What’s new for web designers – Jun 2011
New apps and websites appear on an almost daily basis, but trying to find the good ones among them can be tough, especially considering how many are not that great.
That’s why every month we research and showcase some of the best and latest resources available for web designers.
Below you’ll find forty fantastic books, articles, apps, tools, fonts, icons, and more for web designers, all released or updated within the past few weeks.
As always, if we’ve missed something, let us know in the comments. And if you know of a product/service for designers that you’d like to see included in the next roundup, please tweet it to @cameron_chapman.
TN3 Gallery is the latest project from WebdesignerDepot. It’s a full fledged customizable jQuery image gallery with slideshow, transitions and multiple album options. It’s compatible with all modern desktop and mobile browsers. There’s a free version available and a PRO version from $37.
WebReader is a desktop reader for RSS feeds. It works on Windows, Mac, and Linux machines, and includes a number of tools for managing your RSS subscriptions.
CSS Shadow Generator
CSS Shadow Generator, from WordPressThemeShock, includes more than eight shadow styles, blur, opacity, and position handlers, and a real-time preview for both the source code and the design.
LucidChart, while not particularly new, has recently added an offline mode to their wireframing and diagramming app. They’ve also recently added support for master pages, which should speed up the wireframing process.
phiRatio is an iOS app for calculating different proportions. It calculates not only the golden ratio, but also 16:9, 4:3, and 3:2.
Hype is a new Mac OS X tool for creating interactive and animated content using HTML5 but without coding. It’s available through the Mac App Store for $29.99.
Inkpond is a new app that lets designers and artists create and share greeting cards, posters, flyers, and more, and encourages other designers to build upon and share that work. It’s an interesting opportunity for collaborative design.
Textify.it recreates any image with multi-colored text. It’s a neat effect, and allows for customization of everything from the font to the charcter quantity. It also allows you to add filters and customize the background color.
Valleys in the Vinyl
Valleys in the Vinyl offers articles and inspiration, as well as free textures for designers.
Tildee lets you create how to pages on any topic. How to pages can be voted on, and the ratings make it easier to pick out valuable content, while also serving as an incentive to create more valuable content.
Metrotwit is a beautiful Windows Twitter app that recently released version 0.7. The app includes URL shortening, previews, infinite scrolling, conversation views, and trend tracking (including conventient access to What The Trend).
ManageWP is a web app for managing all of your WordPress sites from a single dashboard. It not only provides for updating content across mulitple sites, but also allows you to perform upgrades, updates, and theme installations. It’s currently free (while in beta), but there will be paid plans in the future.
GoAssign, which just came out of private beta, is an easy-to-use online scheduling and rostering app. It lets your team view and accept or decline assignments (and even swap assignments between one another), and lets users set their availability, among other features.
TidyLists is a simple to-do list app. It’s free, and supported by all major browsers.
SpiderScribe is a brainstorming and mind-mapping tool that lets you connect files, notes, calendar events, and more in free-form maps, to organize your ideas.
Blogsy is a blogging app for the iPad. It makes it easy to quickly add pictures and videos to your blog posts just by dragging and dropping (you can also do that with web content using the built-in browser). It works with WordPress blogs (both self-hosted and WordPress.com).
Smashing Magazine has just released a new extended section of their website focused strictly on coding, that will serve more articles on both client-side and server-side programming.
Plastique is a free set of 108 icons, licensed for personal and commercial use.
Responsive Web Design
Responsive Web Design is the new book by Ethan Marcotte, published by A Book Apart, that gives you virtually everything you need to know about responsive web design.
Zite is a personalized magazine app for the iPad. It can sync with your Google Reader or Twitter account to personalize its content, or can personalize on its own based on thousands of magazine sections you can choose from.
ThinkBook is an app for taking and organizing notes on your iPad. It lets you create multiple notebooks and outlines, depending on how you like to organize (you can take plain text notes or create structured outlines). There are also great built-in tools for rearranging your information if you need to reorganize.
Geeje is a sort of social media home page where you can track the social activities of the people you care most about. Each person gets their own individual feed, with content aggregated from all of their social media profiles.
GridCalc is an easy to use grid calculator that offers all the possible combinations of grid layout based on the column width and gutter size ranges you enter.
DropIn is an in-tray for your Dropbox account. It makes it easy to track changes to your Dropbox account, along with the ability to setup filters and smart folders to control what DropIn shows you, and provides notifications to keep you updated.
jQuery-Lifestream is a jQuery plugin that lets you create a CSS-styled lifestream on your website that pulls updates from your social media feeds, including Twitter, Flickr, Delicious, Lastfm, YouTube, and more.
Ideal Sans ($399)
Ideal Sans, from Hoefler & Frere-Jones, is a beautiful sans serif typeface. It has subtle calligraphic overtones and bold asymmetries that make it richly textured at small sizes and distinctive at large ones.
Designosaur is a free web font. It’s a clean and legible sans serif and can be used in any of your projects, including website templates, CMS themes, and software.
Fabrica is a free or “pay-what-you-want” sans serif typeface published by Vancouver-based Practice Foundry.
Absinthe is a retro-styled typeface with a Victorian feel. Three cuts are available: regular, italic, and flourish.
Rokkitt is a free slab serif typeface designed by Vernon Adams.
Hera Big ($280)
Hera Big is a ball serif typeface, a counterpart to the slab serif. It was inspired by fat-faces by Figgins and Lubalin, but is a fresh mix of organic form and originality.
Ae Prosperity ($50)
AE Prosperity is an antique, handwritten-style typeface with a weathered look. It’s a free-flowing script, meant for a spontaneous and historic aesthetic.
Technotyp is a slab-serif typeface based on German hot metal type originally created by Herbert Thannhaeuser.
Mocha Mattari ($20)
Mocha Mattari is a distressed typeface based on the free font Bebas Neue. It has alternate uppercases rather than lowercase letters.
Gabriel Sans ($200)
Gabriel Sans was inspired by the original sans-serif fonts of the transitional age, except with a modern twist. It has a quadratic look, and shares many similarities with Helvetica, though Gabriel Sans takes it a step further.
Aure Zeritha LP ($149)
Aure Zeritha LP is a modestly adorned display font with a set of additional symbols for typesetting traditional Western Astrology.
A2 Zadie ($245)
A2 Zadie is a classic outline typeface perfect for display use. There’s also a solid version. Both versions are quite ornate, and great for titling.
Tondu ($0 – $29)
Tondu is a very bold display font with modern styling and classic proportions.
Ostrich Sans (free)
Ostrich Sans is a new typeface from The League of Moveable Type. There are a number of versions, including dashed, rounded, bold, and ultra light, among others.
Podkova is a modern slab serif typeface created by Cyreal, appropriate for both text and display usage.
Written exclusively for WDD by Cameron Chapman.
Did we miss any great resources released in the past couple of months? Let us know in the comments!