What’s new for designers, May 2012

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May 14, 2012
The May edition of what's new for web designers and developers includes new web apps, jQuery plugins, grid tools, CSS tools, WordPress 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.

CSS Text Shadow

The CSS Text Shadow generator from WordPressThemeShock makes it easy to create a variety of styles for your text using CSS. Included are pressed, embossed, shadowed, and a variety of other styles.


SlickGrid is a JavaScript grid/spreadsheet component that's easy and quick to use. It's incredibly fast, and can even handle hundreds of thousands of rows with extreme responsiveness.

The Responsive Calculator

The Responsive Calculator is a simple calculator that makes it easy to turn your pixel-perfect PSD files into the start of a responsive website design.


Timeline makes it easy to create timelines that are easy to use and intuitive. You can pull media in from a variety of sources, including videos from YouTube and Vimeo, Google Maps, and SoundCloud, as well as tweets.

Responsive Horizontal Layout

This Responsive Horizontal Layout shows you how to create a horizontal layout that includes multiple panels that can each be scrolled individually.


Filtrify is a tag filtering plugin that lets you search tags within tags, and filter items by multiple tags from different categories. It even includes live feedback on the number of items containing the related tags.

NHP Theme Options Framework

The NHP Theme Options Framework is a simple, very extendable theme options framework for your WP themes. It includes section tabs, uses the WP Core Settings API, custom error handling, and more.


Camera is a free jQuery slideshow plugin based on Diapo Slideshow. It offers a number of options, including the ability to add captions, HTML elements, and more.


WebPutty, the CSS editing and hosting service, has now become open source! It gives you syntax-highlighting, a side-by-side preview pane, instant publishing with minification, and more.


Intelligist is a jQuery plugin for making in-page Gist code sharing and demos easier. You can share multiple Gists, and even execute code.

jQuery ProQuo

Getting your visitors to share your content on Twitter is a great way to get more traffic. jQuery ProQuo lets you turn any part of your HTML content into tweetable quotes. It automatically determines the proper text length, includes a link back to the page the quote came from, and adds a "Tweet this" link to the tweetable element.

Export Responsive Prototype v0.2.7

If you use Fireworks for your design work, then you need the Export Responsive Prototype plugin. It lets you simulate a responsive design and then export the results, simplifying your design work.


jPages is a client-side pagination plugin that includes auto page turn, key and scroll browse, and a completely customizable navigation panel, among other great features.


SpritePad is a free, easy-to-use app for creating CSS spritemaps. Just drag and drop your images to the grid and it will immediately be available as PNG and CSS code.


Bacon is a jQuery plugin that lets you wrap text along a bezier curve or a line. You can curve your text around an image, or even turn the text itself into a curved shape.


Wordless is a WordPress plugin that can drastically speed up your custom theme creation. It includes structured and clean theme organization, Haml views, Sass & Compass stylesheets, optional Coffeescript-powered logic, and more than 50 Rails-like helper functions.

CSS-Only Pinterest Style Columns Layout

CSS-Only Pinterest Style Columns Layout is a free layout you can get from CSSDeck. It includes all the HTML and CSS code you need, for free.


Foldy960 is a responsive 960 grid that includes some extra classes and more for making your 960.gs design responsive. It includes a simplified 3-column responding grid that stays 3-columns for layouts above 640px and one column for layouts under 640px.


TypeButter lets you set optical kerning for any font on your website, making it possible to have much more beautiful typography.


Codeanywhere is a code editor that lets you code from your browser or via mobile app, and includes a built-in FTP client. It supports PHP, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and XML.


tQuery is a library built on top of three.js for plugin developers. It mimics the jQuery api, and makes it easy to share code and build on top of each other.


Silk is a new web-based publishing platform that makes it easy to provide content in a more structured manner. Users can choose the data they want to display from the mass of information available, and then view it and arrange it in a way that makes sense.


Shifticons provides an easy way to create custom icon web fonts from a variety of web fonts. Just find the icons you want, build a web font with only what you need, and then buy the finished web font.

Snowy Evening

Snowy Evening is a powerful issue tracking app for developers that's also easy to use for clients. It includes jsFiddle and GitHub integration, as well as an API to track errors for your applications, among other features.

Goal Stacker

Goal Stacker makes it easy to focus on things you can get done in the time you have available. Just tell it how much time you have, and it will schedule your time for you, based on tasks you need to complete. It will even email you a list of tasks to complete each day!

Mikodacs (free)

Mikodacs is a free sans-serif display typeface with a very modern feel. It comes in regular and smallcaps versions.

Wellfleet (free)

Wellfleet is a low-contrast slab serif typeface with an upbeat style. It was inspired by German poster lettering, but is functional at a range of sizes.

Simonetta (free)

Simonetta was inspired by Italian Humanistic typefaces, and was named after Simonetta Vespucci (the model for Botticelli's "The Birth of Venus" painting, among others). It is slightly slanted in both regular and italic versions.

Vulpa ($90)

Vulpa is a serif font family that comes in regular, italic, and bold versions, inspired by the proportions of Plantin. All three styles include quirky foxtail terminals.

Funkydori ($66.50)

Funkydori is inspired by the typography of the seventies, and includes 213 alternates, 13 discretionary ligatures, and 38 ornaments.

Love Potion ($29)

Love Potion is a romantic, handwritten serif font. It includes an extended character set to support Central and Eastern European languages, in addition to Western European ones.

Brownstone Sans ($83.30)

Brownstone Sans is a curved script font, with subtle historical and cultural references, while being firmly modern at the same time.

Foro ($198)

Foro is a slab serif typeface that's less harsh and warmer than most slab serifs. It comes in sixteen styles, with standard ligatures, proportional lining figures, tabular lining figures, proportional old style figures, lining old style figures, and more in each weight.

Twenty12 (free)

Twenty12 is a hand-drawn gothic-style font, with a limited character set.

Hyperspace (free)

Hyperspace is based on the original Atari vector font from Battlezone, Asteroids, and other classic games.

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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