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January 03 2010

07:25

The Most Popular Articles of 2009

The end of 2009 marked our first full year in existence, and what a great year it was. We feel that we’ve put out a lot of valuable content that has been helpful to our readers who we greatly appreciate. So before we start publishing new content for 2010, we thought it would be interesting to take a look back at the year that was for WDL by listing some of our most popular articles from 2009.

These popular articles are not listed in order of popularity, but rather date of publication.

30 Most Incredible Textures for Vintage Style Design

web design

One of the most important aspects of a good vintage style design is the use of authentic looking textures. Since most of you probably don’t have time to browse the local antique shop, and your grandmother’s attic is miles away, we’ve put together a list of some of the best vintage textures we have ever seen.

40 Super Sleek Fonts for Clean Web Design

web design

Creating grungy designs can be fun, but sometimes a site requires a cleaner approach, one where artsy design elements take a back seat to clear presentation of content. Typography plays a big role in this type of design.

The Best Social Media Icons All In One Place

web design

The ability to easily bookmark or share content on popular social media platforms is now a must have feature for web sites. It’s also important that this feature isn’t over looked by web site visitors. So it’s always a good idea to use icons when linking to social media sites. They get peoples attention and the logos are immediately recognizable.

All the Small Icons You’ll Ever Need

web design

Big highly detailed icons make great eye candy, but small icons can be very useful when designing websites. They are great for styling lists and giving links visual flair that is eye catching and meaningful. It’s amazing what can be said visually in a 16 x 16 pixel area. In this post, you will find a large collection of small icons that should fit most of your design needs.

10 Best Content Management Systems for Designers

web design

There are a lot of content management systems out there, but many of them are overly complicated and require a certain level of technical expertise. However, there are a select few that focus on simplicity and ease-of-use, but still give the designer flexibility in templating features and customization. In this article, we have listed ten of these CMS’s. Some of them are well known, while others you may have never heard of, but deserve a look.

20 Do’s and Don’ts of Effective Web Design

web design

When you are creating a website (or hiring a web/blog designer to create one for you), there are specific items you need to be aware of. Things that normally wouldn’t cross your mind. For the average person who wants a website or blog for their business, they are after one very important thing – sales. Now, they may tell you that they want the big flashy logos, or the overdone textures/gradients, but it is the job of a well skilled web designer to steer their clients in the right direction.

404 Error Pages for Your Viewing Pleasure

web design

Error pages are easy to create, so there’s no excuse to avoid them. Even with the most solid website, you never know when someone might mis-spell a URL link and hit a page that doesn’t exist. Be prepared when that happens to you, even if by no fault of your own. Let these great error pages be your inspiration to creating your own.

Most Used and Abused Web Design Trends of All Time

web design

The year is 1999. You’ve just watched the Matrix, and it’s blown your mind. You sit down in front of your computer to work on a web design and then create or download an animated Matrix background for your Geocities website. You’re so cool. Fast forward 10 years, and you say to yourself, yikes, what was I thinking?! We’ve all been there. As a matter of fact, I’m personally guilty of copying many of following trends.

The Definitive Guide to About Me Pages

web design

One of the most important and least used aspects of any website is the “About Me” page. It’s not enough to have an interesting site and great product if your visitor can’t find a way to relate to you.

Web Design Trends for 2010

web design

Although this list isn’t a drastic departure from what was popular in 2009, it marks different trends that will be expanded upon and made better as a result. As you think of how you will incorporate new trends into your designs, focus on the main idea of each trend. Be encouraged to dabble into these trends so that you become part of the movement.

The Four Key Components of a Great Web Design

web design

There’s a lot that goes into creating a web design, but I believe it can be broken down into four main components. If you’re able to execute on all four, you will have a hit web design on your hands. However, if you come up short on one, the entire design will suffer.

33 Creative and Beautiful Logos

web design

Logo design, like any other design process, sometimes requires some inspiration to spark creativity. If you’re in need of some logo design inspiration, here is a collection of 33 creative and beautiful logos. These all have varying styles, but possess the same high quality.

30 Website Navigations that Make You Wanna Click It

web design

The navigation might be the single most important aspect of a web design’s usability. Without a navigation, you would be stuck on the home page for a very long time. I believe a navigation or menu must be easy to use, but this doesn’t mean it has to be boring. In fact, it helps to add a little flair to your navigation. It entices visitors to click and hang around your site a little longer.

Tags: Updates 2009

December 29 2009

14:09

Smashing Highlights 2009

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2009 was a very successful year for Smashing Magazine. It was a year of ambitious goals and an intense time schedule, which brought many changes over the past year. In 2009 we published more posts than ever (on average, 8 posts per week). We broadened our areas of interest: for instance, we explored freelancing and the business side of web development, but also tackled user interface design and mobile web design. We also discovered new formats, such as the “Global Web Design” series and Q&A-Sessions — unfortunately, the latter (the Ask SM series with Chris Coyier) lasted only a couple of months.

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None of this would have been possible without the tremendous support of our authors, contributors, and editorial staff. We express sincere gratitude to them for all the ideas and hard work they’ve put into articles published here on Smashing Magazine. We also want to thank you, the readers, for your attention, criticism, ideas, suggestions, emails, tweets, and links over the past year. Smashing Magazine is driven by your support which is why we are always listening to you and we truly appreciate every message we receive.

We have tried our best to improve the quality of our articles so as to increase their value for designers and developers. In this post, we’ll review what has happened on Smashing Magazine over the past year: smashing highlights, setbacks, and small sensations of 2009 — which we present in a month by month timeline. You can compare the highlights of 2009 with those of 2008 or 2007 (which, by the way, include links to some really useful articles).

January

The year starts with a rather lengthy post 100 (Really) Beautiful iPhone Wallpapers which actually doesn’t gain a lot of attention in January, but gains traffic significantly throughout the year. We start gathering material for this ultimate collection of iPhone wallpapers in early December and four writers help by selecting the most useful resources and the most beautiful wallpapers.

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By far the most popular article of the month is Web Design Trends For 2009. We carefully examine what’s happening on the web in 2008 and came up with a couple of trends that we think will appear in the web design landscape in 2009. Some of our predictions turn out to be correct. And yes, we’re already preparing a similar post for 2010.

Letterpress6 in Smashing Highlights 2009

February

In February, Paul Boag reveals 10 Harsh Truths About Corporate Websites. His article seems to speak from the heart of thousands of designers and developers. The article gets positive feedback and we even receive tweets from two corporate site owners who agree to keep the key points of the article in mind for future redesigns.

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Also, Alexander Makarov takes a couple of work days off, tests 9 popular PHP IDEs, and presents a very detailed review of popular PHP IDEs in the article The Big PHP IDE Test: Why Use One And Which To Choose. He also prepares an extensive spreadsheet for public review. An editable version is available as well (we hope that other developers will voluntarily add reviews to other IDEs), however we are forced to close editing because of vandalism.

Ides Best in Smashing Highlights 2009

February is also a busy month for us and our readers. We announce a Hardware Giveaway with almost 9000 comments — more comments than WordPress can handle at the time. Newer versions of WordPress offer comment pagination – probably added for that reason. We also announce the Smashing Book — our most important project in 2009. As you may know, there was a long road leading up to its final release in early December.

March

In March, we get technical. We publish articles related to Ruby On Rails, MySQL, Subversion, and PHP. The latter is a first-ever rebuttal of one of our previous articles; it’s written by PHP gurus Chris Shiflett and Sean Cotes. They take a closer look at the previously published article, explain its errors and reveal what is right and wrong in its theory and practice. From this point on, we consider getting experts to technically review articles before they’re published.

The most popular post of the month is 70 New, Useful AJAX and JavaScript Techniques, prepared by Noura Yehia. We get back to our roots, to the good old days when we picked the best coding and design-related resources and present them in a well-researched round-up. Although many people have criticized the “list” article format, most readers still find such round-ups useful, so we continue publishing them. Over the course of the year we pushed lists back a bit, trying to publish more unique and thought-provoking content.

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The most controversial inspirational post of the month is definitely Bizarre Surreal and Dark Art Pictures, prepared by Aquil Akhter. The post doesn’t seem to leave anyone unaffected; some readers hate it, some readers love it, and it brings a large spike in traffic.

15 in Smashing Highlights 2009

This month we also announce the Smashing Community Icon Set where we ask readers what icons they need with plans to design the icons together with a professional icon design agency, then release them for free. Unfortunately, the winner — portfolio icon set — is still not ready (the design agency is working on some nifty features), but we hope to finally release the set in early 2010.

April

In March we start discussing with Jacob Gube what would be an interesting twist for April’s Fools Day and we come up with a nice idea. As a result, we publish Jacob Gube’s article Breaking: Internet Explorer 8.1 Eagle Eyes Leaked. The article takes a look at the new version of Internet Explorer and claims that it has Mozilla Firefox extensions support, excellent performance against the Acid 3 test, and a server-side code decompiler. The news spreads across social media and the article gets a nice traffic spike through StumbleUpon.

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In April, Rob Morris presents 5 Simple Tricks To Bring Light and Shadow Into Your Designs. In general, April turns out to be one of the best months of the year. We publish 47 articles related to very different topics (freelancing, graphics design, typography, CSS, conversion rates, logo design) and thus manage to cover a wide variety of topics — resulting in much positive feedback. Many readers, however, complain that we publish too often, so in the following months we begin to publish at a more moderate pace.

Fig 1 in Smashing Highlights 2009

May

May turns out to be a practical month. We re-discover round-ups with very useful resources. We publish a round-up of useful glossaries, the ultimate general guide to industry terms that should get our readers well on their way to understanding what web designers are talking about. We also discuss ways to put your content in front of more people.

Typeface in Smashing Highlights 2009

The most popular posts of the month are graffiti artworks and Free WordPress Themes for 2009. Inspirational posts work well, but the appetite of our readers is growing. Over the coming months we begin to see a rise of resistance against inspirational posts which are labeled “lazy content”. We listen and do our best to improve the quality of inspirational posts while reducing the number of such posts and making room for more practical articles.

Loves in Smashing Highlights 2009

June

June turns out to be a time for experiments. Because we observe a large number of Mac-users in our stats, we decide to publish a couple of Mac-related posts. We started slowly in May, and continued in June with Exposé tips and tweaks for your Mac. However, in the articles we’re not just praising Mac. As it turns out, if you want some traffic and discussions on your blog, banter Apple, its products, or fans. We do it and the article Why Web Developers Don’t Need A Mac gets 655 comments. However, focusing articles on Mac is not a good idea — the feedback is very negative. After June we focus on more general design-related topics and let the Windows-Mac debate rest in peace.

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The most remarkable posts of the month are Inayaili de Leon’s challenge to take your design to the next level with CSS3 and Gareth Hardy’s discussion of common mistakes in logo design. One of the most useful posts of the year is Cameron Chapman’s round-up of web design checklists and questionnaires which performs fairly well in terms of traffic and user feedback.

Rgba in Smashing Highlights 2009

In general, through the first six months of the year, CSS-related articles perform best. We notice this and start looking for more professional CSS/JS-developers who have time for writing. We also intensify our cooperation with our current writers. The results are seen in the months to come.

July

July is another month with a wide variety of design-related topics. Our advanced readers learn about clever PNG optimization techniques. The most-discussed article of the month is The Roadmap To Becoming A Professional Freelance Web Designer. We start to get more requests for freelance-related topics, ranging from pricing to organization to project management. We carefully write down the most promising ideas and assign topics to regular and new authors.

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We try to take our inspirational posts to a new level, making them more extensive and less random. Our first result is Diogo Terror’s article about Lessons From Swiss Style Graphic Design. The article goes to extreme lengths explaining various techniques from the time as well as showcasing beautiful Swiss style artworks. Unfortunately, very few readers appear to be interested. Although the article takes a couple weeks to prepare, the traffic is very low and it gets just 75 comments.

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We present the results of our Typographic Layout Design Contest in which we aim to collect beautiful typographic (X)HTML+CSS-based layouts created by the design community and release them for free. The response is overwhelming and we release 45 free typographic (X)HTML/CSS templates. Unfortunately, this is the last contest we offer in 2009. But no worries, new contests are coming in 2010!

August

In August we present the findings of our large study of typographic design practices in modern web design. We identify 13 general typographic problems and issues related to typographic design and present answers to them that we found through our research. Among other things, we discover the most popular typefaces, average font sizes, line height, and the number of characters per line. The study is extremely time-consuming, but we don’t care. The results are very useful and that’s what really matters.

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We publish a quite controversial article If Famous Graphic Artists Were Web Designers… in which our author Francisco Inchauste explores inspirational paintings and artists who have influenced modern design. The article gains a lot of attention and instigates some rough discussions in the comments to the post.

Article Cover in Smashing Highlights 2009

We explain how to code your first HTML 5 layout and your first iPhone application. And, of course, we publish probably the most bizarre post ever: Unique TV Series Episodes That Inspire Creativity, written by Louis Lazaris. It’s a review of how particular TV episodes were different from what came before, and how this can serve as motivation for future designs. The article doesn’t make sense for some readers, but most are quite intrigued, which is a good sign.

September

September starts unpleasantly for Smashing Magazine. We are under siege. Someone attempts to infiltrate our main server and manages to manipulate some HTML data. The consequence: a new server (we moved from a cluster to the cloud), a new internal security policy (which still causes some problems for us and appears to be a bit too restrictive), secure FTP and, of course, more costs.

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We need a little time to recover, but get back on track quite quickly. We follow the attack with a few involved, thought-provoking articles: in the article CSS Wishlist: New Ideas, Debates and Solutions Kayla Knight discusses the current state of CSS and describes some alternative CSS syntaxes and CSS programming concepts as well as already-available techniques and tools. We reveal professional team management tips as well as the findings of our portfolio design study.

Banner in Smashing Highlights 2009

Many coding articles on Smashing Magazine cover various WordPress-related tips, tricks and techniques. Almost every month we published at least two articles related to WordPress; in September we published one of the most popular WordPress-related posts of the year: How To Integrate Facebook With WordPress, written by Thiemo Fetzer. You can bet that we will continue publishing more WordPress-related articles in 2010.

Also in this month, Jon Tan helps us to create the Smashing Experts Panel: because some articles were incorrect or contained factual errors, we invite experts and professional designers and developers to do paid reviews of Smashing Magazine’s articles before they’re published. As of this writing, we have over 25 experts in the panel. This turns out to be bittersweet news for our authors: editing and feedback now need more time and authors need to be more precise in their articles.

October

The last few months of the year are months of big changes for us and for our readers. In October, for the first time in our young history, we acquire an existing website, Noupe.com, created in 2007 by the Egyptian Blogger Noura Yehia. At the moment Noupe has a regular publishing schedule and is updated as frequently as Smashing Magazine.

In October, Louis Lazaris explains CSS Differences in Internet Explorer 6, 7 and 8 which is a new format for Smashing Magazine. For the first time, we’re publishing a useful reference article that can be looked up when our readers are handling browser inconsistency issues. And it works; the article has 238 comments and gains organic traffic from search engines. Also, in October we start our new series “Global Web Design” in which we feature web developers and web designs from different countries of the world and explore what’s happening in the web design scene worldwide. We start with Russian Web Design. The new series is a success, so you can expect more exciting posts in the series in 2010.

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Apart from classic CSS and usability posts, the month brings many original articles. For instance, Brand = User Experience: The Interface of a Cheeseburger. Our readers share their excitement about the original content and want to see similar posts on Smashing Magazine in the future. We listen and start preparing other thought-provoking articles in the months to come. And, of course, it was pretty cool to put the image of a tasty cheeseburger on Smashing Magazine’s front page. We’re sure no design-related blog has done that before!

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Important to us was Smashing Magazine’s Redesign and the Smashing Network. The redesign is done by Liam McKay and his design agency, WeFunction. However, we subsequently tweaked a couple of things in the design (and Liam is still unhappy about these changes). Footer and sidebar illustrations are designed by Pasquale D’Silva. The idea behind the network is to promote high-quality content on the Web design scene and to make it worthwhile for publishers to produce useful and interesting design-related articles. We want our community to benefit from these articles and support the publishers with direct traffic from Smashing Magazine.

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November

November is another important month for us. Finally, after 3 years of working in different cities, we move to our first joined office in Freiburg (Germany). This is also the reason why the rest of the year is a bit hectic: there are literally hundreds of things that had to be considered, discussed, and taken care of.

Probably the most practical article of the month is Kat Neville’s post about invoice design. The article presents some general guidelines, best practices and examples that will help you make sure your invoices are up to spec. Some articles need tremendous work and vivid discussions before they finally get published. One of these is The Ails Of Typographic Anti-Aliasing by Thomas Giannattasio. Can you spot all the hours of work that were put into it?

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In November we have quite a surprise for our readers. Together with Paddy Donnelly, we discuss creating a spectacular post that covers a recent trend in modern web design: magazine-style blog post designs, or art-directed blog posts. Paddy refers to it as a ‘blogazine’. After four weeks of preparation, the article The death of the boring blog post? finally goes live. The surprise is that when a user clicks on the link to the post, he lands on a page which has a layout and design that’s completely different from the rest of Smashing Magazine. According to our stats, many users reloaded the page wondering where the “usual” layout had gone.

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The article is one of the best posts of 2009, as it manages to spark a huge discussion in the design community and gains over 550 comments. The readers are in disagreement about the design of the article, but the idea is inspiring and shortly after it’s published we start to see a couple of emerging new ‘blogazines’.

December

Finally. The Smashing Book is released. Announced in February, and discussed in several posts throughout the year, in December it finally arrives. Actually, you can buy the Smashing Book right now, available exclusively from Smashing Magazine — all orders are now shipped right away. This one was really hard work and most things didn’t work out as we had planned, but the positive reactions and impressions of our readers are definitely worth it. We see huge involvement from our readers who post their images, videos, tweets and reviews in social media. Feedback is overwhelming and users’ expectations are high. The coming months will show how well we did our job with the book.

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Image source

Among other news, in December we hire our regular writer Cameron Chapman — she becomes the editorial manager on Smashing Magazine. Cameron is a professional writer, web- and graphic designer with over 6 years of experience. She will still be writing articles for Smashing Magazine, but now she also handles communication between many of our new and regular authors, discussing article ideas with them.

In terms of content, December turns out to be a slow month with less traffic and fewer comments — apparently, our readers have other things to take care of. Still, we keep publishing useful and original content. We explain how you can push your buttons with CSS3 and support IE and still be cutting-edge.

In December, we publish the most challenging article of the year: we encourage our readers to design something every day for the next 365 days. We encourage participants to tweet each new design along with #daily365 so that everyone will can see the progress of each project. Some designers are already participating! So are you up for the challenge?

What should you expect in 2010?

We’re planning some big changes in the coming months. Soon we will release the Smashing Network Widget for your website and a mobile version of Smashing Magazine. Well-known authors and experts are currently writing articles for us. You can also expect to see more new team members and newly released books in cooperation with a publishing house. Also, the translation of the Smashing Book to other languages (currently only Korean version) is being prepared. We also have some interesting plans for Smashing Magazine and the design community, so you better stay tuned to our updates in 2010.

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We’ll do our best to deliver useful and inspiring high-quality articles in the new year. We’ll come up with new ideas to keep Smashing Magazine an exciting place. And we’ll be listening to your ideas, suggestions, complaints and criticism. Have a truly smashing, successful, healthy and peaceful new year in 2010!

What was the most memorable Smashing Magazine post in 2009?

Your opinion has always been very important to us. Please share your impressions about our work over the last year and let us know what you would like to see changed on Smashing Magazine in 2010. Also, what was your most memorable Smashing Magazine’s post in 2009? We’ll do our best to improve Smashing Magazine in the new year!

(ll)


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Post tags: 2009, smashing

December 21 2009

11:00

Best of 2009 in the Creative Industry

As the countdown to 2010 begins to loom in our imminent future, it’s a great time to look back upon what we as a creative community shared throughout 2009. It’s been a quick ride but it’s had some amazing creativity & content that could keep us fueled through the next year. Check out some of the best and most memorable from this year.

Inspiration

Carsonified.com Redesign

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On the July 9th 2009 we launched a complete redesign of Carsonified and the Think Vitamin blog. I thought it’d be fun to tell you the story of how the new site design evolved and came to life. It was an interesting journey. Read the rest of the re-design here.

The Death of the Boring Blog Post?

SmashingMag

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? Does a blog post about kittens deserve the same layout as one about CSS hacks?

Twitter.com Redesign

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The most significant change you’ll notice on the logged-in homepage (/home) is that we’ve moved the tabs that were on the top of the timeline to the right sidebar. We did this for a couple reasons. Read the full re-design here.

Envato Redesign

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Our marketplaces were looking a bit tired in the visual department. After all, these are sites by a company whose middle name is ‘web design’! So we set about reinventing the wheel with a whole new look, starting from the top with new logos. The illustrations were updated by the super talented Kai Loon and we are usung the wonderful open source font MgOpen Modata

Abduzeedo Gets a Facelift

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After almost a year, we have a new design! As web designers we’re always thinking about what to change in order to make the site more friendly for those who are looking for inspiration and tutorials.

Suggested Redesign Case Studies

Redesigning Craigslist With Focus On Usability

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At the time this article was written, Craigslist was ranked as the 28th most-visited English-language website in the world by Alexa. Despite the fact that Craigslist receives such a huge amount of traffic each month, it is also criticized for its design, which seems to be at least 10 years out-of-date.

Dear AmericanAirlines

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Treat this as a serious emergency across your entire company. Your shortfalls in customer experience do not stop at the website. Your company is losing money every day because customers hate the way you treat them. And it appears that you are doing nothing to fix this.

Facebook Facelift

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The Facebook Facelift is a self initiated project to challenge the form and functionality of Facebook. It’s streamlined, structured and linear interface is more comprehendible, enhancing the user experience and absorbability of content.

Trends

Letterpress Type

Orman Clark

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MetaLab

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Cellar App

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Big Eye-Catching Typography

Made by Giant

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Pallian Creative

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Huge Inc.

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Erskine Design

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Four24

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iPhone App Site Design

June Cloud

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Tapbots

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Typography Manual

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Tweetie for iPhone

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Tap Tap Tap

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LittleSnapper for iPhone

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Ramp Champ

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Ego App

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Interviews

The Way I Work: Jason Fried of 37Signals

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Jason Fried hates lame meetings, tech companies that don’t generate revenue, and companies that treat their employees like children. A peek inside his typical workday.

Jim Coudal of Coudal Partners

coudal_jim

Jim Coudal is a truly inspiring character. His company decided to shift from the standard model of selling their creative services to clients, to a model of creating products which they own and have full control over. And they’ve been very successful at it. Coudal Partners is proof that you can indeed create your own reality.

Luminous Art of Chuck Anderson

Screen shot 2009-12-15 at 9.45.10 PM

I think different people are born with all different kinds of strengths, obviously. As for artists, I think many people are probably born into a family of creative thinking people, therefore they grow up in a setting that encourages that kind of passion and creativity.

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Fuel Your Creativity 2009 cc (creative commons license)

Best of 2009 in the Creative Industry

December 18 2009

06:59

The Best Free Texture Packs of 2009

There are a few things that a designer can not have enough of in his or her design arsenal, and one of them is textures. So to continue our “Best of 2009″ series, we’ve selected the best free textures from this past year. Since there were so many textures released in 2009 by so many generous people, it is difficult to choose the best. However, we feel the ones here stand out in quality and usefulness, and will be valuable additions to your texture library.

You can also check out the rest of the “Best of 2009″ series at the bottom of this article.

Grungy Textures

Package – Metal – 9

textures

11 Old and Grungy Film Textures

textures

Nebulae Grunge

textures

Grungy Textures

textures

Ultimate Grunge Pack

textures

Vintage Textures

Floral

textures

Vintage III

textures

Vintage Damask

textures

Vintage V

textures

Vintage IV

textures

Wood Textures

Wood Panels Textures

textures

Grungy Dirty Wood

textures

Woodwork

textures

Paint Textures

Painted textures vol. 12

textures

High-Res Watercolor Textures

textures

Textures 05

textures

Paint Splatters

textures

Paper Textures

Japanese Paper

textures

Paper Pack

textures

6 Old sheets of paper

textures

Tags: Freebies 2009

December 11 2009

05:50

The Best Vector Tutorials of 2009

During the past few weeks we’ve been publishing our “Best of 2009″ series in which we’re picking the best of the best in design resources created this year. This week our focus is on vector tutorials. Vector applications such as Adobe Illustrator that are used to create scalable graphics are ideal for creating such things as logos, characters, and icons. There were many great vector tutorials put out this year, which made it difficult to choose the best, but here are our picks.

You can check out the rest of the “Best of 2009″ series at the bottom of this article.

Create a Happy Sun Character

Character Illustration

Logo Design Process and Walkthrough for Vivid Ways

Logo Tutorials

How to Create a Vector Illustration and Prepare it for Micro-Stock Sale

Character Illustration

Create a Cute Panda Bear Face Icon

Character Illustration

Create incredible 3D type-based infographic art

vector

How to Create Smoky Brushes and Type In Illustrator CS4

vector

Create An Awesome Space Rocket Avatar in Illustrator

Character Illustration

Create a Character Mascot with Adobe Illustrator CS4

Character Illustration

Craft a Delicious Chinese Food Icon

Craft a Delicious Chinese Food Icon

How to Create an Alarm Clock Icon

Icon

Create a Stylized GPS Icon

Icon

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How to Create a Vector Light Bulb Icon with Inkscape

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Create a Vintage TV Set Icon in Illustrator

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Zee Logo in Illustrator

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Create a Rolling Stones Inspired Tongue Illustration

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Tags: Tutorials 2009

December 04 2009

08:29

The Best jQuery Plugins of 2009

During the past few weeks we’ve been publishing our “Best of 2009″ series in which we’ve shown you the best WordPress themes, fonts, icons, and Photoshop Tutorials. In this article, our focus is on jQuery. Over the past couple of years jQuery has been growing in popularity, which means more and more plugins are being created to make web designers’ lives easier. Here are our favorites from 2009.

Content Sliders

This year we saw a growing popularity in using content sliders as a way to display several pieces of content within a limited area or to engage the user with the sliding animation. Normally this is done in a featured banner area near the top of the page. There were several jQuery plugins written in ‘09 to accomplish this type of effect, but here are our favorites.

AnythingSlider

jquery plugins

AnythingSlider is created by Chris Coyier of CSS-Tricks and is a fully featured slider that is widely useful.

Easy Slider

jquery plugins

Easy Slider is a content slider that gives you the the option to choose between classic previous/next navigation or to use a numeric “pagination” style navigation.

Coda-Slider 2.0

jquery plugins

Coda-Slider 2.0 is aimed to mimic the slider effect on the promo page for Panic’s Coda software. The original version was hacked together in 2007, but this 2.0 version is built from the ground up.

Image Galleries

The days of having to use Flash to create image galleries with cross fading or sliding transitions are long gone. Thanks to jQuery these types of effects can be easily achieved with javascript. Here are our favorite image gallery plugins from this year.

Galleria

jquery plugins

Galleria is a javascript image gallery written in jQuery. It loads the images one by one from an unordered list and displays thumbnails when each image is loaded. It will create thumbnails for you if you choose so, scaled or unscaled, centered and cropped inside a fixed thumbnail box defined by CSS.

jQuery Panel Gallery

jquery plugins

jQuery Panel Gallery is a compact image gallery that can easily be configured. Not one image needs to be sliced or edited to work with this plugin. The plugin handles everything itself. You can even configure fading transitions per image.

slideViewer

jquery plugins

slideViewer checks for the number of images within your list, and dynamically creates a set of links to command (slide) you pictures. Also, clicking on each image will make the gallery slide to the next picture.

Supersized

jquery plugins

Supersized cycles images with transitions and preloading. It automatically resizes images to fill browser while maintaining image dimension ratio.

Navigation

I believe navigation is an aspect of a web site that should kept simple and easy to use. However, if there is a need to create a more engaging nav, jQuery is your best bet. Here are a few of the best from ‘09.

jquery mb.menu

jquery plugins

Horizontal Scroll Menu with jQuery

jquery plugins

This isn’t a plugin, but I had to include it since it is such a cool effect. It’s a horizontal scroll menu that scrolls automatically according to your mouse axis-Y movement.

AutoSprites

jquery plugins

Forms and Tables

Working with forms and tables is probably not the most glamorous part of web design and development, but it has to be done. There were several plugins released this year to help you spice things up a bit. Here are our favorites.

Password Strength

jquery plugins

Password Strength tries to calculate how many possibilities the hacker needs to try to guess your password.

Ajax Fancy Capcha

jquery plugins

Ajax Fancy Captcha is a jQuery plugin that helps you protect your web pages from bots and spammers. It introduces a new, intuitive way of completing “verify humanity” tasks.

Chromatable

jquery tables

Chromatable allows you to easily create scrolling tables with fixed headers.

jqTransform

jquery plugins

jqTransform is a styling plugin which allows you to skin form elements.

Uploadify

jquery plugins

Uploadify allows the easy integration of a multiple (or single) file uploads on your website.

jExpand

jquery tables

jExpand is ultra lightweight jQuery plugin that will make your tables expandable. Typical for line of business applications, this feature can help you organize tables better. This way, tables can hold more information such as images, lists, diagrams and other elements.

Tags: Resources 2009
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