What’s new for designers, April 2012
The April edition of what’s new for web designers and developers includes new web apps, jQuery plugins, blogging platforms, coding resources, productivity and business tools, responsive design resources, and some really great new fonts.
Many of the resources below are free or very low cost, and are sure to be useful to a lot of designers and developers out there.
As always, if we’ve missed something you think should have been included, please let us know in the comments.
And if you have an app or other resource you’d like to see included next month, tweet it to @cameron_chapman for consideration.
Story Wheel is a new app that lets you take your Instagram photos and tell the story behind them. Just connect it to your Instagram account, then record your story, and create a nostalgic slideshow you can share with the world.
TriggerApp is a project, team, and client management app that includes invoicing. It’s cloud based and powerful, yet incredibly easy to use.
Anchor CMS is a PHP5-based content management system created specifically for art-directed blogging. It has a powerful but simple theming engine, an uncluttered admin interface, and is completely free.
Ingrid is a fluid, lightweight CSS layout system that makes it easier to design re-flowing responsive layouts. It’s extendable and easy to implement, and doesn’t get in the way of your creativity.
Instagram for Android
Instagram has long been available for iOS, and it’s definitely among the top apps Android users seemed to want their own version of. Now it’s here: Instagram for Android. It’s a fast and fun way to share your photos. Just take a picture, choose a filter, and then post to Instagram (you can share to Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, too).
15Five is a web app that makes it easy for upper-level management to keep track of what their employees are doing, without being obtrusive. Employees just take 15 minutes at the end of each week to write a report that can be read in 5 minutes. The reports can then be condensed into a single report for the CEO (or other top-level managers).
Billable is probably the easiest to use invoicing app on the market. Just edit the invoice that appears on the screen when you load the page, and then either save it (you can only save the current invoice, from what I gathered), export it as a PDF, or print it.
Invoicebus is an easy to use app that lets you create invoices and quotes via a WYSIWYG editor. It supports all currencies and partial payments, lets you email docs or save them as PDFs, send payment reminders and get alerts when a client views a document you sent, and more. There’s a free plan that allows up to 3 clients, or paid plans for more.
Wookmark jQuery Plugin
Wookmark is a jQuery plugin for creating dynamic column grid layouts that automatically rearrange based on the browser’s viewport. Just download the JS file, include it on your site (along with jQuery), and run it on your content. From there, you can adjust the container, offset, and itemWidth.
Adipoli jQuery Image Hover Plugin
Adipoli is a simple jQuery plugin that gives you a variety of transitions for hovering over images. There are more than 20 transitions available, including grayscale to color, popouts, and many more!
Backstretch is a jQuery plugin for adding a dynamically resized background image to your pages. It resizes as the browser viewport changes, making it ideal for responsive designs.
PageScroller lets you add animated page targets to your website for smooth scrolling between content. You can choose to have left or right side nav, top nav, and next and previous buttons, and it comes with eight elegant skins!
Rhinoslider is a flexible jQuery slider/slideshow plugin. It offers multiple effects, each of which can be applied to run in different directions. New effects can be created by adjusting the settings of existing effects.
CSS3 Responsive Slider
Fontomas is an icon font generator that makes it easy to create a font that only contains the icons you want to use. Just select your icons, rearrange them, and then save. You can even load fonts (SVG/Cufon) from your own computer.
SearchMeme is a free jQuery plugin that generates a small search button that expands into a text box when clicked on. Place it in your sidebar, your header, or anywhere else on your site.
SnipSave lets you create an account and save code snippets from anywhere. You can then edit or delete those code snippets from the easy-to-use interface.
Akordeon is a free, lightweight jQuery plugin for creating accordion layouts. It’s fully customizable and can display large chunks of content in a limited space.
Morris.js is a lightweight library that makes it easy to draw time-series graphs that actually look good, using jQuery and Raphael.
Via.Me is a new way to share photos, videos, stories, and sounds. There’s a web interface as well as an iOS app, and you can sign up with Facebook or Twitter.
Noty is a jQuery plugin for creating alternative alert and other notification messages (such as success, error, and confirmation). Notifications can be placed in a variety of areas, and the API allows you to customize the text, animation, speed, buttons, and more.
With PSDCovers, you can create 3D product mockups in Photoshop using your 2D designs. You just choose and download the product shot you want to use, locate the appropriate Action, run “Step 1″ to create a template, position and scale your 2D design on that template, and then run “Step 2″ to generate the 3D result.
Comcure offers forever free backups for your website. Just set up the automatic backups, and then forget about it. Comcure will run backups according to schedule, and will email you if there’s ever an issue. It even backs up your MySQL databases, and your backups will be stored at two of their five worldwide datacenters!
Slidedeck2 is a WordPress content slider. It lets you create photo and video galleries, post sliders, social feed sliders (for Google+, Instagram, and Twitter), and more.
The Creative Finder
The Creative Finder has a new look. And along with it they’ve added more features, including new account types, mobile portfolios, and more.
Breezi is a new website builder that makes it easy to design, edit, and launch beautiful websites in minutes. One of Breezi’s best features, and what sets it apart from most other website builders, is that it has exceptionally well designed templates to get you started. And through the end of April, when you sign up for a new site, you’ll get it free!
Twitter Follow Box
Twitter Follow Box adds a facebook-like box style widget for Twitter. It’s a simple jQuery plugin, but has enough options to customize the widget to match your site’s design.
Nagasaki is a free typeface designed by Sasha Iacob, inspired by the ’57 poster “Hiroshima”, which was designed by Wim Crowell. It’s perfect for posters, flyers, and other pieces where you need a big, bold display font.
Sablon Type (free)
Sablon Type is based on din-bold outlines using the add and subtract circles around the edges. It’s a handmade EPS font that’s licensed for both personal and commercial use.
Average is a new, free Google Web Font designed by Eduardo Rodriguez Tunni. It’s a serif font that was created after extensive research into text typeface families from various periods in history.
Bobber is an alternative slab serif typeface with its own distinct style. The font is available as an .ai archive.
Henry is an all-caps, vintage style typeface based on vintage cars and fonts from the 1960s.
Silver Fake (free)
Silver Fake is a free slab serif typeface. It’s simultaneously modern and retro, with unique letterforms and some alternatve characters.
Hem and Haw ($25)
Hem and Haw is a stitched sans serif display typeface, designed by Ray Larabie for Stella Roberts Fonts. It was rebuilt from the former freeware design “Stitchen”, now with a more complete character set, including punctuation and currency symbols.
Taco Wagon ($15)
Taco Wagon is a distressed display font inspired by Mexican hand-painted lettering. It includes a separate file for the drop shadow, so that it can be colored independently.
Sunset Strip ($79)
Sunset Strip is a pretty script font designed by Jason Walcott for Jukebox Type. It includes a full collection of characters, including alternates.
Sanchez is a slab-serif typeface that strongly resembles Rockwell, except with rounded edges. It includes 12 variants, and is the first display typeface family from Linotype.
Sansational is a display sans serif typeface that includes six variants. It’s a casual font, with a playful touch, designed by Jason Walcott for Jukebox Type.
Written exclusively for WDD by Cameron Chapman.
Know of a new app or resource that should have been included but wasn’t? Let us know in the comments!