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12 Invaluable Sites for Web Design

Whether you are a professional or amateur web designer, or simply want to learn more about how web design works, these are great resources to browse and bookmark. This collection covers various design styles, guides and tools as well as free fonts, stock photographs and vector images. These have been organized into three complimentary categories: inspiration, guides and resources. Enjoy!

Web Design Inspiration:

CSS Zen Garden A demonstration of what can be accomplished visually through CSS-based design. Select any style sheet from the list to load it into this page. The Zen Garden aims to excite, inspire, and encourage participation. To begin, view some of the existing designs in the list. Clicking on any one will load the style sheet into this very page. The code remains the same, the only thing that has changed is the external .css file. Yes, really.

Web Design Inspiration is a Flickr image set collecting a variety of successful web designs of all different kinds, over 400 total. It has a great collection of eye-candy for the non-designer as well as inspirational works of creativity to motivate any designer, web or otherwise.

Web Creme provides frequently updated screenshots in an elegant-but-simple blog-like format for web designers to browse. This enables designers to easily check back in should they be searching for some easy design inspiration and regularly refreshed content.

Unmatched Style is a constantly growing community dedicated to acknowledging those who have made exceptionally gorgeous web sites using Cascading Style Sheets and web standards. By recognizing these exceptionally beautiful designs, other designers and businesses can get inspired and find a direction they may wish to take with their own web sites.

CSS Beauty is a project focused on providing its audience with a database of well designed CSS based websites from around the world. Its purpose is to showcase designers’ work and to act as a small portal to the CSS design community. If you are “in need of inspiration”, you have come to the right place.

Web Design Guides:

Web Design from Scratch is for everyone involved or interested in creating web sites - whether novice or expert. It will help you understand what makes web sites succeed or fail, and what can be done to increase the chance of success. You don’t have to be a web designer to benefit from this site. You may have a current web site design project, you may be updating an existing site, or just interested in learning new skills. Also be sure to check out his Current Style in Web Design Guide.

Web 2.0 How-To Design Style Guide: In this tutorial, the author describes various common graphic design elements in modern web (”2.0″) design style. He then explains why they work (i.e. why they have become common), as well as how, when and where you might use each element in your designs.

Top 50 Logo Design Tutorials has an excellent selection of logo design guides with helpful screenshots that will assist you in navigating the various links. Whether you are looking for something detailed and creative or simple and elegant there is almost certainly something useful on this list.

51 Photoshop Text Effect Tutorials. ext and the way it looks is a major part of any design. A great design can be cheapened if the text on the page looks wrong. Any logo is almost entirely text. From water to fire, these 51 tutorials will show you how to create any style of text you want.

Web Design Resources:

Open Source Web Design is a site to download free web design templates and share yours with others. They help make the internet a prettier place. To put it simply, Open Source Web Design is a collection of web designs submitted by the community that anyone can download free of charge!

Blue Vertigo showcases an amazing array of free resources for web designers, from stockphotography and vector clip art to free fonts and brushes. This is truly a site worth bookmarking for future use.

Browser Shots allows you to test out your designs in various browsers quickly and easily. Browsershots makes screenshots of your web design in different browsers. It is a free open-source online service created by Johann C. Rocholl. When you submit your web address, it will be added to the job queue. A number of distributed computers will open your website in their browser. Then they will make screenshots and upload them to the central server here.

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