Category Archives: internet

Our 10 Favorite WordPress Themes of 2017

As we prepare to say goodbye to 2017, it’s only natural that we look back at the year that was in a variety of design genres. Today, we’ll focus on the top WordPress themes released during the year.

While there are many ways to judge themes (looks, features, popularity, etc.), we’re going to be bold and simply say that we really like the ones on this list. They represent the spectrum of what’s available, from free to commercial, from barebones to feature-rich.

Here they are, in no particular order. Let’s celebrate our 10 favorite WordPress themes of 2017!

Minimal 20/17

Minimal 20/17 is a free child theme of the default WordPress Twenty Seventeen theme. It takes away some of the “excessive” padding of its parent, introduces a wider layout and adds in a couple of extra templates. This will save anyone wanting to build on top of the original a few steps.

Minimal 20/17


WoodMart is a commercial theme that focuses on WooCommerce shops. What really sets it apart are the advanced navigation features. Large, customizable mega menus make it a great fit for sites with a lot of product categories. Ajax product filtering enables customers to find exactly what they’re looking for. There’s something for just about every need here.


WP Generic

WP Generic may be free, but it’s got the look and feature set of a commercial theme (of course, there is the obligatory pro version as well). The theme works with the WordPress Customizer, allowing you to tweak colors and other settings to fit your needs. Overall it’s a very attractive and easy-to-read theme.

WP Generic

Course Builder

Course Builder aims to take advantage of the rise in sites using WordPress as a LMS (Learning Management System). It works in conjunction with the LearnPress plugin to help you build and sell online or offline courses. This commercial theme comes with several LearnPress premium add-ons, including plugins that work with various payment gateways, WooCommerce, Paid Memberships Pro and more.

Course Builder


CustomPress is a free theme that prides itself on being easy to customize. It’s also built for speed (based on the Milligram CSS framework) and compatibility with mobile devices. The look is clean and uncluttered.



Flexblog is further proof that blogging is still an important part of what WordPress does. And this commercial theme treats bloggers right, with lots of different layout options to suit their needs. You’ll also find different navigation/pagination styles, built in social sharing and compatibility with the WordPress Customizer.



Ariel brings an attractive, photo-centric style to blogging. The style isn’t overbearing – a welcome characteristic in this category. Included with the free theme are two slider styles, lots of sidebar options and social media icons. A pro version adds more customization options, post formats and other assorted goodies.


Get Skeleton

Get Skeleton is a free starter theme based on the popular _s (Underscores) and features the GetSkeleton CSS boilerplate. It’s meant for designers who want to create their own stunning theme, but want a solid foundation to build upon. So, no, it’s not going to win any beauty prizes out-of-the-box. It is, however, meant for serious development.

Get Skeleton


Skin shows us the fun side of WordPress themes. The design is unique and quite bold – although you can customize it to match your personality. It seems to be the perfect fit for the modern blog that’s looking to go viral. There’s lots of movement and animation, but the layout is still easy enough to follow. This one is definitely a different sort of commercial theme.



Cortex also lends itself to a more whimsically creative type of website. There are 17 home page layouts to choose from with this commercial theme – all are quite colorful. You’ll find several navigation options, including mega menus and a slide-out “hamburger” option.  Animation is also big here, with lots of floating objects to add a bit of flair to your content.


Looking Back…And Ahead

What did we learn from 2017? Well, blogging is still “in”. And developers are getting increasingly more playful with designs and features. That makes sense given the times we live in and the crowded market for themes.

But 2018 looks like it will be a whole other level of eventful when it comes to themes (and WordPress in general).  With the Gutenberg editor due to arrive, look for theme developers to race to ensure compatibility and add their own custom features based on it. It will be fascinating to see how the market adapts to this new way of creating and editing content.

Original Article:

Top 12 Web-Based Color Tools for Web Designers

Picking the perfect color scheme shouldn’t be a miserable task. All you need are the right tools for the job and an eye for design.

I can’t help develop your eye for picking colors, but I can share a bunch of handy color tools that’ll likely improve your eye as you use them.

These tools are all 100% free, so they’re easy to bookmark and reuse time & time again. They can also work for web, mobile, print, or any other medium that needs incredible colors.

1. ColorHexa

colorhexa webapp

Recently I was browsing the web and stumbled onto ColorHexa. It’s by far one of the coolest color tools I’ve ever seen.

This isn’t technically a color generator or a scheme design tool. Instead, it’s an information library on all colors with suggested gradient ideas, related shades, and dozens of color codes(ex: hex, RGB, CMYK, CIE-LAB, HSL and more).

You’ll never find a more complete list of information on color. This is super useful for all designers, including web designers, and it’s a great place to start researching colors for your projects.

2. Colors.css


If you do some research into color psychology you’ll learn how different colors stack together & what sort of mood they give. This plays into contrast for certain types of colors and how they work together.

Every browser comes with default colors that are often too harsh. Colors.css fixes that.

It’s a free CSS library that restyles the default color palette. This means you can use color names like “blue” and “red” with totally different values.

They even have an entire accessibility page full of ideas for matching color schemes that’ll improve readability on your site.

3. ColorPick Eyedropper Extension

colorpick chrome addon

How often do you find a site with a beautiful color scheme? I find amazing sites all the time and it’s difficult to export those colors from the stylesheet.

You can use Chrome DevTools but this requires digging around in the code to pick out the hex colors. Instead you can use the ColorPick Eyedropper extension made exclusively for Google Chrome.

You just click the toggle window in the extensions panel, then hover any color you want to study. This gives you the full hex code along with a “copy” link to copy the exact color to your clipboard.

Pretty cool right? And it’s a free plugin, so there’s nothing to lose by trying it out.

4. Coolors

coolors webapp

The Coolors site is a large color scheme generator. You can find dozens of generators on the web, but this one’s a little different since it supports Adobe programs with its own add-on.

You can also get this as a Chrome extension or even as a custom iOS app for your phone.

Really the true value is in the browser webapp that auto-generates color schemes on the fly. You can then mix & match colors, change settings, adjust for color blindness, and randomize your own schemes based on certain criteria.

It’s a great application, but it comes with a small learning curve. Shouldn’t take you more than 15-20 minutes to figure out how it all works.

5. Ambiance

ambiance color webapp

Ambiance is another color scheme site but it works a little differently. This one pulls color palettes from ColourLovers and displays them in an easy-to-consume style.

This means you’ll need to check the original link on Color Lovers to find more data about any particular scheme.

I still think Ambiance is a handy site to bookmark only because of its usability. This app is way more straightforward to use than Colour Lovers so it’s easier to pair colors together and get them working.

6. Material UI Colors

material ui colors

With a quick Google search you’ll find a bunch of sweet material design tools on the web. They seem never-ending and many of them rely on the color styles typically found in Android apps.

With the Material UI Colors webapp you can find perfect color schemes that match with Google’s material guidelines.

Easily change the tint of all colors with the slider in the top-left corner of the screen. Or randomize your selections to match an existing site’s color choices.

You can also switch between hex and RGB depending on whatever format you want. A great app for material design lovers.

7. Color Supply

color supply webapp

The Color Supply website is pretty unique but also very strange. It gives you a bunch of interesting color tools for matching color schemes, picking the foregrounds & backgrounds, plus different ways to compare how those colors would look on a page.

But this doesn’t have any guide or specific purpose. It acts like a color scheme generator that you have to just kind of learn as you go.

It will output different colors with hex codes near the bottom of the page to copy. Plus it’ll show you how those colors work in a gradient, in icons, and with text. Nice tool but it comes with an awkward learning curve.

8. Color Safe

color safe wcag app

The WCAG works hard towards a more accessible web. Color is one of the easiest ways to build your accessibility without losing time testing.

Color Safe is a free webapp that can test your color choices. You pick from a small set of fonts & sizes, then pick whatever colors you want for your foreground & background.

From there you’ll get an accessibility rating along with suggestions on how to improve your color choices(if needed).

Really great tool for anyone concerned about accessibility on the web.

9. Color Hunt

color hunt webapp

For a user-curated gallery of color schemes take a look at Color Hunt.

This free project was launched a couple of years back and continues to be a source of design inspiration. People submit their own color schemes into the site, then others vote on those color schemes.

You can sort by newest or by most popular and even vote on your favorites. Pretty cool right?

It’s an extremely simple web app so don’t expect too many features. It’s just a neat way to visually browse through many different color patterns at once.

10. Open Color

open colors webapp

Looking for something a little more web-friendly? Then check out the Open Color library.

This is a massive open source collection of color choices built around accessibility and browser support. Each color has been optimized for easy matching regardless of your layout’s design.

Check out the GitHub repo for more info and to download a copy of the styles.

11. HTML Color Codes

html color codes generator

HTML Color Codes is another info-focused color webapp.

This lets you pull all forms of HTML/CSS code for your color choices right from the app. You can search for any color you want, or go by their recommendations. Plus this even has a tool for generating color palettes that you can download as Adobe Swatch files.

Don’t let the name fool you: this app is for more than just HTML color.

It’s a brilliant tool for digital designers of all types who want easy access to color codes and reusable palettes.

12. Adobe Color CC

adobe color cc webapp

I can’t pass over the incredible Adobe Color CC webapp.

This free tool used to be called Adobe Kuler but it’s gone through a few iterations over the years. It’s still a free color picker but the interface has changed to make it easier for designers to build & save color schemes.

If you’re an Adobe user this tool is worth bookmarking. It supports up to 5 different colors in one scheme, and you can even upload images to pull dynamic color schemes automatically.

Original Article:

Beautiful Examples of Graphical Backgrounds in Mobile App Design

Graphical backgrounds have been an emerging trend in mobile design over the last year. It entails incorporating some form of visuals behind the primary content. Typically this area tended to be left untouched, aside from color variations.

Going back further, we used to see the use of subtle background patterns such as linen which was popular in earlier iOS releases. Now we see some more refined examples of what can be achieved with graphical backgrounds.

In this article we are going to look at a selection of the most elegant and most beautiful examples of graphical backgrounds across both iOS and Android app design.

Diamonds App III

 Graphical Backgrounds App Design Inspiration

This app combines purple and gold diamond shapes to provide visual impact as well as contrast behind buttons and active tab elements.

Custom Weather Forecast

 Graphical Backgrounds App Design Inspiration

This custom weather app utilizes refined background graphics to emphasize the current forecast. The graphics are minimal but offer a balance without being too overwhelming.

TODO App UI- Day 3

 Graphical Backgrounds App Design Inspiration

This todo app uses overlapping gradient shapes behind the app content. They are subtle enough not to draw too much attention away from the content while offering some impressive visuals.

Boarding pass animation

 Graphical Backgrounds App Design Inspiration

This boarding pass app goes all-out with their graphical background designs. They include carefully-placed imagery to offer some visual cues while keeping the main content areas clean of any conflicting graphics.

Best of Banking iOS app

 Graphical Backgrounds App Design Inspiration

This subtle implementation is one of the finest examples. While it doesn’t span the entire screen, it serves as a background to the primary content. The colors are vibrant and perfectly in keeping with the brand and remainder of the user interface design.

Storytelling Community App

 Graphical Backgrounds App Design Inspiration

This design implements a combination of gradients and subtle brand graphics for the backgrounds. They are impressive against the cards and typography.

Login Qonto Android

 Graphical Backgrounds App Design Inspiration

Qonto’s background graphics are one of the more minimal examples. However, the wave-like bottom section of the background offers great visual interest and blends seamlessly with the navigation and device color.

Property Developer Finder Mobile App

 Graphical Backgrounds App Design Inspiration

Another more subtle implementation is this background from Property Developer Finder. It uses a giant circular gradient object encompassing large cropped typography.

Strelka App

 Graphical Backgrounds App Design Inspiration

Strelka’s banking app contains one of the most vibrant background visuals. It has been able to experiment this way due to the small quantity of overlaying content. The high-contrast credit card designs work beautifully against this background.

Xplr App

 Graphical Backgrounds App Design Inspiration

Another app to use a full-width, full-height gradient background is this by Xplr. The pink-to-blue gradient is beautiful and uses a range of circular stroke objects throughout for added effect.

Original Article:

75 Amazing Gifts for Designers for Under 100$

We have collected 75 fantastic Christmas gifts for all you creative designers out there. And best of all, all of the gifts are affordable, with prices ranging from $10 to $100!

Ready? Let’s get started with our 2017 gift guide!

Timeless Clock Coaster


Timeless clock coasters

Never worry about time when you are with friends. Stacking these coasters introduces a different design.

Keyboard Coaster


Keyboard coaster

A simple coaster that will complement any kind of laptop or desktop on any kind of table.

USB Flash Drive 64 GB – Credit Card


USB flash drive credit card

Finally, a flash drive that can fit in your wallet! Gift for computer programmer friend?

Newton’s Cradle – 4.5 Inch, Contemporary


Newtons cradle

Aside from Newton’s Cradle being a cool addition to any desk, it also has a calming effect, which many web designers need several times a day.

iPad Paper Pad


iPad paper pad

Not an iPad, but an iPad Paper Pad. Just a cool pad to jot down anything, including paper prototyping – give this as a present!

Stress Buster Desktop Punching Ball


Stress buster punching ball

Ah, yes, instead of punching a client or the boss, punch this ball instead. Or save your laptop from your wrath. Help save a friend or yourself from unemployment with this neat present!

Moleskine Folio Notebook


Moleskin folio notebook

One of the safest gifts to give to any professional, trust me. Writers, web designers and developers, marketers, you name it. All of them need a notebook.

Rhodia Grid Designer Book


Rhodia grid notebook

A perfect pad for designers. It has subtle dots that form grids for symmetrical sketches.

Mug Warmer


Mug warmer

Web designers tend to focus on their designs while their coffee gets cold…no more! Maybe your other half is an addicted coder, he will appreciate this mug warmer as his gift for sure!

Phillips Hue


Philips hue

Wireless personal lighting for your office or room that can be controlled using smartphones or tablets. No need to stand up just to turn off the lights. Hue, hue, hue.

Rechargeable USB Batter Pack


Battery pack – hand turbine

Now this backup battery pack is so cool because it comes with hand turbine power generator. Even if you don’t have access to electricity, you can generate power yourself!

Gadget addicts as designers definitely will love to get this as a gift on any occasion!

Pantone CAPSURE Color Matcher


Pantone capsure

Scan and capture colors and integrate on your design programs. It’s not sci-fi, it’s Pantone CAPSURE color matcher!

The Web Designer’s Idea Book


Web designers idea book

From the best selling series, this third installment of The Web Designer’s Idea Book is a must-have for every web designer – from beginners to masters.

MOMA MUJI 36 Colored Pencils


MOMA MUJI colored pencils

The best gift for designers and young creatives in general, including art students.

Social Media Pillows


Social media pillows

A perfect gift for social media enthusiasts and web designers. Why? Because no one can resist these fluffy pillows in today’s social media world!




Many web designers never see this mythical place called The Outside. Bring this Outside atop their desk! Get it here.

Retro Wired Headset


Retro wired headset

It’s not like someone will actually use this thing, but it’s a great gift nonetheless. Check it here.

Skullcandy Headphone


Skullcandy headphones

For the web designer who loves music, just take a look at those colors! Click here.




Ever wished of having an extra hand just to hold your phone where you want it to? Well, Spiderpodium solves that! You can twist its arms in several different ways to either make your phone stand on its own, cling to a railing, hang on your bike, and several more usages, the only limit is your imagination.

The Principles of Beautiful Web Design


The Principles of Beautiful Web Design

A great book as an amazing gift for beginners and people looking for direction in the web design industry.

3. Don’t Make Me Think


Don’t Make Me Think

The purpose of every design is to make it intuitive as much as possible, not just for desktops but also for mobile devices. This book tackles fresh perspectives on how web usability should be done. Check it here.

64GB SanDisk Memory Card


64 GB SanDisk memory card

The most popular memory card on Portable, it can save up to 64GB of data. A perfect gift for photographers, web designers, graphic artists, and just about anyone.

LED Fluorescent Message Board


LED fluorescent message board

A great addition to anyone’s nightstand either for cheer notes or for a to-do list the next morning. Be sure to check LED fluorescent message board.

Plasma Lightning Heart


Plasma Lightning Heart

Dazzling lightning patterns respond to touch and sound. Electric currents are transformed into rays of light that dance around the inside of a handcrafted glass heart. The plasma lightning can also be manipulated by the touch of your fingertips or the vibrations from music and other noise. This unique decoration is a fun addition to parties – place on a stereo speaker and watch the lightning respond to the sound.

Sony (4:3) Digital Photo Frame (Black)


Digital photo frame

Beautifully display your favourite pictures at home with the easy-to-use 8″1 LED backlit digital photo frame. Enjoy your photos as single images or as a slideshow using a variety of transition effects. For added convenience, you can even view a clock or calendar along with your pictures.

Docking Station


Converge Docking Station

A modern and neat Quirky Converage docking station for charging that will look great beside a Mac computer. Amazing gift for creative friend, who loves his gadgets.

MOMA Perpetual Calendar


Moma Perpetual Calendar

Another perpetual calendar. The first one was more of a natural and retro type while this one is modern and borderline sci-fi.

One of the best gifts for designers in my opinion!

Inkling Bamboo


Inkling Bamboo

Inkling Bamboo is effective for sketching and taking notes. The best part? Every stroke you make is recorded and can then be converted for digital use on Photoshop. Graphic designers would love to get their hands on this!

Boogie Board LCD Tablet


Boogie Board

I’m pretty sure that anyone who has enjoyed Etch-a-Sketch will find this gadget absolutely lovely. In fact, I just ordered one for my geek friend!

Pen Zen Bamboo Desk Organizer


Pen Zen Bamboo Desk Organizer

An organized desk reflects an organized mind, do you agree?

Cordies Cable Organizer


Cordies – Cable organizer

You don’t need to worry again with your cables being tied together. Maintain a neatly organized work space with this product.

3. Hedgehog and Pig Card Holder


Hedgehog and Pig cardholder

Hedgehog made of silicon that will help you hold your business cards in place.

Logitech Wireless Trackball


Logitech wireless trackball

We asked around and found out that this is the best mouse for designers. It has no lag, it’s very much responsive, built for comfort, and has several functions like back and forward navigations, a programmable button, thumb controlled trackball, and many more that no standard mouse has.

Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop Keyboard


Sculpt keyboard

An ergonomic keyboard to help web designers protect their hands because it’s the only pair they will have for the rest of their lives!

Natico Ultimate Executive Decision Maker


Natico decision maker

Admit it, web designers are funnily crazy, and as a friend to one, you need to feed them with more crazy fuel! Natico decision maker, perfect!

Floppy Disk Sticky Notes


Floppy disk sticky notes

Go old school with these sticky notes! I guess this is the saying “Only 90s kids will get this.” come into play!

Floating Shelf


Floating shelf

A great home or office decoration! Stylish gift for graphic designers who appreciate attention to detail and simplicity. Check it here.

Portal 2 Sentry Turret – Motion Activated Desk Defender


Motion activated desk defender

Because every sane web designer has to protect their desks from intruders, right?? Order it here.

Magnetic Sculptures – Dolphins


Magnetic sculptures – dolphins

A great toy/design to tinker around to let the creative juice flow in during slow days.

3. Pantone Formula Designer Guide


Pantone formula designer guide

The BEST gift you can give to any designer, especially the ones who don’t bring their computers with them all the time!

Macbook Stand


Macbook stand

I really have no idea what’s the practical use for this stand, but I’ll include it here since it looks sleek and gifts should look sleek.

Pixelated Hand Shaped Mouse


Pixelated hand shaped mouse

It’s very ironic for a web designer to have this, yet I’m pretty sure they will love this. Ironic how? Many designers hate seeing individual pixels on their screens! Get yours here.

6. Coffee Cup Mist Humidifier


Coffee cup mist humidifier

A web designer friend lives or works in an arid place? That’s bad for the skin! Help combat this situation by giving them a humidifier!

Cyber Cleaning


Cyber clean

Well, keyboards won’t clean themselves, no? Cyber clean will help you.

Sauna Boy Portable Humidifier


Sauna boy

A much cuter humidifier, I have nothing else to add. I want this. Great gift for designers.

Adult Coloring Planner for 2016


Adult coloring planner

I can guarantee you every graphic or web designer will love this planner for year 2016. This will inspire designers to create, sketch something awesome themselves. Make your designer friend happy with this amazing gift!

Paper Email


Paper email notes

A fancy way to send notes to friends and colleagues, but personally I’ll use it to make fun of others. Get yours here.

3. i-Bridge Premium Desk Organizer


iBridge desk organizer

A neat desk organizer for any office or home office. It has a cup holder, a dock for phones, two USB ports, and an amazing…paper holder.

Mobile WebDesigner’s Idea Book


Mobile Webdesigner’s Idea Book

A spin-off of The Web Designer’s Idea Book, a best-selling series that focuses on great web designs. A book series that every web designers NEED to have.

External Battery Pack for Most Smartphones and Tablets


External battery pack

Because running out of battery is a very, very, scary thing, right? You’ll never know when you will need one! Check it here.

6. Doctor Who Vinyl Decal


Doctor Who Vinyl Decal

Doctor Who fans will love this decal quote in the form of TARDIS.

Masters of Poster Design


Masters of Poster Design

Very cool posters to design a rather plain room. Give that room some attitude!

Aroma Home Screen Wipe


Aroma Home Screen Wipe, Gorilla

Fun screen wipes with a chamois tummy will clean and reduce static on computer monitors, laptops and LCD screens. It has a zest of lemon fragrance which improves mental clarify and focus.

Don’t forget to share your gift ideas for other readers to see.

Balcony Desk


Balcony Desk

For the fresh air and sun lovers. Balcony desk is extremely useful if your web designer friend has a balcony, of course.

Blue Heart Rate Monitor


Heart rate monitor for iPhone 5, 5S, 5C & 4S and iPads

Web designers spend most of their day sitting. That’s bad for their health. Help them be healthier starting from their special day by making exercise fun!

With this heart rate monitor for iPhone 5, 5S, 5C & 4S and iPads, web designers will run several miles just to break their own records. Because, you know, web designers are competitive people!

1. The Quick Brown Fox Jumps Over the Lazy Dog Cards


The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog cards

This is an awesome typeface memory game for silent holiday days. Kit includes the main terms used in typography as well as about the evolution of type design.

Must have gift for any graphic or web designer!

Bright Feet Slippers


Bright Feet Slippers

A perfect gift for both single and married people. With Bright Feet Slippers you don’t have to turn on the lights just to go to the restroom!

3. Water Dancing Speakers


Water dancing speakers

Add some flair to your music! I’m pretty sure that designers will love this gift. Music with colors!

RC Helicopter


RC Helicopter

A real flying toy helicopter. I mean, come on, I’m pretty sure that deep inside your heart you want one since you were a kid.

Beer Glass


Beer Glass

Alcohol boosts creativity, right? Get you Beer Glass here.

6. Quadcopter



Quadcopters are the cool new toys of the modern world. Everyone will want this! I bet you will get your hands on this one instead of giving it as a gift.

Car Mount Holder for iPhone


Car Mount Holder for iPhone

Not all cars have mounts for iPhones. And with this holder you can now use iPhone as a GPS.

8. Kindle



This is one of the earliest generations of Kindle, and it’s actually the best Kindle at $69. In my opinion, Kindle Fire is less useful. If you’re planning on buying a Kindle, be sure to check older versions like this one.

Robotic Ball for iOS and Android



Something fun to have. A robotic ball that runs on Android and iOS, you can control it remotely. Purpose? Fun!

Pulse Wireless Activity Tracker + Sleep and Heart Rate Monitor


Pulse Wireless Activity Tracker + Sleep and Heart Rate Monitor

Are you sleeping well? Is your heart pumping like it’s supposed to? Sleep and heart problems are common to web designers because they just sit most of their working hours…and while at home. Check it out here.

1. DC Super Heroes Pop Up Book


DC Super Heroes pop-up book

If your friend is really geeky and is into DC super heroes, give him this awesome popup 3D book. It consists of 25 impressive popup openings – best gift for geeks!

BoldLoft Pillows


BoldLoft Pillows

Let your pillow talk be your pillow talk with these “Say I Love You” pillowcases. Whether you are together or a distance apart, they are perfect for reminding you both to say I love you each and every night and each and every day.

3. Reasons I Love You Stones


Reasons I love You Stones

The reasons are infinite, and now nine of them are etched in stone. One side of each brushed-nickel token says “I love you” and the other bears a compelling reason, from “because you’re an inspiration” to “because I just do!” and “for always getting my jokes.” Comes in a red faux-suede pouch. Stones: approx. 1 3/8″L. Exclusively from RedEnvelope.

A Girl’s Guide to Dating a Geek


A Girl’s Guide to Dating a Geek

Are you dating a geek? Find out just how geeky he is in The Geek Test. Learn how to cope with his geekiness in sections such as: “Getting What You Want” and “How to Exercise Your Geek.” Also, discover how to plot revenge, diagnose common geek ailments, and find the perfect gift for your geek. Take a deeper look into the world of geeks with My Life Among the überGeeks and My Life Among the Gamers. Read case studies, examine graphs, peruse the Geek Dictionary, and more in: A Girl’s Guide to Dating a Geek.

Ctrl, Esc Key Cufflinks


Ctrl, Esc cufflinks

Ctrl Esc cufflinks, for the classy web designer that can’t go anywhere without wearing his/her identity.

There’s No Place Like Home Shirt


There’s no place like home T-shirt

Web designers and developers, including geeks will love this shirt. There’s no place like home!

Newspaper Pattern Laptop Carry Case


Newspaper pattern laptop carry case

Simple and amazing gift for female web designers. Keeping the spirit of fancy fashion wherever they go!

Oh, Crop – Lady Designer T-Shirt


Oh crop Lady designer T-Shirt

A good shirt for everyday use or for the gym…tell everyone you know how to design with humor!

Luxury Brand Designer iPhone Case


iPhone designer luxury case

Almost all designers and creatives use an iPhone, you know? This will be a must have gift for iPhone users, I bet they don’t know this case even existed!

T-Shirt I know HTML


I know HTML t-shirt

Another t-shirt that tells the whole world the wearer knows HTML – how to meet ladies. Talk about walking advertisement!

Funny CSS Designer Shirt


CSS shirt

One of the few effective web design pickup lines! Check it here.

9. Tattify Metallic Jewellery And Quotes Temporary Tattoos


Temporary tattoos for lady designers

These temporary tattoos will be an amazing gift for every lady – especially creatives and designers!

8-Bit Sunglasses


8 bit sunglasses

8-bit sunglasses to help you protect your eyes while looking like a geek!

Sculpted Jewellery Tree


Sculpted Jewellery Tree

Elegant? Yes. Lovely gift? Yes. Although as a pre-requisite you should also buy her tons of rings and necklaces and other jewellery. You can get it here.

Heart Travel Alarm Clock


Heart Travel Alarm Clock

“What time is it? Oh!” Sweetheart comes to mind. Will it not be sweet to give your partner this? I’d love to have one! You can get it here.

8-Bit Tie


8-bit Tie

Silk-like Microfibre construction, clip on* (for easy dressing and t-shirt wear if needed), and custom designed tie for you. You’ll be the envy of the office or, at least, you’ll get tons of attention. You’ll be just like Mario when he wore a tie to meetings when negotiating his contact with Nintendo. Sure the Wii, PS3, and Xbox 360 are out there with all their super technology, but sometimes it’s nice to remember the beginnings of the video game revolution. Viva la 8-Bit!

Original Article:

Free CSS Grid Tools & Resources For Developers

The grid is a staple of every webpage. Whether you realize it or not, your layout runs on a grid.

Most designers and developers opt towards frontend frameworks that come packaged with a grid system. This is wildly helpful because it saves time manually coding your own.

The downside is adding more files to your page and increasing HTTP requests. That’s why building your own grid sometimes makes sense – but not by hand.

These tools should prove wildly helpful for anyone serious about grid design. They’re all free and they all work right in your browser so all you need is some Internet and a bit of patience.

YUI Grid Builder

yui grid builder

YUI is a user interface kit that features a great design style with reusable assets. Their team also released a handy YUI Grid Builder completely separate from the YUI framework.

As of this writing it seems the YUI library has been discontinued, yet the grid builder lives on. It’s hosted for free on GitHub so you can bet this likely won’t ever be taken down.

All you do is enter your max layout content width, total columns, and type of layout design(usually fluid). This also means you’ll want to design for responsivity using proper CSS breakpoints to handle smaller devices.

Overall a great tool that even offers a cool preview to help visualize your grid in action.

Responsive Grid Calculator

responsive calculator

This Responsive Grid Calculator is yet another webapp for generating your grid’s design.

I find this one a bit more complex to learn, but the interface is also somewhat “cleaner” in how you copy/paste your codes.

Just select the total number of columns and your margin percentage size. The calculator outputs all your raw HTML/CSS code using percentages so you can forever use this as a fluid grid layout. Pretty cool right?


responsify webapp

For the true visual designers out there you’ll adore Responsify.

It’s again entirely free to use and works right in your browser. However this tool is perfect for generating a grid without just looking at numbers and percents.

As you update the columns and gutters you can see the changes in real time on the page.

Don’t like your new changes? Roll it back until you find exactly what you’re looking for.

CSS Grid Template Builder

css grid template builder

CodePen is full of glamorous snippets and neat little webapps that are truly superb. Most of that stuff you won’t find anywhere else online.

This cool template builder created by Anthony Dugois is a beautiful example of creativity in action. The whole thing runs in JavaScript but it’s not really meant for geeking out to JS code.

This is a fully-functioning grid generator with auto-updating visuals on the page.

If you’re gonna use this webapp be sure to save the fullview version. This gives you more room to work and arrange a grid to suit your needs.

gridcalculator webapp

Easy of use and simplified inputs best describe the webapp.

This tool works much like other calculators where you enter the data for your grid and get a live preview of the final result. But this calculator has one thing that others don’t: exportable grids.

You can save your grid as a PNG file, or export the design for Photoshop & Illustrator. This tool is best used by designers who want to create mockups using grids, but don’t want to recreate new grids every time.


gridlover webapp

Cloud-based IDEs are quickly becoming the new norm for frontend coding. They’re handy for testing ideas and quickly bootstrapping new layouts from any computer.

Gridlover is one such example of a webapp that lets you write code directly from your browser.

But this one focuses primarily on grid design for typography and page layouts. By default it auto-fills text into the HTML and gives you a template for the CSS.

You can edit this to suit your needs and to support pretty much anything. The visual gridlines also make it super easy to plan your typography for maximum readability.

Grid by Example

grid by example webapp

Whether you’re an experienced developer or a novice just getting started, Grid by Example is a super handy resource to save.

It’s kind of like an online library of grid styles that you can study, clone, and repurpose for whatever you need. The whole thing feels incredibly simple to browse through, and the live previews are fantastic.

All of the demos are hosted on CodePen, so you have full access to the raw HTML/CSS code.

Take a look at their design patterns for grid ideas to use in future web projects.

Zurb CSS Grid Builder

zurb css grid builder

Zurb’s playground offers quite a few nifty tools from animation editors to custom newsletter templates. One of my favorite tools is the grid builder with automated code output.

You get to see a live preview of the grid right from your browser along with highlighted columns for a stronger effect.

It’s the ultimate tool for rapidly prototyping grids from scratch. And these grids can even tie into the Foundation framework if you’re planning to build a site with Zurb’s frontend library.


gridley webapp

Super simple and pretty straightforward, Gridley couldn’t be any more minimalist if it tried.

With just a single page and a few input fields you can quickly generate grid codes for your layout. The final output CSS appears on a new page which I find a tad annoying. But the final code is clean which is always a plus.

There’s even a help page for getting started with this framework and learning the ropes from scratch.

CSS Grid Demo – New Terminology

css grid demo layout

Lastly I want to wrap with a beautiful grid demo hosted on CodePen. This shows just how much you can do with a pure CSS grid and some knowledge of frontend languages.

This isn’t a web app or something that can generate custom grids. But it does work as a resource for studying CSS grids and learning to apply these techniques into your work.

Check out the full view to see the whole page and feel free to fork this pen to play with your own custom grid ideas.

Original Article:

Hi-Res Christmas Mockup Scene Generator – only $14!

It’s the season to start generating mockups! Now you can easily show off your logo, branding or designs in a variety of Xmas Mockup Scenes.

With this scene generator, you can easily slot in your designs to realistic mockups, along with a variety of Christmas-themed elements.

Buy the Xmas Mockup Scene Generator for Only $14!


  • Create beautiful hi-res scenes – 5200 X 3600 px.
  • Simple to paste in your designs using Smart Objects.
  • Loaded with Christmas elements – tinsel, stockings, lights, trees, bells, and more.
  • Build stylish customized scenes using high-quality assets and mockups.
  • Customize with color masks for every material.


Normally, this tool sells for $24 but for a limited time only, you can get this amazing Xmas Mockup Scene Generator for just $14! That’s a 42% savings off the regular price.

Click the BUY NOW button to start generating mockups today!

Buy Now for Only $39!

This article has been sponsored by Syndicate Ads.

Original Article:

Designing a Great Icon For Your Mobile App

Every day thousands of people browse the App Store and Play Store in search of utilities and entertainment. Behind every search and download is desire – a desire to solve a problem.

Products icons play a critical role in the process of search&download – in a world of short attention spans and many, many options, designers need to capture a users attention with just a few pixels on a tiny square canvas.

Every product needs a beautiful and memorable sign that attracts attention in the market and stands out on the home screen. Below you can see a few examples created by Fireart Studio.

But what exactly do you do if you need to design an icon for a mobile app that your users will notice and remember? Let’s take a look at some of the best principles of mobile app icon design.


Clarity is an essential characteristic of a great interface. A pictogram is the first opportunity to communicate, at a glance, a product’s purpose. When they are unclear, there’s a high risk of confusion – when people are unable to correctly identify what a pictogram is supposed to represent, it just won’t work for them.


  • Symbolism is key. People often associate pictograms with specific objects or actions based on previous experience. For example, in the Western world, the symbol of an envelope is commonly used to represent mail – both in digital and in physical spaces. It’s possible to use such associations to create potent visual signifiers for users.
  • Check competitors. If you have a hard time finding ideas on how to design a mobile application icon, take inspiration from products in your niche. Your competitors have probably already found the most obvious way to represent the primary function of a product.
  • Deconstruct user’s preferences. When designing any visual element, it’s important to consider what your target audience like or don’t like it. If you can conduct user testing, you can ask users directly by showing them different options. Try out several variations of your design to find the one users like the most.


We should design a mobile app icon to make it crystal clear on every screen resolution.


  • Avoid fancy graphics effects. Don’t include photographic details, 3D perspectives and drop shadows because they are hard to discern at a small screen.
  • Don’t use a lot of details. While on larger displays you have enough real estate to show large graphics and impressive visual effects, on a small screen such elements can become blurry.
  • Avoid using words. There’s no need to include promo words like “Free” or a product’s name. Use words only when they’re essential or part of a logo.

This icon isn’t legible – how it looks on home screen and Notification Center.

  • Check against a variety of backgrounds. While you can’t predict what wallpaper users will choose for their home screen, you still should check that your design works for edge cases – check your icon against a pure black, utterly white and colored backgrounds.
  • Test on real devices. What looks good on a desktop screen might not be so good on mobile, so testing on a real device is essential.


Memorability is about making something that stands out. If it stands out, it has a better chance of being noticed by users.


  • Complexity is the enemy of memorability. The more details you add, the less recognizable the object you design will be. Try removing elements until the concept starts to deteriorate.
  • Test your icon on the screen. Do a quick test to figure out if the image stands out on the screen – just place it on a grid of pictograms, and you’ll see whether or not it stands out.

The 1Password icon has great recognizability.


Think of your pictogram design as an extension of what your product is all about. It’s possible to create a connection between this small graphics object and entire experience – both logical connection (convey the meaning) and visual relationship (colors, textures, idea).

Tip: One way to ensure consistency is to use a styleguide (for example, to keep the color palette of your interface and icon in line).

Clear has a similar color scheme for both icon and interface.

Platform Recommendations

Just like any other GUI part, pictograms require following platform conventions. Consider iOS Human Interface Guidelines if you want to create a graphical symbol for iOS and Material Design guidelines for Android products.


Without any doubt, it’s possible to tell a great story in a wonderfully restricted canvas. Take the time to design beautiful and engaging graphics that perfectly represents your product’s purpose.

Original Article:

10 Inspiring Examples of Branding Presentation Design

Presentations are a crucial aspect of any branding project. They allow you to present your finished designs in the best light possible, looking to make the greatest impact on the client.

It also helps them to understand the direction, as well as envisage how it would look in production. As a result, it’s crucial these branding presentations are designed with great care and fit perfectly with the project styling and direction.

In this article, we take a look at a selection of the most inspiring examples of branding presentation design.

Success Story

Success Story Branding Presentation Design inspiration

Mention’s branding presentation applies some vibrant and appealing overlay effects to the full-size imagery upon their cover designs. It allows them to maintain a consistent accent color throughout the presentation.

Rebranding B&H

Rebranding B&H Branding Presentation Design inspiration

This simple but effective rebranding project is presented perfectly through the design proposal and business card mockups.


Vertical Branding Presentation Design inspiration

In one of the more detailed examples, this presentation is comprehensive in its detail but maintains a consistent color scheme and structure through the use of grid lines.

Branding Exploration Process

Branding Exploration Process Branding Presentation Design inspiration

Kickpush’s highly visual presentation design uses full-color and graphical backgrounds throughout. It contrasts with the content effectively and is high impact.

Twisto Brand Book

Twisto Brand Book Branding Presentation Design inspiration

This beautiful branding project continues the use of purple and green colors throughout the presentation. The repeating background patterns are a perfect addition and provide an example of how the branding can be applied in production.


Melissa Branding Presentation Design inspiration

Melissa’s branding presentation is highly visual but with similarly detailed explanation throughout. It applies multiple instances of patterned imagery and related text to further expand upon her vision for the brand.

Branding Showcase Layout

Branding Showcase Layout Branding Presentation Design inspiration

This minimal branding presentation is succinct and allows the visuals to communicate without a great deal of explanation. It makes for an easy-to-understand approach which is described through mockups and photography.

Something New for Sidecar

Something New for Sidecar Branding Presentation Design inspiration

This presentation for PayTouch is inspiring in the way that it presents a unique slide for each branding concept. Each is carefully considered, and it presents a multitude of visions and approaches to the client.

One More Time

One More Time Branding Presentation Design inspiration

This beautiful dark theme is heavily reliant on visuals, with minimal use of typography. The red accent for the title text works perfectly against the maroon galaxy background.

uLikeIT Keynote Slides

uLikeIT Keynote Slides Branding Presentation Design inspiration

This Keynote branding presentation utilizes a master slide to apply consistent design elements across all slides. The color scheme is beautifully consistent throughout, as are the background visuals, despite differing image selections.

Original Article:

Essential Documents for Freelance Web Designers

The act of becoming a freelancer often comes from having a true passion for your work. Many of us are consumed with keeping up with the latest technologies and keeping clients happy. But the fact is that we’re also running a business – something that can be easy to overlook.

My own personal freelance journey started out this way. I had absolutely no idea how to keep things organized or even what responsibilities were involved. My main goal was just to have fun and be creative. Little did I know that I was playing a bit of a dangerous game.

Like many people, I learned as time went on. The downside was that it usually took a mistake or miscommunication to get me to that point. It wasn’t exactly taking the easy route.

Now, I’m here to help you be both better organized and protected against potential problems. Here’s a list of important documents you should be utilizing (like contracts) and ideas for things you should keep track of (like income). Each one represents an important facet of running a freelance design business. Plus, I’ll link to some free resources you can use to get off to a running start.



Scope creep is one of the most dreaded aspects of doing freelance work. Clients often ask for an inch and then end up taking a mile. So it’s important that you have a well-written proposal that outlines exactly what you’re going to do (and not do) for any given project.

Still, there are times when unexpected things pop up. Quite often a client will fail to mention a certain requirement. You can prepare for those items by stating that anything not mentioned in the proposal will incur extra fees. Just make sure you provide your client with a heads-up before charging extra.



While it’s great to believe in the honesty and kindness of people, contracts are still a necessity for freelancers. At the very basic level, they create a binding agreement on how much you’ll be paid for a project and the terms of how you will work on that project. Now, from there we can get into all sorts of technicalities and legalese. Anyone who has made a large purchase like a car or a home can attest to how complicated and confusing a contract can be. In fact, that may be what scares many designers away from using them.

But contracts don’t have to be overly complicated. Frankly, they can be as simplistic as you like. Just know that a simple document may not protect you against as many possible scenarios. Leave out the wrong detail and a litigious ex-client could try and take advantage.

So, when deciding on what terms and protections should be included in your contract, it makes sense to consult with a legal expert. Above all, they’re the best resource for knowing what you need. But it’s understandable that expert advice isn’t always within our budgets.

Beyond that, also take a look at the services you offer and think about all of the things that could possibly go wrong. When you know what’s possible, you’ll have a better idea of what you need to protect against.

Accounting Data

Accounting Data

Working on your own is no excuse for not keeping track of finances. You’ll want to keep a running tally of your income, business expenses (hold on to those receipts!) and invoices that you’ve sent out to clients. This information is crucial in several ways.

First, your ability to accurately pay taxes depends upon having the proper records. Second, this data will give you an overall picture of how well you’re doing. You can’t possibly make informed business decisions without first knowing where you stand.

There are a number of ways to organize information. You could go all out on spending for an accounting suite. You’ll find some excellent online services, along with more traditional software that can do the job. However, it could also be as simple as maintaining a few spreadsheets. It might not be as high-tech, but it’s a fairly painless method for maintaining records (that’s how I started out).

Project Notes

Project Notes

One of the great challenges of working on multiple projects is remembering all of the small details when switching from task to task. A busy mind may more easily forget things that are vital to the success of a project.

One sure-fire way to remember it all is by taking notes. If you want to start small, simply type them into a text editor. That way, you’ll have a resource to come back to when you’re ready to pick up where you left off.

If you’re extra busy and need a more robust solution, a task management service like Trello can be your best friend. Not only can you add project notes, but you can also keep up with other important items such as deadlines. Plus, these types of tools often include collaboration features to help you share progress with clients.

Emergency Information

Emergency Information

This is something that we freelancers often ignore. But what happens if something happens to us? Some important information may be stored inside our brains that others will need to access. It’s a sensitive issue but one that a responsible business owner should address.

The idea is to pick a trusted source or two and create a document that contains the things they will need to know if you’re unable to run your business. I know, people tell you never share passwords, etc. That’s understandable. But when you work alone, there has to be a safe way to share vital information in the case of an emergency.

You could keep a paper document in a safe place like a lockbox or a bank’s safe deposit box. If you want to handle things digitally, an encrypted file (to which only your trusted source(s) have the key) is also a viable option. Either way, provide the information they’ll need to help your clients access anything you are currently managing.

Free Resources

Now that you know what type of documents are essential to running a freelance design business, here are some free resources to get you on the right track. Just remember – they’re not a substitute for professional advice. But they can help you get where you want to go.

A Freelancer’s Guide to Basic Bookkeeping
This resource will show you what you should keep track of and how to do so efficiently.

Contract Killer
An open source contract geared towards web design projects. Bonus points for being written in plain English.

Design Contracts for Freelance Web Designers
Includes a customizable proposal, terms and conditions, invoice, past due and collections letter.

Docracy Web Design Documents
Docracy is a treasure trove of open source legal documents. You’ll find plenty of options for whatever you need. Also see their Freelance and Designer topics for more guidance.

The Freelance Contract
A contract generator that also enables you to manage the entire process online, this tool requires a free account with Freelancers Union. Also check out the Limited Use Contract Template.

Your Business: Documented

Your Business: Documented

Being a freelancer can be a very fulfilling experience. But it’s not always fun and games. To do it right, you need to take responsibility for your business. Keeping it well-documented will help you stay organized and protect you from worst-case scenarios. It may take some extra effort to get things started, but the process quickly becomes second nature.

It’s worthwhile to review your business practices and make sure that you’re doing all you can to stay safe and efficient. Making positive changes can result in a less stressful, more successful freelance business.

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Top 10 Free Bootstrap UI Kits For Customizing Your Layouts

You can build some incredible stuff with Bootstrap. If you search the web, you’ll find hundreds of code snippets, addons, and starter templates to help you craft amazing layouts.

But the default Bootstrap design is dull and overused. Why not add a custom UI kit into the mix?

You’ll be running on Bootstrap while also re-styling your site with a unique look. This collection should get you started with some kick-ass open source Bootstrap UI kits for that custom aesthetic you always wanted.

1. Material Design for Bootstrap

material design bs3 uikit

If you’ve been keeping up with design news then you’ll know material design is huge. And what a better way to use material design than by combining it with Bootstrap?

Thankfully other designers had the exact same thought and built Material Design for Bootstrap.

This open-source toolkit lets you quickly prototype material web apps using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript all running on top of the Bootstrap foundation.

You have full access to BS3 Sass mixins, custom code libraries, and components, all of which are restyled for a material design slant. Pretty cool if you’re into Google’s design patterns.

2. Bootflat

bootflat ui kit

Here’s a UI kit similar to material design but without all the material-y UX stuff.

Bootflat is quite possibly the cleanest CSS kit you’ll find. It works on top of the latest version of Bootstrap 3.x and may be updated for the newer BS4.

With Bootflat you have full access to all page elements & components, plus this works in all major browsers with legacy support dating back to IE8.

Also this comes with a free PSD of all the Bootflat elements. You can use this to mockup a design in Photoshop before ever touching a line of code.

3. Drunken Parrot Lite

drunken parrot ui kit

With a name like Drunken Parrot you may not know what to expect. But this free Bootstrap theme is actually pretty cool with loads of incredible components at your disposal.

This also comes with a free PSD kit along with the HTML/CSS code so you can mockup your layout first. I definitely like the aesthetics because they feel so natural. I’d say they can work on basically any website.

Only downside? Drunken Parrot is a freemium kit meaning it offers a free version with fewer features, and a pro version with everything. But don’t let this stop you from testing the free version. It’s got a beautiful design that’s hard to find elsewhere.

4. Flat UI

flat ui kit

Designmodo’s Flat UI kit offers a unique take on flat design with Bootstrap. This comes as part of Designmodo’s library of resources, many of which cost money. But Flat UI is their freebie release.

You’ll find custom design styles for everything: on/off switches, tabbed widgets, dropdowns, checkboxes, form fields, you name it.

The demo page has everything in the kit so you can see how it looks. To grab a copy for yourself just visit the GitHub repo.

5. Metro UI

metro ui kit bootstrap

Along with Google’s material style is the Microsoft metro style. It’s another newer design language that works on the typical “windows” design with flat panes for interface elements.

With the Metro UI library you’ll have full access to a customizable set of components for your Bootstrap layouts. These can work for practically any page, and they’re super easy to use.

Take a peek at the examples page to see how this looks. You’ll also notice the project’s navigation mimics the traditional Bootstrap nav with pages for components and base CSS styles.

6. Design Blocks

froala bootstrap kit

The Froala Design Blocks kit works a little differently than most. This works on little block elements for pages that use Bootstrap, so it’s like an open source library of BS3/BS4 code components.

These “blocks” are really just custom page elements with different styles. Footers, headers, navigation menus, forms, plus a bunch of other categories.

This works well for building a widgetized Bootstrap layout, but it’s not a cohesive theme.

Still an awesome project and 100% free for life.

7. Get Shit Done

get shit done ui kit bootstrap

The team at Creative Tim often release crazy freebies for the design community. One of the best is the Get Shit Done UI kit designed for Bootstrap.

It currently sits at over 40,000 downloads and gets infrequent updates to go along with changes to the Bootstrap library.

Take a peek at the live examples page to see how all the components look together. It’s a beautiful design that feels so far away from Bootstrap it’s almost like a completely custom UI kit!

8. Now UI Kit

now ui kit framework

Here’s another gorgeous UI kit designed by the folks at Creative Tim. With the Now UI Kit you get a bunch of awesome features and a stellar aesthetic, but this one’s designed specifically for BS4.

I haven’t found a BS3 version of this kit, so it’s pretty much solely for the newest version of Bootstrap. You can tell it’s already got quite a following with 20k total downloads in less than a year.

Again this has a live preview page showcasing all the custom elements like on/off switches, checkboxes, radios, tabs, nav menus, everything.

Note Creative Tim does run this as a freemium kit, so it has a pro version with hundreds of extra components. But if you don’t need all that extra stuff you can totally get by with the free version.

9. Flatto UI Kit

flatto ui kit bootstrap

I rarely find UI kits for the web that support mobile interfaces. But the Flatto UI Kit is one such example that’s absolutely phenomenal.

If you take a look at the preview page you’ll find a bunch of custom mobile UI elements like title bars, back buttons, and sliding hamburger menus.

The flat design style is really cool and feels unique compared to the other flat UI kits. Check it out if you’re looking for a mix of mobile and web styles all running on Bootstrap.

10. Availity

availity ui kit webapp

Currently the Availity UI kit is made for all BS3 layouts. But with the beta release of Bootstrap it’s likely that Availity will be updated to support BS4 too.

It’s a pretty small framework, and it comes with a unique design. It mimics a lot of Bootstrap traits like gradients and semi-3D styles on buttons, while also restyling them for a refreshing twist.

You can see more on the components page inside the Availity documentation. This even comes with extra icon webfonts and custom JS scripts all packaged together.

Availity isn’t the prettiest UI kit for Bootstrap, but it is one of the most comprehensive with support for every page element you can imagine.

Original Article: