Whether you’re a designer, a graphic artist, a blogger, or simply trying to create a fun flyer for your club or organization, Smashing Magazine has your answer. If you’re tired of using the same Sans Serif and Brush Script fonts in your standard Microsoft Word or Pages Font Book, check out some of the links Smashing Magazine provides to free, high quality font websites. Some are geared specifically towards designers, some are considered “fresh” and “beautiful.” If you’re like me and you enjoy using new fonts and playing around with design and typography, these are perfect for you.
Responsive web design is all the rage in web development right now. And as it should be! Responsive websites make the switch from desktop to laptop to tablet to smartphone seamless, or at least easy to follow. The following is a list of lists, websites that have put together their own lists of free responsive WordPress themes.
Have your own source for free responsive themes? Let us know on Twitter, @msuwrac.
Image viw www.wix.com
If WordPress doesn’t have what you’re looking for, never fear. WIX is another platform offering you free templates to build your website. You can choose from different categories based on the type of website you’re looking to create, such as one for business, fashion, photography, or design and art.
After choosing a template, it is incredibly easy to personalize your site. This free tool is designed to help you make a website in an easy manner, and does so by allowing you to make changes to your site by double clicking on text, or with helpful popup boxes that guide you in altering tags or images. We didn’t want to offer any resource that we weren’t sure of, so we created a basic web page to test how simple it really was to build it. As it turns out, ten minutes later we had a functional page that was easy to edit and customize. Feel free to check it out, especially if you’re looking to create a site yourself!
Image via WordPress.com
If you’re considering starting a blog or a website anytime soon, there are a few key elements you should know between using WordPress.org or WordPress.com.
WordPress.org is a prime tool if you are a tech savvy person, or if you’re creating a site for an organization. It has a wide variety of free templates you can choose from to fit your needs. There’s also a fair amount of flexibility in being able to create your own custom design, and you have a lot of control over the individual elements within the web page. However, you are required to find a web host for your site.
On the other hand, if working with websites isn’t something you’re familiar with, WordPress.com is the more useful route. This site also has a range of free templates that you can match to what you want (select which theme you would like, and then click the “Free” tab on the right side of the page). Whether you’re a writer looking for a place to share your thoughts and ideas, or a digital communicator looking to showcase visuals like photos, these are designed for you to fill your work into their templates. It’s very helpful in taking you step by step through setting up your site, and then continues in making it simple to maintain.
Ultimately, both sites offer good templates, that are—insert the magic word here—free!
For people unfamiliar with the publishing industry, there are assumptions made when it comes to how it works. Writer’s Digest recently released an article explaining 3 “Random Lessons” about assumptions of publishing today. One deals with people’s assumptions about celebrities who publish a book; the article interviews Jaime Lee Curtis who explains that she’s been writing for 22 years and has published 10 books. Another examines self-publishing at a professional level, and the “one reason” some novels succeed and others don’t.
In this modern age of Facebook, Twitter, blogging, and smart phones where you have access to virtually anything at your fingertips, it is important to be mindful about what you are posting to the internet. Friending and unfriending, posting comments on someone’s wall/picture/status, and retweeting or mentioning someone in a tweet is common practice for well versed social media users. Sometimes, though, we break the rules for social media etiquette without realizing what we’re doing.
A recent article from Real Simple examined the Dos and Don’ts of Social Media etiquette. It highlights the rules of friending and unfriending on Facebook (“remember that it’s okay to prune your friend list”), status updates (“do a quick gut check and ask yourself if you really need to share that thought with the world before you post it”), photos and tagging, and privacy and settings. The article also goes into the etiquette of following and unfollowing on Twitter (“if someone starts following you on Twitter you are not obligated to return the gesture.”), retweets, replies, and mentions, and even a section on dealing with hurtful comments.
If you’re just starting to figure out the world of social media, it would be a good idea to review this article; even a social media expert would do well to brush up on their etiquette rules and make sure they’re not making any mistakes. Social media is another way for people to allow their voice to be heard; although, if you end up abusing it, there isn’t a way to erase what you said. Once you post something on the internet, it’s there forever. The bottom line, the article states, is if you wouldn’t want your boss or grandmother to see it, don’t post it.
Interested in how the ideas and concepts of graphic design has changed over time? There are many books on this, several that “tend to be organized by chronology and focused on concrete-isms,” but one in particular focuses on “abstract concepts” and is illustrated with “exemplary images and historical context.”
Brain Pickings examined the new book 100 Ideas that Changed Graphic Design, created by design writer Steven Heller and design critic Veronique Vienne. This book highlights the authors’ favorite creators (such as Saul Bass and Paula Scher) as well as focuses on not only “what design is and does, but also on what it should be and do.”
Example of a public service campaign highlighted in 100 Ides That Changed Graphic Design. Source: brainpickings.org
It is always great to receive advice from someone who is an expert at their craft. F. Scott Fitzgerald, for example. Ernest Hemingway once described his talent “as natural as the pattern that was made by the dust on butterfly’s wings.” Open Culture recently released Seven Tips from F. Scott Fitzgerald on How to Write Fiction, pulled from quotations from the book F. Scott Fitzgerald on Writing, edited by Larry W. Phillips. Some of them include:
- Start by taking notes
- Don’t describe your work-in-progress to anyone
- Be ruthless.
Check out the rest as well as its companion article from Fitzgerald’s friend and rival, Seven Tips From Ernest Hemingway on How to Write Fiction.