Over the last weeks we have again selected dozens of useful development and web design-related books, we've bought all of them and we wanted to give them all away to our readers — for free. Unfortunately, it turned out that some books were unavailable, some were sold out and some are still waiting for the next edition. Consequently, we've decided to give away at least the books which are available now and keep the rest for future give-aways.
Well, why would we do that? Basically, for four reasons: first, we truly appreciate our readers' support, trust and interest and we want to give something back. Second, we want to make the Web a better place and encourage designers to help us in achieving this aim. Third, we like to smash things. And well, fourth, we can afford it.
Design a style switcher and win an Apple Cinema 20 Flat Panel Display with 16.7 million colors, 400:1 contrast ratio, 0.258 mm dot pitch, 16 ms response time and 170-degree viewing angles. Yes, that's that easy. Style switchers are used to provide users with a choice of layouts, fonts, colors and views they can use to adapt the design to their personal needs. Designs with style switchers are more flexbile, more adaptive and more user-friendly as different visitors can quickly modify the design for their personal convenience.
Web designers can achieve significant usability-improvements by adding a simple style switcher to their designs. Style switchers are useful and powerful as they give users a better control of site presentation. However, this technique is almost never used and are sometimes considered to be unnecessary and useless which is simply not true. We would like to change it.
We want to motivate you to figure out how style switchers work and how you can use them to improve your designs. Read more...
Take a shot, send us the image and win a Canon Digital Rebel camera. In web design textures are needed in background-images and header graphics. Graphic designers use textures to transport some concrete aspects of real-life into the digital presentation. Textures are also used to create an atmosphere which fits to the main topic or idea of the site.
Such textures are usually extracted from photos. In fact, everybody can create them — apart from a camera no special devices or tools are necessary. You just need to find a texture and you make a shot of it. And here is where our readers come in. With this contest we want to encourage you to go out, take a camera with you, shot textures and send them to us.
Reward: one of participants of Smashing Texture contest will win the Canon Digital Rebel XT 8MP Digital SLR Camera with EF-S 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 Lens. The winner will be determined randomly. Read more...
In December 2010, we presented a number of desktop wallpapers that covered the highlights of 2010 — desktop wallpapers designed by various artists from all over the globe. It would be our pleasure, dear readers, for you to share your artworks with all of us and heartily welcome you to join in the monthly wallpaper submissions on Smashing Magazine!
A desktop wallpaper from our recent selection.
The wallpapers will be published in the beginning of every month for the next 12 months. Notice that we respect the ideas and motivation behind artists’ work which is why we give you the full freedom to explore your creativity through your work. And this is also why the theme of the wallpaper isn’t anyhow influenced by us, but designed from scratch by yourself. Read more...
In many blogs header graphics often takes a prominent position as bloggers try to impress visitors with distinctive and appealing visual elements. In fact, designed properly, header graphics can create an appropriate atmosphere and convey the style the designer has chosen. Well-designed themes can be as useful as templates, particularly if you can download them and experiment with them as you wish. However, you won't find that many sources on the Web. That's time to change it.
We'd like to create a small smashing gallery of blog header graphics which every designer could use for free and without any restrictions whatsoever. To achieve this we need the help of our creative visitors. To achieve this we need your help. Which is why we announce a Header Graphics Contest.
Update (02.02.2008): please notice that this contest is not about designing a header for the Smashing Magazine web-site. Your header graphics don't have to be related to Smashing Magazine at all. This is about sharing your skills with fellows designers and creating a free repository of downloadble header graphics. Read more...
Although Smashing Magazine is quite young, a number of things happened in 2007. Aside from dozens of articles, we've organized few contests, re-designed our weblog and we also have released two WordPress-themes and a Smashing free font.
In this post we revise what happened on Smashing Magazine over the last year. Smashing highlights, setbacks and small sensations of 2007 — in a brief overview, month by month. Read more...
Professionalism is built upon knowledge and experience. To become or remain professional, you permanently need to improve your design and programming skills, be aware of new approaches and now how other designers and developers achieve both beautiful and effective designs. And to improve your design and programming skills all the time you need bulletproof sources to learn properly and to learn from masters who have a profound understanding of the field they're working in. Renowned books from well-known designers, developers, artists and authors might be just the right thing - serving as the inspiration or helping you to stay in touch with popular techniques in your field.
Over the last weeks we've selected over 40 expert books in the fields of typography, color, graphic design, brand identity, inspiration, web design and programming, Web 2.0, usability, data visualization and simplicity.
We've ordered most of them (some books were unavailable). And we'd like to give them all away - to you and for free - as the appreciation of your trust, your interest and your support of Smashing Magazine over the last year.
How can I participate?
To participate, you have to
- answer the question "What is the best thing to start a perfect day with?" in the comments to this post (one word is enough),
- choose one book in the table (not in the list!) you like most and post the number right after the answer (on the next line).
It took us five days in a row to find five best designs for our Smashing Magazine Logo Contest. It was hard and it was a neck-and-neck race for 5 competitors. You can find selected designs in the article Logo Contest - Sketches and Designs.
And now we have the winner.
It was a tough decision to choose 5 best logos from over 190 sketches. Our choice might not look reasonable for all of you, but you have to keep in mind that the logo should fit perfectly to our color scheme and our site layout. We had to create many screenshots with different logo variation and check, whether the look we get is optimal. Not every beautiful logo we liked first passed this test, so only "bulletproof" logos remained. Read more...