What’s New for Designers – Aug 2011
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What’s New for Designers – Aug 2011

The August edition of what’s new out there for web designers and developers includes a number of new web apps, JavaScript plugins, tools for creating smartphone apps, and browser tools, along with fifteen great new fonts.

Most 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.

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And if you have an App or other resource you’d like to see included next month, tweet it to Pixel2Pixel Design for consideration.


Mosaiqy is a jQuery plugin for creating photo galleries with unique animated viewing properties. It uses jQuery 1.6 and HTML5, and when minified and gzipped, it’s only 3.5kb.


Boxjs is a JavaScript library that handles packaging and delivering your JavaScript files. You get the benefits of a modular loading system (so you’re not loading unnecessary scripts) while maintaining the speed of a single, compressed file.


Fount is a bookmarklet that helps you identify any font on any website. It’s a handy tool for designers that’s quicker and simpler to use than more powerful apps, like Firebug.


MotionCaptcha is a jQuery Captcha plugin that uses HTML5 Canvas. Rather than having to enter a bunch of garbled characters, MotionCaptcha has users trace a simple shape to prove they aren’t spambots.

Under The Site

Have you ever looked at a website and wondered what the developers used to create it? Under The Site can answer that question for you. Just enter a URL and it will detect the technologies in place on the given site.


CSS1K is a gallery of designs that can be archived with just a single Kibibyte of CSS. There’s a huge variety of designs showcased, from simple and minimalist to surprisingly complex (just shield your eyes if you click on the “Geocities” design).

The Web Designer’s Idea App

The Web Designer’s Idea App is an iPad app based on The Web Designer’s Idea Book. It includes more than 1200 screen shots of website designs, with content from both the first and second volumes of the print book.


#dreamblog is a project from Jux that aims to collect ideas for how blogging and blog platforms need to change. It uses Twitter integration to post and share what people would like to see change with blogging.


Chosen is a JavaScript plugin (jQuery or Prototype) for creating more user-friendly select boxes, which also happen to be a whole lot more attractive than the default inputs. It works with standard drop downs, multiple select boxes, selections with groups, and more.


Octopress is a “blogging framework for hackers”. It’s a framework for Jekyll, the same static site generator that powers Github Pages. Jekyll requires you to write your own HTML templates, CSS, JavaScript, and more, but Octopress takes care of all that for you.

Contrast Rebellion

Contrast Rebellion is an informational website that aims to teach designers about better practices for typographical contrast, to make their sites more usable.


Visual.ly is a new site showcasing awesome infographics. They also have tools to generate your own infographics, including the Twitter Visualizer (other tools are coming soon).


PressWork is a new, free HTML5 WordPress Framework for designer, developers, and publishers. It includes a drag-and-drop layout engine, a front-end style editor, and more, that make it easy to create WP-powered sites.

Plastique Icons

Plastique is a set of icons based on advertising clip art from the 1920s and 1930s. There are currently 434 icons included, with more being added all the time.


Laravel is a clean PHP framework for web development. It helps you create applications using a simple syntax rather than “spaghetti code”.


Genwi is a tablet and smartphone publishing platform for creating interactive, social, and live media apps for iPhone, iPad, Android and HTML5. You can build apps for free, but to actually launch them will cost you a minimum of $99/month ($499/month for iPad). Genwi fully manages and hosts your apps for that price.


Markdown.css is an improved default styling for your Markdown files. It’s heavily based on the Space WordPress theme and is free to use.

PhoneGap 1.0

PhoneGap, the HTML5 smartphone app builder, has finally released their 1.0 version. It lets you create native mobile apps using HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript, and you can output to all platforms from a single source file.


CreativeJS is a new showcase of awesome examples of creative JavaScript and HTML5 designs. They’re quickly becoming a great source of inspiration and ideas.


Slim is a lightweight templating language that aims to reduce syntax to the minimum parts while still remaining decipherable. It includes optional syntax support so you can customize it and make it your own.

Android 2.3.4 GUI PSD

This set of free Android GUI PSD files from Peter Hui is based on the most popular Android screen size and high pixel density, and uses the default Android skin as a baseline.


Buzz is a JavaScript HTML5 audio library for taking advantage of the new HTML5 audio element. It has built-in graceful degradation for non-modern browsers.


Pokki is a platform for creating a more app-like experience on your desktop computer. It currently works with Windows 7, but support will be added for Windows Vista, XP, and Mac OS X at a later date.

Adobe Edge

Adobe Edge is Adobe’s new offering for creating HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript-based animations and interactive content. It’s currently available as a free preview. Check out our coverage of it here.


PintPay is a new payment processing service that’s free to sign up for (though it’s currently invite-only). Payments are processed with a flat 2.9% + $.30 fee per transaction, with no monthly fees until you start making significant revenue. They include tools to create beautiful hosted pages with no coding required.


SiteLog is a new website monitoring service. It includes a free trial, doesn’t require you to install any code, and offers pay-as-you-go pricing. Pricing starts at $9.95/month.

Good Morning Afternoon

Good Morning Afternoon is a decorative typeface available free for personal use. It has a grungy, textured appearance with a retro feel.


TheReconLegendFont is an antique-style free font with a very comprehensive character set, including many symbols and other special characters.

P22 Foxtrot

P22 Foxtrot ($130 for the full set) is a classic family of typefaces in 24 styles and weights. It includes small caps, italics, serif and sans-serif versions, and bold fonts.

Satura Suite

Satura Suite ($236 for the full set) is a set of 14 fonts in a variety of weights and styles, including sans-serif and decorative versions that are made to work perfectly together.


Wallflowers ($19) is an ornamental dingbats font with a variety of flower-based characters, reminiscent of vintage wallpaper.

Floral Pro

Floral Pro ($208 for the entire family) is a modern slab serif font with eight styles and weights, including bold, italic, light, and extra bold variants.


Weingut ($59 for the whole set) is a set of four decorative fonts with a floral motif.


Afrobeat ($39) is a bold, retro decorative typeface with rounded characters and smooth curves.

Mrs. White

Mrs. White ($40) is a decorative script font that was originally designed for a children’s book. It’s a clean script with a strong influence from primary school handwriting textbooks.

Pona Display

Pona Display ($237.50 for the full set), part of the Pona family of typefaces, is a serif typeface with details that make it appropriate for display use.


Tillom ($49 for both fonts) is a set of two typefaces, one decorative and one semi-decorative (and more readable). It also contains 25 ornaments, particularly useful for creating borders.

Okay Berry

Okay Berry ($29.50) is a very natural-looking handwriting typeface with an organic, rough feeling to it. It includes an extended character set, with all Western European diacritics and ligatures.


Taumfel ($50) is an all-connected script typeface, with a style that looks very much like old-fashioned calligraphy.

Kirimomi Swash

Kirimomi Swash is a display typeface that was designed based on print advertising dating as far back as 1949 from Japanese sports fashion brand Onitsuka Tiger.


Rochester is a new free font available via the Google Web Fonts API. It’s a formal script, but remains easily readable down to relatively small sizes.

Written by
Suresh Patel
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