Desktop Wallpaper Calendar: January 2011

We always try our best to challenge your artistic abilities and produce some interesting, beautiful and creative artwork. And as designers we usually turn to different sources of inspiration. As a matter of fact, we’ve discovered the best one — desktop wallpapers that are a little more distinctive than the usual crowd. This creativity mission has been going on for almost two years now, and we are very thankful to all designers who have contributed and are still diligently contributing each month.

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Desktop Wallpaper Calendar: January 2011

How to Maintain Your Personal Brand as a Corporate Employee

A strong personal brand is beneficial on many levels. At the core it differentiates the designer, developer, marketer, etc, from the rest of the pack within crowded disciplines. It functions as a self-promotion agent that works for the practitioner 24/7/365 ultimately ensuring this person becomes a magnet for new and interesting work opportunities.
The foundation of a personal brand is initially created by consistently doing good work. From there, commenting, interacting and reacting in public discussion forums, blogging, Twitter, Facebook and the publication of articles and even books further solidify an individual as a thought leader.

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How to Maintain Your Personal Brand as a Corporate Employee

Coded: A Gorgeous Free Icon Set for Web Developers

Today we’re excited to present you a new icon set called Coded. Designed with web developers in mind, Coded features 25 high-quality icons ranging from 512×512px to 32×32px. Designed by Thomas McGee, this set has been released exclusively for Smashing Magazine and its readers. [Links checked March/03/2017]

The Coded Icon Set makes an excellent addition to any website, especially those inspired by the trade of web development. Perfect for your next client’s site or for showcasing your own web development — these icons are useful for every coder.

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Coded: A Gorgeous Free Icon Set for Web Developers

The Designer’s Cross-Training Toolkit

I watched a TV documentary the other day about a professional soccer player. As well as his normal soccer training he mixed in training in other sports like boxing and yoga and I thought this sounded a bit odd. Why would somebody that earns his (considerable) daily bread playing soccer spend time learning and training in areas that are not directly related to his profession?
Well, it turns out that they are related in a round-about way.

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The Designer’s Cross-Training Toolkit

E-Commerce Copywriting: The Guide to Selling More

Quality product descriptions can transform e-commerce conversion rates — it’s common to see increases of 30-100%. As well as converting more visitors, search traffic increases drastically when unique copy is written for each product. Most online retailers use manufacturers’ copy or rely solely on images to sell products. They then use inadequate copy elsewhere on their site and fail to achieve a consistent tone to persuade their audience.
Further Reading on SmashingMag: Quick Course On Effective Website Copywriting 50 Free Resources That Will Improve Your Writing Skills Design To Sell: 8 Useful Tips To Help Your Website Convert Fundamental Guidelines Of E-Commerce Checkout Design This creates a compelling opportunity for savvy retailers — by writing quality e-commerce copy you will create a unique competitive advantage.

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E-Commerce Copywriting: The Guide to Selling More

25 Impressive Free High-Quality Fonts

Every now and then we look around, select fresh free high-quality fonts and present them to you in a brief overview. The choice is enormous, so the time you need to find them is usually time you should be investing in your projects. We search for them and find them so that you don’t have to. [Links repaired January/15/2017]
In this selection, we’re pleased to present Pompadour Numeral Set, Lato, Crimson Text, Espinosa Nova, Musa Ornata, Spatha Sans, ColorLines, Roke1984, Neuton, Avro, Baurete and other fonts.

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25 Impressive Free High-Quality Fonts

Compositing in Photoshop: Time-Saving Tips

Compositing is a skill and process that spans the entire spectrum of creative industries. At the high end, compositing boasts its own specialized profession in film and television post production and visual effects. Dedicated software such as NUKE and Shake have taken the craft to powerful levels of its own, leaving behind the relatively basic compositing toolset of Adobe Photoshop. [Updated June/14/2017]
However, for many graphics practitioners compositing is a vital everyday process — and as with all pixel-pushing endeavors, Photoshop remains the entry point and hub to learning and ultimately mastering the fundamentals of this important skill.

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Compositing in Photoshop: Time-Saving Tips

What Font Should I Use? 5 Principles for Choosing and Using Typefaces

For many beginners, the task of picking fonts is a mystifying process. There seem to be endless choices — from normal, conventional-looking fonts to novelty candy cane fonts and bunny fonts — with no way of understanding the options, only never-ending lists of categories and recommendations. [Links checked March/03/2017]
Selecting the right typeface is a mixture of firm rules and loose intuition, and takes years of experience to develop a feeling for.

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What Font Should I Use? 5 Principles for Choosing and Using Typefaces

What To Do When Your Website Goes Down

Have you ever heard a colleague answer the phone like this: “Good afterno… Yes… What? Completely?… When did it go down?… Really, that long?… We’ll look into it right away… Yes, I understand… Of course… Okay, speak to you soon… Bye.” The call may have been followed by some cheesy ’80s rock ballad coming from the speaker phone, interrupted by “Thank you for holding. You are now caller number 126 in the queue.

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What To Do When Your Website Goes Down

Why We Should Start Using CSS3 And HTML5 Today

For a while now, here on Smashing Magazine, we have taken notice of how many designers are reluctant to embrace the new technologies such as CSS3 or HTML5 because of the lack of full cross-browser support for these technologies. Many designers are complaining about the numerous ways how the lack of cross-browser compatibility is effectively holding us back and tying our hands — keeping us from completely being able to shine and show off the full scope of our abilities in our work.

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Why We Should Start Using CSS3 And HTML5 Today