Best of Design Mania 2014

This time a selection of the best posts by Design Mania is published last among all other projects. I already managed to tell you about the best services of 2014, the most useful articles about WordPress 2014 and summarize the most important notes about earning 2014. Now design is next in line. In general, such blog posts are a great opportunity to quickly view all the useful materials for a whole year. It turns out a kind of digest that saves a lot of time, not requiring you to wander through the pages of the site and look for the article you need. In addition, for greater convenience, I divide all publications into thematic categories.

A year ago, for a similar article, 25 notes turned out, let’s see how it will be this time. It seems to me that there will be a little more articles.

Best Icons 2014

Let’s start our review of articles with icons. Strange, but in 2014 he did not devote as much time to them as before.

  • Sports icons for websites – 7 free sets. I planned to make several collections of thematic icons that would relate to any one topic. That is, not just beautiful, modern or some other icons, but, for example, the same sports ones.
  • Various icons from Pixeden: flat, social, for iOS. Here the principle of forming a post is somewhat different, I considered the best materials from one of the design sites – Pixeden. They found some pretty good icons there.
  • Christmas icons for Photoshop: gifts, Christmas tree, Santa Claus, etc. At the end of the year, he began to publish quite voluminous collections of various materials. So in this post you will find 20 sets of New Year icons at once. Some of this will definitely come in handy in 11 months when you decorate your site for the upcoming 2016.

2014 font collections

In the section about fonts, I have collected everything that one way or another concerns them – from services to sets.

  • Webfont is a beautiful service with free fonts and other useful features. You can choose a font for your site using tools and search. There are special browser extensions, plugins and all sorts of interesting buns.
  • What Font Is – helps you find out the font in the picture. Sometimes it happens that you find a beautiful illustration with a cool font and want to use it for your own purposes. But how do you know the font? – this is where What Font Is can come in handy. The service matches the letters with the text in the picture and gives you possible font options.
  • Free fonts with icons – with their help you can add simple cross-browser graphics on the site (icons of phones, arrows and various other objects). Using CSS styles for such fonts, it is easy to change the size and color of the element. One blog post had a helpful article on how to use Font Awesome in WordPress.
  • Graffiti fonts for illustrations. The collection contains 30 free and beautiful thematic fonts. There are options for every taste – simple or completely incomprehensible “scribbles” for graffiti. If you need to create a matching graffiti image, the kits will definitely be useful.
  • Original Styles for Text in Photoshop – This note refers to fonts indirectly, but I decided to include it in this section. Special Photoshop styles will help you create a spectacular and unusual lettering. There are cartoonish, shiny, metallic, gold, fiery, and many other word processing options. Now they will be really original.
  • Beautiful typography for a website – although this post does not contain any downloads, it can be quite useful. Here you will find examples of beautiful and stylish use of fonts for texts. Great typography is always fun.

Website designs

For inspiration, different thematic collections of website designs work great. You can not only study the original, best solutions, but also take note of some nuances.

  • 25 beautiful responsive website designs. Responsive design is now quite relevant in website development, since all customers want their project to look equally good on mobile smartphones and large monitors. Despite the fact that in this collection some examples do not work, unfortunately, there are very interesting solutions there. By the way, here are some of my thoughts on responsive blog design.
  • Japanese anime and video game website designs. This post does a great job of demonstrating how different design perceptions can be in different countries. Perhaps, of course, the thematic focus of the examples from the article (anime and video games) is to blame, but still, Japanese developers have their own characteristic style.
  • The best portfolio sites for inspiration. In general, creating a portfolio project is a rather specific task. This site should highlight your advantages as best as possible and at the same time provide answers to all customer questions: experience, work, cost, contacts. Although, on the other hand, approaches to creating a portfolio can be completely different depending on the field of activity – designers are more creative.
  • OnePageLove – the best one page website designs. Another specific modern trend in design is the creation of projects consisting of one page. This is not as easy as it might seem. OnePageLove contains great examples of these designs – useful for understanding the specifics of one page sites and inspiration.
  • Land Book – gallery of beautiful landing pages (Landing Page). Landing pages are used more in sales, although they can be found in completely different areas. Theoretically, all three last posts can be linked by a common message – for example, a portfolio site consisting of one page will make an excellent landing page 🙂 In general, if you are interested in landing pages, I advise you to visit the Land Book project.

Website development: logos, layout, design

We are smoothly moving from website designs to their creation. In this group of articles, I’ve included notes on logos, builders, templates, and design.

  • Beautiful functional templates for Drupal – suitable for everyone who loves to create websites on Drupal. I tried to find designs of different formats for different types of sites. Unfortunately, the situation there with themes is a little more complicated than in the same WordPress, where there are more than enough templates, for example, here. I came across Drupal only a couple of times.
  • Beautiful and user-friendly website builders for designers are a very popular trend in web development in recent years. Perhaps very soon the designs will be generated automatically, but for now these tasks require a “human presence”. In a post about designers, I considered 5 large and cool projects that allow you to create complex and vibrant sites with a minimum of technical knowledge.
  • The best courses in photoshop, retouching for designers and photographers. If the process of creating a website can be replaced with a service, then the design is much more complicated. The network has a sufficient number of different courses that will help you learn how to use Photoshop, process photos. There are many self-taught designers who start with these video tutorials.
  • 6 ways to get a logo (infographic) + a coupon from Logaster. If you believe the infographics, then you have several options for designing a logo. It is clear that each of them has its own nuances: uniqueness, price, time costs. It’s up to you to choose. Also, the article tells a little about the Logaster service, which allows you to easily and quickly create a logo.
  • HTML Academy – Excellent online HTML and CSS courses. If you want to learn layout, then this project can be of great help. Some of the materials on the site are free, and this part is enough to study basic and more or less serious concepts. There are practical tasks that are extremely important for any training.
  • Linear CSS Gradients and Gradient Generators. Another material on the subject of layout, where gradients are considered. You will learn how to create them through styles without having to use images on the site. Also covered CSS gradient generators for ease of writing the desired code.

Beautiful desktop wallpaper

Let’s move a little away from serious development topics and see cool wallpapers for your desktop. I published most of the related posts at the end of the year.

  • Beautiful WordPress Wallpapers – If you are a fan of the WordPress system, you can set yourself a matching theme wallpaper on your computer.
  • Beautiful autumn wallpapers on your desktop – in the selection you will immediately find 50 different pictures on the autumn theme. And I also chose the best ones, there were much more of them.
  • Beautiful winter wallpaper. In principle, I liked to choose the thematically wallpaper, so in winter I continued this tradition. In addition, after the search, I always install one of the options on my computer.
  • Christmas and New Year desktop wallpapers. The latest collection of wallpapers was about the upcoming holidays and was supposed to add a little New Year’s mood. I still have a Christmas tree on my desktop.

Best textures 2014

I will present to your attention various posts about textures that were published in 2014.

  • Floral textures for Photoshop – the article contains 11 sets of textures with flowers.
  • Vintage textures with flowers – we can say that this is a continuation of the previous theme, only now vintage floral patterns were selected.
  • Transparent Textures – this service contains transparent textures for the background. As a rule, this is some kind of small pattern that, when superimposed on color, will create an interesting effect (tiny squares, for example, or asphalt chips).
  • Christmas textures and beautiful Christmas textures – textures are simply irreplaceable for creating festive pictures, illustrations or even backgrounds for a website. In total, the article has 25 sets of thematic textures. That’s enough for you.

Materials for photoshop

Besides textures, icons and fonts, there are many other materials for Photoshop. There were slightly fewer of them in 2014 than those mentioned above, so I collected everything in one block.

  • Cloud brushes for Photoshop – I searched for a long time and found 11 sets of Cloud Brushes, that is, with clouds. There are many different options here, it can come in handy.
  • UI PSD Kits for Interfaces – 7 sets of graphics for interfaces with different functional elements and colors.
  • Everything for Halloween: fonts, vectors, wallpapers, backgrounds, icons – a very massive themed collection for the holiday. There is absolutely everything here for both inspiration and design needs.
  • 21 free creative business card templates – you can use these vector materials to create your business cards. They are distributed free of charge.
  • Infographic Kits – This post contains 16 free downloads. By analogy with the previous link, you can download them and use them when developing infographics.

Articles for designers

Also in 2014, several design articles were published on various issues. All of them are presented in this block.

  • Tips for creating a beautiful one-page portfolio site – just above in the examples of site designs, I already wrote about one-page projects and portfolios. There were real works, and this article contains theoretical points and recommendations. Very useful reading.
  • Thousands of dollars in passive income for web designers – the post talks about how a designer can earn not only with the help of their professional skills. There are additional niches to look at: publishing books, delivering courses, creating templates.
  • Hotkeys for Photoshop – a small useful note about quick (hot) keys for Photoshop, which can speed up the process of image processing in this program. If you often perform the same typical actions in Photoshop, I advise you to pay attention to the article.

Various services

Finally, I have saved three links to reviews of design services. I added some services for 2014 to other blocks as they were more suitable for them.

  • Background Burner service – helps to remove the background from pictures due to special mechanisms for automatic image processing. In principle, not a bad idea, although in practice it is not always possible to do everything perfectly.
  • Pixabay – The project contains completely free images and photos. Licensed under Creative Commons CC0, allowing images to be used however you like. At the time of this writing, there were about 200 thousand different images, although only 3 thousand deserved the “editor’s choice”.
  • Ahoba is an interesting service for website layout and layouts. It is somewhat reminiscent of a website builder, you create a layout through the site using special elements, and at the output you get a ready-made layout. The developers have a lot of interesting features in their plans: WordPress templates, PDF layouts, etc. I hope we can implement them.

These are all the best publications of 2014. In total, we got 39 notes, which is more than in all other blogs. Indeed, a lot of attention has been paid to Design Mania, I hope this tradition will continue this year. I wish you good luck in 2015.

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