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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.

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The Smashing Book 2 Is Available: Get Yours Now!

The Smashing Book 2 is here. It's printed. It's available. And it's being delivered worldwide at this very moment as you are reading this. All pre-ordered books have been sent out from our warehouse via air mail and should reach all countries soon. In fact, some readers have already received a copy of the book. What didn't work the first time with the Smashing Book 1 has been hopefully accomplished this time. We've worked very hard to produce a high quality, valuable book for you, guys. So here it is, the brand new printed hardcover Smashing Book 2.

Smashing Book 2

The Smashing Book 2 is a printed book about best practices in modern Web design. The book shares valuable practical insight into design, usability and coding. It provides professional advice for designing mobile applications and building successful e-commerce websites, and it explains common coding mistakes and how to avoid them.

You'll explore the principles of professional design thinking and graphic design and learn how to apply psychology and game theory to create engaging user experiences. We also feature interviews from experts on the future of Web typography and describe how you can publish a book on your own. You can buy the book now.

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Free Minimal, Swiss Design WordPress Themes (4 Themes)

In this post we release yet another freebie: an original set of four exclusive minimal, clean WordPress themes designed by Marios Lublinski and released for web design community. As usual, the themes are free to use for private as well as commerical projects. The themes are beautifully built with minimal and clean designs. These themes will come handy for artists, graphic designers, illustrators and photographers who'd like to have a clean, minimal portfolio to showcase their work.

The themes are simple but powerful, with a touch of traditional Swiss design and layout techniques. The unique style and design is what separates these themes from others. You will also be able to withhold the focus on your work, since you are the artist and should be in control of what the observer sees when visiting your site. Each one comes with a full video overview and support of how to use and manage it.

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Educational Resources For Web Designers

Web design community is strong and hard-working. We have plenty of useful resources, tools and services created, developed and released every single day: apart from goodies such as free fonts or icons, there are also many educational resources and little time-savers that can significantly improve designer's workflow. We permanently look out for the new projects and support them by presenting them on Twitter, Facebook, in our e-mail newsletter and, evidently, in Smashing Magazine's posts.

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Today we are glad to present one of such posts: an overview of handy new resources for web designers; most of them were released recently, but some of them are a bit older. Still, they were included to supplement the overview, making the post more comprehensive and complete. Please feel free to discuss the featured resources in the comments to this post. And, of course, thank you guys for creating and maintaining all these useful resources. Your efforts are deeply appreciated.

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New Year, New Book: Smashing Book 2 Is Coming: Pre-Order Now!

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.

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Smashing Book 2, Pre-Order Now, $23.90 or €19,10

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.

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Desktop Wallpaper Calendar: December 2010

Desktop wallpapers can serve as an excellent source of inspiration. However, if you use a specific wallpaper for a longer period of time, it becomes harder to draw inspiration out of it. That’s why we have decided to supply you with smashing wallpapers for over 12 months. To make them a little more distinctive than the usual crowd, we’ve decided to embed calendars for the upcoming month. So if you happen to be searching for a specific day of the month, isn’t it better to show off a nice wallpaper with a nice calendar instead of launching some default time application?

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This post features 40 free desktop wallpapers, created by designers across the globe for December 2010. Both versions with a calendar and without a calendar can be downloaded for free.

Please notice:

  • all images can be clicked on and lead to the preview of the wallpaper;
  • 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 December 2010?

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Web Typography: Educational Resources, Tools and Techniques

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.

A Typographic Anatomy Lesson

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.

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50 New Free High Quality Icons Sets

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.

Cupcake icon

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!

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50 Powerful Time-Savers For Web Designers

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.

House of Buttons

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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.

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Keynotopia Wireframing Set: Free Wireframing Templates for Apple Keynote

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.

Wireframe templates for Apple Keynote

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.

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