventh Site
This is the seventh version of my own website. Each one was a statement of my skills and design sense. As I've grown with the technology, my sites and my intentions for them change. This is the most comprehensive one yet. My experience with the web has been an interesting journey, here's a simple autobiographical tale of design, the web and the ever-evolving landscape of these technologies.
In Early '96 I learned Adobe Pagemill over a weekend, then proceeded to discover html. It was a rough experience for a print designer to let go of so much control. By the time I graduated from college, I had 14 years of experience in typesetting; beginning with a StripPrinter (the red type strip on the home page is from that) moving through all kinds of machines including an Itek Quadratek (quad, as in 4 fonts at a time), Pagemaker on the PC to eventually Quark on a Mac.
Gone was kerning and fine control of font sizes in html; as my dad says about army clothing: it comes in two sizes, to big and to small.
Over the years my site building techniques have changed, but for the most part I avoided what I saw as fads, most notably Flash, which bothered me to no end. As a print designers, Flash was like some horrid carnival of cheap tricks and bad manners. In the end, it turned out to be just that, an expensive bucket of high-fructose corn syrup that Google totally ignores. Some people will disagree with me, but just like that guy who has eaten nothing but Big Macs all his life, there's always one out there.
The greatest thing to happen to the internet since Tim Burners-Lee invented the web was the adoption of CSS. I love Cascading Style Sheets, for a print designer, it all comes back, control, font sizes, leading, pixel-by-pixel movement, This is now what I use for all my sites and the best part about it is that I can make web pages that are written just how Tim wanted them to be. Clean, simple, standard and semantic. All the design and markup is kept in the CSS file, away from the main page, and out of Google's way.
I built several versions of my website with CSS and then the most recent version was built on top of a wordpress theme. Wordpress is an open source blog engine that I highly recommend, by photo blog mitchster.com runs on it. But in the end, I couldn't control the design as much as I wanted, so after only a few months I decided it was headed for the morgue and decided to build this, site number seven, code name: Juno.
Each time I rebuild my site, it's a bit of an experiment, one of the first CSS sites I built was version 4, and version 6, as I said, was a blog. This time is no different, it has the big footer and a lot of php code that allows me to run programs inside it and have some fun like the unique disclaimer at the bottom of every page.
It's important, especially for me, to keep updating a website. The consensus is about three years. People get tired with a website, no matter how good it looks, change is good.