Tag Archives: Tools of the Trade

Tools of the Trade #10: Spice Up Your Placeholder Text With Meet the Ipsums

Tools of the Trade

I’ve been tackling a number of web design projects lately and truth be told, using the Lipsum Generator to fill up my layouts was getting old. I wanted some personality splashed into my placeholder text!

Thankfully, a friend just introduced me to Meet the Ipsums, which is an aggregator that pulls together all the eccentric ipsums from across the internet in a beautiful, easy to navigate interface. Of course, there’s something for everyone — cupcake ipsum, cat ipsum and cheese ipsum just scratch the surface!

There’s nothing like injecting some fun into the mundane and Meet the Ipsums does just that.

What’s your favorite ipsum of bunch?


Images: Meet the Ipsums.
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Tools of the Trade #9: Liven Up Your Projects with CG Textures

Tools of the Trade

In my first year of design school, my instructor introduced me to the best stash of free textures I’d ever seen. To this day, whether I need a snippet of antique wallpaper, a massive expanse of sand or a page out of a weathered book, my first stop is CG Textures.

With over 100,000 assets and counting, the site is a treasure trove for designers and best of all, most of the smaller sizes can be downloaded for free after you’ve registered. CG Textures has made it possible for me to spend less time searching for hard-to-find textures and more time designing. And I hope it will do the same for you, too.


Ink drop image: CG Textures.
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Tools of the Trade #8: Creating Custom Palettes with the Kuler App

Tools of the Trade

I just found out about the Kuler app after reading about it on Tamera’s blog yesterday and had to share. As an extension of the popular Kuler website by Adobe, it allows you to upload or snap photos on your phone and then automatically pulls together a palette. You can tweak the colors by quickly moving the dots.

Tools of the Trade

If you’re a total color nerd, there are tons of additional menu options to further customize your palette. Once you’ve pulled together the perfect combinations, you can synch the app with your Kuler account and upload it for safe keeping. If you’re feeling extra smug about your creations, you can also share them via email and Twitter.

Oh, and did I mention that the app is free? And that you can also import photos from the web and Flickr? I’m sensing a new addiction.


App: Adobe Kuler.
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Tools of the Trade #7: Creative Market

Tools of the Trade

Creative Market is an online marketplace with tons of goodies designed with creatives in mind. The site is overflowing with beautiful, handmade assets including blog themes (organized by platform), icon sets, brushes, fonts, illustrations and much, much more. At over 7,000 products, the selection is deep and the price points are super reasonable.

I’ve purchased a few items so far and have been really impressed with the quality. Even better, when you make a purchase, you’re supporting the creative community since independent sellers get to keep 70% of the earnings. You can get in on the action, too — if you’re interested in opening up a shop of your own, learn more here.

Another great benefit of keeping up with Creative Market is that they offer new freebies every week!


Photo: Made U Look
Brush set: Mindful Pixels on Creative Market
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Tools of the Trade #6: My Go-To Backup for WordPress

Tools of the Trade

It’s been a long time since I wrote a post about the importance of backing up your WordPress site and that was in part because I wasn’t happy with any of the plugins I tried (and boy, did I try a lot). That all changed last month when I gave WordPress Backup to Dropbox a spin.

If you’re new to backing up your WordPress site, your image assets are only the half of it — the other, equally important half is your database. This contains all of your posts, comments and site customizations.

I found plenty of plugins that would back up my database but I wanted the peace of mind of having everything, including my image assets saved in one place and WordPress Backup to Dropbox does just that.

The plugin is free, the install is painless and best of all, it sends the backup straight to your Dropbox account. Every week, a complete copy of my site is automatically delivered to me — It doesn’t get easier than that!


Photo: Made U Look.
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