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December 20 2011

02:22

Last Minute Gift Guide For The ‘Design Snobs’ In Your Life

Ok ok, we aren’t ALL snobs, but we know what we like and there isn’t anything wrong with that. We enjoy well designed products and we get giddy when we see beautiful & functional accessories. We like things that look good on our desk, next to our bed, travel with us or just look downright damn good on us.

Ok kids, pull out your wallets and don’t forget to tack on some extra for shipping if you need it before the 25th. You know you’re a slacker, that’s why you clicked on this post.

The D.I.Y. Mighty Wallet, $15

The Blank DIY Wallet

Be Creative, Be Mighty! The D.I.Y. Mighty Wallet has a writable surface you can draw on with pens and permanent markers to personalize it and make it your own or to give it to someone special as a one of a kind gift.

BUY IT NOW.

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Camera Table Dolly $90
You know that nauseous feeling you get while watching your family’s shaky home videos? The one that you always blame on your parents’ stunning fashion choices?
The Camera Table Dolly is here to make sure your videos don’t come with a side effect of nausea. While it won’t teach your parents how to dress, it will give your videos a smooth, professional look.
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or grab up some last minute gifts from my favorite store fab.com
because who doesn’t need a scrubber ducky? http://fab.com/sale/2323/product/40284
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Glif, $20

glif_0

The Glif is an iPhone 4/4S accessory with two primary functions: mounting your iPhone onto a tripod and propping up your iPhone at various angles. Our goal was to create something small, simple, and elegant. But out of this simple design emerges countless uses. Mount your iPhone to a tripod for taking great pictures or making movies. Prop your iPhone up for hands-­free FaceTiming or to watch videos.

BUY IT NOW or BUY THE WHOLE SET.

Plus Pack for the Glif, $12

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The +Pack is for those that already own a Glif, but want the Serif and Ligature add-ons. It’s the “+” part in Glif+.

The Serif is designed to keep your iPhone incredibly secure on the tripod. While the Glif is great for normal use, the Serif will keep your phone safe in more extreme situations. And, when you are not using the Serif, it fits snuggly inside the Glif, making it very compact.

BUY IT NOW or BUY THE WHOLE SET.

Places on Earth (print w/pins), $180

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Signed screen printed on black Somerset 280gsm and limited to an edition of 250. Size: 34.5″ x 26.25″

Each print comes with 52 pins, 50 are orange, 1 is red and 1 is blue. Red is for headquarters, blue if for your next target.

Created exclusively for the Royal We by Oliver Jeffers, this limited edition signed print is a hand drawn map of the world. The whole world. With pins. But it isn’t to scale, because that would be very hard to ship. Screen printed in Brooklyn using white ink on black paper.

BUY IT NOW.

Roll Up Travel Charger, $34

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This portable charger minimizes cable clutter and maximizes style by placing multiple charging outlets on a single bar that rolls up into a slip-proof, polyurethane mat. You can refuel up to 4 devices simultaneously while occupying just a single wall outlet.

BUY IT NOW.

iPhone Minidock, $24

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The MiniDock by Blue Lounge keeps your iPod/iPhone off the floor. It plugs right into your original power adapter (not included) to create a wall mounted charger docking station with no trailing cables. Exclusively for the iPhone and iPod.

BUY IT NOW.

PlugBug, $35

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One accessory lets you charge two devices at once.

PlugBug is made exclusively for all MacBook Power Adapters, including current and previous models. Snap PlugBug onto your MacBook Power Adapter and you now have the first ever device that lets you charge your MacBook + iPad or iPhone simultaneously, from one wall outlet.

BUY IT NOW.

Grid-It (Medium), $22

Screen Shot 2011-12-19 at 7.59.46 PMThe Grid-It organization system is a unique weave of rubberized elastic bands made specifically to hold personal objects firmly in place. Designed to provide endless configurations of digital devices and personal effects. Slim design and conveniently sized for your current laptop bag or travel case, lets you easily find what you need. Features rear zippered pocket for additional storage.

BUY IT NOW.

Lux Delux – Cups, $18 each

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Might as well look good while you’re drinking your coffee or tea.

BUY IT NOW.

Mute Watch, $260

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GLOW, SWIPE AND VIBRATE

The Mutewatch is designed to be simple and intuitive. Just tap the flat surface and the touch screen lights up, then swipe through the functions clock, alarm and timer.

You set the time for your alarms by tapping directly on the digits – tap on the top of the digit for a higher number or on the bottom of the digit for a lower one. When you want to erase an alarm, simply pinch the touch screen.

The Mutewatch also features a built-in motion sensor that registers your movement and automatically adjusts the strength of the vibrations. So, whether you’re sleeping, on stage giving a presentation or doing your work out, the Mutewatch will keep you updated on your next step.

BUY IT NOW.

Nixon Watch – The Chalet, (3 color choices) $200

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MOVEMENT: 3 hand Japanese quartz. CASE: Custom 30 meter stainless steel with hardened mineral crystal, real wood, or enamel inlay and double gasket crown. BAND: Custom solid stainless steel with real wood, or enamel inlay and butterfly closure.

BUY IT NOW.

Poster Clips, $10

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Nickel-plated display clips for hanging your posters, art prints and other cherished ephemera with style and ease.

BUY IT NOW.

Incase – Snapcase, Warhol Collection, $40

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As a cutting-edge visual artist, Andy Warhol understood and embraced technology and saw it as the future of contemporary culture and the arts. The Warhol edition Snap Case for iPhone 4 features some of the artist’s most beloved works along with the same reliable protection and easy attachment of our standard Snap Case.

BUY IT NOW.

Burning Love Desk Pad, € 50.00

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Classic Felt deskpad of Burning Love from Wiesbaden. A leather strip on the side brings order to your desk and it looks great. The soft material requires no additional mouse pad. 100% felt and a leather patch with blind embossing on Burning Love 75 x 75 cm.

BUY IT NOW.

Book Holder, € 14.90

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A bookmark for the wall. Beside the bed….Material: steel powder coated. Dimensions: 4.5 x 22.5 cm. Color: black, white.

BUY IT NOW.

Desk-It Weekly Calendar, $10

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The Desk-It is a combination of sticky note and calendar. You can write down your to-dos for the week then tack up the sheet on your computer or wall as a reminder. You can stick it to the refrigerator for weekly menu planning or grocery list. Once you’re done, just tear it off and enjoy your sense of accomplishment.

BUY IT NOW.

Camera Table Dolly, $90

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You know that nauseous feeling you get while watching your family’s shaky home videos? The one that you always blame on your parents’ stunning fashion choices? The Camera Table Dolly is here to make sure your videos don’t come with a side effect of nausea. While it won’t teach your parents how to dress, it will give your videos a smooth, professional look.

BUY IT NOW.

Headphone Stand, $59

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This versatile headphone stand will be your best companion to protect, showcase and organize your favorite headphones. Featuring an adjustable height arm bar, it is suitable for almost any headphones in any size and shape. Its stylish and heavy-duty design is made for daily use for years to come.

BUY IT NOW.

Jawbone Jambox, $150

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BUY IT NOW.


Marshall Heaphones – Major, $119

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The Major encloses vast amounts of the massive Marshall legacy. The exterior of the headband is made out of the same vinyl used in Marshall amplifiers and it bears the original Marshall texture. Besides being straight up dazzling.

The Major is a solid workhorse with great stamina, designed with non-stop, all-day listening in mind.

BUY IT NOW.

Fab.com Gift Guide

If you don’t find something that fits your fancy on our list, be sure to grab up some last minute gifts from my favorite store fab.com!

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There’s still time to pick up some amazing design gifts for the holidays. Think whimsical scrubbers, hanging planters, fabulous handbags, futuristic watches, and talking clocks.

CHECK IT OUT.

and…if you’re not sure what to pick….

Who doesn’t need a scrubber ducky?

40284-360x360-1322498793-primary

BUY IT NOW.

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Last Minute Gift Guide For The ‘Design Snobs’ In Your Life

September 28 2011

16:35

10 Reasons to Fall In Love & Get Things Done – Bundle

From the legendary Fusion Ads & Carbon Ads comes a sweet giveaway that’s sure to wet anyones app palette. 10 Reasons to fall in love and get things done is the perfect bundle for designers, creatives, photographers, get-things-doner’s… (I think you see my point…) The best part? It’s been extended three days so procrastinators can unite! Tomorrow…The site is beautifully designed with a typeface by Gerram Lamson, Backgrounds via Subtle Patterns & icons by Drew Wilson.

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The Skinny

All 10 of these great apps, for one price of $29.99. Several of these apps retail for over that amount so this is a stellar bundle you don’t want to miss out on!! Theres also a change to win an iPad by tweeting about the bundle to win. Hop on over to check out the full details here.

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10 Reasons to Fall In Love & Get Things Done – Bundle

July 21 2011

04:18

Online Proofing Solutions For Everyone

Effective communication is key to moving design projects forward and is especially important for proofing. In an ideal world, designers and clients would meet face-to-face, but in reality client schedules and locations make it impossible, leaving electronic communication as the only viable option. What designers need is a virtual workspace where they can communicate with their client much like how they would in person. Emails do this to an extent but they are painful to keep organized, make it impossible to mark-up proofs, and require more work from the client and designers than they care to invest.

With so many marketing firms, design agencies, and in-house creative teams, there should be at least one software option out there that works better than email, right? There are actually several tools that can significantly make the proofing process easier and take the stress of project review down a notch. These types of tools offer you a way to automate the proofing process and send feedback to your client and vice versa without jumping through unnecessary hoops. This article lists and briefly describes many potential tools that can streamline your proofing process and make your relationship with clients less of a headache. But first, I need to point out a few factors that can effect which proofing software you choose.

Size can be a big factor in finding a proofing software that works for you. Are you a small company or a freelancer? Maybe you want something that is simpler and more straight forward. Do you manage a large corporate creative, publishing, or design team? A proofing software that offers advanced scheduling and workflow management might make your job easier. Your size and the size of your clients also play into the many security factors you should consider.

Large Agencies and Corporate Creative Departments

If you manage the proofing process for a large agency or company, you might find value in a software that not only gets the job done but also does so in an efficient and organized manner. You will want something that has advanced workflow and scheduling capabilities to make managing your team easier. In terms of security, your clients may prefer their projects hosted on a server that you own and manage rather than a third-party server. This requires more configuration and maintenance on your part but will put your clients’ minds at ease when they know their digital assets are in trusted hands.

Approval Manager

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Approval Manager includes an integrated annotation tool along with email notifications. It offers advanced workflow and schedule management features which makes it a good solution for larger teams and design firms. Approval Manager also is hosted locally by the user on a personal server so security issues are managed in-house. There is a free version available along with an upgraded version that offers more features.

ConceptShare

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ConceptShare also offers an annotation tool for marking up and commenting on proofs along with notifications. Users can organize their proofs into collections, workspaces, and folders so they can easily navigate through their proofs. The entire proofing process, including uploaded files, are hosted on ConceptShare’s website. Their website offers a free trial and four separate editions that offer different capabilities based on team size.

ProofHQ

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ProofHQ is a lot like ConceptShare in that the whole process is hosted online. ProofHQ includes a basic annotation tool, folders for organizing your files, file versioning, and email notifications. Prices range from $17 – $299/month which are based on the number of users, storage size, and the number of proofs per month.

Small Creative Teams & Boutique Agencies

Small design firms may be able to get away with a proofing solution that doesn’t offer as many features as the ones discussed above. As a manager of a small team of designers something that is simple and cheap might be best for your needs. Hosting on a third-party server might be another desirable option because it is easy to setup and you don’t have to waste your resources on maintenance. Granted, this option isn’t as secure as hosting locally, but it is a practical option for a small design firm.

Backboard
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Backboard is a simple online proofing tool that allows you to mark-up a proof using a red pen tool. Users can set deadlines and receive notifications on those deadlines along with feedback and new proof versions. Users can also upload their existing contact lists to Backboard to easily mail out their proofs to existing colleagues and clients. All projects are hosted with Backboard and plans range from $6 – 50/month.

Notable
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Notable allows you to take a screenshot of your design, upload it to their website, and receive and share feedback between your team members. It also offers user workspaces for organizing screenshot based on projects and clients. Notable offers a limited free version, a free trial, and basic paid plans ranging from $19 – $49/month.

ProofQuick
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ProofQuick is much like Backboard in that it is a quick and simple online hosted solution for small team proofing. It also offers notifications and an integrated markup tool. ProofQuick was originally built specifically for the yellow page industry but can be used for a variety of purposes. Their website offers a free 15-day trial.

Freelancers

Whether you’re a novice designer or independent expert, a simple and free (or close to free) proofing software solution might be your best bet. If you don’t have as many clients as bigger firms, workflow or scheduling management capabilities may not be essential. You can probably get away with a software that directly emails your clients the proofs and allows the clients to quickly make comments and email them back when they are finished with their review. In this case, the simpler, the better.

Redmark
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With Redmark you can upload an image and send it off to your client for review. The client can then use Redmark’s online annotation tool to comment on the image and email it back to you when they are finished. It also offers a way to archive and view past versions of the image. Redmark is limited in comparison to other online proofing solutions but is a free service.

ididwork
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Ididwork is a free solution that can be used as a simple feedback tool. Users can share what they have been doing with their team members and begin receiving reviews and comments on their work. Users can either sign up as managers or employees so user categories can be defined to a project. This isn’t exactly tailored for a designer/client relationship but may be used to fulfill this need.

DesignSignOff

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DesignSignOff hasn’t officially launched yet, but did recently acquire a popular proofing tool called GetSignOff. Users can present their work to clients who can then give feedback. Clients can stay up-to-date on their project with email notifications and project stats. Once this project launches, it could be a great tool for freelancers and novice designers.

Adobe Acrobat X Pro

Acrobat X Pro offers simple version control, annotation, and review. You can use the “Adobe SendNow” feature to send, track, and share your files online. Adobe X Pro doesn’t offer all the features of a regular proofing software, like workflow, scheduling, and email notifications, but does offer a simple way to receive quick feedback from your clients. This option may be a bit pricey, but Acrobat x Pro does come packaged with Adobe Creative Suite 5.5. Acrobat X Pro costs $449 for the full version and $199 for an upgrade.

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Online Proofing Solutions For Everyone

December 03 2010

05:44

Get more awesome with The Kick Awesome Show

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Part geekery, part circus, Kick Awesome.tv is wicked weekly web show (say that three times fast) that is dedicated to design, the web and general nerdery. The men behind the show are Nate Croft & Jon Longnecker who are also behind the wondrous works of 47Media. Currently, they’re 12 episodes strong – ranging in topics from photography lightboxes, first person shooters, music, iPod Nano watches, photoshop trickery, dribbble, their personal lives and anything in-between. If you’re tired of all the other boring ways to learn and hear about the industry you should definitely check them out. If you love their content as much as we do they also have some awesome sponsorship options. If that’s not enough awesome for you KickAwesome.tv is on twitter as well as facebook so, you should definitely fan their page and give them a follow.

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Get More KickAwesome.tv

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Get more awesome with The Kick Awesome Show

November 02 2010

06:24

PrintProof – using new technology to solve old problems

Creative technology to solve problems
“When I went to school I had to travel up hills both ways in the snow”. This quote has been used by many that have come before us to talk about “how hard” it was before now. The new generations have it easy. They have the new tech, the new gadgets and inventions and the world at their fingertips. Have you ever wished there was a better way to do something? Dave Merrilees-Kelly created an app to eliminate that problem.
From his experience through previous problems, he created a simple checklist app that helps you take the headache of preparing artwork.
“The last studio I worked at the art-stage was always rushed. A courier would turn up for a particular job and my boss would want 2 or 3 other jobs to go off as well (pre broad band days). So hence mistakes would happen, all for the idea of saving money on couriers. So if we had iPhones in those days I would have been using this app. “
The idea of PrintProof is a reference tool for studios and junior designers that reminds you of all the things you need to check to avoid expensive print errors. The app allows you to create separate projects and cross the completed steps off the checklist.
“I work with students on a design degree hence the idea of the app. Artwork was always my biggest headache when I was in the industry so I wanted to make it easier for students and junior designers. The idea of using it on the iPhone was given to me by a student who’s also a good friend (Kate E-M). I’m sure more apps along these lines can be developed for the creative industries especially where a more methodical, logical approach is required.”

“When I went to school I had to travel up hills both ways in the snow”. This quote has been used by many that have come before us to talk about “how hard” the previous generation had it. The new generations have it easy. They have the new tech, the new gadgets and inventions and the world at their fingertips. Dave Merrilees-Kelly tapped into making the new generation even easier for designers and students. From his experience through previous problems, he created a simple checklist app that helps you take the headache of preparing your artwork.

printproof

“The last studio I worked at the art-stage was always rushed. A courier would turn up for a particular job and my boss would want 2 or 3 other jobs to go off as well (pre broad band days). So hence mistakes would happen, all for the idea of saving money on couriers. So if we had iPhones in those days I would have been using this app. “

The idea of PrintProof is a reference tool for studios and junior designers that reminds you of all the things you need to check to avoid expensive print errors. The app allows you to create separate projects and cross the completed steps off the checklist.

printproof-2

“I work with students on a design degree hence the idea of the app. Artwork was always my biggest headache when I was in the industry so I wanted to make it easier for students and junior designers. The idea of using it on the iPhone was given to me by a student who’s also a good friend (Kate E-M). I’m sure more apps along these lines can be developed for the creative industries especially where a more methodical, logical approach is required.”

PrintProof App is simple and easy way to keep track of preparing your artwork. It is available on the iTunes store and it’s creator: Dave Merrilees-Kelly can be found on twitter.

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PrintProof – using new technology to solve old problems

October 25 2010

16:05

Designious – Design Cocktail Bundle

Design CocktaII, the bundle for creatives has launched with more resources but the same price!
We would like to announce today the release of the second Design Cocktail bundle. This new premium bundle with more quality resources for creative people than before, is worth $829 and the price remains the same, only $29. You save $800 from the start!
The amazing goodies included in this pack are offered by Designious.com (link to http://www.designious.com/), Vectorious.net (link to http://www.vectorious.net/), Tshirt-designs.com (http://www.tshirt-designs.com/), Paternsshop.com (link to http://www.patternsshop.com/), WPwizz.com (link to http://www.wpwizz.com/) and Quickpayscript.com (link to http://www.quickpayscript.com/), so you can be sure that you get only the best quality products.
This is a fantastic opportunity for designers, artists and creatives of all types to get their hands on some really awesome resources for such a low price.
The bundle will only be available for 7 days, from the 25th of October until the 31st of October and be sure that it includes only quality products.
Don’t wait any longer, visit Designious.com (link to http://www.designious.com/), and purchase this amazing bundle now!

Design Cocktail II, the bundle for creatives has launched with more resources but the same price! The new design bundle launches today (October 25th) and runs through the 31st of October. This is the second release in the Design Cocktail bundle. This new premium bundle has more quality resources for creative people that its predecessor. It’s total value is $829 (if you bought the items individually) but, packed in this bundle it’s listed at $29! There are some pretty good resources in this package offered by Designious, Vectorious.net, Tshirt-designs.com, Patternsshop.com, WPwizz.com and Quickpayscript.com.  The bundle will only be available for 7 days, Don’t wait any longer, visit Designious.com and purchase this amazing bundle now!

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October 20 2010

04:12

Wanderfly – Re-inventing travel through design

Emerging from a industry that brings billions of dollars into their states & countries economies Wanderfly is a fresh, clean and simple experience for travel inspiration and booking. Many travel sites help you book your travels if you already know where you want to go but, what if you know you have 2 weeks of vacation, a bit of cash to spend and want to do see a few things while you do it? Wanderfly’s got that covered.
Wanderfly has taken the core pieces of what you need to have a wonderful experience and given the power back to the user. You’re asked to choose a price range, a date (or general timeframe) location (or anywhere) and interests that you would like to do on your trip (shopping, beach, romance etc.) Wanderfly’s recommendation engine does the work from there. It features 1,200 destinations worldwide and content from over 20 best-in-class brands such as Expedia, Foursquare, Yelp and Lonely Planet. Wanderfly even leverages Facebook to connect you with your friends in case they are in the city/country you are looking at visiting.
“This is a tool to help simplify travel inspiration.” Christy Liu said (wanderflys director of marketing & co-founder) “70% of people don’t know where to go when they want to travel”.
The wanderfly team designed this with the users in mind, they knew that no other site out there was simple and streamlined about giving you travel inspiration and booking your trip. “None of us really came from the travel industry formally. We’ve been able to design the whole experience without a status quo and approached it from a fresh perspective.
Simplicity was the key factor in the user experience for wanderfly. By keeping things simple they’ve allowed the user to experience what they could do on their travels and best of all book it from the same clean interface. Wanderfly trying to inspire more people to travel through discovering new experiences through a revolutionary UX and personalized suggestions.

Wanderfly-Logo

“Good design makes a product useful. Good design helps a product be understood. Good design is as little design as possible.” Three quotes from Dieter Rams that the team at Wanderfly has taken to heart. Wanderfly is a new, sleek & cleanly articulated travel inspiration experience. Sites in the tourism and travel industry are typically bogged down with content and packing every last bit of information on a page which bombards your senses.  Wanderfly takes a simplistic approach to help the user navigate throughout their travel exploration.

Home

On the homepage you’re greeted with beautiful vistas from various locations across the globe. In the center is your key to the recommendation engine. (the engine features 1,200 destinations worldwide and content from over 20 best-in-class brands such as Expedia, Foursquare, Yelp and Lonely Planet) Simple content with easy to understand objectives. No crazy drop downs or tons of information to make your brain explode here.

Easy to fill out content like:

• your leaving from location

• how much you can spend

• dates of your travels

• where to

• things you’re interested in while you’re there.

Think of this as the Google homepage version of travel sites. Clean, simple, easy to follow.

“This is a tool to help simplify travel inspiration.” Christy Liu said (wanderflys director of marketing & co-founder) “70% of people don’t know where to go when they want to travel”.

Result

The inside pages are just as simple. With clearly laid out controls, clear functionality and great social networking integrations Wanderfly brings a useful travel experience back to the user. You can navigate between the travel locations that you’ve been given as well as see what activities have been suggested for you from places like foursquare and yelp. There is also a grid view that allows you to see many locations at once. Connecting with your Facebook account allows you to see if you have any friends in the cities you are thinking about visiting.

5 Flight

Wanderfly’s team didn’t formally come from the travel industry. They used this to their distinct advantage when it came to creation of the site. They were not exposed to a status quo for “what a travel site should look like”. They designed the site as travelers for travelers which, turned into a simple experience with an eye on content. This was extremely helpful because they’re not tied to any design trends. A few shadows and gradients here and there but, most of the content is presented with simple colors, beautiful photos and meaningful content with action buttons to get your trip booked and explore new places.

6 Hotel

From an industry where loads of content needs to be streamlined and relayed to the users as simple and effectively as possible; Wanderfly delivered. Whether they consciously consulted Dieter Rams philosophies before creating this site or not is hard to say. However, they did create this site with clear objectives and a streamlined interface. As a side effect they are inspiring travelers everywhere to discover new experiences through revolutionary user experience and personalized suggestions.

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Wanderfly – Re-inventing travel through design

October 14 2010

03:06

Fun Font-Related Applications for the iPhone

The iPhone isn’t yet an indispensable part of the font designer’s tool kit, but it really does make a nifty little font toy, if you find the correct apps for it. You can now use the iPhone to record and ID fonts on the run, sharpen your font skills, and enjoy a few minutes’ diversion. Here are a few apps that will help you turn your idle time into fontastic fun time.

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The Best iPhone Apps That Exist

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What The Font for iPhone

This font identification tool has proven its worth millions of times on your desktop and laptop; now you can use on the run, directly from your phone. Simply use your phone to take a photo of the font in question, upload it, and the savant gnome who powers MyFont’s identification engine will tell you the font’s name. Easy and helpful!

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Fontshuffle

For brainstorming on the bus, FontShop’s Fontshuffle is a godsend. It is an extensive catalog of typefaces divided by font taxonomy and letter feature. It can help you identify the perfect font for your design idea, or take you on an inspirational odyssey through others’ lettering masterworks.

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I Love Typography’s Font Identification Game

So you think you can do What The Font’s job? Prove it with the font identification game. Play against other typophiles, and sharpen your eye for typeface in the process.

The Best iPhone Apps That Do Not Exist

It’s great to see font culture and iPhone culture merge, but why stop at copying Internet tools? The iPhone’s true strengths are its mobility and its amelioration of downtime boredom. In that vein, here are a few apps that might serve the font community well.

Font and sketch training game

For those who sketch their fonts, drawing appealing symmetric freehand curves is a holy grail. The truly great practice as dutifully as a tennis pro. A simple iPhone game could help them all to hone their letterform talent during the daily commute. An alternate mode for the practice of the eight basic brushstrokes of Chinese writing would give this little app an even broader appeal.

The New ASCII Art

Letterform-based patterns and art has become a mini-trend within the design community. Stripped of their symbolic meaning, letters and numbers become the building blocks of tiled patterns or even intricate drawings. Wouldn’t you try your hand at updated ASCII art while waiting for your dentist appointment? At worst, it would be like playing with a letter-based Etch-a-Sketch; at best, it would increase one’s appreciation of letterform, and even jog some design ideas out of the idle moments.

Font Tripod

This “app” is not software, but it would make the font lover’s iPhone significantly more useful. Consider a tiny facedown tripod for the iPhone. It holds the iPhone camera about three inches away from the text while you snap a photo. The resulting image is square, sharp, and perfect for What The Font’s iPhone app.

Typophile iPhone users unite! What do you think the best apps would be for type-related fun?

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Fun Font-Related Applications for the iPhone

August 17 2010

04:05

Web Standardistas Book Giveaway

HTML & CSS Web Standards Solutions – A Web Standardistas’ Approach is quite possibly one of the most authoritative books that you can learn XHTML & CSS through. This book makes learning easy opposed to monotonous reading and technical jargon. Even if you are an absolute beginner in web design, this book will teach you how to build future-proof web pages the right way using easy-to-master tools which are, in most cases, free. This book is easy to pick-up at any point, read a few chapters and learn, then practice (through there easy tutorials) and then go back to your day! However, this book is addicting and once you start catching on, you’ll want to finish and learn more! Here are what a few people say about HTML & CSS Web Standards Solutions – A Web Standardistas’ Approach:

Every Design School on the Planet Should Make ‘HTML and CSS Web Standards Solutions’ a Required Textbook.
—  Jon Tan

Reading this book felt like I was at the web design school I never had the chance to attend. It’s truly a course in a book: it explains the basics that every web designer should know.
Yaili

More than just another book: it’s a textbook. Each chapter builds appropriately on the previous and each chapter ends with an exercise for the reader. The exercise enforces what has been learned up to that point and sets the stage for the chapter to come.
Jonathan Snook

htmlandcsswebstandardistas

About the Authors

In addition to their role as lecturers in interactive design at the University of Ulster at Belfast, where they have been active in promoting a web standards-based curriculum, Christopher Murphy and Nicklas Persson are practicing designers and digital artists. Their work has featured in a variety of design books and magazines alongside numerous internationally respected designers and they are regular speakers at design conferences and workshops worldwide.

The What

3 copies will be divvied up among the participants and winners will be notified on August 23rd 2010.

The How

Fairly simple: follow @fuelcreativity as well as @standardistas and tell us something you love about design on the web. It could be your favorite site, the coolest thing you’ve ever seen, the best site you’ve ever designed or a just a reason why you think web design is awesome. There is no wrong answer as long as it pertains to web design.

Need more Standardistas?

Follow them on twitter

Dig through their site

Buy the book on Amazon

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Fuel Brand Network 2010 cc (creative commons license)

Web Standardistas Book Giveaway

June 29 2010

04:05

Add more value to Illustrator with Phantasm CS

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Adobe Illustrator is a program from the Adobe Creative Suite that has an infinite amount of capabilities when it comes to vector graphics but have you ever felt limited with it’s ability to make color adjustments? Do you use illustrator heavily? Then Astute Graphics has an amazing plugin for you to tach on to Illustrator to make Illustrator more versatile then before. The plugin is called Phantasm CS Publisher.

Phantasm CS adds some amazing functionality to Illustrator to make it behave like Photoshop and in some cases In-Design this is a must have if you live in the vector world of Illustrator. Phantasm CS gives you:

  • Color Adjustment Tools (Curves, Levels, Hue/Saturation) These work directly in an Illustrator document on all embedded vector objects and images.
  • Halftones & Duotones and other creative tools
  • Print previews including quick and full separations and ink coverage (super helpful for that new t-shirt design vector you just made or anything of the sort)
  • Embedded image editing
  • Embedded image linking

Screen shot 2010-06-28 at 11.33.56 PM

Astute Graphics has several videos that give you a complete walk through on Phantasm CS. Their video’s include:

Several of these features will serve advertising agencies, graphic design studio’s, illustrators, print designers, printers or anyone that has to deal with any kind of printing, process colors or are involved in any pre-press processes.

Screen shot 2010-06-28 at 11.31.25 PM

Phantasm CS is compatible with CS2+ for Windows and Mac. If you need more information on what requirements are needed for plugin you can check the Astute Graphics site. Phantasm CS comes in three different flavors: Design ($75 USD) Studio ($137 USD) and Publisher ($214 USD).

If you use Illustrator at all you should go grab the demo from Astute Graphics and take it for a test drive. It’s a plugin that you don’t want to miss.

Sponsored by

Made By Tinder

Advertise on Fuel Brand Network.
Fuel Brand Network 2010 cc (creative commons license)

Add more value to Illustrator with Phantasm CS

June 16 2010

04:05

April 19 2010

05:29

Making Ideas Happen by Scott Belsky

Making Ideas Happen” was written by  Scott Belsky of Behance. The team here at FUEL wanted to showcase the book and congratulate Scott on his huge success! Hopefully next time we are in NYC we’ll have a chance to meet up.

leadimage-book

ABOUT THE BOOK

Ideas are worthless if you can’t make them happen.

Many of us believe that great ideas inevitably lead to success. Nothing could be further from the truth. Whether it is the perfect solution for an everyday problem or a bold new concept for a creative masterpiece, you must transform vision into reality for an idea to have value.

This book chronicles the methods of exceptionally productive creative leaders and teams – companies like Google, IDEO, and Disney, and individuals like author Chris Anderson and Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh – that make their ideas happen, time and time again.

scottMaking Ideas Happen will change the way you work:

Overcome “reactionary workflow” and start pushing ideas forward.

You can easily spend your entire day just responding to incoming communications – email, texts, voicemails, tweets, etc – while never finding time to push the big, meaningful ideas forward. Learn proven methods for organizing with a bias-toward-action, prioritizing amidst a creative process, and pushing bold projects to completion.

Let go of the myth of the lonely creative genius.

Understanding how to leverage your community for feedback, resources, and exposure is crucial to gaining traction with your ideas. Discover the advantages of broadcasting your ideas early, seeking out competition, tapping into the power of “Circles,” and overcoming the stigma of self-marketing.

Push through the “project plateau”… and finish!

Most ideas get lost in that dreaded period of execution where your natural creative tendencies turn against you. Acquire methods for thriving when long-term vision is not enough. You will learn how to short-circuit the traditional rewards system, fight your way to breakthroughs, and gain strength from the doubts you will face along the way.

If you are interesting in picking up the book or ordering it online, check out this link.

Sponsored by

Made By Tinder

Advertise on Fuel Brand Network.
Fuel Brand Network 2010 cc (creative commons license)

Making Ideas Happen by Scott Belsky

February 16 2010

02:57

4 SlideDeck Pro Licenses up for grabs, comment to win.

SlideDeck is a new way to display content on websites, mobile phones and kiosks. It delivers a better user experience by removing the information overload and providing a fun, quick and beautiful way to interact with digital devices.

SlideDeck

Use SlideDeck For:

  • Product Tours
  • Service Descriptions
  • Explaining Complex Processes
  • How-To Tutorials
  • Feature Rich Slide Shows
  • Landing Pages

SlideDeck is currently available as a customizable JavaScript Library. It takes only minutes to add to your website and is available as a plugin for jQuery 1.3+. See the usage documentation for more information.

Screen shot 2010-02-15 at 10.18.12 PMDemo

SlideDeck has setup a sleek demo site for Basecamp. It shows you exactly how you could utilize their product. This could be super effective for employee training, new app training etc. The possibilities are indeed endless.

It’s very easy to identify and navigate through a SlideDeck presentation because of the tabs on the left and the windows that switch on the right. It’s an effortless tutorial, that puts the user in control of the speed they view it and whether they can come back to it or not.

Firefox1

More About SlideDeck

SlideDeck was created by a user experience design company, digital-telepathy. Digital-Telepathy stumbled into the concept when trying to simplify their own message and process. D-T uses SlideDeck to share ideas, processes and products in a clear and simple way.

Social

Twitter: Follow them

Facebook: Become a fan

The Giveaway:

How to Enter

  • Follow @slidedeck on twitter
  • Comment with what you would use it for.

The Details

  • There will be 4 competition winners
  • Contest will end this Friday at 11:59p EST.
  • Winners will be announced on or before Monday

Sponsored by

Made By Tinder

Advertise on Fuel Brand Network.
Fuel Brand Network 2010 cc (creative commons license)

4 SlideDeck Pro Licenses up for grabs, comment to win.

December 07 2009

18:02

More Than One Way To Skin a Cat Review

We recently had the opportunity to check out the book, More Than One Way to Skin a Cat by Meowza Katz and we wanted to do a review of this wonderful resourceful book. The book is a series of high quality, full color tutorials for Aviary’s Phoenix graphics program, which is an online based application the book provides a year of service for. Having never used the program before receiving the book, we were blank canvases on which to try out this promising looking program.

book

The book, along with the tutorials contained within, were fun filled and easy to follow, imparting numerous helpful techniques and tricks of the Phoenix app as we went through it. There was only a short period of adjustment as we settled in to the unfamiliar UI and found our way around, with a lot of the functions being fairly intuitive. Not to mention that the tutorials included within the book range from beginner to advanced skill levels, so no matter if you are experienced with other graphics programs or not, there is something for everyone.

Another fantastic element that makes the book extremely useful beyond just the Aviary and Phoenix frameworks, is that the tutorials in the book will also work for any imaging program like Photoshop and GIMP. So if for some reason you do not feel like learning a new application, you can use the book to enhance your skills at whatever image program you are used to. The accompanying CD that comes with the book also contains all of the source files for the tutorials in the book so that you can easily recreate them.

frog

Notes on Phoenix

  • Very limited brush options and no ability to load or create new ones.
  • You can however import custom filters
  • Great forums, very helpful
  • No pressure sensitivity yet for tablet users but they are working on it
  • Only online now but Air versions to come soon
  • Still kind of buggy since it’s in beta

We would also like to point out that even though Phoenix cannot currently load in or create custom brushes, when we contacted Aviary with this question, they asked for specific examples of what we were wanting to do, and they asked if we could send them some custom brushes that they are working to build in this incorporation of new brushes in future releases. So kudos to the team for so openly receiving and responding to our feedback. It shows that they are working with the community to improve their products and services, which is always encouraging.

mini

Like with all products, there were a couple of hangups, but nothing beyond the lack of adding new brushes that made the program feel lacking or unusable, and the pro column definitely comes out ahead in this case. The book itself is such a useful skill enhancing guide, that even if you are not a fan of the Phoenix imaging software, there is still a world of developmentally helpful tutorials inside. So we definitely recommend More Than One Way to Skin a Cat to anyone looking to grow and hone their skills as a graphic artist.

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Fuel Your Creativity 2009 cc (creative commons license)

More Than One Way To Skin a Cat Review

December 01 2009

15:12

A Month In The Creative Community: A November Roundup

The year is drawing nearer to a close and that means that our November’s roundup is ready to go! It was a fantastic month in the creative community, with so many great contributions to the online design blogosphere there was no way we could reasonably shine a spotlight on them all. But below we have a few of the favorites that graced the interface of our RSS readers and we felt that everyone should have another look at, whether you are seeing them for the first time or not. So take a look down through our feature of a few of the month’s finest finds!

Inspiration

wallpapers 65 Stunning Dual-Monitor Wallpapers

The Dual-Screen (Multi-Monitor) is known as the use of multiple output devices to display programs that are running on single computer. The output devices can be a computer monitor, television and projectors. This post includes amazing dual-screen wallpapers to download and share.

Read More

portfolios 70 Absolutely Stunning Portfolio Designs

A huge collection of portfolio sites for your inspiration.

Read More

bokeh 40 Beautiful Examples of Bokeh Photography

I’m sure most of you have heard of the term bokeh. Basically it is referring to the aesthetic quality of the blur produced from a shot with shallow depth of field. Determining factors of bokeh are things like lens aberrations and shape of lens aperture.

Read More

ads 28 Creative Tech Advertising

This showcase is an inspiration dose for creative designers and copywriters. Each advertisement is creatively molded to make an impact and also give the message is it supposed to. No doubt creative works like these involve hell of brain storming and sometimes great research work but it’s worth when are able to pull off work like this.

Read More

printads 25 Print Ads Featuring Excellent Use Of Typography

Today we’re showcasing 25 excellent print ads that feature great typography. What most of these ads have in common is that they use typography in a very interesting manner in order to get their message across. Of course typography alone is great, but here we’re featuring some ads that combine type and images to convey a strong and influencing message.

Read More

Interviews

gracesmith An Interview With Grace Smith

Today WebM.ag is speaking with Grace Smith, Grace is A freelance web designer from Northern Ireland where she runs her own successful design studio. Grace has been talked about as one of the most influential female designers in the world and a role model for new designers.

Read More

bradcolbow Interview with Brad Colbow

Brad Colbow is a web designer, illustrator, and comic creator from Cleveland, Ohio. He’s known for creating vector style illustrations and working this style into his web design. He talks about information style comics, networking, and numerous other awesome topics in this interview. Let’s take a step into Brad’s brain!

Read More

vlad Design Interview: Vladimir Tomin

Born in Russia, Vladimir Tomin is the true definition of a graphic illustrator and designer. He has worked professionally with the likes of MTV Worldwide, Reebok, and Adidas, to name a few. From motion graphics to digital art, he does it all!

Read More

mhark Interview with Awesome Graphic Designer and Photoshopper Mhark De Guzman

Mhark De Guzman, an awesome graphic designer I came arcoss while browsing on Flickr. I was really amazed about the design of the works and the creativity behind them, not to mention the awesome effects in those works.

Read More

Design

illustrator An Overview of Brushes In Illustrator

I’ve found that there’s a bit of confusion and uncertainty when it comes to the use of brushes in Illustrator. I think that a lot of this confusion probably stems from the fact that the same name is used for a completely different sort of tool in Photoshop.

Read More

smashing The death of the boring blog post?

Barring the text and images, each one generally has the exact same layout. We see little originality from one post to the next. Of course, consistency and branding are extremely important to consider when designing a website or blog, but what about individuality?

Read More

Development

wordpresshacks 10 Must Have Hacks For WordPress Development

Building your own wordpress themes will open your eyes to a lot of things, mainly the fact that you’ll be retyping a lot of code over and over and over again. So in this post I am going to show you ten wordpress code hacks that you can add to your arsenal that will not only save you a lot of time, but they will also set your themes apart from others who don’t come pre built with these types of features.

Read More

ui 5 Damn Easy Ways To Improve User Experience

It’s no secret that in order to build a successful website or web community you have to design with the users in mind. Of course you can’t forget about optimizing for search engines, but let’s focus on the visitors since they’re the ones who are using your site and interacting with it.

Read More

Freelancing

freelance2 Quick Guide for Freelancers to do Well in Recession

During the current recession, many of people may find themselves out of the game and lose their jobs any time, especially with the big recession when companies are losing clients and looking for reducing employees. This article tries to give a solution to find another better way to get more money and more clients, and gives tips to start your freelance career and give resources sites that can help you get more jobs and clients.

Read More

freelance Competing Against The Agency – The Freelancer’s Epic Battle

As a ‘noob’ to the freelance design industry, I found myself confronted with one monumental competitor that seemed like Goliath; leaving me feeling like David (without his slingshot).. However, I soon found that the structure of the powerhouses that are graphic/web/media studios and agencies, actually makes my life somewhat easier.

Read More

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Fuel Your Creativity 2009 cc (creative commons license)

A Month In The Creative Community: A November Roundup

November 09 2009

09:00

26 Must Have Resources for the Web Developer’s Toolbox

In every creative field, there are certain tools that one always keeps handy in order to get the job done. As developers (who also design) the toolbox inventory needs to be broad to encompass all the necessary areas to keep you moving and productive. Below is a list of the resources that we felt should be included in any developer’s toolbox.

We have broken it down into different categories to help you keep your tools organized a little bit better. We hope that the list proves useful.

Design

gimpWhile Photoshop is the best graphics tool for designers, we realize that it’s above some new designer’s budget. GIMP is a close second whose price you can’t beat (free), especially for web designers who don’t need all of the features of Photoshop.

graybitGraybit is an online accessibility testing tool designed to visually convert a full-color web page into a grayscale rendition for the purpose of visually testing the page’s perceived contrast.

colorwizardThe Color Wizard lets you submit your own base color, then automatically returns matching colors for the one you selected, complete with hex codes. It returns a set of hue, saturation and tint/shade variations of your color, and suggests color schemets based on your color’s complementary color, split complementary colors, and other variations.

faviconFavIcon Generator allows you to easily create a favicon from an image.

Grids

gridsystemThe Grid System is an ever-growing resource where graphic designers can learn about grid systems, the golden ratio and baseline grids.

960gridThe 960 Grid System is an effort to streamline web development workflow by providing commonly used dimensions, based on a width of 960 pixels. There are two variants: 12 and 16 columns, which can be used separately or in tandem. Also check out Fluid 960

jQuery

jqueryjQuery is a fast and concise JavaScript Library that simplifies HTML document traversing, event handling, animating, and Ajax interactions for rapid web development.

jquerycheatsheetThe jQuery Visual Cheat Sheet is an useful and practical 6 page reference to jQuery 1.3 for web designers and developers containing the full jQuery API reference with detailed descriptions and some sample code.

jquerypluginsjQuery Plugins contains plugins, extensions and tutorials developed by jQuery contributors for the jQuery JavaScript Library.

CSS

cssbeautifierCode Beautifier is a free online CSS formatter, optimiser, and parser.

emcalculatorEm Calculator is a small JavaScript tool which helps making scalable and accessible CSS design. It converts size in pixels to relative em units, which are based on a text size.

Text Editors

notepadNotepad++ is an open source code editor and Notepad replacement that supports several languages. Running in the MS Windows environment, its use is governed by GPL License.

textwranglerTextWrangler is a powerful and richly featured tool for composing, modifying, and transforming text stored in plain-text files for Mac.

WordPress

wordpresscodexThe WordPress Codex is the place to go if you have any WordPress related questions.

wordpresscheatsheetThe Wordpress Virtual Cheat Sheet is a 5 page practical reference guide to WordPress 2.8. It contains the full reference guide to WP Template Tags with detailed descriptions and sample code.

thematicThematic is a free, open-source, highly extensible, search-engine optimized WordPress Theme Framework featuring 13 widget-ready areas, grid-based layout samples, styling for popular plugins, and a whole community behind it.

Cross Browser Testing

spoonThe Spoon Browser Sandbox allows you to run any browser directly from the web.

browserlabAdobe BrowserLab allows you to preview and test your web pages on leading browsers and operating systems – on demand. It probably won’t be free forever so use it while you can.

ietesterIETester is a free WebBrowser that allows you to have the rendering and javascript engines of IE8, IE7 IE 6 and IE5.5 on Windows 7, Vista and XP, as well as the installed IE in the same process.

Other

firefoxaddonsWeb Developer’s Tools for Firefox is a collection of firefox plugins to speed up the development process. Troubleshoot, edit, and debug web projects without ever clicking away from Firefox.

filezillaFilezilla is a free FTP solution for Windows, Mac and Linux.

wampWampServer is a Windows web development environment which allows you to create web applications with Apache, PHP and the MySQL database. It also comes with PHPMyAdmin to easily manage your databases.

mampMAMP installs a local server environment in a matter of seconds on your Mac OS X computer, be it PowerBook or iMac. Like similar packages from the Windows- and Linux-world, MAMP comes free of charge.

codaCoda is an all in one web development tool for Mac. It includes a text editor, ftp client, CSS editor, terminal and more.

codesnippetsCSS Tricks Code Snippets is a large repository of useful code snippets in the areas of HTML, CSS, JavaScript (raw), JavaScript (jQuery), PHP, and WordPress.

htmlipsumHTML-Ipsum is a Lorum Ipsum snippets site for adding dummy content to your web designs.

Here Endeth the List

That concludes our compilation. Feel free to hit us up in the comments for your thoughts and opinions. And if there are any tools that you feel we overlooked, feel free to throw us a link and let us know a bit about it.

Sponsored by

Advertise on Fuel Your Creativity.
Fuel Your Creativity 2009 cc (creative commons license)

26 Must Have Resources for the Web Developer’s Toolbox

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