We are definitely not Santa Claus, but we love to release high-quality sets and themes for free. And, of course, we do have some beautiful and unusual and (hopefully) useful presents for the upcoming New Year’s Eve. Today we are glad to release three icon sets, one Photoshop brushes set and one exclusive WordPress-theme. A couple of more presents will be released over the next days. Happy New Year, folks!
Viewport WordPress Theme
Viewport, a free WordPress theme created by Paul Bennett is focused around a clean and simple, content based layout. The aim is to grab the user’s attention and draw them straight into the content. On the single post page the content is laid out clearly in full, with post controls and a widget-enabled sidebar. The theme also allows the blog owner to change the background image and color, and the image of the ‘Where Next?’ page.
Download the theme for free!
The theme is released under GPL. You can use it for all your projects for free and without any restrictions. Please link to this article if you would like to spread the word. You may modify the theme as you wish.
- live demo
- preview 1
- preview 2
- preview 3
- release post on Paul Bennett’s blog
- download the theme (.zip, 0.2 Mb)
Motivation behind the design
Here are some insights from the designer himself:
The main idea behind Viewport was to present the user with a viewport showcasing the bloggers posts in a graphic form. There has been a recent trend to break away from conventional blog design, and Viewport aims to further extend that by using imagery to complement the post content. It particularly suits the creative market, providing a good platform to showcase projects and ideas.
As with all new sites or themes, it’s best to start off with some sketches of ideas. This one was fairly straight forward, as there aren’t any fancy graphics or complex containers. All we’re doing is focusing on the image related to the post. As such the framework of the theme was constructed from scratch in an afternoon. It was then a case of building up the code required to display the images, and allow the user to customize the layout.
The underlying code used on the front page is a lightly modified version of Coda Slider by Niall Doherty [ndoherty.com], which allows for left and right navigation and cross-linking if needed. It has the ability to provide seamless transitions when sliding a large number of panels with graphics, which meant it was the perfect choice for this application.
Known issues: image placement sometimes doesn’t place nice with Internet Explorer 6, so it’s best to user version 7 or better if IE is your flavor.
Messy Watercolor Photoshop Brushes Set
In the past we have featured Franz Jeitz‘s work already (he designed a couple of desktop wallpapers for us) and the response from our community was really great. So when Franz suggested to do something together we were quick to respond. The result is a set of Messy Watercolor Photoshop Brushes, released exclusively via Smashing Magazine.
The set has 12 brushes at a resolution of 2300px which results in an .abr file of the size 27.3Mb.
Behind the design
Here are some insights from Franz himself:
“Like many people I have an ever-growing library of photoshop brushes. My all-time favourites are those that have a grunge feeling to them. At first I only collected high resolution photoshop brushes, but ever since I started my own design blog at www.fudgegraphics.com I made my own and shared them with the design community. So it is my pleasure to release the “Messy Watercolour Brushes 1″ exclusively on Smashing Magazine.
The set includes 12 brushes ranging from 2156px up to 2294px. I suggest experimenting with the brushes to discover the full potential of this set . Open a blank canvas and start painting on individual layers. Play with colours and blending modes until you’re happy with the result. What I like most about watercolour brushes is the endless opportunities. You could complete a design using only the brushes. Or you could overlay them on text or vectors to give them a more organic feel. You may even combine them with different gradients. Whatever you do I hope you have fun with them. For more Hi-Res photoshop brushes please visit the Freebies Section on fudgegraphics.com.
Unfortunately people stuck on Photoshop versions prior to CS1 won’t be able to use these brushes as they are simply too large. Don’t worry though. The source files used to make them will be released shortly on Smashing Magazine as a texture pack.”
Pacman Returns Icon Set
We have found the Russian design studio Turbomilk a long time ago. Denis Kortunov and his team published a couple of truly useful articles related to icons design. We’ve been impressed by thte quality of their work and contacted them, asking to design an unusual and creative icon set. We’ve discussed what exactly we would like to have and let the designers do the magic. In the end the result was a set of unusual avatars, similar to the legendary PacMan. We love the icons, and hopefully so are you!
The set “Pacman Returns” contains 11 high-quality icons (including RSS and “Smashing Pacman”-icons) that you can use for free in your private and commercial projects – without any restrictions whatsoever.
Nurture Social Icon Set
This is definitely one of the last social icon sets we release here, on Smashing Magazine. Since we’ve released a lot of “social” sets throughout 2008, we decided to not release such sets in the future – unless the quality is truly outstanding. The latter is the case in David Leggett‘s social icon set called “Nurture”. We just couldn’t reject David’s great work which is why we release it in this post, even although some commenters may not like it.
“Nurture” is a Social Icon Pack that was designed for digital creatives who want to add a unique, lively, and green touch to their blogs and other web-projects. The set includes 10 icons featuring the logos of popular social bookmarking sites. The set was designed with a fresh, lively, green look in mind. The pack includes 512×512, 256×256, 128×128, and 64×64 icons in .png format. It can be used for free in any commercial or private projects with no restrictions, but the set itself may not be resold, sublicensed, rented, transferred or otherwise made available for use.
Behind the design
Here are some insights from David himself:
“I’m a long time follower of SM, and have taken my fair share of freebies from the community. Rather than release these on Tutorial9.net, I would like to make these icons as widely available as possible. For me, this as a small way I can give back to the folks who have helped me along the way.”
Calendar Icons for 2008, 2009 and 2010
Doug Cloud created a handy set of icons that you can use on your blog to display the current date. There are 15 available themes for the calendar icon, for the years 2008, 2009 and 2010. All files are available in .png.
- download the .png-icons (.zip, 0.1 Mb)
Thank you very much, Doug! We appreciate your efforts.
And thank you!
We really do love the web design community. Everybody helps each other, everybody supports each other. We are proud to be part of it! And we would like to express sincere gratiture to all designers and developers out there who contribute to the web design community and help us all to make the Web a better place. Thank you!