Cheap and Cheerful Design Tools
July has produced a flurry of excellent new tools designers and developers will want to try out. Such tools include tools and frameworks for responsive design; new Web and image apps; coding resources, icons, and e-commerce solutions, as well as iOS7 development tools and tons of exciting new fonts. Here are a few of these tools, most of which are either available at low cost or free.
Froont - This tool allows designers to create sites in their browser, seeing the site exactly how it will be seen by visitors, by using an easy to use drag & drop interface.
jQueerie CollagePlus - This new plug-in arranges images to fit perfectly inside containers. Users have control over target row heights, CSS borders and padding between images, CollagePlus does the rest.
Thincons - Inspired by iOS7, this icon set includes 77 icons. It costs just $7, but if users do not wish to pay for the complete set, they can get a sample just for tweeting about it.
Gridr buildrrr - Easy to use, this grid creator lets users specify column numbers, margins and widths, as well as how many draggable boxes they wish to include, then does the rest of the job on its own.
Tabulous.js - Transition options offered by this jQuery tabs module include sliding, scaling and more. Full documentation is available and implementation is not only easy, but also quick.
Golden Ratio Calculator - Better typography is made easy with this simple tool. Entering font size, content width and, if desired, characters per line (CPL) will result in several suitable typographic recommendations.
Gumroad - Selling physical or digital products online is made simple by Gumroad. All users have to do is to upload their files, style their sales pages and hey presto, they are selling. Payment processing is handled by Gumroad, and transactions are charged for at only 5 per cent.
Notism - Notism makes team collaboration on visual content effective, fast and simple. Sketching and commenting tools are included, allowing creation of interactive prototypes. Project management capabilities are also present.
Style Guide Boilerplate - Geared towards developers and designers wishing to roll personal frameworks handling components commonly used between projects.
Other great new July-offerings include:
iOS 7 GUI PSD
Tactile Design Kit
The Secret Handshake
Great new fonts appearing in July included:
Like the apps and tools mentioned here, these fonts are also either free or available at comparatively low prices. Alianza, by the way, is actually a fairly complex typographic system including three complementary styles.
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