Best of July, 2008: This Month in Web Design

Since July is winding down, here is a quick recap of some of the best blog posts of the month. As always, there’s plenty of reading to keep you busy/distracted.

Web Design and Development:

CSS-Styled Lists: 20+Demos, Tutorials, and Best Practices from Noupe.

Designing for WordPress: Complete Series and Downloads from CSS-Tricks.

How to Make a Featured Post Carousel for WordPress from NETTUTS.

Create a Simple, Powerful Product Highlighter with MooTools from NETTUTS.

27 Best Photoshop Web Layout Design Tutorials to Design Decent Layouts from DzineBlog.

11 Powerful Firefox 3 Add-ons That Can Replace Standalone Applications from Jason Bartholme.

The Perfectly Semantic Three Column CSS Layout from Mirificam Press.

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15 Photoshop Tutorials for Creating Product Advertisements

The look and message of an advertisement will obviously have a huge impact on the success of the marketing campaign. Here is a list of 15 tutorials that will help you to create more attractive and eye-catching advertisements with Photoshop.

Design a Professional Laptop Advert – PSDFAN

PSDFAN is a new tutorial blog, but there’s already some high-quality work there, including this one.

Laptop Ad

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Is a Magazine Theme Right for You?

Mimbo Pro

Magazine-style themes, particularly for WordPress are very popular right now. The majority of premium themes for sale are magazine-style, and there are some very good ones. With the rise in availability and popularity of premium themes, magazine themes are also being increasingly common. A magazine theme can be a great option for building a website to utilize WordPress as a CMS rather than just a standard blogging platform.

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Enhanced Sidebars with Dynamic Content

After writing Effective Use of Blog Sidebars a couple of weeks ago I decided to look into the topic of dynamic sidebars. Typically, most blogs will us a standard sidebar for the entire site. WordPress users have a lot of potential functionality that is rarely used in terms of creating various sidebars and displaying them in different situations.

For example, when I was creating the theme for DesignM.ag I needed to have slightly different sidebars according to the category of the post. You can see the differences by looking at a standard blog post, a post in the community news category, and a post in the gallery category. For items in the news category I wanted a brief introductory paragraph with a button to submit news, followed by a list of recently published news items. On posts in the gallery I wanted the same thing, except for the gallery category instead of the news category. Posts in all other categories have a list of categories followed by recent news items. As a result there are three different left sidebars that are shown depending on the category of the post.

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Announcing the Launch of DesignM.ag!

Today I’m very excited to announce the launch of DesignM.ag! In attempt to provide a useful and resourceful site for the web design community, DesignM.ag includes a blog, a community news section, a design gallery , and a job board will be added soon. If you enjoy and appreciate the posts here at Vandelay Design, I think you will like DesignM.ag as well.

DesignMag

Here are the initial posts that are already published:

Welcome to DesignM.ag
A general first post.

50+ Fonts for Big, Bold Headlines
This is a big list of some excellent fonts that will make your headlines stand out.

11 Steps to a More Stable Freelance Income
Freelancers are always dealing with ups and downs in terms of work levels and income. This article looks at some things you can do to minimize the down times.

Favorite Design-Related Sites of 21 Designers
Since I was starting a new site for the design community I thought it would be fun to get some others involved in one of the initial posts. This provides an interesting look at what some top designers are reading on a regular basis.

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Blog Navigation and the Ongoing Challenges that Arise

Navigation is obviously one of the most critical aspects of usability. Developing effective navigation is a challenge for most websites, but it’s especially an issue for blogs because of the content that is continually being added.

Think about the typical blog. A few new posts are probably added each week, but navigation is almost never changed or updated, except by using internal links within the posts themselves. Finding posts is always possible by browsing through the archives, checking through some categories, or by doing a search, but the more content that is added, the harder it is to navigate.

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Learning from Other Designers

One of the things that I like about web design is that there’s always plenty to learn, regardless of how experienced you are. I know that my knowledge really only scratches the surface of web design and development, and I appreciate the fact that seemingly unlimited resources are available to allow me to become a better designer.

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