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CSS / 27 Feb 2012

Super Sweet CSS 3D Text Effects With Sass and LESS

I was recently discussing the merits and various features of CSS preprocessors with a colleague. We covered all of the basics: how it’s great to have variables and how mixins can save you an incredible amount of coding time. When the conversation turned to some of the more obscure features though things got interesting. When I brought up the various color operations, my colleague boldly proclaimed that no “real designer” could ever find a legitimate excuse for using this feature and not picking his own colors manually.

In the words of Barney Stinson, “challenge accepted!” Today we’re going to create an awesome faux 3D text effect with pure CSS and then see why it’s a lot easier to do it with the color operations in Sass or LESS.

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Freebies / 25 Feb 2012

Weekly Freebies: 35 Free Textures for Spring

Every week we search all over the web and bring you a handpicked selection of the finest design freebies around. We do all the research and you reap the benefits!

This week’s collection of freebies contains thirty-five textures that will have you aching for winter to pass and spring to begin. You’ll no doubt have some seasonal design projects coming up so be sure and grab a few of these in advance!

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CSS / 24 Feb 2012

Do We Still Slice PSDs?

The other day a friend of mine said something that caught my attention, “I’m trying to learn how to slice a PSD.” It’s a simple enough statement. As soon as he said it, I knew exactly what he was talking about, and yet, there was something in there that didn’t quite set right.

Upon seeing my hesitation my friend responded with a question, “Do we still slice PSDs?” Great question! For beginners, jargon isn’t merely jargon, it implies a process and suggests a method of action. For this reason, it’s often helpful for more advanced developers to define their terms in a way that is meaningful to others. Today we’ll dive into the theory behind the process of converting a PSD to to a web page and end with a discussion on the ups and downs of designing in the browser.

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Articles / 23 Feb 2012

Using Pinterest for Design Inspiration

Although Pinterest launched nearly two years ago, it has really hit the mainstream in the last couple months and is cracking top 10 website lists. The site, which allows users to “pin” or save their favorite images and videos on virtual boards by topic, had 40 times the number of visits in December than it did at mid-year, according to Mashable.

The site though can be a great place for designers to organize their thoughts and cobble together bits of inspiration. But you have to have a method to all the pinning so it does not become a time hog.

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CSS / 22 Feb 2012

Responsive Design: Why You’re Doing It Wrong

Responsive design isn’t a fad that arose because of a cool CSS technique, it’s an answer to a problem. Always remember that and constantly ask yourself whether or not you’re really adequately addressing that problem. If you’re using copy and paste to insert your media query breakpoints, your solution might be flawed.

Let’s discuss why media queries exist and how we can leverage them to truly solve the quandary of the ubiquitous web. Let’s talk about why you should let your content determine the breakpoints of a layout, not hypothetical screen sizes.

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Business / 21 Feb 2012

The Brutally Honest Tale of My First Web Design Meetup

You should connect with the web design community in your area. At least, that’s what you keep thinking. It’s one of those bucket list items that you always mean to do but never really get around to pursuing. As someone tirelessly dedicated to brining you the scoop on all things design related, I took the plunge for you.

I researched local gatherings of web designers, chose a group, made the drive and talked to real people face to face about their pursuits in web design. I’ll walk you through the entire experience, including that inevitable part where you’ll simply decide not to go, so you can follow in my footsteps and do something similar in your area. Was it difficult to find a meeting to attend? Was the entire experience a socially awkward nightmare? Do I recommend it? Will I go back? Read on to find out.

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Freebies / 18 Feb 2012

Weekly Freebies: 20 Really Cool Retro Web Elements

Every week we search all over the web and bring you a handpicked selection of the finest design freebies around. We do all the research and you reap the benefits!

This week’s collection of freebies contains twenty irresistible retro and vintage web design elements. We’ve got everything from icon sets to badges and background patterns. Be sure to add these to your collection of resources so you can bust them out the next time your design needs to resemble something from a bygone era.

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Critique / 17 Feb 2012

Web Design Critique #76: IdentyMe

Every week we take a look at a new website and analyze the design. We’ll point out both the areas that are done well in addition to those that could use some work. Finally, we’ll finish by asking you to provide your own feedback.

Today’s site is IdentyMe, a free virtual business card service. Let’s jump in and see what we think!

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Inspiration / 17 Feb 2012

Developing a Color Scheme and Color Management Tips

Building a website can come with a few unexpected hiccups, one of those being color. Understanding color choices, and how colors may render on different computers is the first step to ensuring that your site has the look you intended.

In addition to finding and selecting colors that work for you, it is wise to develop and manage a color scheme for your project. It is simple to create a set of swatches in common image software such as Adobe’s Photoshop or Illustrator and organize colors in such a way that they are easy to find and use.

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CSS / 16 Feb 2012

4 Fun CSS Image Effects You Can Copy and Paste

Once upon a time we relied purely on Photoshop to create fancy image effects. These days though we’re turning more and more to pure CSS to add eye candy to our images. Applying custom image treatments using code makes for an infinitely flexible workflow that’s easy to tweak at any time.

Today I’ll walk you through creating some extremely simple and fun CSS image tricks. From polaroids to vignettes, you won’t believe what we can pull off.

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CSS / 15 Feb 2012

Twitter Bootstrap 2: Bootstrap Goes Responsive

Recently, we published a piece titled 5 Incredibly Useful Tools Built Into Twitter Bootstrap, which took a look at the basic structure of Twitter’s Bootstrap framework and walked you through implementing some of the major components.

Twitter just released Bootstrap 2.0, an update so large it equates to a near full rewrite. There are quite a few new features and toys to play with, but the real headliner is that the framework is now fully responsive. Join us as we dig in to see how the new grid works and what other cool new features have been added. You’ll learn how to implement Bootstrap in your projects and will also pick up some extremely handy CSS techniques that you can use anywhere.

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Inspiration / 14 Feb 2012

100 Awesome Logos With Script Typography

What do script typefaces suggest in a design? Will they make your design dainty or masculine? Timeless or retro? Goofy or sophisticated? Would you believe me if I said all of the above and more?

Today we’re going to look at a massive, handpicked selection of logos from Logopond that all use script and cursive writing in some form or another. The point is to showcase the incredible versatility of these types of fonts. The next time you’re designing a logo and wondering if a script is appropriate, you’ll be able to come back here and browse the various themes that different types of scripts can suggest.