Desktop wallpapers are always nice to look at and to draw inspiration from. They may provide with some fresh perspective and offer you some eye-candy for tedious coffee breaks. We are regularly hunting for free high-quality icons, fonts and wallpapers and present them to you, so you don’t need to search for them. As long as we find something beautiful, interesting or useful, we let you know in our posts. And now it’s time for some sweet wallpapers designer’s toolbox.
In this post we present more (really) stunning desktop wallpapers related to typography, photography, illustrations, HDR as well as some abstract and fantasy-related wallpapers. Hopefully, everybody will find something interesting for his or her desktop. All wallpapers can be downloaded for free.
You can also scan through the following posts:
Don't forget: until 21th of May you can participate in Smashing Texture Contest, take a photo, send it to us and win a professional digital camera. We have received over 200 entries so far. Read more...
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.
This month we are glad to present you Freebooter Script, Cora Basic Regular, Walkway and Karabine. Please read the license agreements carefully — they can change from time to time.
Sometimes typography is all you need to communicate your ideas effectively. Graphics can support the type or type can support the graphics, but to deliver the message precisely, you need to make sure your type is expressive enough, your design is distinctive enough and the composition is strong enough. The results are sometimes crazy, sometimes artsy, sometimes beautiful, but often just different from things we're used to. Thus designers explore new horizons and we explore new viewing perspectives which is what inspiration is all about.
This post showcases over 70 examples of sexy, bold and experimental typography. Some examples are typographic posters, some are typographic illustrations and some are just sketches with type. In any case, you will hopefully find some inspiration for your future works.
Feel free to check out our previous typography-related posts:
- Breathtaking Typographic Posters with over 50 typographic posters designed by artists across the globe. We feature Oriental, Iranian, Hebrew, Japanese, Chinese and Russian typographic posters as well as a number of further references,
- Typography In Motion presents some excellent examples of typography embedded into movies and videos,
- The Showcase of BIG Typography with over 35 examples of big, “loud” and yet elegant typography in web design.
So what can be achieved out of simple letters and symbols? Please be patient, some screenshots are huge. Read more...
Getting creative is part of our job. Whatever project we are working on, at some point we need to come up with some nice starting point — some fresh idea which we could explore further, build upon and refine until we have a polished, perfect result. Although having an idea is at least as important as implementing it properly, without inspiration and innovation you just can't get anything done.
And this is where it sometimes gets messy. In fact, drawing inspiration is not as easy as we used to think of it. Inspiration is not just observing something, analyze it and implement it in one or another way in your work. Inspiration is much more: there is a fine line between inspiration and imitation which is easy to cross and as easy to mix up.
Inspiration means captivate an idea and develop it further. Imitation means identify an idea and use it. As a professional when getting creative, you need to make sure that you pick the right path to follow.
Noell Hyman draws inspiration from magazines; stick-it-notes contain some ideas she might want to work upon later.
So how do you actually come up with new ideas (apart from reading Smashing Magazine, of course)? Where do you draw inspiration from? Do you have some bulletproof approaches against creativity blocks?
We would like to hear your opinion. Let us know in the comments! Read more...
Pixel art lives both in and beyond computer screen. Artists design pixel art posters, magazine covers, album covers, desktop wallpapers, paintings, "pixelish" video ads and even pixelated tattoos. And there is a good reason behind it: in times when popular design solutions strive for real-life-look or perfection pixel art offers a distinctive and creative artistic approach which is extremely expressive. In fact, pixel art can be impressive as well. This post attempts to prove just that.
Below we present over 50 excellent pixel art designs — illustrations, paintings and posters as a part of our ongoing monday inspiration series. Some of the works presented below have an extremely high level of detail which is why you can observe pixel art for hours and still miss some details it contains. You can find ever more resources related to pixel-art in an overview we've presented in the end the post.
Please be patient: the images may take some time to load. Read more...
Once your latest project is finished, you are very likely to forget the structure of the project's layout, with all its numerous classes, color schemes and type setting. To understand your code years after you've written it you need to make use of sensible code structuring. The latter can dramatically reduce complexity, improve code management and consequently simplify maintainability. However, how can you achieve sensible structuring? Well, there are a number of options. For instance, you can make use of comments — after all, there is always some area for useful hints, notes and, well, comments you can use afterwards, after the project has been deployed.
Indeed, developers came up with quite creative ways to use comments and text formatting to improve the maintainability of CSS-code. Such creative ways are usually combined into CSS styleguides — pieces of CSS-code which are supposed to provide developers with useful insights into the structure of the code and background information related to it.
This article presents 5 coding techniques which can dramatically improve management and simplify maintainability of your code. You can apply them to CSS, but also to any other stylesheet or programming language you are using. You can browse through the references listed under the article — they containt further information about how you can achieve a well-organized and well-structured code.
You may also be interested in the articles
Photography is a very powerful medium and a very difficult craft. Excellent photos don't only display some facts — they tell stories, awake feelings and manage to share with the audience the emotions a photographer experienced when clicking the shot button. Taking excellent pictures is damn hard as you need to find a perfect perspective and consider the perfect timing. To achieve brilliant photography you need practice and patience. However, it is worth it: the results can be truly stunning.
Below you'll find 50 brilliant photos and stunning pictures — some pictures tell stories, some are incredibly beautiful, some are funny and some are very sad.
All pictures are copyright of their respective owners. Please explore the further work of the photographers by browsing through their work. We've tried to cover different themes so that everybody will find something interesting and spectacular for himself / herself. All screenshots are linked und lead to the pages from which they've been taken.
You may also want to take a look at the following posts:
Credit card icons are an essential part of every online-shop. They are often used to indicate available payment conditions and purchasing options. The clearer they are presented in the online-shop, the easier it is for potential customers to figure out if they actually can pay online in this shop. Therefore when it comes to the design of an online-shop there is no way to get around using some credit card icons.
If you need some specific credit card icons — for instance the icons of a regional bank in your country, make sure to visit the official site of the bank first to get the most recent icons. They are usually presented in the sections titled "logo center", "brand materials", "media center" etc. Credit cards may also look differently depending on the country they are supposed to be used in. Read more...
Web design has significantly improved over the last years. It's more user-friendly and more appealing today — and there is a good reason behind it: over the years we've found out that design with focus on usability and user experience is just more effective. Modern cut-edge design isn't filled with loud happy talk and blinking advertisements. We've learnt to initiate the dialogue with visitors, involve them into discussions and gain their trust by addressing their needs and speaking with them honestly and directly.
Few weeks ago we've presented 10 Principles Of Effective Web Design — a comprehensive article about effective Web design and provided you with insights about how users actually think as well as with some examples of how effective designs can be achieved.
This article highlights 5 further principles, heuristics and approaches for effective Web design — approaches which, used properly, can lead to more sophisticated design decisions and simplify the process of perceiving presented information.
Please notice that you might be interested in the following usability-related articles:
- 10 Usability Nightmares showcases usability nightmares you should avoid when designing functional and usable web-sites,
- 30 Usability Issues explains important usability issues, terms, rules and principles which are usually forgotten, ignored or misunderstood.
Retro and vintage designs are often considered as being outdated, looking old, unattractive and dull. That's not true. Although compared to modern design, retro is mostly a completely different realm, it has a large variety of benefits modern graphic designers often tend to overlook. And that's a pity. Because we, as designers, can learn a lot from it.
Nostalgic designs arise feelings, awake memories and better manage to involve broad range of readers even although they don't really realize it. Furthermore, retro can look cool and offer readers or visitors something they haven't expected at all. So why not try to impress them with some impressive vintage art for a change?
Below you'll find the celebration of retro and vintage design — ads, illustrations, book covers, pins and posters from 1920-1980s. The images weren't necessarily created in the mid of 20th century. Vintage is living today which is why this post also features artists and designers who make use of the vintage and retro style in their works.
Please notice: if after reading this post you'll experience some need for buying ice cream, chewing gum or eating sausages, it's not our fault. Read more...