What’s new for designers, March 2014
The March edition of what’s new for web designers and developers includes new web apps, photoshop plugins, productivity tools, graphics programs, CSS frameworks, jQuery plugins, 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.
Designer Candies offers up freebies for designers on a regular basis. Freebies include textures, templates, brushes, and more.
IM Free is a collection of free stock photographs from IM Creator. You can search for images or browse by subject.
Speed Design with Illustrator
Speed Design with Illustrator is a selection of 14 tips for speeding up your design process with Illustrator. It includes tips for things like dynamic buttons and starter templates.
Readerrr is a new RSS reader that’s easy to use but balanced for web designers, with a built-in syntax highlighter and more designer-centric features in the works.
Zurb Quips is a library of design stats from a variety of sources. It’s a well-organized source of meaningful and accurate stats that you can use to keep on top of what’s happening in the design world.
Cerberus is a set of solid patterns for responsive emails that even work in Outlook. Optimize your emails for small screens with just a few simple patterns.
Dollar Photo Club
Looking for affordable stock photos and vectors? Dollar Photo Club offers 26 million stock photos for just $1 an image.
Glyphr Studio is a free HTML5-based font editor that makes is simple for design hobbyists to create their own fonts, practically eliminating the barrier to entry.
Stripe Checkout is an embeddable payment form for mobile, tablet, and desktop devices that makes it easy for customers to pay instantly. Checkout is continuously working to refine and optimize your sales funnel for you.
Grid Style Sheets
Grid Style Sheets uses the Cassoway Constraint Solver algorithm (the same one Apple uses to compute native layout) to replace the browser’s layout engine and reimagine CSS layout.
ScrollMagic is a jQuery plugin for creating scroll interactions, including starting animations at a specific scroll position, synchronizing an animation to scrollbar movement, and more.
Future52 is a project that features 52 designers with 52 creations over 52 weeks. There are three creations up so far, and you can follow them on Tumblr for more.
Atom is a hackable text editor from GitHub. You can customize it to do whatever you need, or just use it out of the box.
Type-Finder is a quick questionnaire that lets you easily find reputable typefaces to meet your needs. Just answer five questions and you’ll get a list of great fonts to choose from.
Confused about how to use OpenType Webfont features? Type Quest is a great learning resource that will teach you everything you need to know to take advantage of all the features OpenType Webfonts offer.
Dewey is a better bookmark system for Chrome. It gives you the ability to add custom tags and screenshots, and you get smarter search.
Panda (formerly Geisha) offers up daily inspiration to designers, either as a website or in a Chrome extension. Easily browse Designer News, Dribbble, Behance, and more in one place.
Ink is a free Photoshop documentation plugin. It lets you add extra information to your mockups so your developers have a better understanding of how the final output should look.
Random User Generator
This Random User Generator plugin for Photoshop makes it simple to create random users to add to your mockups, complete with names and photos. You can choose whether you want male or female users (or both), and adding them to your mockup is as simple as dragging and dropping or cutting and pasting.
Sache is a directory of Sass and Compass extensions for your projects. Just browse for the extension you want (you can also sort by tag), or add your own.
Lightly Icons is a set of 350 pixel-perfect iOS7 icons inspired by Neue Helvetica. It comes in several file formats, including PNG, PSD, AI, EPS, and SVG, all for $19.
HapTime.in is an alternative to timers and spreadsheets that makes it simple to easily keep track of your time. There’s nothing to install (just a web app), and tracking is as easy as tapping.
Hemingway is a great free app for improving your writing. It highlights all sorts of common writing pitfalls, including overly complex sentences, adverbs, phrases that could be simpler, passive voice, and more.
Cute Grids is a clean, responsive grid base for your designs. It’s mobile first, includes five media queries based on em widths, and has detailed documentation.
TLDRLegal is a resource for finding easy-to-read summaries of popular software licenses in plain English. You can search or browse, or sign up for updates.
Essay, from Ten Dollar Fonts, is a bold all-caps display font inspired by black weight type set in books from the mid-20th century, rock music, and athletics, among other influences.
Voyager is a geometric sans serif typeface that’s highly legible, but with enough personality to be used as a display font, too.
Magnifique is inspired by decorative French and Italian café lettering dating back to the early 1900s. It’s modern while still capturing the romance and elegance of these cultures.
Campton is a geometric sans serif font based on the neutrality trend of the early to mid twentieth century. Light and bold weights are free, others start at $30.
Courtesy Script Pro ($59)
Courtesy Script Pro is a Victorian-inspired hand-lettered typeface with the look of custom stationery. The lowercase is notably understated while the capitals offer a variety of stroke weights and flourishes.
Wood Nouveau JNL ($25)
Wood Nouveau JNL is inspired by hand cut wood type popular between the Victorian era and the 1920s, as well as the hippie counterculture that came later.
Jayhawker is a stylized retro display font that’s great for drop caps, posters, headlines, and more.
LHF Chicago Script ($52)
LHF Chicago Script is a Charles Borges’ script with several OpenType features, including automatic ligatures and manual stylistic alternates.
Pintanina is a bold display font with definite pop culture and comic book stylings.
Maculature is a grungy, uneven typeface inspired by old posters and ads. It’s legible while still being distressed, and includes some ancillary graphemes, ornaments, and rough lines.