What's new for designers - Sep. 2011

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September 12, 2011
The September edition of what's new out there for web designers and developers includes new web apps, JavaScript frameworks, a couple of fun dummy text generators, useful apps for working with clients, and a number of 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.


Jux is a new service that lets you create a customized site for virtually any kind of content (writing, films, images, etc.), with everything displayed in a manner that fills the entire browser viewport. The style is beautiful, and the result is incredibly professional looking. You can use it for a blog, portfolio, video blog, or just about anything other kind of content-focused site you can think of.

Samuel L. Ipsum

Samuel L. Ipsum is a dummy text generator that creates dummy text in the style of Samuel L. Jackson. Obviously, it's not safe for work, but there's a Slipsum Lite version that creates the same style text, but without the profanity. It's a fun alternative to the standard Lorem Ipsum.


Patternry has been around for awhile, but they've finally come out of beta and are ready for prime time. If you're unfamiliar with Patternry, it's a resource for creating, sharing, and organizing design pattern libraries.


Mail'ette is an easy way to send designs to your clients. Just create an account, email your mockups to Mail'ette, and they'll send you a link you can share with your clients.


Adobe's new Muse application lets you create HTML websites without coding. It creates easy-to-use sitemaps, master pages, and includes a number of flexible, site-wide tools for planning sites. It's designed to be as powerful as InDesign for layout, and includes preview and testing tools for your site. Best part: it's free.

Web Font Plug-In

Extensis has released a new Photoshop plug-in for working directly with their WebINK web fonts in the design process. It's available for free with a trial version of Suitcase Fusion 3 (the plug-in will continue to work after the trial has expired).

Hipster Ipsum

Hipster Ipsum is another dummy text generator, this time with hipsterish keywords and phrases. You can generate hipster with some Latin included, or just plain hipster. Just specify the number of paragraphs you need, which version you want, and click "Beer me".

Where's the Fold?

Where's the fold? will show you what percentage of viewers can see which parts of your website, based on their default browser viewport. It's a useful way to test what's likely to show up for your visitors without scrolling.


Rocketr is a social note-taking app that lets you take notes across your groups. You can create notebooks, assign editors to each, then start taking notes, and when you're finished, you can share them.


Spur is a new app by Zurb to help you critique website designs. They not only offer various filters to let you focus on specific elements of a design (such as grayscaling the screenshot, adjusting the contrast, and blurring the whole thing), but also have useful tips for what to look for while using each filter.


JPEGmini is a new service that reduces the size of your JPEG images by up to 5X with minimal loss of quality, so you can share them faster and while using less bandwidth and storage space.


HTML5Pattern is a library of regularly-used input patterns you can use for creating forms. Included are things like Usernames with 2-20 characters, American Postal Code format, and credit card patterns.

Easy HTML5 Video

Easy HTML5 Video is a free downloadable program that will let you quickly and easily convert your videos to HTML5 video to use on your website.


Inkling is a digital sketch pen from Wacom. It lets you draw whatever you want on paper, while recording your image for later tranfser to your computer. It makes it much simpler to convert your sketched images or wireframes to images you can use on your computer. Watch a demonstration of it on YouTube.


ifaketext.com is a fake iPhone text message screenshot generator. Enter a name and the text of the messages you want, and it will generate an iPhone screenshot for your conversation.

Less than 100g

Less than 100g is a new blog that focuses on small and beautiful things. Their first issue has focused on bottle caps. It's sure to be a great source of inspiration in the future.


CSSDesk is an online CSS sandbox. Just enter your HTML and CSS in the appropriate places, and view your results. It's a nice, easy way to try out CSS in a non-production environment. It also makes it easy to download your results, or share what you've created with others. You also get a few different background options, including blueprint, grid, 12 and 16-column guidelines, and more.

Animation Fill Code

Animation Fill Code is a simple app for automatically creating CSS3 keyframe animation code for WebKit or Mozilla. Just enter your code in either WebKit or Mozilla format, and Animation Fill Code will fill in equivalent other code, including standard syntax.

Smashing Magazine Anniversary Ebook

Smashing Magazine is celebrating their five year anniversary, and in honor of that occasion, they're giving away a free ebook with some of their best content, available in ePUB, MOBI, and PDF formats.

FontDropper 1000

FontDropper 1000 lets you test web fonts with a simple drag-and-drop interface. Just open it on any web page and then drop fonts into the design to see how they look.


Batman.js is a JavaScript microframework for creating blazingly fast web apps. It's created to keep both designers and developers happy, and favors convention over configuration.


Moredays is a new productivity app that will help you plan your time better so that you can make better use of your time. It's a diary, planner, scrapbook, and notebook all in one. It will be available as a web app, an iPad app, and an iPhone app. It's currently in private beta, but you can request an invite on their website.

LESS Elements

LESS Elements is a set of mixins to make your CSS code more efficient when using the LESS CSS pre-processor.


A lot of creatives listen to music while they work, as a source of inspiration and to keep them productive. Musicovery is a new service that provides a channel based on your mood. Just click on your mood within their grid (there are four points: Energetic, Calm, Dark, and Positive, with tons of intermediate points in between), and it will play music that matches that mood.


LayerVault is a simple version control system specifically developed for designers. It's currently in private beta, but there are invites available through current users, or you can sign up to be put on their wait list.


GatherContent is a new app for collecting content for your website design projects. It helps you collect, organize, and get approval for client content. It's currently in private beta, but you can sign up for an invite on their website.

Branding 10,000 Lakes

Branding 10,000 Lakes is a project from Nicole Meyer to design one logo every day for a lake in Minnesota. It's an inspiring project (and will take 27 years to complete if she sticks with it!).


TabJuice is a complete tool for online marketing, sales, and social media interaction on Facebook. You can sell products directly from your Facebook page, and they collect no fees or commission.

Amanet ($25)

Amanet is an old-fashioned typeface that's well-suited for packaging, labels, or corporate identities. It's generally readable at small sizes, making it very versatile.

Trump Town Pro (Free)

Trump Town Pro is a display slab-serif typeface that's very bold. It's based on the Georg Trumps classic from 1930.

Cowboy Hippie Pro (Free)

Cowboy Hippie Pro is a fun, stylized typeface reminiscent of 1970s-era posters and designs. It's got rounded edges, and was adapted from and inspired by Stretto from Canada Type.

Her Majesty ($24)

Her Majesty was designed by Joshua M. Smith of Hydro74. It's a display typeface with an antique look that's perfect for titling or headlines.

Vanilla Shake ($79)

Vanilla Shake is a retro script font that's reminiscent of signage or window lettering. It was created by Jason Walcott, and based on the lettering of Mike Stevens.

Dharma Slab ($20-$430)

Dharma Slab is a set of 42 slab-serif fonts, in a range of weights and styles. It's legible at small sizes, making it very versatile.

Quahog BB ($20)

Quahog is a distressed antique font. It's inspired by classic American Italic designs, and the opentype version includes a number of ligatures.

Brounde ($49)

MBrounde is a rounded slab serif font in four weights, from extra light to medium. It was designed by Ahmet Altun.

Do It Again ($16)

Do It Again is a display typeface designed to be reminiscent of neon signage and the limitations that format places on letterforms.

Aeterna ($29.99)

Aeterna is a hand-drawn, antiqua typeface. It comes in regular and small caps varieties.

HT Gelateria ($20)

HT Gelateria is a retro script font that's reminiscent of shopfront lettering and hand painted advertisements in 1950s Italy.

Odessa ($36.80)

Odessa is a refined sans serif display typeface based on the Futura family. It's well-suited to a high-end fashion design, and looks best with wider letter spacing.

Samantha Script ($9.60-$72)

Samantha Script is a script typeface with more than 2700 opentype glyphs, including more than 1100 alternate and swash letters and 20 discretionary ligatures. Know of a new app or resource that should have been included but wasn't? Let us know in the comments!

Cameron Chapman

Cameron Chapman is a freelance writer and designer from New England. You can visit her site or follow her on Twitter.

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