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Smashing Conf San Francisco

You know, we use ad-blockers as well. We gotta keep those servers running though. Did you know that we publish useful books and run friendly conferences — crafted for pros like yourself? E.g. our upcoming SmashingConf San Francisco, dedicated to smart front-end techniques and design patterns.

Author:

Sven is the co-founder and former CEO of Smashing Magazine. He's now writing at his Conterest Blog, where he focuses on blogs, content strategy, writing and publishing — all in German.

Twitter: Follow Sven Lennartz on Twitter

Google Profile: https://plus.google.com/+SvenLennartz-sf/posts

55 Free High Quality Icon Sets

We love free icons and icon sets. In the overview below we present 55 more excellent, free and professional icons for desktop and web design. Some of them can be used for both private and commercial projects. You may always use them for free in your private projects. Nevertheless, it is always worth to take a look at the license agreements — they can change from time to time. [Content Care Oct/28/2016]

Freebies Icons

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Hand-Drawing Style In Web Design

When it comes to web design too often perfect, colorful and boxy designs make the cut; however, the reality is different as it is hard to find objects with a perfect shape and a perfect color in our daily routine. To achieve a unique and communicative design we need to consider more creative approaches. For instance, we can draw sites by ourselves — or at least some parts of it. [Content Care Oct/12/2016]

The main purpose of hand-drawn elements lies in their ability to convey a personality and an individual note in times when perfect, boxy and rounded elements can be found almost everywhere. They look different and they can make a web-site look different. And this is what we usually are after in the first place.

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And in fact, this is done quite often: whether a blog, a shop, an ad, a private page, or some collaborative project — doesn’t matter whether with Flash or (X)HTML. This post presents fresh examples of hand-drawing style in modern web design. All screenshots can be clicked and lead to the sites from which they’ve been taken.

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Block Quotes and Pull Quotes: Examples and Good Practices

Quotes are used to emphasize excerpts of text. Since users almost never read but scan we need to provide them with some focus anchors to fix their attention to the most important parts of our articles. Furthermore, quotes are always used for testimonials and sometimes for blog comments. They can be styled using graphics, CSS and a little bit of JavaScript. Sometimes, creative dynamic solutions can be applied as well. [Content Care Nov/11/2016]

Screenshot Pullquote

This post presents creative examples and best practices for design of pull quotes. We’ve tried to identify some common solutions and interesting approaches you may want to use or develop further in your projects.

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35 Useful Source Code Editors Reviewed

To edit HTML- and CSS-code you only need a simple plaintext-editor — the rest depends on your skills and your creativity. However, to make your life a little bit easier, you can use some more comfortable source-code editors with advanced editing features. These features can effectively support you during coding, debugging and testing. Powerful modern editors provide developers with syntax highlighting, diff, macros, plugins, code-snippets, preview-option and an integrated FTP-management tool. Some editors go even further and offer a complete integrated development environment with numerous features and functions. [Content Care Nov/16/2016]

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In the list below we present an overview of 35 established or rather unknown — but useful source code-editors; you'll probably find "usual suspects" — your favourite editor or the editor you've once been working with. But you'll also find some rather unknown alternatives which are definitely worth considering when choosing an optimal source code editor.

Some of the "ancient" text-editors such as EMacs or Vi are still alive and have achieved a remarkable level of quality over years. We've presented them below proving that sometimes it is really better to consider preferring a rather old editor to a "fresh" one. The position of the editors in the list is rather random and doesn't necessarily correspond to our personal evaluation of the editors. Please notice: even although this overview presents quite many editors, it doesn't mention all of them.

Yesterday we've published a review of 20 WYSIWYG-editors. Now, what about useful source code editors? What is your favourite?

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20 Useful WYSIWYG Editors Reviewed

When it comes to coding editors, it's damn hard to a get a clear overview of all the benefits and functionalities different editors have to offer. However, in the end everybody needs one, so it's important to know which editor is best tailored to your personal needs.

WYSIWYG-editors are often criticized by real coding ninjas for bloated, dirty and not standards-complaint source code they've been producing over the last years. However, WYSIWYG-editors have become much better recently. Some of them even produce valid and elegant code. [Content Care Nov/15/2016]

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Sometimes you need to provide your clients with some simple tools to edit or update their web-sites. And this is where the utility of WYSIWYG-editors comes in. As a web-professional you need to provide your clients with some sophisticated advice and offer a simple yet effective tool — e.g. a WYSIWYG-editor. In this article we've tried to give you an overview of both useful and deprecated WYSIWYG-editors.

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Footers In Web Design: Creative Examples and Ideas

According to classic principles of web design, everything at the bottom of the page isn't that important. Most users think like that. And most designers are convinced that this is true. Site elements at the bottom of the page aren't really able to catch visitors' attention which is why footers are often forgotten or ignored and not given the attention they deserve. [Content Care Oct/13/2016]

In fact, most footers are rather boring and uninspiring. Designers often use the bottom area to mention everything they haven't found place for at the top of the site. E.g. disclaimers, W3C-buttons, copyright, "back to the top"-link and contact details. But if most designers forget it, why don't make use of it? Why don't use footers to impress visitors with something they actually don't expect at all?

Footers - volll

This post presents creative examples of footers and ideas for footer design. We've tried to identify some trends and some interesting approaches you may want to use or develop further in your projects.

You might also want to take a look at the posts

Basically, footers need to provide users with the information they are looking for. This is why contact details and a brief information about site or / and site owners needs to be placed in the footer. Corporate designs may need to provide driving directions, telephone number, a web form or at least an e-mail.

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The Secrets Of Grunge Design

Shiny and glossy design elements are now officially outdated. Just like retro is becoming trendy again, grungy look appears to rapidly gain on popularity. And there is a damn good reason behind it. In our everyday environment we're unlikely to find ideal geometric forms or pretty shadow effects as they are manifested by glorious Web 2.0-designs. The reality is different, and Web is definitely not an exception here.

Therefore designers often tend to explore the less ideal and more realistic design solutions which reflect the world we're living in more accurately and precisely. Result: such elements give the design a more realistic, genuine look, a look one would actually expect in real life. [Content Care Nov/09/2016]

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In such grunge designs dirty stains, torn images, "broken" icons and creased pieces of paper are as popular as hand-drawn elements and dirty textures. The main purpose of hand-drawn elements lies in their ability to convey a personality and an individual note. And dirty textures are often used as background images for navigation menus, photos and overall layouts. Usually these elements are regular objects from our daily life, replicated in their real form without any glossy effects.

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Blog Headers For Free Download

This post presents the results of the contest — 45 beautiful blog header designs you can use for free. Below the designers have described their themes, intentions and shown us some examples of how header graphics can be used. [Content Care Oct/12/2016]

Blog Header For Free Download

Blog Header For Free Download

Blog Header For Free Download

Please notice that

  • often also the source image (.ai or .psd) can be downloaded,
  • all images are clickable and lead to the full-size image of the header,
  • full-size images have the resolution of 850×200 px,
  • and you can also download graphics together with source files using corresponding links in the description.
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45 More Excellent Blog Designs

We, designers, are creative folks. And being creative, we permanently strive for inspiration — innovative approaches, crazy ideas, smashing concepts and, in general, unique designs which can help us to observe a given problem from a fresh perspective. This is why we always have some fancy design books laying around on our desk, and this is why we enjoy observing other people's work — basically just because we can learn a hell of a lot from them.

There are things one can do a number of times without worrying about becoming boring. For instance, collecting and showcasing excellent blog designs. In this post we do it already the third time. Why? Web design lives in blogs; new developments appear there, that's where the music plays. And that's where you need to look for in order to keep up with current trends and developments.

Screenshot

This post presents 45 excellent blog designs with a perfect layout and unique personal note. We haven't analyzed the content of the blogs; instead we focused on ideas, approaches, graphics and layouts.

If you miss some stunning blog designs in this showcase please let us know in the comments. However, it's also possible that these designs have already been covered in one of our previous showcases:

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