As our Smashing First Anniversary celebration ends, we’d like to wrap up our event with two further presents for each and every one of our readers. In August we’ve asked Jos Buivenga, a Dutch typo-designer who has created professional freefont Delicious to design a special typeface dedicated to the Smashing Magazine First Anniversary. Jos has agreed to get a “smashing” freefont done just in time.
We’ve also asked Elena Gafita from the DesignDisease team — well-known for its professional WordPress theme Blogging Pro — to design a special WordPress-Theme dedicated to our anniversary. Despite deadlines Elena agreed and promised to get a “smashing” WordPress-Theme done just in time.
Both typeface and WordPress theme were done in time. And we’re honoured to give both of them away – for you and for free. Thanks to Jos and Elena for participating!
Smashing Free Typeface: Anivers by Jos Buivenga
Here are some insights from the designer himself:
“When I was asked by Smashing Magazine if I wanted to make a free font for their anniversary I was really thrilled. With a combination of some earlier sketches and some tweaking I managed to hook on to the spirit of a nice new font: Anivers. The name Anivers — as you might have guessed — is derived from the word anniversary.
I’ve developed some particular things I’d like to have in a Smashing Magazine anniversary font. For instance, I wanted it to be a robust and rigid typeface, forgiving and yet flexible and elegant… and also suitable for a broad use: from a stationery to a poster headline. From an intro in a (smashing) magazine to… well… we’ll soon know. :-)
For now it’s only regular, but anivers italic, bold, bold italic and maybe small caps will follow soon. Apart from ligatures, contextual alternatives, fractions and oldstyle/tabular numerals Anivers also has a ‘case’ feature for case-sensitive forms. Anivers also supports CE languages and Esperanto. It has over 1.600 kerning pairs.”
Smashing Free WordPress-Theme:
Smashing Theme by DesignDisease
How to develop a stylish WordPress-Theme from scratch? Some insights from Elena:
“Creating a WordPress Theme isn’t easy but I can’t call it yet a NASA Job. The theme I created for Smashing Magazine was a special task for me because I read this magazine every time they have something new so I wanted to give something back.
After I found out what Smashing Magazine team expects from this theme I got started by selecting the color palette. After this point I created the layout style and placed the background straps modular along with the layout areas. This choice was motivated by the fact that Smashing Magazine is a feed, a flux of information represented by the size and colors of the straps. Colors are — of course — inspired by the Smashing Magazine logo.
Every designer who creates a free theme must know the importance of the AdSense integration in the layout; therefore I’ve divided the content area in 3 sections (columns). Each of them for a specific AdSense unit (468 x 60), (180×150), (160×600).
In my themes I always try to make a clear visual separation between the Posting area and the Widget zone (2nd and the 3rd column). In this case I achieved this effect by creating a strong visual contrast: white for the written post (to ensure the optical silence for readers) and colorful/darker areas (active vibrant content motivates users to click on those surfaces) for the numerous categories, links etc.
Another fact which I care about is the space around the main content (posting area). The flux of information must breathe, so a 20/30px white space between information units is necessary. The space left between the different areas must be used as a module, repeating the spaces in key zones of the layout.
One of the most difficult tasks in designing a theme is to find a style for it. A unique style helps a blog to stand out from simplistic and minimalistic designs. I don’t have anything against minimalist style, but as a designer I feel I can express myself in a more colorful way.
The Smashing theme has a plug-in integrated into the
functions.php, so modifying this file you should have some basic knowledge about PHP. The theme is Widget Ready.
I could have done more for this theme, but I am in hurry, I am leaving to a 7 days holiday into the sunny Greece. Have fun using it and a Happy Anniversary for Smashing Magazine!”