Author:

Vitaly Friedman loves beautiful content and doesn’t like to give in easily. Vitaly is writer, speaker, author and editor-in-chief of Smashing Magazine. He runs responsive Web design workshops, online workshops and loves solving complex performance problems in large companies. Get in touch.

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Email Newsletters Worth Subscribing To

Staying on top of the most recent developments in your craft takes time, especially when you have to scan websites daily for articles and news worthy of your attention. Quality newsletters do the job for you. Just check your email inbox every couple of days to find a condensed and readily accessible selection of tidbits from a given website. We have selected here newsletters that deserve your attention.

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A quality newsletter is not overloaded with articles, but rather features valuable insight and information, in addition to what the given website has featured during the week. Readability, relevance and lightness are the most important qualities of a newsletter. The following examples not only make for an enjoyable read, but feature developments, insights and scoops worth following.

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Powerful New CSS Techniques and Tools

The hard work of front-end designers never ceases to amaze us. Over the last months, we've seen Web designers creating and presenting a plethora of truly remarkable CSS techniques and tools. We have collected, analyzed, curated and feature latest useful resources for your convenience, so you can use them right away or save them for future reference.

Checkerboard, striped & other background patterns with CSS3 gradients

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Please don’t hesitate to comment on this post and let us know how exactly you are using them in your workflow. However, please avoid link dropping, but share your insights and your experience instead. Also, notice that some techniques are not only CSS-based, but use HTML5, JavaScript, or JavaScript-libraries as well. Thanks to all featured designers and developers for inspiring, hard work.

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Dear Web Design Community, Where Have You Gone?

As Web craftsmen, we are living in exciting times today. The frenetic pace of evolution in our industry has created remarkable opportunities for our work. Our established set of design and coding practices is more comprehensive than it has ever been before. Our designs are becoming more usable, our code more scalable, our layouts more responsive. In fact, just by comparing our design processes to those from a decade ago, it's remarkable to observe how quickly we've developed and honed our craft over all these years.

HTML5 Boilerplate is a remarkable example of a cooperation of dozens of Web designers who share their thoughts to create something useful for all of us to use.

However, the maturity of our industry is far from being complete. While producing a myriad of technological advancements, we have outpaced other developments along the way. These developments aren't related to the lack of cross-browser standards support or technical downsides of the tools we are using. No, they have a different nature. They have emerged within our design community — a community which is now so fertile and diverse that it is becoming increasingly difficult to ensure its professional maturity.

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CSS: Innovative Techniques and Practical Solutions

Although CSS isn't that difficult, useful CSS techniques are not easy to find. Sometimes finding a cross-browser solution might take time, but you don't have to reinvent the wheel every single time. Other designers may have had the same problem in the past and thus the main goal of this round-up is to share with you a goldmine of new techniques which you will hopefully find very useful and valuable. We also hope that these tutorials and articles will help you solve common design problems and find new ways of approaching tricky CSS issues.

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The main goal of the article is to present powerful new CSS techniques, encourage experimentation in the design community and push CSS forward. Please notice that we feature both experimental demos and practical techniques in this article. Next week we will present even more useful new tools and resources for front-end developers. We sincerely appreciate the efforts of the design community — thank you, guys!

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Useful Web Services, Tools and Resources For Web Designers

We know how hard it is to find good useful tools that all of your developers and designers out there spend hours searching for. And for that reason, we're regularly collecting useful online web services, tools and resources — little time-savers that can boost every designer's workflow and save time that would otherwise be required for mundane tasks.

FontFuse: Gallery of Font Pairings

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You might have seen some of these tools in our Twitter stream or on our Facebook page, but certainly not all of them. We've prepared the most useful ones (yet not necessarily the most beautiful ones) in this handy overview for your convenience. Please share any further tools with us and our readers in the comments to this post. As usual, we express sincere gratitude to all designers and developers out there who create, maintain and improve these tools as their little side projects. You really make the difference, guys. Thank you.

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Desktop Wallpaper Calendar: January 2011

We always try our best to challenge your artistic abilities and produce some interesting, beautiful and creative artwork. And as designers we usually turn to different sources of inspiration. As a matter of fact, we’ve discovered the best one — desktop wallpapers that are a little more distinctive than the usual crowd. This creativity mission has been going on for almost two years now, and we are very thankful to all designers who have contributed and are still diligently contributing each month.

Smashing Wallpaper - January 11

As the new year begins, we will continue to nourish you with a monthly spoon of inspiration for the next 12 months. This post features 65 free desktop wallpapers created by artists across the globe for January 2011. Both versions with a calendar and without a calendar can be downloaded for free. It’s time to freshen up your wallpaper!

Please note that:

  • All images can be clicked on and lead to the preview of the wallpaper and
  • 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 what wallpapers have we received for January 2011?

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25 New Free High-Quality Fonts

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

Pompadour Numeral Set

In this selection, we’re pleased to present Pompadour Numeral Set, Lato, Crimson Text, Espinosa Nova, Musa Ornata, Spatha Sans, ColorLines, Roke1984, Neuton, Avro, Baurete and other fonts. Please note that some are for personal use only and are clearly marked as such. Please read the license agreements carefully before using the fonts; they may change from time to time.

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