Desktop Publishers Journal

Desktop Publishers Journal

  Retrospective Publication
On-line version was previously available at -
Description CARIBSCAPE's designer, Shane Collens, was featured in "Fire Starters" article in the January 1999 issue of the graphics industry's "Desktop Publishers Journal".
Keywords WITH SO MANY COMPANIES seeking an online presence, Web designers are more in demand than ever before. Like any artist, these designers choose their tools carefully-jumping countless technology hurdles and sniffing out the most efficient ways to get their jobs done.

Today's hottest Web designers have distinguished themselves by creating pages that combine aesthetics and accessibility. What makes them so celebrated? Discover their inspirations and the products they use to create sites with pizzazz.


Shane Collens Cascade, Trinidad, West Indies

Although he has the background of a trained artist, including formal training in photography, graphics, fine arts, fashion and textiles, Shane Collens is a self-taught Web designer. He created his first Web site for his furniture design company, Cupboard Love Furniture Design (, partly out of necessity and partly out of independence.

"My background in many art disciplines compels me to do everything myself concerning aesthetics," he says. "I cannot bear anyone to 'do an ad' for me, so I developed my own marketing materials and Web site."

With over 200 drawings and photos, Cupboard Love's site was well received, not only by potential furniture buyers, but by browsers who appreciated the visual layout and information structure. Web design was a natural progression of creativity for Collens: "Scripting and understanding 'language' or code has always fascinated me," he explains. "I've developed database and accounting software, so the step to HTML seemed easy."

What tools does Collens utilize? "Different parts of every job require different tools," he explains. "I use Claris (now FileMaker) Home Page for the final HTML construction of the Web page and site management. For creating images, I use the same application for the Web as I do for furniture and graphic design-Deneba Canvas."

Collens has always enjoyed Canvas' scale drawing ability. "Canvas 5 is particularly 'Web clever' in that you can now render a scale drawing to a paint object, anti-aliased [with indexed colors] in GIF format," he says.

Collens gravitated to Canvas 2.1 in the early days and currently uses 3.5.5 for quick product design sketches. As a result of creating his own marketing leaflets and ads in Canvas 2.1, he opened The Design & Layout Shop, which provides black-and-white 600dpi camera-ready artwork for small-business clients.

Because of their relative simplicity, Collens' Web sites are user-friendly. "I avoid using anything that may slow a page from loading," he says. "A large site does not have to be complex. Thinking through the information you need to present reveals the natural hierarchy of levels by which each page is linked."

Presently, Collens shies away from adding new technology to his Web site development. "I will develop the animation side when the Web speeds up a bit," he says. "Technology should be used because it is applicable, not just because it is available."

When it comes to purchasing software, Collens takes the "you get what you pay for" stance. "If you are serious about your work, you are going to spend serious money on serious tools," he explains. "Software is something you use every day. It has to fit right and feel right to be productive."

Launch Copyright © 1998 Desktop Publishers Journal
Web Design Dynise Balcavage is assistant director of college relations at Beaver College in Glenside, Pa
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