Free Icons, Photoshop Brushes and a WordPress Theme


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 Bennett1 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.

Viewport WordPress Theme2

Viewport WordPress Theme3

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 [], 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.

Thanks, Paul!

Messy Watercolor Photoshop Brushes Set

In the past we have featured Franz Jeitz10‘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.

Icon Set11

Icon Set12

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.com16 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 Section17 on

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.”

Thanks, Franz!

Pacman Returns Icon Set

We have found the Russian design studio Turbomilk18 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.

Icon Set19

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 Leggett24‘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.

Icon Set25

Icon Set26

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, 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.”

Thanks, David!

Calendar Icons for 2008, 2009 and 2010

Doug Cloud30 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.

Calendar icon31

Calendar icon32

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!


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The Smashing team loves high-quality content and cares about the little details. Through our online articles, Smashing Books, eBooks as well as Smashing Conferences, we are committed to stimulating creativity and strengthening the web design community’s creative forces.


Note: Our rating-system has caused errors, so it's disabled at the moment. It will be back the moment the problem has been resolved. We're very sorry. Happy Holidays!

  1. 1

    thanks ! :)
    happy new year!

  2. 2

    You guys are the best! Happy 2009.

  3. 3

    …and a lot of great articles in 2009!

  4. 4

    Happy New Year !

  5. 5

    Thanks! I love Pacman Returns Icon Set

  6. 6

    very nice… some add from me if you wish to add twitter buttons like from

  7. 7

    thank you :) Happy New Year 2009.

  8. 8

    Atomised: the web design co-operative

    December 29, 2008 6:51 am

    Sweet WordPress theme. Thanks guys!

  9. 9

    thanks for your all works smashing team

  10. 10

    Thanks for coming back Pacman ! I liked the Nurture Social Icon Set too, It would be good if they have provided the blank PSD template to expand the icon set.

  11. 11

    Thanks! The Pacman and Social icons are really welcom!

  12. 12

    I’m not sure I’m surprised that the Pac-Man icons are free, but the calendar ones look really cute!


  13. 13

    What’s the name of that editor in the first image in this page (labeled “Behind the scenes”?

  14. 14

    Goody gumdrops !! Happy new year everyone o/

  15. 15

    That WordPress theme sure is different… Great for a small site but wonder how it will perform with a decent sized (10+) page site.

    BTW – Thanks to everyone at SmashingMagazine for all the great content in 2008! Keep it up!

  16. 16

    Umut Muhaddisoglu

    December 29, 2008 7:55 am

    Icons & brushes are great. Thanks.

  17. 17

    wow, great wp theme there! happy new year to smashingmagzine :)

  18. 18

    happy new year!!!! to all

  19. 19

    Really Really Big Thanx! and Happy New Year!!!

  20. 20

    WebAgentur Körbler

    December 29, 2008 8:41 am

    Great WordPress theme, how is the preview in the theme be created?


  21. 21

    These brushes could come in handy! thanks!

  22. 22

    Thanks – this is great!

  23. 23

    I’m not sure how I feel about the WP theme, but it’s definitely pretty.

  24. 24

    Viewport WordPress Theme is clean, simple and also very interactive theme.
    many thanks for sharing great theme~

  25. 25

    Thanks again guys!

    @Steven: The editor used is Coda, my editor of choice.

    Steve Mullen Creative

  26. 26

    The Pacman icons are awesome. Thanks!

  27. 27

    pacman bites !

  28. 28

    Very cool, can’t wait to use the new wordpress theme to test things.

  29. 29

    Nice Theme Paul, I like the clean and plain design. Mostly useful for online portfolios and galleries.

    The Pacman Icons also smashing the show…. Thanks guys… Happy New year !!

    Dkumar M.

  30. 30

    I love the vintage feel of some of those icons. Thanks!

  31. 31

    Thanks to SM…..

    ALways sharing a good content to its Readers…

    Happy New Year to ALL – Readers..

  32. 32

    wonderful work guys…. hats off…..

  33. 33

    The wordpress theme is amazing.
    Happy new year, Smashing Magazine ;-)

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  35. 35

    Thanks alot! You guys are the coolest. Happy new year!

  36. 36

    This was better than most peoples x-mas presents. lol

  37. 37

    You folks never fail to come through with the swag!
    BTW I’ve linked to you in my “1100 Free WP Themes” post here:
    Happy New Year!

  38. 38

    Nice icons, keep posting

  39. 39

    Thats one of the most creative wordpress theme I ever saw. wow

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    Lutfar Rahman Nirjhar

    December 31, 2008 12:21 am

    Great Article and Resources. Happy new year!

  41. 41

    WoO Great collection….. i using this web site from one year, but i never get baord from it anymore……..

    happy new year to team….and each user of the

    smashing magazine

  42. 42

    OOooOO!! Very cute.

  43. 43

    The theme is awesome for photography, but I wish it handled images a bit more elegantly when posting. I find it pretty daunting to make three sizes myself. Also, there doesn’t seem to be support for odd-sized images and portraits without cropping.

    Still, thanks for a cool design.

  44. 44

    Happy new year!

  45. 45

    Wow the social icon is simply incredible, thanks!

  46. 46

    i like the brushes style

  47. 47

    The brushes are awesome! thx!

  48. 48

    o0o0h really suave wordpress concept.

  49. 49

    Great icon pack! I have featured it on my blog…

    Keep up the good work! :)

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    Thanks, the nurture icon set is awesome!

  52. 52

    GAH! i’m making a wordpress theme similar to this… nice to see others out there have similar ideas that i do!

  53. 53

    very good…

  54. 54

    i am going to install the theme right away
    thanks Smashing magazine
    you guys rock as always

  55. 55

    Thanks for icons :)

  56. 56

    Wew,,very advanced WordPress theme,,and very heavy for my server resources… ^^

  57. 57

    I need viewport video code. I can’t play videos. Help me pls.

  58. 58

    I have troubles installing the viewport theme into wordpress 2.8.6

    Warning: file(/home7/signaltr/public_html/wp-content/themes/viewport_1.1/style.css) [function.file]: failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home7/signaltr/public_html/wp-includes/theme.php on line 180

    It seems to have installed though on the themes overview page there is a message about a missing style sheet.

    Please advise

  59. 59

    Thanks very much for the watercolor brushes. They’re superb!

  60. 60

    Huge thanks for fun!All in all a nice and good post.

  61. 61

    Viewport is an excellent theme and very unique.

    Is there a detailed guide on how to use this theme?

    Aside from that, I want to modify some parts of the template but will need help:

    1) The title – I would like the name of the website, the navbar and the search to be on one line as I feel it’s taking up too much space for what I want to do on it
    2) The nabvar – I would like the names of the pages to be in capital letters
    3) The whole frame – I would like to shift everything up so it can fit the screen and there is no need to scroll down (on the home page).

    Thanks in advance.

  62. 62

    how to use this to put in my blog..??

  63. 63

    Huge thanks for fun!All in all a nice and good post.

  64. 64

    This is great! But the question is…how do I use it?

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    Andrea The English Webmistress

    September 1, 2010 12:01 pm

    Downloaded various items. Thanks to all for sharing!

  66. 66

    That’s cool!

  67. 67

    Thanks for that, we all apreciatted!!

  68. 68

    eres genial, muaks!!!
    you are great, muaks!!!

  69. 69

    I love your template but I was wondering how can I use this on more than one page on wordpress? It works as a main page but I can’t select this theme for my other pages. Do I need to go add my pages I want in the coding? Thank you

  70. 70

    Thankz, the icon set is great…

  71. 71

    just cool!

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    thx i like it

  73. 73

    Thanks for the great collection :). God bless you

  74. 74

    hey thanks guys for the gifts. I will definitely use them in some of my projects. Cheers.

  75. 75

    AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have no words… O-)

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