What's new for designers, December 2011

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December 12, 2011
The December edition of what's new for web designers and developers includes new web apps, frameworks, some JavaScript tools and resources, color tools, e-commerce platforms, 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.

Project Adthenticate

Project Adthenticate is a hosted service for ad validation from Adobe that aims to help publishers become more efficient at launching their advertising campaigns.


Colorpilgrim offers tools for creating color palettes. The ColorClipper bookmarklet lets you easily collect colors, and other tools let you create palettes from uploaded images or from scratch.


FormBakery is an incredibly easy to use app for creating forms. Just drag and drop the elements you need (text boxes, drop downs, radio buttons, and check boxes are all available), enter the email address where the form should go, and then enter the name and email address where forms should go, and export your code.

Easy Basket

Easy Basket is a free Ajax shopping cart that works with PayPal and Google Checkout, and includes drag-and-drop functionality. There's also a WordPress plugin version.


Draftest lets you set up tests to let your clients rate designs so you can get an idea of what styles they like most.


Breakpoints.js makes it possible to define breakpoints for your responsive designs, and will trigger custom events when the user's browser enters or exits these break points.


BestVendor makes it easy to discover apps recommended by others. You can also enter your favorite three web services to recommend them to others.


QwikVu makes it easy to share website mockups with your clients at full scale, without resorting to email attachments and without requiring your clients to sign up for any kind of account.


iWebInspector is a free web debugging app for Safari on iPhone, iPad, and Phone Gap.


YAMB is "yet another boilerplate for responsive web design." It's a set of tools for building better responsive designs in less time.

CSS3 Click Chart

CSS3 Click Chart gives you a visual representation of different CSS3 properties, along with an explanation of each and example syntax.

Check My Colours

Check My Colours is a tool for checking the contrast of foreground and background elements on a website design to make sure they're accessible to those with color deficits.


Moment.js is a javascript library for parsing, manipulating, and formatting dates and times.


Shapecatcher is a simple app that will help you find a Unicode character similar to whatever shape you draw.


Dochub is a fantastic resource for checking various CSS, HTML, JavaScript and DOM elements and definitions. In-depth documentation is provided for each, including usage notes and attributes.

Keyboard JS

Keyboard JS is a library for binding to keys or key combos.


W3Clove will validate the entire markup of your entire website with a single click. Just enter your site's address and click "Validate."


Reverie is a responsive HTML5 WordPress framework based on Zurb's Foundation. It follows the HTML5 Boilerplate standard and is hNews microformat ready.

Color Thief

Color Thief uses JavaScript and Canvas to grab the dominant color or color palette from an image.

Sell Simply

Sell Simply is a service for sending and receiving direct payments on Twitter.

Smart Validate

Smart Validate is a jQuery plugin for validating credit cards. It supports American Express, MasterCard, Visa, Diners Club, and Discover cards.


foneFrame is an HTML5 and CSS3 mobile framework that helps you create web pages designed specifically for smartphones.


jqPagination is a design agnostic jQuery plugin for pagination of your website or app.

In-Field Labels jQuery Plugin

In-Field Labels is a jQuery plugin for turning properly formatted HTML forms into forms with in-field label support.


Excssive compresses your CSS files on the fly as you drag and drop them onto the page. It gives you a list of sortable and removable files, and once you've sorted the file hierarchy, just copy and save the minified output.


SimpLESS is an app that will compile your .less files into valid CSS. It's free for Mac, Linux, and PC.


Stitches is a drag-and-drop app for creating sprites and stylesheets. It uses HTML5, and is only compatible with the latest versions of Firefox and Chrome currently.


SocialCompare lets you compare anything in interactive comparison tables, and then share with your friends, and even solicit their opinions on the table data.

Erler Dingbats (free)

Erler Dingbats is a new complete Unicode dingbats font. It has a consistent design so everything harmonizes elegantly, and includes a wide range of popular pictograms and symbols.

Bitter Regular (free)

Bitter Regular is a very attractive serif font with a modern aesthetic.

Streetscript ($59.99)

Streetscript is a contemporary script font with a wealth of OpenType features, including stylistic alternates, ligatures, swashes, and more.

Accent (free)

Accent is a free font designed by Nelson Balaban. It's very modern, with exceptional details.

Lorena (free)

Lorena is a free slab-serif display font with rounded edges, designed by Arnold Hoepker.

Lavanderia (name your own price)

Lavanderia is based on lettering from a Mission District laundromat sign, and features three weights and numerous OpenType features.

Bender (name your own price)

Bender is a chunky display typeface that comes in two weights.

Arvil Sans (name your own price)

Arvil Sans is a rounded sans-serif font that includes a wide range of symbols.

Bandera Pro ($189)

Bandera Pro is a square serif typeface that's extremely legible and comes in six weights.

Carton (name your own price)

Carton is a slab-serif font inspired by letterpress designs, perfect for display use.

Modulus ($30)

Modulus is a clean and minimal sans-serif typeface with rounded lines and a very modern feel.

Valencia (name your own price)

Valencia is a condensed font with five weights (including matching obliques for each weight). 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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