What's new for designers - Nov. 2011

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November 07, 2011
what's new for designer november 2011The November edition of what's new for web designers and developers includes new web apps, frameworks, some JavaScript tools and resources, some great project management tools, 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.

Cupcake Ipsum

If you're sick of generic lorem ipsum dummy text, you might want to give Cupcake Ipsum a try. Rather than boring faux and real Latin, cupcake ipsum will generate paragraphs filled with the names of sweets, pastries, candies, and confections.


Slidorion is a combo image slider and accordion plugin for jQuery. It combines an accordion on the side to display text with rotating images.


Hoverizr is a small jQuery plugin that outputs manipulated images on top of or below your targeted images, so that when you mouse over the image the top element fades out to reveal the element below.


RumbleTalk is a chat platform that you can integrate into your website, blog, or web-based game to interact with your community. You can access RumbleTalk from your laptop, tablet, or smartphone.


Axe is a tablet web app that lets you quickly give feedback on any website. You can highlight things, cross things out, and add notes, and then when you're finished, Axe will create an email message so you can share your feedback with others.

Monster Meltdown

Monster Meltdown is a new spinoff project from the creators of Design Meltdown that provides collections of inspirational designs in a variety of topics. So far there's a collection for e-commerce, and collections for web applications, responsive web design, and non-profits are all planned.


Discourse is a sales, support, and project collaboration tool with an environment that's closer to a social network for more efficient communication and collaboration. You can register with your LinkedIn account or with an email address.


Kikuchat is a self-hosted chat and collaboration tool that takes less than five minutes to install. It offers mutliple chat rooms, uploads and embeds, and support for mobile chat. A license is $199, but you save in the long term because there are no hosting fees.

Scale Tool

Scale Tool makes it easy to find the proper proportion for your designs. Just choose the proportion you want to use (Golden Ratio, 3:2, 4:3, 16:9, 16:10, 1.85:1, or 2.39:1), and enter either the height or width of your design, and Scale Tool will tell you what the other measure should be.

Compare Ninja

Compare Ninja makes it easy to create beautiful HTML & CSS comparison tables. It has an intuitive interface, outputs valid code, and includes inline editing.


Songineer is an instant composer app for iOS that makes it quick and easy to create original music. It's unique scale-based sequencer prevents you from using bad-sounding notes, making it easier for those with little or no experience to create music that sounds great.

HTML5 Admin

HTML5 Admin is a minimal admin template for HTML5 that's a mix of plugins and html structures for developers to create a more attractive admin UI without having to spend tons of time on it.


Sisyphus.js makes information entered into a form persistent through browser closures and window refreshes, so that if your visitor's browser crashes or they accidentally close a tab, their data is saved. You can select to save all data or just certain fields (so that you could prevent it from saving sensitive information). It works in any modern HTML5 browser.


Validate.js is a lightweight JavaScript form validation library inspired by CodeIgniter. You can validate form fields from over a dozen rules, customize messages, create your own validation callbacks for custom rules, and there are no dependencies.


Foundation, from Zurb, is a flexible framework for building prototypes and production code on any kind of device. It includes a flexible grid, enables rapid prototyping, and lets you quickly put together page layouts for mobile devices or desktops.

Simple Modal

Simple Modal is a tiny modal window plugin. You can use it for creating modal windows for just about anything, and can create modal windows with Ajax, image, and multimedia content.


Raven is a new Mac OS X browser that uses site-specific browsing. The Smart Bar gives you a dedicated browser interface for certain websites, and already includes some of the most widely used sites, like Quora, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.


Zwiggo is a platform for sharing anything in groups. Just create a space and invite whoever you want, install the apps you need to customize that space, and start sharing.


Cohuman is a free project management app that lets you delegate, track, and prioritize tasks with your teams. It lets you turn emails into tasks, share anything you want (files, discussions, etc.), and shares priority information so the important things get done first.


LiveMinutes is a free service that aims to make web conferencing less boring. Sign up for an account and you'll get HTML5 reports or your meetings and free document storage, or just use it without an account.

1,000,000 Members

The Envato Marketplaces just reached 1,000,000 members and they created this awesome infographic to commemorate the event. It gives a great look at how the marketplaces have evolved, and insight into their membership and traffic stats.

Shape Type

Shape Type is a fun, addictive game where you manipulate the shapes of letters to try to match up how they should look.

Boomerang for Gmail

Boomerang for Gmail is a Firefox/Chrome plugin that lets you schedule emails to be sent later and set reminders so you remember to follow up on things when you should.


Gridlover is a tool for establishing a type system with vertical rhythm and modular scale to start building sites on. Font sizes are automatically calculated based on scale factors, rather than on a whim, and everything is kept to a baseline grid.


Saveup is a new free web service that rewards users for saving money, rather than spending money.

Vampirr font (free)

Vampirr is a free font by David Alexander Slaager. It's a mix between gothic lettering and post modern fonts, to reflect the current place of vampires in pop culture.

Construthinvism font (free)

Construthinvism is a free font by Pedro Fernandes that was inspired by Russian Constructivism, Cyrillic characters, and Alexander Rodchenko.

Neptouch 2 font (free)

Neptouch 2 is a free font from Ananda Maharjan that was inspired by Nepali Devanagari script.

GRN Burgy (free)

GRN Burgy, created by Marco Goran Romano, is a display typeface for large headlines, posters, and logos. It was inspired by early American graffiti and fast food culture.

Molesk (free)

Molesk is a vintage-styled font reminiscent of sign lettering, created by Pedro Lobo.

Ribbon (name your price)

Ribbon was designed by Dan Gneiding and is released by Lost Type Co-Op. It has a vintage look and is an excellent display typeface.

Birmingham New Street (from $8.13)

Birmingham New Street is a vintage-styled font reminiscent of the Art Nouveau era. It was inspired by the hand lettered title on a 19th century railway map and was designed by Paul James Lloyd.

Idler ($40)

Idler is a retro futuristic font reminiscent of late 70s sci-fi. It was designed by Mark Butchko and is meant to be used for big, bold titles.

Fontazia Christmas Tree ($18)

Fontazia Christmas Tree is a decorative font that consists of 62 simple, elegant, art-deco tree illustrations. It was designed by Denise Koehler.

Dusty Circus ($39)

Dusty Circus is a decorative typeface based on circus-style lettering. The metrics in each font within the family are identical, to make for easy stacking.

Samantha Script ($125)

Samantha Script is a formal script typeface that was designed by Laura Worthington, with a focus on variety, versatility, practicality, and beauty. 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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