Smashing Magazine is celebrating its fifth birthday and as a wee treat, has prepared a “Best of Smashing Magazine” ebook and is giving it away free. The articles are all about web design, Photoshop, typography and user interfaces (or the user experience as it seems to be called now).
It’s no lightweight either – there are 409 pages of beautifully prepared material packed with information and examples. The first article, “30 Usability Issues”, makes interesting reading even if you aren’t a web designer. By being more educated about design, as a consumer you can be more aware and critical of websites and other media. Did you know that the Macintosh logo is an example of the Law of Pragnanz? No, neither did I but you’ll have to read the article to find out what it means.
Other articles include, “Setting Up Photoshop for Web and iPhone Development”, “What Font Should I Use?” and “10 Principles of Effective Web Design”. There’s the occasional overlap between the articles but it’s never repetition for the sake of it.
The ebook is available from iTunes or for .pdf, .mobi and .epub formats, direct from Smashing Magazine. Warning – it’s 55 MB download as it contains all three versions of the ebook.
The impact of typography is in front of us every day as we read books, newspapers, posters and computer screens. It’s all around us and through word processors many of us work with type on a regular basis, yet a knowledge of even basic typography is rare.
Smashing Magazine has published an article called, “Mind Your En And Em Dashes: Typographic Etiquette” which illustrates a number of common typographic problems and how to correct them. I’d rate it an intermediate level article but it’s still worth a read if you want to gain insight into the world of typography. At least at the end of it you’ll be able to tell the difference between a hyphen, an en dash and an em dash. Ok, really geeky, but it’ll impress your friends. Maybe.
Smashing Magazine is a website aimed squarely at graphic and web-site designers but there’s some great resources there for all geeks.
First up, is a series of absolutely gorgeous desktop backgrounds for each month of the year. October’s were released at the beginning of the month (unsurprisingly) and they’ve taken them a step further with the inclusion of a calendar on the backgrounds. There’s plenty to choose from in each set – there’s 45-odd in October’s.
Secondly, I know Todd’s a great font fan and there’s an article here with 30 high-quality free fonts (some licensing restrictions apply. The article in itself is a work of art as it shows you what the fonts look like. Most of the fonts are text but there are a couple of specialised ones, such as the clothing care symbols. I look at the fonts and the designs and just want to be creative.