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Smashing Newsletter: Issue #72

This newsletter issue was sent out to 124,431 newsletter subscribers on Wednesday, November 21st 2012. If you are not subscribed yet, feel free to subscribe to our email newsletter1 anytime.

Table of Contents

  1. Free Font. Big. Bold. Beautiful.2
  2. When User Interface Is Beautiful3
  3. Avoiding Common HTML5 Mistakes4
  4. 365 Days Of Hand Lettering5
  5. Selected Postage Stamps6
  6. Sheet: Snippets For Your Terminal Workflow7
  7. September Industry: Inspiring Graphic Design8
  8. Eye Candy From Long Forgotten Times9
  9. More Than Seven Dozen Images Of The Brain10

1. Free Font. Big. Bold. Beautiful.

Slinkster11 is a bold and whooping font created by designer Will Ryan. Made up of overlapping equally-sized circles, its geometric, modular shape resembles the bouncy Slinky toy we all remember from when we were kids.

Free Font. Big. Bold. Beautiful.12

The switchover between light and dark areas lays focus on the links inside a letter and creates a hypnotizing, multilayered, nearly 3D effect. The larger the type is set, the more fascinating it gets. The typeface includes letters, numerals, punctuation, accented characters and a few extras. Slinkster works best for large-scale applications like headers and logotypes. You can download it for free via MyFonts13. (cm)

2. When User Interface Is Beautiful

We all collect interesting and innovative examples and design solutions we find on the Web. These examples are particularly useful when featured in case-studies, i.e. articles that provide insights into the actual progress of a design from the very first mockup to the final release. Yet often what we are after are just original ideas we find elsewhere.

When User Interface Is Beautiful14

Daniel Nelson loves beautiful user interfaces. On his GUI Pinterest Board15 he has collected dozens of original interfaces and mock-ups from Dribbble, Forrst, Behance and others. If you are looking for more examples, check other UI boards16 as well. Now if that doesn’t help you get inspired, what will? (vf)

3. Avoiding Common HTML5 Mistakes

HTML5 provides us with excellent opportunities to create a meaningful and clean markup which is easy to maintain. However, every now and again you probably find yourself being trapped between the various options that you have for your markup. When exactly should you use hgroup? Is nav the right element to wrap all kinds of lists of links? Is every image a figure?

Avoiding Common HTML5 Mistakes17

Back in 2011, Richard Clark published the article Avoiding common HTML5 mistakes18, yet his tips are still quite useful and relevant today. Apart from the issues outlined above, Richard discusses why section shouldn’t be used as a wrapper for styling, what are common incorrect uses of form attributes and when header is overused. An oldie yet goodie—definitely an article worth reading and bookmarking. (vf)

4. 365 Days Of Hand Lettering

Frequently, new technologies can create the opposite effect on what might be considered beautiful, original or even creative. With the number of typefaces available online, a real artist shows her talent by merging illustration and hand lettering.

365 Days Of Hand Lettering19

Lisa Congdon shows her (hand-) drawing talents in one of her current projects called 365 Days of Hand Lettering20, in which she daily dedicates an image with a motivating message to the world. By clicking through the days, you might get inspired with the lines the artist selected for us. (tts)

5. Selected Postage Stamps

Postage stamps are among the top-ten list of the most collected articles in the world. This hobby is as popular as it is old: since the first stamps were created (around 1840), countless people discovered their passion and started gathering and classifying them. Through a postage stamp, it is possible to identify facts about the country from which it was issued, through the date of issue and architectonical, scientific and political facts. Natural items such fauna and flora are favorite themes, as well as seasonal greetings.

Selected Postage Stamps 21

Severnbiker’s Photostream22 shows us a great collection of stamps, mainly from Great Britain. In the times of The Olympic Games, one caught my attention: the World Hockey Cup in London, 26 years ago. The illustrations have strong colors and show only a section of the chosen sport. But one item is seen everywhere — the profile of Her Majesty. It seems collecting postage stamps is in, more than it’s ever been. (tts)

6. Sheet: Snippets For Your Terminal Workflow

While many of us prefer visual interfaces, for some of us, Terminal is our favorite working environment. Being able to work fast and efficiently in this environment is therefore crucial to being successful. Sheet23 will help you to optimize your workflow by enabling you to easily create and access useful snippets of code, cheat sheets, references or anything else from Terminal. It’s great for noting dev snippets that you often use, but for some reason can’t remember. In a way, it’s a great tool for creating your own personal wiki directly in Terminal.

Sheet: Snippets For Your Terminal Workflow24

The tool stores your sheets in text files which you can modify and edit, or easily put them into version control to share them across multiple systems. The tool uses either pbcopy or xclip to copy the content of a sheet to the clipboard, so it’s necessary to make sure you have one of those installed. Sheet is developed by Oscar Del Ben. You are welcome to contribute to the project on GitHub, too. (ml)

7. September Industry: Inspiring Graphic Design

Inspiration for visual art can be found in many sources: movies, galleries, nature, books, etc. Nowadays we can also resort to curated online magazines, which are perhaps one of the best ways to get quick references on graphic design.

September Industry: Inspiring Graphic Design

September Industry shows a thoroughly researched selection of high-quality artworks on graphic design and communication, such as: corporate sets, photography magazines, architecture websites and even a collection of print material that belonged to Paul McCartney. Curious? Great — this is the first step to opening your mind to creativity. (tts)

8. Eye Candy From Long Forgotten Times

Get ready for a journey through time! The OBI Scrapbook Blog25 features an impressive and constantly growing collection of vintage illustrations that will get you inspired. Originally published between the 18th century and the first quarter of the 20th century, engravings, etchings and lithographs carry you off into a world when technical progress was still made by the steam-machine.

Eye Candy From Long Forgotten Times26

Discover squiggly art nouveau ornaments, precise brush strokes that make plants and exotic animals come alive, mechanic details of tiny gear wheels and funny nonsense pictures. You can either browse the collection by topic or take a look at the list of featured illustrators. (cm)

9. More Than Seven Dozen Images Of The Brain

Neuro Images27 is a blog by “Neuroscientist turned writer” Mo Costandi, who showcases fascinating illustrations related to the brain, from stained tissue samples and handcrafted drawings and paperworks to computerized simulation and diffusion images, on the fine line between grotesque, bizarre and beautiful.

More Than Seven Dozen Images Of The Brain28

The site also posts a video called Synaptic Plasticity29, which is a playful demonstration on how new connections are made in the brain of a video-game-playing kid. And if you’ve always wanted to know what the brain of a genius looks like, discover a box with microscope slides containing ultra-thin sections of Einstein’s brain30. (ea)

The authors who have contributed in this newsletter issue are: Cosima Mielke (cm), Talita Telma Stöckle (tts), Melanie Lang (ml), Esther Arends (ea), Iris Lješnjanin (il), Vitaly Friedman (vf), Sven Lennartz (sl), Christiane Rosenberger (research), Elja Friedman (tools), Clarissa Peterson (proofreading).


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The Smashing Editorial prepares bi-weekly newsletter issues with lots of love and appreciation for the good ol' web with the latest tips and tricks for designers and web developers. Vitaly Friedman, Smashing Magazine's editor-in-chief, started this project back in early 2010. Today, we can't imagine a better way of informing and communicating with our fans and readers!

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    I’m a big fan of this bi-weekly newsletter. Thank you very much!! :-)


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