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The Smashing Email Newsletter

We love useful stuff, and we love quality writing, that’s why we send out an editorial email newsletter twice a month with useful tips, tricks and resources for designers and developers — thoroughly collected, written and edited by us exclusively for our readers. Once subscribed, you’ll receive a small token of appreciation — a free eBook just for you.

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Of course, you can cancel your subscription at any time (just check the “unsubscribe” link in the footer of the last newsletter issue). The Smashing Newsletter will always be free of charge. We respect your privacy; we will never give your data to third parties, nor would we ever spam you. You have our word!

Please keep in mind that we keep the number of ads per issue to a minimum; and to help us cover our costs, we send out at most one monthly special issue which is dedicated to Smashing projects and products. We appreciate your support, and we’ll make sure to keep your subscription worthwhile.

If you’re looking for older issues of the Smashing Newsletter, we’ve prepared all of them in a downloadable ZIP file15 (226 MB) for you starting from Issue #14.

Last Newsletter Issue #178

This newsletter issue was sent out to 231,624 newsletter subscribers on Tuesday, March 21st 2017.


Nobody likes major changes, and so major redesigns never go unnoticed. With the announcement of the open beta of the shiny new Smashing Magazine16 last week, we were literally overwhelmed with feedback, ranging all the way from surprise and delight to shock, concerns and skepticism.

The shiny new Smashing Magazine. After 18 months, we are now finally happy to launch the public, open beta.17

We’ve been introducing significant changes both technically and visually. We removed the back-end altogether. Instead, static HTML, advanced JavaScript APIs, running as a progressive web app with a service worker in the background and blazingly fast performance — served from a CDN near you. Instead of pushing advertising over the edge, we’ve taken the drastic decision of removing advertising almost entirely, focusing instead on featuring our lovely products. Visually, we have rediscovered what Smashing Magazine means and how it’s perceived, and fully embraced the quirky, informal personality that we developed over the years.

Indeed, our new journey is quite radical, and there are many reasons that prompted us to introduce major changes. One of them is the unbeatable performance benefit of static sites. Another reason is the dysfunctional advertising ecosystem which doesn’t sustain the magazine any longer. Yet another is the unique chance to design a truly smashing experience from start to finish, with the entire stack running on good ol’ HTML, CSS and JavaScript — all progressively enhanced.

We’re not stubborn though. We’ve been listening to the concerns, bugs and issues raised, and we’ll be working to improve the overall experience over the next weeks and months. Not everything is set in stone already, and I am eternally grateful for your fantastic feedback so far, and your kind support in our little journey. We’ll be sure to keep you informed of the next steps, and we’ll even have a couple of articles coming up to explain what exactly is happening behind the scenes!

Never stop learning, and stay smashing!
Vitaly (@smashingmag)

Table of Contents

  1. The Inbox Of Forgotten Emails18
  2. Home Sweet Freiburg19
  3. How To Design Clean And Fuss-Free APIs20
  4. Meet Zwizz, A Free Sans-Serif Font21
  5. A Playground For CSS Animations22
  6. Tiny Words Matter23
  7. Inspiring Podcasts For Designers And Developers24
  8. Storytrail: A Digital Travelling Experience25
  9. The Boat: A Powerful Piece Of Storytelling26
  10. Upcoming Smashing Workshops27
  11. New On Smashing Job Board28
  12. Smashing Highlights (From Our Archives)29
  13. Recent Articles On Smashing Magazine30

311. The Inbox Of Forgotten Emails

Remember that time when you wanted to send that angry email to your colleague, but you never did? Or those desperate words intended for your ex that didn’t make it out of the “Drafts” folder? Well, there’s now a place for all those embarrassing email writing moments that never reached their recipients.

Inbox Of Forgotten Emails32

An idea brought to life by Creative Mornings and Mailchimp, the “Inbox Of Forgotten Emails33” puts all those thoughts, feelings, and confessions into the spotlight that we had a hard time sharing. Some of the exhibits are plain funny (the “Sauce Hollandaise Confession34,” for example), some so relatable35 that you could sign them off without hesitation, others simply touching36. If you happen to have an email lurking in your Drafts folder that you didn’t have the courage to send off, then feel free to contribute it to the project. No worries, anonymously, of course. (cm)

372. Home Sweet Freiburg!

We are all craftsmen in a way, no matter if you create delightful experiences, snappy performances, or innovative products. While our tools now fit into the thinnest laptops or even the cloud, we still have much in common with the stonemasons and the carpenters who lived centuries before us. We have to share our knowledge in order to get better and smarter at what we do. Like in a guild.

SmashingConf Freiburg38

And what place could be better for a guild of web designers and developers to get together for a friendly conversation, to learn from each other and to spark new ideas as a location that lives and breathes centuries of crafted skills? We are headed back to the Historic Merchants’ Hall in our lovely hometown Freiburg, and we’d love you to join us there for SmashingConf Freiburg 201739.

Taking place September 11th and 12th, this conference will be two days of jam-packed real-live web design problems and techniques that you can immediately apply to your work. Umar Hansa, Alla Kholmatova, Scott Helme, Rachel Andrew, and Mathias Biilmann are among the first confirmed speakers and more will be announced shortly. Sound good? Well, tickets will go on sale Tuesday March 28, at 14:00 CET (8 AM EST). So, don’t forget to set your alarm clock — tickets are limited! See you in Freiburg! (cm)

403. How To Design Clean And Fuss-Free APIs

APIs might seem simple to create, but once you dive deeper, their real complexity crops up. A lot of them are simply hacked together from internal services, i.e. “undocumented spaghetti monsters41” that pile up technical debt and make the lives of the developers who have to work with them unneccessarily hard. But you know what? You can do better!

Ultimate Guide To API Design42

A good companion through your API endeavours is Erich Reich’s comprehensive guide To API Design43. It takes you through the necessary steps to build a good, clean footing from scratch or to refactor an existing API into something more manageable. And if that’s not enough for you yet, Rodney Rehm also put together a timeless how-to of designing better JavaScript APIs44 some time ago. An oldie but goodie sharing the most important things you have to consider when writing utilities or libraries, so that they are accessible and fuss-free to use for fellow devs. Because, well, that’s what we all wish for, right? (cm)

454. Meet Zwizz, A Free Sans-Serif Font

Sans-serif, compact, perfect for diacritic-heavy languages. That’s Zwizz46, a new free front designed by Alfredo Marco Pradil. And, well, with its horizontal and vertical termination cuts that remind us of the all-time classic Helvetica, Zwizz does indeed feel a bit Swiss.


Its compact design makes Zwizz a good fit for tight typographic compositions. Especially when set in bold on large font sizes, the typeface knows how to make a statement, at the same time it masters the art of stepping a step back in running text to give the textual content the room it needs to breathe. A timeless piece. (cm)

485. A Playground For CSS Animations

Wouldn’t it be cool to have something like a playground where you can play around with CSS animation? Just to see what effect a different delay or duration would have on your animation, for example? That’s essentially the idea behind Animista49. Ana Travas, the creative mind who brought the library to life, wanted to provide a meaningful and accessible way to test and tweak pre-made animations so you can easily reuse them in your own projects.


Animista offers a lot of customization options, from entrances and exits to text and attention-grabbing wobble effects, even background color changes. Just tweak them to your heart’s content, and, if you like what you see, copy and paste the code and you’re good to go. Handy! (cm)

516. Tiny Words Matter

It’s the small details that make a difference. A friendly error message, a witty tooltip, a placeholder that makes you chuckle. Microcopy might be a small part of your design, but one you shouldn’t underestimate. So how about some inspiration to polish up your little text snippets? Tiny Words Matter52 has some stellar examples that are bound to cater for fresh ideas.

Tiny Words Matter53

The showcase curates microcopy findings from all over the web, from buttons, labels, error messages, placeholders, tooltips, even URLs. And, well, there are some real treasures to discover. A logout screen that has the URL /see-ya-later (seen on Mailchimp), for example, a placeholder in an email form field with (Trello), or an onboarding process that promotes the site’s app with the words “Congratulations. Now you’re a real user. You deserve an app.” (Tumblr). Crafting such little sparks of delight isn’t hard, but they are a small puzzle piece that can leave a lasting impression and top off an already great user experience. (cm)

547. Inspiring Podcasts For Designers And Developers

Listening to fellow designers and developers share their stories is a great way to find new inspiration. And, well, could there possibly be a more comfortable way to indulge in these kinds of things as with a podcast? If you’re on the hunt for a new favorite podcast or eager to tune into something different for a change, the selection of podcasts55 which Design & Development Tomorrow curated has got you covered.

Podcasts For Designers And Developers56

Their list is divided into “podcasts for designers” and “for developers” and offers the right material for any type of listener, no matter if you’re interested in responsive web design, design and front-end news, UX, the future of the web, interviews or book reviews. Worth checking out. (cm)

578. Storytrail: A Digital Travelling Experience

The travel bug often bites when you don’t have the time or the money to go on a journey. But there’s something that could ease the wait until your next vacation — at least a bit: Storytrail58. Storytrail lets you explore the world’s greatest cities in little videos. Your tour guide: world traveller and co-founder Jason.


Jason will guide you through the must-sees and hidden gems of New York, San Francisco, LA and Rome (Lisbon and London will follow in summer) and tell you their curious, weird and wonderful stories. Stories about flying donkeys, buried ships, and the basement of horror, for example. What makes the experience so special is that the videos are laid out like actual walking trails through different neighborhoods so you’ll actually feel a bit as if you’re strolling through the scenic alleys, buzzing streets or sunny piazzas yourself. By the way, the site is also a great example of well-done responsive art direction: Depending on the width of your browser window, you get to see a broader or a narrower view of the scenery. Now excuse us please, we’re off to some lunchbreak travelling. (cm)

609. The Boat: A Powerful Piece Of Storytelling

Some stories are so dense, so intense, that they capture you and don’t let you go. “The Boat61” is such a story. Based on the short story by Nam Le, “The Boat” combines animation, audio, and ink and charcoal drawings into a powerful, interactive graphic novel.

The Boat62

The story told is the one of Mai, a girl whose parents send her alone on a boat to Australia after the Vietnam War. And, well, the storytelling experience really is exceptional. Each little element, each thoroughly applied animation contributes to creating an atmosphere that reflects the fear, despair, but also the hope that is linked to the escape. Take some time and see for yourself. It’s worth it. (cm)

6310. Upcoming Smashing Workshops

With so many techniques, tools, style guides, design patterns, strategies, abstractions, frameworks and boilerplates available nowadays, what do you really need to know to keep your workflow fast, smart and efficient? That’s exactly what our classes are all about: practical front-end and RWD workshops that will help you become better front-end developers and designers, today.

Smashing Public Workshops64

Workshops at SmashingConf San Francisco (April)

Workshops at SmashingConf New York — June 12

Workshops at SmashingConf New York — June 15

Public Workshops with Vitaly Friedman

Or, if you’d like to run an in-house workshop at your office, feel free to get in touch with Vitaly at vitaly@smashingconf.com81 and briefly describe what problems you’re facing and would like to solve. Don’t worry about the costs — we’ll find a fair price for sure. Get in touch — it’s that easy!

8211. New On Smashing Job Board

Here are the recent job openings published on our Smashing Job Board83:

  • Senior Experience Design / UXD – Financial Industry84 at Logic State LLC (New York)
    “This is a full time contract position. Logic State’s client base is predominantly composed of banking and insurance industry clients. Candidates that possess experience with enterprise sites involving the presentation of banking concepts and financial information are highly preferred.”
  • Front-End Designer85 at We Make Websites (London)
    “We are looking for a talented and dynamic front-end designer to help us build beautiful e-commerce websites for fashion forward brands. Someone who really cares about the client journey and final result, not just getting the job finished on time. We are the world’s most trusted Shopify Plus agency, so we’re looking for people that can design polished e-commerce experiences that are visually stunning on all screen sizes.”
  • Web Designer86 at U.S. News & World Report (Washington)
    “This position requires an excellent eye for design, coupled with a keen ability to understand user needs, behaviors, and motivations. You should have strong Photoshop/Illustrator skills and be comfortable with HTML/CSS. Strong organizational and communication skills, attention to detail, and ability to meet deadlines are also required.”

8712. Smashing Highlights (From Our Archives)

  • How To Integrate Motion Design In The UX Workflow88
    With the ever-increasing computing power of desktops, browser sophistication and use of native apps, every day we learn of new ways to push the limits of what defines a well-crafted UI. When used correctly, motion can be a key utility in helping your users achieve their goals.
  • Hex Colors: The Code Side Of Color89
    The trouble with a color’s name is that it never really is perceived as the exact same color to two different individuals — especially if they have a stake in a website’s emotional impact. Name a color, and you’re most likely to give a misleading impression. Even something like “blue” is uncertain. To be more precise, it could be “sky blue”, “ocean blue”, “jeans blue” or even “arc welder blue”.
  • Passing The Holy Milestone: How To Meet Deadlines90
    For too many projects, there comes a time when every action taken, every decision and sacrifice made, is spurred on by pressure to finish. Tempers seem to shrink along with the available days, talk about “high standards” gives way to “good enough,” and people realize that deadlines are aptly named.

9113. Recent Articles On Smashing Magazine

Design Articles

Coding Articles

Inspiration, Freebies, Misc.


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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’ll subscribe

  2. 2

    Nice and useful!

  3. 3

    done deal.

  4. 4

    Rudra Ganguly

    April 21, 2010 6:19 am


  5. 5

    I’m there :)

  6. 6


    May 17, 2010 4:32 am

    have subscribed…. now let’s see…. how useful is it? I’ll be patient…

  7. 7

    It is really awesome to have all these issue. I am enjoying a lot, thank you very… very much.

  8. 8

    Richard Diamond

    June 5, 2010 4:38 am

    I am trying to subscribe to your newsletter which was forwarded to me by a friend. You need to “confirm my address by having me click on the link in the email you just sent me”, but that is not clear, and does not seem to work for me. Can you help?
    Thank you.

    • 9

      Vitaly Friedman

      June 27, 2010 4:22 am

      Exactly. You should receive an e-mail with a confimation link. Once you clicked on it, your subscription will be confirmed and you will receive the next issue of the newsletter.

  9. 10

    Of course !! :)

  10. 11

    One of my favourite newsletters. I look forward to it every fortnight!

    Keep it up guys :)

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    thank you for being so useful, cheers :)

  12. 13

    I like it a lot, so much so I forward your recent newsletter to a couple of friends who I’m sure will sign up for it also!

  13. 14

    Smashing is one of the best magazine i have ever come across. Thanks, i lyk it guys.

  14. 15

    I just found out about this and I’m so excited! Thanks.

  15. 16

    Yay, Subscription Confirmed! :D

  16. 17

    Speaking of good design, enjoyed the article, but it’s not easy to print. You may want to think of having a print icon at the top and bottom of the article/ print friendly version that doesn’t include the comments. Great work on the content though.

  17. 18

    Subscription done..You are really good to miss out..:)

  18. 19

    On holidays at the moment and stumbled over your website while reading up on colour theory it’s fantastic thank you! Cheers

  19. 20

    im in here do smash me :d

  20. 21

    I’ve read many of your articles and I like the way they’re written and the info provided and that is the reason I am subscribing.

    Thanks! :)

  21. 22

    Oh, I always thought it’s just another way of receiving your blog articles. Good to know that the newsletter contains exclusive information! :)


  22. 23

    I find newsletters useful and generally interesting. They are a way to go beyond my inbred work inviornment.

  23. 24

    I’m happy to be here today, I had no idea that you guys sent out a newsletter! Now I’m a grateful subscriber.

  24. 25

    i am a regular visitor of Smashing MAG and i love it like anything. It acts as a supplement to my creative thrust. Although i have zillions of ideas bouncing inside my gray head, most of them are quenched and remaining pondering for something more. So i always want to be in touch with SM…. u ROCK!!!!….

  25. 26

    Great Work Guys but, Please keep the Subscribe option in an easily locatable place. I spent 10 Mins to find it.

  26. 27

    Exceptional straight forward subscription process. Also, sharing the .vcf is a great idea to forestall false-positive SPAM. Looking forward to you next issue, thanks!

  27. 28

    Its odd that I missed the last two edition, issue 35 and 36. Can you guys check my subscription status. My email is the one i used for this very comment.

    Thank you.

    • 29

      Vitaly Friedman

      July 4, 2011 11:06 pm

      Hi Joe,

      The status is perfectly fine. Perhaps your mail server marks our emails as “spam”? Could you please double-check it? Please make sure that our newsletters are whitelisted!


  28. 30

    Javier Gomez VE

    July 16, 2011 7:59 am


  29. 31

    Every single newsletter beats its reader count from the one before … amazing.

  30. 32

    Love your creativity, will follow through. Thumbs up!

  31. 33

    I love how well they express their ideas! geek ever!

  32. 34

    Strange for such an excellent site and webdeveloper-oriented bunch of geeks to have such an appalling email-signup process… ever heard of Campaign Monitor, guys?
    Just kiddin. I’m quite busy tuning MailChimp myself for some clients and it is a bit daunting to say the least. Didn’t expect to see default stuff coming from Smashing Mag though.

    cheers Peter Emil

  33. 35

    You guys just passed the 100k subscribers mark.

  34. 36


  35. 37

    you are a super team!!! great work!!!!

  36. 38

    Landon Cahow

    March 9, 2012 4:36 pm

    I’ve been subscribed to the Smashing Email Newsletter for a while now, it’s always full of great info and I look forward to getting it every time.

    Keep up the good work guys!

  37. 39

    Stefan Hansel

    April 23, 2012 9:40 pm

    Thanks for the great magazine! I’ve been reading your articles for a long time. And the Smashing Network has been a great resource too. Where has it gone?

  38. 40

    Dear Smashing Magazine , i can’t find anymore the smashing Network section !!! is it canceled ?

    Thanks in advance

    • 41

      You “have” to subscribe to get back into the network, still cant find a way round it.

      I am on my work PC, having already subscribed at home, seems like I cannot get into the network without re-subscribing….

      The smashing newsletter is great but I do not agree with the, seemingly, forceful way of gaining subscribers.

  39. 42

    Werner Swiegers

    April 26, 2012 11:33 am

    Yeah, what happened to the smashing network?

  40. 43

    Subscribed :)
    Got your Tweet

  41. 44

    Is there a way to update the emails for the subscription, I want to reroute the old email address and replace it with a new email address. The “cancel your subscription” link is not working today.

    Also is there a way get the older newsletters resent mailed, to your re-confirmed new address, just found I missed a few when they changed the work spam filters, I want the complete set in my mailbox. The newsletters are that great.

    • 45

      Vitaly Friedman (editor-in-chief of Smashing Magazine)

      December 18, 2012 3:29 pm

      The “cancel your subscription” link is actually working. Could you please try again, Eric? Thanks for your kind words!

  42. 46

    wow, looking at this list I realise just how many newsletters there have been! I signed up for the very first newsletter and have had them coming to my inbox for more than 2 years. How time flies!

    Always looking forward to the next newsletter, good stuff!

    ~ Steven Noble
    Graphics Cove

  43. 47

    done :D

  44. 48

    Heather Slabosz

    May 4, 2013 8:38 pm

    I was interested in receiving your newsletter (that I just signed up for) on this kindle fire (which I have not purchased yet) Is that possible? I will definitely not be running a data plan with it. I would just like to download to the kindle and read from there.

    I understand I can purchase the ebooks and use them on my kindle – but I am wondering if I can do the same with your newsletter.

    Much thanks, Heather

  45. 49

    How can i get regular update on activities, is there any subscribtion ?

  46. 50

    I’m trying to subscribe. I’m being sent to a wordpress login page for your domain which states that “this plugin is already installed” when i enter my email and hit the subscribe button

    • 51

      Vitaly Friedman (editor-in-chief of Smashing Magazine)

      July 26, 2013 1:05 am

      It must have been a temporary issue! Please try again, Meag!

  47. 52

    3 words, count me in.

  48. 53

    Let’s say we have an interesting article to share, could we post it for review somewhere?
    Would be nice to have to people read or opinion and tips / tricks.

  49. 54

    Jose Almonte

    March 21, 2014 6:46 pm

    I was jsut looking for some pdf books and free templates to practice what i´m learning about Semantic Web, SEO, HTML5, CSS, Prototyping, Responsive Web Design and i´m sure i´ve came to the right place.

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful content. Best regards to all.

  50. 55

    I’m surprised I can’t find anything on this! Any chance to subscribe to your newsletter by RSS?

  51. 60

    Hello, I downloaded your WP theme, but I have a problem with it. WordPress said that there is no style.css stylesheet
    Where can I get it?

    Kind regards Judith

  52. 61

    This is great! Thanks!

  53. 62

    Fakultet Gashi

    March 18, 2016 8:02 pm


    I can’t find any text about using your data on other websites. I’m gonna create a website and I want to use some of your articles. Can I do that or not ?


  54. 63

    Renata Jourdan

    June 26, 2016 8:16 pm

    Please!!! When can we have workshops in Lisbon!! :)


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