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In this overview you will find posts featuring some of the more entertaining articles which have been published on Smashing Magazine over all the years.

Quick Overview

Retro Video/DOS Games For The Weekend

We thought we’d do something a bit different for the weekend, because not everybody is actually working during the weekend. And even if we do, we deserve a break from time to time. For just this occasion, we have poured across the four corners of the Web and amassed a collection of retro games to help you make the absolute most of your break time this weekend … and possibly any break time you take from this day forth.

Now you’re ready to take some time off and unplug, let’s stroll down memory lane, the gaming way. Focusing on the days of the old DOS-based games, we sourced some emulators so that you could revisit your old favorites once again without having to downgrade your machine. So flex some willpower (or kiss your weekend goodbye) and dive into the deep end of this DOS-day throwback to get your ROM on.

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Bizarre Websites On Which You Can Kill Time With Style

Modern Web-building technologies allow designers to realize their most daring and creative ideas. Enhanced interactivity and a remarkable visual appearance can be achieved by means of such tools as Flash, JavaScript and Papervision3D, to name just a few. These strengths usually impress and entertain visitors and thus are often used for conceptual artistic presentations and promotional campaigns.

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In this post, you’ll find a collection of amusing websites that, by combining unconventional (and sometimes bizarre) ideas and clever JavaScript and Flash effects, will entice you to play on them for an embarrassing long time.

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Eye-Candy For The Weekend: Particle Animation Music Videos

Just like a couple of weeks ago, this weekend again we’ve got something unusual and creative to lift up your spirits and challenge your creativity over a lousy Sunday. Particle animation is a beautiful concept from motion graphics. Using specialized software, you can simulate the movements of particles depending on the environment  —  for instance, music rhythm.

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In today’s post we present selected particle animation music videos. Be prepared: the page may take a while to load. Please make sure to visit the sources of videos to enjoy the viewing experience in HD, and don’t forget to turn on your hi-fi-system. We also feature some tutorials in the end of this post: and here you go  —  now you have something fun to do over the weekend!

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Beautiful Examples Of Transparent Screen Trick Photos

Two weeks ago we published a showcase of beautiful pinhole photography, and this weekend again we’ve got something unusual and creative to lift up your spirits and challenge your creativity. Illusions can be eye-catching and attractive and when you apply them to computer displays, the results can be quite interesting and deceptive.

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Take transparent screen trick photos, for example. The idea is simple: you take a photo of your surroundings and set this photo as your desktop wallpaper. Once the display is positioned precisely, the transparent screen trick is achieved. Simple, but what can you do with this simple idea?

Below we present a short selection of some original transparent screen trick photos. The environments presented in these photos appear to have a completely transparent screen which creates an optical illusion. And here you go – now you have something fun to do over the weekend!

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The Beauty Of Paper Art

The times when paper was considered to be the primary medium for artistic expression is long gone. Many writers and designers use digital media to improvise and develop their ideas. However, there is something particuliar in this “physical” canvas – something that keeps us getting back to paper when we want to brainstorm ideas in a notebook, doodle around in a sketchbook, collect inspiration in a scrapbook or just draw some sketches for the next project.

Paper Tunnel

In fact, paper is even more powerful than that. It is a very flexible medium. You can use it paper only for giving your ideas and feelings forms, but also as an expressive medium for creative artworks formed out of paper. You can create a sharp-edged paper plane or ship, but also form twisted curves of nature or complicated geometrical shapes. In this weekend’s post we present a showcase of paper art; you wil find many beautiful carved, folded, cut out paper objects and realistic 3D paper sculptures, all using paper, cardboxes or even books as materials. Please make sure to follow the links to explore further works of the artists presented below.

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Plasticine Art Showcase: Shape Your Imagination

Do you remember? The first time you played with pieces of modeling clay, melting them in your hands and going deeper and deeper into the colourful plasticine world where your imagination was the only limit. Since the 19th century, when Franz Kolb and William Harbutt independently of each other invented plasticine (modeling clay), it has been used in almost all fields of art: illustration, Web design, typography, claymation, installation design.

Amy Vangsgard in Plasticine Art Showcase

Plasticine artworks can be found just everywhere: advertisements, book/magazine as well as CD/DVD covers, movies / TV series, music videos, computer / console games, and even Web design elements. Below you will find a collection of beautiful plasticine artworks that hopefully will inspire you and give you an idea about how this material can be used in your next design project.

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45 Amazing Examples Of Code Generated And 3D CG Artworks

The most interesting thing we like about art is that it is independent of any medium; an artist can express himself without any limitations or restrictions by creating a wonderful and creative piece of art. A creative artist can come up with an inspirational and motivational thought and put that in their artwork in such a way that it becomes a masterpiece that dazzles our mind.

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In this post we present some amazing examples of Code Generated, Algorithmic Abstract Artworks and CG Artworks. There are some really interesting platforms and libraries; by using them, artists can create unusual artworks. Most popular among these libraries are Flash Scripting, Generator.x, Processing (Java Based), openFrameworks (C Based) and for creating CG Art, artists are often using 3D Max, Maya, Zbrush, V Ray, Photoshop etc.

Hopefully, you’ll love them and will find them creative or inspirational. Please explore the further works of the artists linked below and also feel free to suggest other artworks in the comments to this post.

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Unique TV Series Episodes That Inspire Creativity

Whatever creative field you are striving to excel in – whether it be graphic design, web development, blogging, or writing of another kind – inspiration can be gleaned from any creative field, even if that field is not directly related to what you personally do. As artists striving to stand out in our own niches, it is important that we notice and appreciate ground-breaking or otherwise imaginative work done in a broad range of artistic spectrums.

In this article you’ll get inspiration from the area of creative writing in popular television series episodes from the past 40+ years, and we’ll discuss how the creativity achieved in these particular episodes can motivate all of us, as artists, to always strive to prevent our creations from being too normal and predictable.

The artists who wrote or co-wrote the TV Series episodes that we’re featuring here were accustomed to producing work in a familiar environment, in harmony with the shows’ usual themes and settings. But in specific instances, those writers decided to create something unique that would long be remembered and appreciated. Some of the creativity was visual, other examples were more related to adjustments in theme, and others involved a little of both.

Let’s review how these particular episodes were different from what came before, and hopefully this will inspire artists today to become motivated to similarly push their work to a new level.

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100 Obscure And Remarkable CD Covers

While recording artists and bands are busy recording their albums, a separate effort is usually being made behind the scenes to plan for the launch, promotion and circulation of the new tracks. The creation of CD cover art is an intergral part of this process.

Some CD covers feature heavily edited and airbrushed vanity photos of the musicians or recording artists. Thankfully, others are much more creative and work to create a cover image that reflects the mood, attitude or feel of the music it promotes. The most striking designs are those that capture both a buyer’s attention and the essense of the music.

Rush - Power Windows

The CD cover art designs and concepts featured in this showcase present dramatic, quirky, unusual or unique artwork. This type of cover art can make a big difference when a little-known band releases an album. Captivating or iconic cover art can make a band instantly recognizable, which increases sales, which in turn boosts airplay and subsequently demand for the music. Mainstream marketing is rarely this attractive, and the wide variety of beautiful CD cover art makes browsing CDs an enjoyable experience that reaches far beyond the music.

It must be noted that a collection of this nature is never complete, and the value of art is very personal and subjective. While we may love the familiar cover art of some classic favourites because we love the bands and the music, a critical look at the cover art can often be a disappointment. For the purposes of this cross-section of remarkable and obscure cd cover art we have chosen to ignore the musical genius of the albums in favor of showcasing brilliant cover art.

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35 Beautiful Music Album Covers

Album cover art is often considered to be one of the “extincted” fields in modern graphics design. In times when digital copies are cheaper and quicker to get, album covers have somehow lost their importance as less and less customers actually buy CDs and LPs in the stores. That’s a pity because album covers can be extremely expressive and convey the message of the album in a number of creative ways. This post attempts to prove exactly that.

Music and art go hand in hand. And the best way to get a potential buyers’ attention is with an eye catching album cover. We all know you can’t just judge a book by it’s cover but it doesn’t hurt to give a CD a spin based off a sexy piece of art.

Showcase of Beautiful Album and CD covers
Do you know the title of the album?

Below we present 35 excellent examples of beautiful, creative and impressive album covers that will certainly inspire you to head down to the local record shop and start browsing through records and labels. We have tried to address various cover designs and present both CD covers and LP covers from 60s to 2000s, however some excellent album covers are definitely missing. Please let us know about them in the comments to the post!

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The Disturbing Beauty Of Oversaturated Pictures And Lomography

‘€œLomography‘€ is a term quite unknown to most of us, but many practice it. The name was inspired and derived from the Russian “LOMO” cameras. Lomography not only refers to photographs taken with the LOMO camera, but can also apply to casual photography taken with any ordinary camera.

The characteristics of Lomo photographs are oversaturated colors, extreme optical distortions, rainbow-colored subjects, off-kilter exposure, blurring and alternative film processing, all things usually considered bad in photography. In short, Lomography is the act of taking photographs without thinking, and ignoring the established rules of “good” photography.

Just take your camera along with you anywhere and everywhere, and start taking photographs. Sometimes it will yield amazing and creative results. Because it often does, we have collected over 35 Beautiful Oversaturated Pictures (Lomography & Co.), from many amateur photographers.

The names and images below are all linked to their sources, so please feel free to check out some of the other works of these very talented photographers.

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Bizarre Surreal And Dark Art Pictures

Art is a thing that attracts almost every individual. Today we would like to share with you two different but very interesting mediums of art which are called as Surreal and Dark Art. These types of art are quite different from other conventional mediums of art. In these medium, artist conveys his thought and imagination in a very mysterious but somewhat fantastic or I should say in a bizarre style.

Dark Art

I personally like these types of arts as they express the most beautiful and positive aspects of life. Artist has much room in these types of art to motivate your life, to inspire you and to bring happiness and positivity in your life. So, here’s the collection of most momentous and conceptually imaginative surreal and dark art works.

Do have a look at these photos and do not forget to share your comments with us.

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35 (Really) Stunning Photos And Pictures

We love beautiful photography. In photos, the beauty isn’t necessarily reflected in an eye-catching combination of colors; perspectives, angle, composition and, most importantly, the idea behind the shot or the situation in which the shot was taken, are particularly important when it comes for our showcases.

Over the last months we have covered a variety of different photography arts, such as shadow photography, night photography, city photography, arial photography, urban decay and many others (you can find them in our section Inspiration). This time we present you a “mixed bag” of some truly outstanding photos and images, created by talented photographers and designers across the globe.

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Below you’ll find 35 truly stunning, beautiful and unusual photos. Every image is linked and leads to the source from which it was taken. Please feel free to explore further works of the talented photographers presented above.

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Data Visualization And Infographics Resources

Data visualizations and infographics can make complex datasets easier to understand and comprehend. By creating a graphical represenatation of data and statistics, complicated concepts and information can make more sense in less time. Many visualizations focus on representing a specific set of data or statistical information. Others focus on less-concrete topics, providing a visual representation of abstract concepts. Generally speaking, the first type appear more like graphs or charts and the latter are often more creative and imaginative.

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But visualizations and infographics can be used poorly, too. Putting in too much information (or not enough), using improper formats for the information provided, and other failures are common. Below are more than 25 useful resources for infographics and data visualization. Most are galleries of effective graphics though some also provide how-to information for information designers.

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20 Beautiful Video Motion Pieces

A show reel is the motion picture equivalent of an artist’s portfolio. It is typically used as a tool to promote an artist’s skill, talent and experience in a selected field, such as acting, directing, cinematography, editing, special effects, animation, video games or another graphic-related field. It is conventional in the film industry to have one, and it is the main tool by which an artist promotes her or his own work.

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In this episode of our inspiration series, we present 20 examples of beautiful motions pieces: stop-motion, experiments, show reels, demos, paintings and more.

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The Beauty Of Street Photography

Street photographers strive to capture the life and culture of city streets, searching for what Henri Cartier-Bresson, probably the most famous street photographer of all, termed the ‘Decisive Moment’.

When it comes to street photography, many photographers traditionally choose to work in black and white, focusing the viewer’s attention on the subject by eliminating the distraction of colour. Wide angle lenses are used by photographers who like to get in close to the action, a method that encourages interaction between the photographer and subject. Another technique is use a lens with a long focal length to take photos from a distance and throw the background out of focus.

Beautiful Street Photo

Smashing Magazine celebrates the diversity and livelinesss of the world’s streets by presenting you 50 excellent examples of street photography, urban photography and photojournalism. There are links to the photographers’ websites and also some useful links to articles and tutorials at the bottom of the post.

Please notice: we didn’t feature Garry Winogrand, Bruce Gilden, Martin Parr, Henri Cartier-Bresson and other famous photographers — their works deserve a single post.

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Celebration Of High-Speed Photography

A digital camera, some fast-moving subject, and a bit of knowledge about how to take the best pictures of moving subjects will launch you on the road to some of the most interesting photographs you’ve ever taken. Although some blurring can be effective in communicating a sense of high-speed motion, some photographers want the subject to be frozen in time to get some pretty special photographic effects.

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Below we present over 35 beautiful examples of high-speed photography, which are supposed to provide you with some inspiration of what can be done with high-speed photography. We also showcase some truly stunning slow-motion videos. All the examples are linked to their sources. You can also explore further works of the photographers we’ve featured below.

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Tribute To Graffiti: 50 Beautiful Graffiti Artworks

Street culture and graffiti are well-known for being provocative, appealing, bold and uncompromising. Originally used by gangs to mark their territory in some urban area, graffitis have now become a rich medium for unrestricted expression of ideas and statements. In fact, creative designers and artists across the globe use this form of art to deliver their message and showcase their work.

Graffiti

Probably the most prominent graffiti artist is Banksy, a famous pseudo-anonymous British artist whose works focus on topics such as politics, culture, and ethics. His art has appeared in cities around the world; it’s worth mentioning that Banksy does not sell photos of street graffiti or mount exhibitions of screenprints in commercial galleries. You can explore Banksy’s works in the Time’s slideshow The World According To Banksy. However, many different artists explore graffiti in a variety of ways.

In this episode of Monday Inspiration series we are presenting a tribute to street art and graffiti — over 50 examples of beautiful and impressive graffiti artworks. Hopefully everybody will find some inspiration at least in some of the works showcased below. Feel free to explore the works of artists by following the links to their sites.

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(Really) Stunning Pictures And Photos

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.

Mind-Blowing Photos - Sky

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.

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Excellent Book Covers And Paperbacks

Book covers are hard to design and nice to look at. An effective book cover manages to catch human’s eye and convey the idea behind the book on one single page. However, it’s getting even harder: to make a book really hard to forget, designers need to design the cover in a unique, creative and striking way. That’s not that different from Web where it’s important to build a sound information architecture upon a rather restricted design layout.

Book Covers - Book Covers

The main idea of this post is to provide you with some creative, expressive and appealing book covers. You won’t like all of them, but you’ll definitely find some designs which are worth pondering upon.

Please keep in mind: there are thousands of excellent book covers; we’ve selected only few ones which are excellent in our humble opinion. Although this selection is definitely subjective, we’ve tried to do our best to find interesting designs which make the book cover hard to forget. If you have further suggestions please comment on this post. All covers posted are the copyright of their respective holders.

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Pixels Go Mad: The Celebration Of Pixel Art

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.

Pixel Art - MCS_Einstein_patentoffice.jpg (thumb)

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.

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The Smashing Coffee Mug Photo Contest: Best Entries!

Three weeks ago, we launched a photo contest in which everyone could submit a photo of their favorite coffee mug. For those who have participated, thank you for taking shots of your beloved mugs and sending them to us. We received around 470 mugs from all over the world and only a couple of them could make it onto the poster we’ve created exclusively for our dear fans.

As promised, the most 20 creative and original submissions will be awarded with a printed poster. The ones who have been selected will be contacted via email very soon — if not already! If you’ve followed our submission guidelines, your coffee mug picture has surely made it to our jury. And if you find your coffee mug among the 150 mugs on the poster, you’ll see that your name has been included among the names of all the contributors that made this poster possible. Of course, the owner of each photo owns all the copyrights.

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

  1. 1

    I saw the “Bored?” link in the footer for the first time today. Made me laugh — even though the last thing I am right now is bored.

    How long has that link been there? –Ann

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  2. 2

    Same thing :) So nice that we found it

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  3. 3

    Ditto – just saw, and Delicious claims I’m the first to save the link with them. Hmmm…. ;)

    Hooray for new (sorta) pretties and goodies!

    -LissaRhys

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  4. 4

    LOL!
    I also find this page by clicking the “Bored?” link in the footer
    and it’s true, right now i’m bored :D

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  5. 5

    Nice collection……………………..

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