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Smashing Newsletter: Issue #77

This newsletter issue was sent out to 130,198 newsletter subscribers on Tuesday, February 5th 2013. If you are not subscribed yet, feel free to subscribe to our email newsletter1 anytime.

Dear Friends,

Our brand new Mobile Book2 was a labor of love. But the love doesn’t just stop there! We’re giving away 20 exclusive A3-sized (11.6 × 16.5 inches) poster sets designed and created by the oh-so-talented Mike Kus, whose abstract illustrations are featured throughout the Mobile Book.


How can you get your hands on one of these posters, you ask? All you need to do is comment on this post4. If you haven’t got the Mobile Book yet, you can still get your book today5! The hardcover book features everything you need to know as a designer, developer or mobile strategist to be prepared for the future.

Kind Regards,
The Smashing Editorial Team

Table of Contents

  1. Swiss Modernism: The Punk Way6
  2. Your Own Remote Mobile Lab7
  3. Jam For The Soul8
  4. The Photographic Journal9
  5. Seeking New Adventures: Smashing Workshops10
  6. Designing Empty States, Intro Videos and UIs11
  7. Travelling Library Of… Sketchbooks12
  8. Stories And Faces Of Graphic Design13
  9. Smashing Highlights (From Archives)14
  10. New on Smashing Job Board15
  11. Recent Articles on Smashing Magazine16

1. Swiss Modernism: The Punk Way

What do Foo Fighters, Iggy Pop, Radiohead, Pearl Jam, and Patti Smith have in common with Swiss Modernism? Hardly anything. Well, at least at first sight. Swissted17 proves otherwise. The personal project of New York-based graphic designer Mike Joyce combines both his love for punk rock and Swiss Modernism by redesigning old show flyers into typographic posters.

Swiss Modernism: The Punk Way18

The still-growing collection already contains hundreds of vintage punk, hardcore, New Wave and indie rock posters of shows that have actually taken place. Each design is set in lowercase Berthold Akzidenz-Grotesk Medium and comes with the bold and clear look that is characteristic of Swiss graphic design. A rich source for typography and music lovers alike that is a real pleasure to look at. (cm)

2. Your Own Remote Mobile Lab

Every Web designer will know this one — and groan sympathetically. You’ve just finished designing your new website. It’s mobile first or responsive or just optimized for mobile and looks great on your mobile phone. Now comes testing on other mobile platforms. And this is where the headaches usually start. If only you could preview it simultaneously in different mobile formats from the get-go. Remote Preview19 to the rescue!

Your Own Remote Mobile Lab20

Viljami Salminen’s JavaScript library allows you to preview a URL on a variety of mobile platforms simultaneously. Copy and paste all files to a public Dropbox folder/server/localhost, edit the “url” file and wait for devices to refresh. The script makes an Ajax call every 1100 ms to see if anything has changed. And here’s the kicker: it has browser support for Andorid, BlackBerry, iOS, Mac OS X, Maemo, Meego, Symbian, Symbian Belle, WebOS, Windows Phone and Windows 7. This little tool is one big mobile lab rolled into a relatively tiny bit of code. Ingenious! (jc)

3. Jam For The Soul

Ever noticed how a live concert always sounds better than a recording? The recording will usually be much more perfect, with clean sound and no wrong notes; it’s the idea of a music piece. Live, however, you hear and feel the soul of the artist. And if you live in a town or city with few live music events, you can find yourself traveling long distances to experience the heart of music. Maybe The After Bedtime Sessions21 can offer some succor.

Jam For The Soul22

Drew and Lacey Williams’s live recordings of evening jam sessions with friends aren’t antiseptic, they’re all heart, all music and wrapped in a well-designed site. Their sweet, and at times melancholy, bluegrass songs will transport you back to those late-night jam sessions with friends. Whether you were playing or just letting the music and warmth flow over you, the moment was always displaced out of time. This is what a jam session should do; this is how Drew and Lacey’s music makes one feel — temporally suspended in a bubble of soulfulness. (jc)

4. The Photographic Journal

It’s true that most people don’t have only one passion or talent, and it’s the same with designers. If having to choose between illustration, typography, lettering or photography means to sacrifice the other ones… then how about combining all of them?

The Photographic Journal23

This was exactly what Agustin Sanchez and Dan Rubin did when they created the Photographic Journal24. Every two weeks, they publish photo contributions that display modern photographer’s intent, process, and drive to create. The goal of the project is to study those who maintain the craftsmanship of the past and who wake up every day to try again. The curators are constantly looking for contributors — so if you have a passion for photography, maybe you can submit your photo and story as well. (tts)

5. Seeking New Adventures: Smashing Workshops

We are always looking for new challenges that go beyond the scope of our regular work, and we are never afraid of new adventures. Last year, we organized a series of meetups and our very first Smashing Conference—both fantastic opportunities for us to connect with our readers and create memorable, exciting and unique experiences that delivered value for everybody involved!

Seeking New Adventures: Smashing WorkshopsSeeking New Adventures: Smashing Workshops25

This year, we’ll be running a series of full-day Smashing Workshops with the most talented, skilled and passionate experts in the field of Web design. The workshops will take place in our home town Freiburg (Germany) just at the foot of the legendary Black Forest. Here’s a quick overview of the upcoming workshops:

Trust us—you won’t be disappointed. The workshops convey practical tips and techniques that will prove to be very useful and valuable in your regular work. And, of course, we would be honored to meet you! (vf)

6. Designing Empty States, Intro Videos and UIs

Everything is just like you intended it to be: the user gets to your landing page, finds the wonderful, shiny call to action and signs up for your service. You’ve persuaded the user to download your application, yet your job isn’t done yet. Now it’s time to convince the user to actually use it, too. That’s why onboarding is so important, and that’s why the design of “empty states” — the screens the user sees when just starting to use the application — is so critical.

Designing Empty States, Intro Videos and UIs28

If you don’t quite know how to engage your users to get started, look at Craig M. Dennis’s Empty States tumblog29. Craig collects both good and not-so-good examples of empty states, showing you what you might want to try out and what you might want to avoid in your design. You might also want to check out AppScreens: Demo Videos30 as well as Content & Chrome, a blog that collects interesting UI concepts and demos, as well as links to quotes and useful articles. (vf)

7. Travelling Library Of… Sketchbooks

As creators of art, we tend to see our artwork as an online artifact of its time. Perhaps as something that exists only within the boundaries of our online reach, be it our online portfolio, online shop or design-related blog posts. But what if we actually sent our artwork on a real, physical journey throughout the world?

Travelling Library Of… Sketchbooks31

That’s what the Sketchbook Project32 is all about. It’s an ongoing project that attempts to reach as many people in as many places with as many books as possible. Artists and designers are encouraged to get an official campaign sketchbook (costs $25 or $60), register it for a tour using the attached bar code, start drawing and sketching, mail it back to the organizers and pick a tour, and then the sketchbook will go on its own journey.

Once the tour is finished, the book is added to the Brooklyn Art Library in New York, which already includes over 26,000 sketchbooks from over 130 countries. A fantastic opportunity to explore your own creative skills and become a part of a digital artifact of its own. (vf)

8. Stories And Faces Of Graphic Design

If you are the type of person who loves to delve into history and discover remarkable people and what they created, then you will love to delve into the AZ Project33. This unique publication takes you on a journey through the evolution of and fundamental approaches to international graphic design — through a series of articles and illustrations about some grand people and their projects, from A to Z.

Stories And Faces Of Graphic Design34

Read about Xanti Schwawinsky who designed the poster for Olivetti’s first portable typewriter, MP1, or learn how Otl Aicher designed the crane in flight Lufthansa logo in the 1960s. AZ Project is a graphic design project by Dario Russo and Pasquale Volpe, and is a unique tool for students, teachers and researchers, as well as anyone else who is interested in the field of graphic design. The publication is also available for free download as PDF35. (ea)

9. Smashing Highlights (From Archives)

  • Design Process In The Responsive Age36
    An insightful look into an evolving design process that Drew Clemens has been using with some promising new deliverables and tools. This should provide a starting point for you to freshen up your own process and bring it into the responsive age.

  • iCandies: Free Icons For Your User Interfaces and Apps37
    60 high quality icons that provide crisp, attractive visuals for your modern and fashionable-looking interfaces. Available in 64×64px, 48×48px and 32×32px (.EPS, .AI and .PNG).

  • Applying Macrotypography For A More Readable Web Page38
    This article focuses mostly on a few simple macrotypographic techniques—with a dash of micro—and on how to combine them all to build a more harmonious, adaptable and, most importantly, readable Web page.

10. New on Smashing Job Board

Here are the job openings published recently at our very own Smashing Job Board39:

  • Frontend Developer40 at Seso Media Group (Los Angeles, CA)
    At Seso we build digital experiences that matter by curating complex data sets into compelling stories. Our human-centric approach allows our clients to move their audiences through playful interaction. We work with healthcare, museum, science and government partners as well as major brands and organizations around ideas that make a difference in the world.

  • Interaction Designer41 at Everlane (Los Angeles, CA )
    At Everlane, we’re rethinking the way retail works. We have no physical stores, no middlemen taking their cut and no crazy brand markups. Instead, we design our own luxury basics and sell them exclusively at

  • Freelance/Contract Web Designer42 at Center for American Progress (Washington DC)
    The Center for American Progress is looking for a web designer to help with occasional design work on a number of projects. We’re looking for an experienced, professional web designer with a knack for modern, semantic, responsive, standards-based design. He or she should be able to create and refine site designs that not only look great, but adapt to a wide range of platforms, devices, and screen sizes.

11. Recent Articles on Smashing Magazine

The authors in this newsletter are: Esther Arends (ea), Cosima Mielke (cm), Lindsay McComb (lm), 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!

  1. 1

    I’d love to get one of your “exclusive” posters :)
    Thanks for great insigth and fascinating articles on everything about the web !

  2. 2

    I’m with Isaac! I would love a poster too!

  3. 3

    Meg Schneider

    March 15, 2013 5:59 am

    Same! I’d love to have your posters :)


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