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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.

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Smashing Highlights 2009

2009 was a very successful year for Smashing Magazine. It was a year of ambitious goals and an intense time schedule, which brought many changes over the past year. In 2009 we published more posts than ever (on average, 8 posts per week). We broadened our areas of interest: for instance, we explored freelancing and the business side of web development, but also tackled user interface design and mobile web design. We also discovered new formats, such as the "Global Web Design" series and Q&A-Sessions — unfortunately, the latter (the Ask SM series with Chris Coyier) lasted only a couple of months.

A3 in 100 (Really) Beautiful iPhone Wallpapers Tt2 in 100 (Really) Beautiful iPhone Wallpapers

We have tried our best to improve the quality of our articles so as to increase their value for designers and developers. In this post, we'll review what has happened on Smashing Magazine over the past year: smashing highlights, setbacks, and small sensations of 2009 — which we present in a month by month timeline. You can compare the highlights of 2009 with those of 2008 or 2007 (which, by the way, include links to some really useful articles).


Yummy! Free Food and Cakes Icon Set

Today we are glad to release something extremely tasty — Yummy Icon Set, a set with 20 beautiful, original and sweet icons in resolutions 48×48px – 128×128px and formats .png, .ico, .incs and .tif. Also, the vector source (.eps) is available for free download as well. This set was designed by our friends Iconeden and released for Smashing Magazine and its readers.

Yummy Free Icon Set

Download the icon set for free! You can use the set for all of your projects for free and without any restrictions. You can freely use it for both your private and commercial projects, including software, online services, templates and themes. Please link to this article if you want to spread the word.


Free Christmas and New Year’s Eve WordPress Theme

In this post we release our last freebie for the Christmas and the New Year season: a beautiful Christmas and New Year's Eve WordPress Theme, designed by and released for Smashing Magazine and its readers. The theme is decorated using Smashing Christmas Icon Set and its main goal is to give a blog a very festive, snowy, New Year's atmosphere. The theme has no particular requirements, except that the WordPress 2.8.5+ should be installed. As usual, the theme is free to use in private and commerical projects.

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 want to spread the word. You may modify the theme as you wish.


Free Christmas Stock Photos

The Christmas is coming and Christmas decorations are being prepared. However, it's not only time to spice up your living environment: your designs could use a bit of the Christmas spirit as well. A week ago our readers asked us to release a set of Christmas-related stock photos; so when a couple of days later Min Thu dropped us an e-mail suggesting to provide us with some Christmas stock photos, we just had to do it.

Christmas Set

So, as requested, in this post we are glad to release Christmas Stock Photos Set, a set of 60 original Christmas-related photos in JPG in the resolution 2500×1666px. This set was created by Min Thu especially for Smashing Magazine and its readers.


Free Smashing Christmas Icon Set

Christmas is coming and, of course, it's just the right time to provide you with some nice freebies to fresh up your designs. To celebrate the holidays, our friends from IconEden designed "Smashing Christmas", a free icon set, dedicated to the design community and released especially for Smashing Magazine's readers. The set contains 39 beautiful, well-crafted icons with warm and welcoming color scheme.

Smashing Christmas Icon Set

All icons are designed in 3 different style: realistic 3D style, simple shape style and button style – hence the icons are extremely versatile. This set is available in both vector and pixel format and available for free download and use.


The Smashing Book Is Released: Buy Now!

Here it is, the brand new Smashing Book. Announced several months ago in a couple of posts, it has finally arrived. You can buy the Smashing Book right now. And in case you didn't know, it's available here exclusively. The book is available and can be shipped right away.


The Smashing Book is a printed book about best practices in modern Web design. The book shares technical tips and best practices on coding, usability and optimization and explores how to create successful user interfaces and apply marketing principles to increase conversion rates. It also shows how to get the most out of typography, color and branding so that you end up with intuitive and effective Web designs. And lastly, you will also get a peek behind the curtains of Smashing Magazine.


Desktop Wallpaper Calendar: December and Christmas 2009

Desktop Wallpaper Calendar: December and Christmas 2009 (via @smashingmag) -

Over the last months our readers were complaining about the low quality of wallpapers featured in the Desktop Wallpaper Calendar series here on Smashing Magazine. To keep the very high quality of the competition and motivate artists and designers to put more thoughts and ideas into creating original and beautiful wallpapers, we carefully reviewed our quality guidelines and decided to select featured wallpapers more strictly. Consequently, over 65% of wallpapers submitted to us in November unfortunately didn't make it to this post.

Smashing Wallpaper - december 09

We may have been a bit too strict or we may have been not strict enough – please let us know what you think and please also let us know how we can improve the quality of this series!

This post features 45 free desktop wallpapers, created by designers across the globe. Both versions with a calendar and without a calendar can be downloaded for free.

Please notice:

  • all images can be clicked and lead to the preview of the wallpaper;
  • you can feature your work in our magazine by taking part in our desktop wallpaper calendar series. We are regularly looking for creative designers and artists to be featured on Smashing Magazine. Are you one of them?

So which wallpapers have we received for December 2009?


20 New High Quality Free Fonts

Every now and again we take a look around, select “fresh” high-quality free fonts and present them to you in a brief overview. The choice is enormous, so the time you need to find them is usually the time you should be investing in your current projects. We search for them and we find them, so you don’t have to.

Typography Free Fonts - Apparatus SIL

In this selection we’re glad to present you Madawaska ExtraLight, Apparatus SIL, League Gothic, Contra and many other high-quality free fonts. Please read the license agreements carefully before using the fonts — the license can change from time to time.


Free High-Quality Magento Theme: Sigyn SM

We love our readers. We respect the hard work of designers and developers across the globe. And we do our best to make the web design community stronger and the Web a little bit prettier. Therefore we work with talented artists and creative professionals to showcase their skills and release something unique and beautiful as a gift to the community. And in the end truly impressive works see the light of day.

Magento Theme

Today we are glad to release Sigyn SM — a free high-quality Magento theme created by especially for Smashing Magazine and its readers. The theme has a unique grungy design that stands out and can serve as a good baseline for your Magento-powered online shops.


40 Free High-Quality WordPress Themes

High quality free Wordpress Themes have become harder and harder to find in the past year, with the influx of premium themes, more and more designers and developers are selling themes (and rightly so, they do amazing work). However, the quality of freely available themes has improved as well; in fact, some themes are very advanced and professional and can serve as a solid foundation for your next designs.

There are a lot of choices out there for someone wanting to choose a Wordpress theme for their blog. But, that aside, the quality is certainly there, and we are sure you will be impressed with this Wordpress theme compilation.

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