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Co-Founder and former CEO of Smashing Magazine. Sven is now writing Science Fiction Stories and looking for a publisher ...

Smashing Magazine’s 2nd Anniversary

It happened again. Today, Smashing Magazine celebrates its second birthday. We are two years old now and we are proud of what we have achieved over these years. To celebrate our anniversary, we could do any number of things. For instance, we could organize a huge giveaway—as we did one year ago—but, of course, bigger and more overwhelming. However, we won't do that; after all, we're giving away stuff every week and we have many contests where our readers can win truly smashing prizes. (New contests are already on their way.) Posters Instead, we could share some insight about the highlights of Smashing Magazine over the last 12 months: an exploding number of page views, hundreds of thousands of backlinks, numerous testimonials and rewarding ad revenues. But we would probably sound like show-offs and we can't afford to do that; after all, we have only published 301 posts so far. Read more...

Simplicio: A Free Icon Set

We are always looking for creative and talented artists and designers. Once we find them, we ask them to cooperate with us and release something for free. We provide them with the full freedom to showcase their professionalism and express their creativity. Every release helps to make the Web a nicer place. In fact, the results are quite often pretty impressive. You can find our previous releases in our section Freebies.

Smashing Icon Set

Today we are glad to release a Simplicio icon set. The main motivation behind the design was to create a simple, even minimalistic set which can fit into every project. The set contains 78 free icons in .png and .ico including AI which can be useful for both corporate and personal setting. You can use the set for free – without any restrictions whatsoever.

The icons are available in the .png- and .ico-formats in the resolution 128×128px. AI-sources are also included in the package. This icon set was designed by Neurovit from Turkey especially for Smashing Magazine and its readers.

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On-Stage: Free Vector PSD Icon Set

We are always looking for creative and talented artists and designers. Once we find them, we ask them to cooperate with us and release something for free. We provide them with the full freedom to showcase their professionalism and express their creativity. Every release helps to make the Web a nicer place. In fact, the results are quite often pretty impressive. You can find our previous releases in our section Freebies.

Smashing Icon Set

Today we are glad to release a icON Stage icon set. The set contains 49 free vector icons including PSD which can be useful for both corporate and personal setting. You can use the set for free — without any restrictions whatsoever.

The icons are available in the .png-format in the resolution 128×128px. 100% pure shape-based layered PSDs are also included in the package. This icon set was designed by Deziner Folio especially for Smashing Magazine and its readers.

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30 Free High Quality WordPress Themes

Free professional WordPress themes always come in handy. Whether you are looking for some design inspiration or professional coding solutions — in both cases you can learn a lot, you can apply them and you can build customized designs upon them without reinventing the wheel all the time.

Wordpress Themes - Colourise

In this article we present over 30 fresh free high-quality WordPress themes. All themes can be downloaded, customized and used for free — in personal or/and commercial projects. Please read license disclaimers carefully before using the theme in commercial projects — they can change from time to time.

You might also want to take a look at our previous selections:

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The <hr /> Contest

What is <hr />? Basically, it is an old HTML-tag which has been used since the very beginning of the Web. hr stands for the horizontal rule and represents exactly what you would expect — a horizontal line or a horizontal divider.

By default, web browsers render hr as a simple horizontal line. In terms of semantics the tag is supposed to clearly separate content blocks. This is often used in design of footers, but also makes sense in other situations — for instance, if you want to separate two blog posts or make the divisions within the content structure sharper.

Wacom Tablet

Similar to our blog header contest we’d like to create a smashing gallery of freely available <hr /> graphics. The winner will get a Wacom Intuos3 9X12 USB Tablet.

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Design Showcase Of Creative Online-Shops

Times when online-shops were boring and unattractive are over. To attract customers' attention designers tend to design online-shops according to the atmosphere it has to create. An online-store in which retro-products are offered is designed in a retro-look. And shops which are aiming to attract young customers are designed in vibrant colors and modern style. Furthermore, interactive browsing through the store, implemented with Flash and JavaScript, gains on popularity as well.

Online Shop Screenshot

This post showcases 45 examples of creative and unusual designs of online-stores. Being creative doesn't necessarily mean that the designs are successful since unconventional approaches often increase the time users need to climb the learning curve and figure out how they can achieve their goals. Still, how can you present your products in a distinctive way and how to design a truly unique online-store? Let's find out.

Please notice: we don't know if creative design approaches result in better sales. This post is supposed to provide you with some interesting ideas and approaches which you can use in your future projects, not with recommendations for the most effective online-store-designs.

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Write a Guest Post and Win Apple MacBook Air

As you may know, we are looking for motivated, talented and professional guest authors. And we are paying each author $100-300 per post — depending on the quality of the delivered article. If you think that you are one of them contact us — we want you, we need you, we can't live without you and we would really be happy to have you in our Smashing team.

MacBook Air

And to spark your interest for writing we've decided to announce a guest author contest — write a small guest article for Smashing Magazine and win one of dozens of attractive prizes waiting for you.

Best guest articles will be published on Smashing Magazine with the link to the author's site. The best guest post will be determined by the editorial team and will be awarded with Apple MacBook Air, a compact, ultrathin 13.3" laptop (1.6 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo Processor, 2 GB RAM, 80 GB Hard Drive) released by Apple few months ago.

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Textures and Patterns Design Showcase

Textures and patterns are used more often than one may think. The reason why we don't see them is because they usually remain in the background, supporting the overall design, replacing a standard background color and creating a more inviting atmosphere. But they almost never stand out. Used primarily for background images, they need to fit to the overall design making the content easier to perceive. In fact, wood textures seem to have become so popular that designers suggest that wood is the new glossy style and wood is the new white.

Well, we don't think that wood is a new revolutionary trend — after all, it was used and explored for years. However, since wood isn't used everywhere — in correct and wrong contexts — experimenting with it makes perfectly sense. Still, there are a number of options beyond wood: e.g. fabric patterns, tiles, ground, stone, walls, bricks, stiches, cardboard, ceramics, decay, rust, old tapes, illustrations, plastic and glass.

Texture Background Screenshot

In this post we present a showcase of sites using textures and patterns— we want to focus designer's attention on design options available beyond wood. Reason: we strongly believe that vibrant, realistic background images are becoming a new trend. If it sounds familiar to you, you are absolutely right: we've seen the same trend 8-10 years ago. The sources for the background images are usually either photos (e.g. you can download free textures in the Smashing Texture Library) or illustrations created with Photoshop, Illustration etc.

You may want to take a look at the related articles:

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