Hello my name is Simon

& yes I like to do Drawings

It’s Alive!

Simon Reynolds Monster Hand Rising

Finally! I am finished with my re-design. In the process, I have discovered the hardest task any web designer can take on:

Designing your own website.

I have experienced every human emotion during this project. I have been angry, frustrated, laughed, cried, yelled at the dog, thrown things at the wall and even found myself wandering aimlessly downtown wearing a yellow speedo and cowboy hat.

So what’s the big deal? Do I have the dreaded creative block? No, it can’t be, I’ve been producing websites non stop all day, week after week.

There is hope.

During a client project, the root of my struggles became clear. I was too emotionally involved and my approach was missing the fundamental 101 of design, “rules”. (Or in my case, the lack of them.)

Who would have thought that a re-design for a title company could give me such a moment of clarity - there I was, working away, checking off my mental laundry list of rules: They are corporate and clean, blue, grey, stick to the grid, find a “Happy Couple” photo - and done.

Finding the root of my struggles didn’t solve the problem. I am human and the hardest thing to do is follow our own rules. For example, every Sunday I tell myself, “myself, from now on you are bringing your lunch to work and going to the gym 3 days a week.” Has this ever happened? Rarely.

So what did I do?

I talked it out, fellas. I asked my web buddies to suggest how I should approach my site. Essentially setting up a list of rules for me to follow.

After a couple of quick discussions things started to clear up. The easiest way to represent yourself and to enjoy the late working nights, is to simply do what you enjoy the most. I couldn’t bring myself to build the “Beer drinking bull rider” theme so I chose my second favorite, illustration.

I hope you enjoy and please feel free to comment.

Side Notes

I originally built a couple of css and xhtml validation buttons in the style of award
ribbons. I decided not to use them, they’re open for download if you want them. Download Illustrator CS2 file.

Onemarco.com has a great script available for generating “Tool Tips” within the google maps api.

75 Comments Would you like to?

  • Delivered by simon

    Hello all, I’m still some what testing any feedback is very welcome!

  • Delivered by Danny

    Bro Simon,
    I totally feel your pain on the personal web issue. But I do have a very serious question for you…okay who’s your copywriter? Because I don’t think I saw a single misspelled word and I know better than that from you. Looks like another brilliant example of your diverse ability. Congrats, and I look forward to seeing more.


  • Delivered by Darren

    Great design and I really love the illustrations.

  • Delivered by Mike

    This site is an example of what I call approachable design. Many designers go overboards on their personal web sites alienating the common man and potential customer.

    Customers want to see a design that would work for them and this is an excellent example of riding the line between creative desigm and practicality.

    As Danny has mentioned the content is void of typos. When do I get to be invited to the spelling bee? Someone must have been practicing, or hired an editor.

    Good job.

  • Delivered by milo317

    Great layout and cool illustrations, all on a WP theme, congrats and kudos.

  • Delivered by Kevin Smith

    Hey Simon. The site looks great…I didn’t know you were a drawer of things - Nice work!

  • Delivered by Rob Schultz

    Great website design! It’s open, airy, and all around great to look at!

  • Delivered by Adrian

    Wow! I am really impressed. As I was reading I realized there were no misspelled words and thought surely this couldn’t be the Simon I know. Your first grade teacher would be so proud. As am I. And all this time I thought you were a poser. You showed me. Great job and congratulations on your award!

  • Delivered by Simon

    Thanks guys for all of your friendly comments. I guess my reputation as a master speller precedes me.
    I have recently discovered a new tool, it’s a button you click and it corrects all of your spelling mistakes!
    Technology is so Kooal.

  • Delivered by Jay Unsworth

    I love everything about this site! Especially how you’ve styled the comments, i’ve been trying out something similar with the speech bubbles. Great contrast of colours also, white orange and different shades of greys work really well!

    So yeh, overall it’s great, i don’t feel chlostropheobic, you may wanna press that button for the spelling of my chlostropheobic word too!

    Keep up the good work!

  • Delivered by Matthew Alberty

    Sweet design Simon! I submitted it to CSS Beauty for possible featuring.

  • Delivered by Maow

    I like your website, is very beautiful.

  • Delivered by will

    Great looking site. The illustrations really set it off.

  • Delivered by Eric

    I like your website design a lot! The main thing I want to thank you for is the great explanation. You helped me take a new approach to my own site re-design. I have tried 14 different versions so far, but never settled. Now I am going to try your advice of setting a group of rules for myself. Thanks again for your insight into site re-design.

  • Delivered by Simon

    You have to love the web! My site was having a couple of issues, especially the nasty horizontal scroll bar FireFox was generating. Fortunately, a couple of people contacted me and offered their much appreciated input on the situation. It looks like it’s all fixed now - what was causing this issue? An error in the way I had structured the top navigation.

    The top nav consists of two main elements: a wrapper and the nav items. I had given the wrapper a width and planned to float the nav items right for alignment. Instead I had floated them left and applied a left margin for placement. For some reason, my forcing the elements into place had confused FireFox. Maybe the child element had inherited the width of the wrapper??

    Thanks again for your input!

  • Delivered by Bryan Zmijewski

    Simon…great job. Thanks for the link love…you’ve got a great little site. I love the illustration at the top- very inspired. Keep up the good work and don’t stop writing!

  • Delivered by Matthew

    Great site Simon; it rocks.

  • Delivered by Respiro Media

    I like your web site, especially your illustration works. Congrats! :)

  • Delivered by Josh


    Great Site, I was wondering how you liked working with wordpress. Is it fairly simple to customize the site the way you want it?

  • Delivered by Ratty

    You did an amazing job with this website. I am extremely impressed! I really like the colors of the website, and the drawing you made of the boy on the banner just tops it off. Beautiful man!

  • Delivered by Kjetil Nilsen

    Nice pages, love your style. Just a tiny detail: the “content”-button on the bottom of the page is not working properly, as if it’s active area or hot spot is too small or something…


  • Delivered by drew

    Feel your pain and love your result. Nice work, great flow, clean feel, extremely easy to read… and of course, the illustrations are great too.

  • Delivered by Ramon Bispo

    Beautiful job!


  • Delivered by Ray

    Love the site Simon, although the lack of blog posts disappoints. When are we going to hear more from ‘the man’?

    Keep up the good work mate.

  • Delivered by Pascale Mackey

    You’ve achieve a great look. Cool illustrations, and humor’s not bad either there Simon.

  • Delivered by megin

    why are almost all these people guys does it really make a diifence and are you insane?

  • Delivered by Ulrich

    No entries since May? That’s odd, but whatever. Good looking theme all the same.

    By way of suggestions I’ll make 2.

    1) Keep the date meta in the comments, it helps folks know if they’re commenting about a comment that was made 6 months ago or not.

    2) Write something new! ;)

  • Delivered by Marc

    Just stumbled on your site. Looks great mate, keep up the great work. I know the frustrations of designing for yourself all too well.

  • Delivered by kevinfitz

    Hi Simon, I actually just republished my site under the new direction of illustration. It has taken me months to finally narrow down a site map, and even begin to like what I was drawing up for the site. It takes forever. You definitely thought this one out, and developed a very clean site. Hope all is well in the design world.. Cheers mate… kevinfitz.com

  • Delivered by Discover CCENT

    You have a nice blog design Simon!

  • Delivered by pj

    Awesome design and illustration on ur website.
    Came across it on “30 More Excellent Blog Designs | Design Showcase” from Smashing Magazine”. Congrats on making the list. =)

  • Delivered by Osvaldo

    This a professional website. Great works!, I love the contrast color and, of course, the ilustrations.

  • Delivered by Pristine

    I came over from the FreelanceSwitch Forums after someone posted about your site. I love the design and I completely related to your pain about designing your site. Gosh, I’ve been working on mine for months, and that doesn’t even take into account the many mock-ups I made in the 12 months before that. Meanwhile, the not-very-pretty initial design sat on the web while a prettier new design sat on my computer, constantly being fixed. “Ooh, this image is one pixel off! Dang!” And then there’s my ongoing battle with Internet Explorer 6… Anyway, I recommend taking a look at FreenlanceSwitch’s post about detail obsessions: http://freelanceswitch.com/working/detail-obsession-four-ways-to-take-control-of-your-work/.

    Good work and good luck! You’ve got a regular reader here now!

  • Delivered by Dave Bui

    It’s a brilliant site, I really like your design.. Another talented son from North East- England :D

  • Delivered by Mehmet

    it looks amazing to me :) i really love it. gratz

  • Delivered by Jeremy Deming

    Firstly I came across your website by browsing the Smashing mag online. I totally agree with them, that your website rocks! However the high contrasted test on the dark BG really burns the text into my retina and eventually after about reading half way down your pages, everything blurs and I can’t seem to focus on the content. Do you think you’d ever consider modifying the color scheme slightly to accommodate easier reading? Overall it looks fantastic and I must say I love your illustrations, kind of jealous actually… Great!

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