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The Smashing team loves high-quality content and cares about the little details. Through our online articles, Smashing Books, eBooks as well as Smashing Conferences, we are committed to stimulating creativity and strengthening the web design community’s creative forces.
What's the best way to start a new year? Not just with resolutions and good intentions, but with good deeds! Therefore, today we have the pleasure of announcing that a new Smashing Book is on its way. And not only that: it's not just a book but an annual event.
Is the book really coming? In all honesty, the Smashing Book 1 could have been better in several ways: the overly long shipping times and poor quality of the binding were critical mistakes we made with that first book. But we did our homework and learned from our mistakes. We wanted to make the Smashing Book 2 better than its predecessor in every respect: the hardcover book will cost $29.90 USD (like the first one), but it will have more pages and much better binding and will be more comprehensive and of higher quality.
As you read this, the Smashing Book 2 is already in the final stage of production: printing started in late December. This means we will start shipping the books by February at the latest, and the pre-order period will be much shorter than the one with Smashing Book 1. You can pre-order your copy today and get a huge discount: 20% off the regular price.
Web typography has evolved a lot over the last years. Today we see rich, accessible typography, a plethora of type design choices for the web and a number of remarkable, type-based web designs. It's a great time for web design, and it's a great time for web typography. Still, being as excited as we are, we should not forget about the foundational principles of good type design on the web and use them properly within our projects. Great choice is good, but, most importantly, we should be making meaningful typographic choices in our designs.
In this post we present an extensive overview of educational resources, tools, articles, techniques and showcases all related to web typography. Please notice that the overview presents resources which we have stumbled upon, discovered, collected and reviewed over the last six months. This round-up is quite long, so save some time for a thorough study.
Feel free to make yourself a cup of tea or coffee right now because you'll be investing an hour or so in today's post. We've published our last icons round-up six months ago and since then we've collected over 50 new free high quality icon sets that you can use for your projects. While most freebies may be used for commercial projects as well, some of them may not. However, you could use all of them in your private projects. If the set is available for private use only, it's clearly indicated in the caption.
Please always read the disclaimers carefully before using the icons — they do change from time to time. We truly respect and appreciate the efforts and the hard work of designers of the icons featured below. Thank you for your contributions to the community, guys! Also, if you are planning to release a high quality freebie, please let us know via Twitter or by contacting us using our contact form — we would love to feature you on Smashing Magazine!
There are tools that make our lives much easier. However, finding those obscure time-savers which would save time in every single project isn't easy and requires a lot of time. At Smashing Magazine, we are regularly looking for such useful tools, gather them, review them and eventually prepare for a truly smashing round-up. Such posts are quite lengthy and extensive, but they are always worth checking out.
In this post, you'll find an overview of useful and handy tools that can help you increase your productivity and improve your workflow. Some tools are more general, the others are more technical, yet we hope that this round-up has something to offer to every one of our readers. Please feel free to leave your comments and share with us which one of the tools you've found most useful and interesting.
Lately, Apple Keynote has been gaining popularity among designers as a wireframing and prototyping tool. Features like multiple slide masters, styles, grouping, animation and hyperlinks make it ideal for crafting interactive prototypes and UI narratives. Today's freebie, Keynotopia, is a free set of interface elements for Keynote that makes it possible for anyone to create these prototypes in minutes. All elements are hand-crafted in Apple Keynote, and organized in nested groups for easier manipulation and customization. The templates can be used in Keynote 09 and 08 and are designed by Amir Khella.
Start with a blank presentation, and create a new slide for each application screen. Then copy/paste elements from the wireframe templates into your slides, and edit their labels, sizes and colors. To save time, group elements together, and use master slides to share common interface and navigation components across multiple screens. Finally, add hyperlinks to enable user interaction, and use slide transitions to create cool interface animations.
Today we are glad to release a yet another freebie: Polaroid Magento Theme, a professional design skin for the shops powered by the popular open-source ecommerce web application Magento. The theme was designed by eCommerce-Themes and released for Smashing Magazine and its readers. As usual, the theme is absolutely free to use in private and commerical projects.
The theme is released under GPL. You can use it for all your projects for free and without any restrictions. Please link to this article if you want to spread the word. You may modify the theme as you wish.
Today we are glad to release a yet another freebie: a beautiful Modernist WordPress theme, designed by Rodrigo Galindez and released for Smashing Magazine and its readers. The theme is based on the design ideas of Jan Tschichold, Josef Müller-Brockmann, Dieter Rams, and other modernists. Beautifully built yet transparent, it was designed with a focus on optimal typography in order to better showcase your content: text, images and video.
The theme supports widgets, is SEO optimized, has clean and documented code. It is loading very quickly, and has various WordPress 3.0 features. Works in IE 6+ and all versions of Safari/Firefox/Opera. Includes CSS3 enhancements. As usual, the theme is absolutely free to use in private and commerical projects.
You may be interested in the following related releases:
Today we are glad to release CMS Icon Set, a set with 12 high quality icons in 48×48px, available in the .png-format. The set was designed to be used in content management systems, but can also be useful for other user interface designs. This goodie was designed by the Russian design studio Pixel-Mixer and released especially for Smashing Magazine and its readers.
Download the icon set for free! You can use the set for all of your projects for free and without any restrictions. You can freely use it for both your private and commercial projects, including software, online services, templates and themes. The set may not be resold, sublicensed or rented. Please link to this article if you want to spread the word.
The word chocolate can be associated with many words: dark, white, milk, hot, sweet, spicy, etc. But have you tried to combine it with the word web design? We did. We searched the Web for websites in any way related to chocolate and what we found is worth to be collected in this showcase. The interesting thing is that you would probably never stumble upon some of the sites, so the overview below may provide you with a unique perspective and get your creative juices flowing.
As one would expect, chocolate website often use an appetizing brown dominant color. If you take time to look at the panel of colors associated with it, you will find out that there is a lot of combination working really well. Apart from this component, each site is unique and features an original identity, depending on product presentation and given information.