10 Japanese Typography Websites & Free Downloads

I was browsing through some of my old bookmarks and stumbled across a lot of Japanese typography/font websites and I thought I would like to share them with some of you. Although Japanese fonts may not be something you would use on a typical day, maybe it can be of use one day. If you like some of these and would like to see more, just respond on this thread and Ill drop more of what I have. Enjoy!

*Edit – I just posted 20+ Free Fonts by Flop Design, be sure to check those out too.

Japanese Fonts - Japanese Typography
Japanese Fonts - Japanese Typography
Japanese Fonts - Japanese Typography
Japanese Fonts - Japanese Typography
Japanese Fonts - Japanese Typography
Japanese Fonts - Japanese Typography
Japanese Fonts - Japanese Typography
Japanese Fonts - Japanese Typography
Japanese Fonts - Japanese Typography
Japanese Fonts - Japanese Typography

Win a Free Membership to Vandelay Premier! *Contest Closed*

I recently created a simple one page HTML/CSS/jQuery portfolio template for Vandelay Premier and they have offered a free one-year account for three lucky winners!

Free Template

Vandelay Premier was created by Steven Snell of Vandelay Design and serves as a membership-based community for designers. They provide web and graphic designers with premium-quality design resources that make their lives easier, plus they offer career resources to help designers and freelancers with all facets of career and business. Members also get other perks like access to the exclusive marketplace discounts on products and services relevant to web designers.

» Visit Vandelay Premier

 Premium Design Resources & Community

Membership Details

  • Provides a variety of premium quality design resources including textures, brushes, vectors, PSD files and more.
  • Provides career resources, such as interviews, reports, and short e-books to help designers with the business and career aspect of design.
  • Will be updated with new items multiple times per week.
  • Resources from a variety of talented designers.
  • Members have access to a marketplace with discounts on products and services like hosting, PSD to HTML coding, WordPress themes, stock photos, and much more.
  • Cost is $9 per month or $79 per year (For those who want to purchase a membership).

How to Enter?

Since this blog is dedicated to sharing my experiences, to enter, share one experience/advice that you feel benefited you in your career. For students, it can be an experience/advice that benefited you in school. The contest will end on Friday August 13th, 2010.

1. Drop your REAL name
2. Use a legit email account where we can contact you
3. Share an experience/adivce.

Congrats to these 3 winners!

Below are the 3 lucky winners, and their advice! Winners will be receiving an email in within the week!

1. CHRIS MORATA

“One of the best pieces of advice I can give that helped me as a freelancer is to work with contracts. I think that is something that most people have to learn the hard way (as did I), but working with a solid contract, invoice, terms and conditions, etc. will not only protect you, but help you become more organized and will help you grow your business.”

2. KOSTAS N.

“So here’s the advice that helped me a lot:
When you’re learning something new, don’t just read about it! Get your hands dirty!

Reading books, blog posts, watching tutorials, is absolutely great and you can learn so much but… there is no point if you don’t try them out yourself! Not just follow the instructions while you’re reading let’s say a tutorial, but try to do it yourself afterwards without the help of the tutorial. If you’re stuck, try to figure it out without opening the tutorial. If you’re completely stuck then look for help. Then repeat! Make sure you understand what you’ve done and why you’ve done it that way and that you’ve memorized it so you can use it on a project later.”

3. THOMAS GRIFFIN

“The best advice I have ever received was from a professor in one of my Entrepreneurship classes. Everyday he started with the exact same manifesto: “If you want to be successful, you’ve gotta have passion”. Did I mention he invented the wings for the Virgin Galactic space jet “Proteus” that will be pioneering space tourism?

I took his advice to heart.

I’ve got more clients wanting my services than I can keep up with. I don’t even have time to build my own website and portfolio. I’m a decent designer and a decent salesman. I’ve got passion.

Passion permeates and overcomes. All you need is passion.”

Recommended: The Big Web Show

If you have not heard of The Big Web Show, you are definitely missing out. I’ve been hooked since the first round of interviews and I highly recommend subscribing and tuning into their weekly show.

Hosted by Dan Benjamin and Jeffrey Zeldman, it’s filled with great resources from top professionals telling their stories and perspectives on the industry and their craft.

The Big Web Show

I’ve actually liked it so much that I have been listening to their show in my car while driving to work. The great thing is that you can download each interview and take them with your in your ipod/MP3 player. If you haven’t tuned in yet, go do it now. Enjoy!

RSS Double Posting and Bugs

I have been having some really annoying RSS bugs and it’s really starting to piss people off. It was brought to my attention this weekend and I am looking into this now, please hold tight!

Again apologies for the inconvenience!!

Update* 02-03-09

I thought it would be useful to share what I had to do to fix this issue just in case someone else was going through the same problem.

RSS Feed Would Double Post After You Make an Edit on Post

One of the more irritating aspects of WordPress, at least from a feed subscriber’s perspective, is that minor edits cause the last-updated date to change. The knock-on effect is that the post will find its way back to the top of an atom feed causing readers to see it again.

Ciaran at www.CiaranG.com created this very useful plugin to fix this problem. So far its working great 🙂
Download Plugin

Mass Repost on RSS Feeds (Even if you did not edit any posts)

Now this bug to me is still unexplainable but here is how I fixed the problem:

  1. Login to your FeedBurner Account
  2. On your dashboard, hit the “Troubleshootize” tab.
  3. On your left column, choose “FeedMedic”, it will give you directions on things to check.
  4. On your left column choose “Tips and Tools”, then scroll to the bottom and hit the “Resync” button.

After resyncing my feeds, I stopped receiving Feed Errors and the annoying reposting issue had stopped. Hopefully it stays this way 🙂

10 Reasons Why I love WordPress

WordPress is quickly dominating the web industry as one of the top most popular CMS and blogging systems out there. Ever since I got into using WordPress I never thought of going back to anything else. For those who don’t know about it’s benefits, let me just go over a few points:

1. Easy Installation and Upgrades

WordPress allows you to install or upgrade within minutes without being the most technical guy/girl out there. There are detailed, well written documents and tutorials where practically anyone can get their own blog up in minutes.

2. Fully Customizable XHTML/CSS/PHP

At first, being the anal front-end developer that I am, I was hesitant using a CMS (Content Management System) that was not developed by my self. I love hand coding from scratch and running my portfolio site off of something that another developer wrote was not ideal.

Little did I know, WordPress allows you to create your own “themes” completely from scratch. Wipe out the XHTML/CSS and crank away on your own fully-built blog/CMS! As soon as my ignorance passed, I fell in love with how powerful and useful it was.

Check out these collection of custom WordPress tutorials.

3. Ease of Managing Content

Most people who are not familiar with WordPress automatically assumes it is only used for blogging. Wrong! WordPress can be used as a fully functional CMS and it’s not limited to only blogging.

The ease of managing and accessing your content on the fly and from anywhere with online access, has made my life much easier. From easy categorizing to key word tagging, organizing your pages is a breeze. It has also allowed me to offer a CMS to many of my clients without having to bug my programmer!

4. Thousands of Useful Plug-ins

What can I say; every time I needed something I found a plug-in for it. With all the brilliant developers out there contributing to WordPress, you can pretty much find anything catered to your needs. Need to adjust a plug-in? Not a problem. With basic knowledge of PHP, you can modify and tweak these plug-ins to your liking with no hassle. Checkout my previous article regarding the plug-ins that I use on my site.

5. Fully Customizable URLs

One of my favorite things about WordPress is that it has URL re-writes already installed. With my interest in SEO, having a tool like this is ideal. No longer do I have to create physical files and folders on my server, it can all be done through an admin, virtually.

6. Fully Functional Search

Although the WordPress search is not as smart as Google, it’s actually not that bad. The great thing about this built in search is that you no longer have to have third party search functions (Unless your running a large site with many products like an ecommerce), and being the designer that you are, you can design the page exactly how you want it.

7. Ease of Changing Themes

Changing themes in WordPress is only a click away. You no longer have to copy and paste multiple files and code/text like you did before, it’s all neatly packaged into its own individual theme folders. Simply create (or download), then upload. Make that switch and you’re done!

8. Pings and Trackbacks

Another great tool for SEO and link trading in general. Trackback helps you to notify another author that you wrote something related to what he had written on his blog, even if you don’t have an explicit link to his article. Pingback lets you notify the author of an article if you link to his article (article on a blog, of course). Learn more about Pings and Trackbacks here.

9. Huge community for technical support

Let’s face it, there will be a time when you are completely stumped and need advice or help from someone that’s “been there and done that”. The great thing about the WordPress community is that there are so many developers out there who are willing to help out and give you the right lead on your issues.

10. It’s Free!

Need I say more? FREE. Go get one!

WordPress Showcases and Galleries

Over 100 Free WordPress Themes

Want to test one out? Choose from over a hundred Free WordPress themes.

WordPress Resources

 

Plugins to Create a Gallery / Portal

Here are various plugins I used and customized to create my latest project www.DesignBombs.com. If anyone is interested in creating a gallery or portal, these plugins will definitely give you a head start!

TDO Mini Forms

This plugin allows you to add highly customisable forms that work with your Theme to your website that allows non-registered users and/or subscribers (also configurable) to submit posts. TDO Mini Forms can be used to create “outside-the-box” uses for WordPress, from Contact Managers, Ad Managers, Collaborate Image Sites, Submit Links, etc.

WP-PostRatings

All the information (general, changelog, installation, upgrade, usage) you need about this plugin can be found here: WP-PostRatings Readme. It is the exact same readme.html is included in the zip package.

Custom2Feed Content

For being able to show custom fields in your RSS Feeds.

Custom Post Limits

By default, WordPress provides a single configuration option to control how many posts should be listed on your blog. This value applies for the front page listing, archive listings, category listings, tag listings, and search results.Custom Post Limits allows you to override that value for each of those different sections.

Twitpress

Submits a user definable tweet to your twitter account notifying any twitter followers or friends that a new blog entry has been published on your blog (or an existing published entry has been edited). Supports inclusion of a permalink to your blog posting in the tweet.

Advanced Category Excluder

This plugin was born because there was a no other real alternative to enable content sparationd and some CMS like functionalities in WordPress. The main goal was, to enhance WordPress’s functionalities, to hide some unwanted categories, from defined parts of the blog.

Breadcrumb NavXT

This plugin generates locational breadcrumb trails for your WordPress blog. These breadcrumb trails are highly customizable to suit the needs of just about any blog. The Administrative interface makes setting options easy, while a direct class access is available for theme developers and more adventurous users.

Contact Form 7

Contact Form 7 can manage multiple contact forms, plus you can customize the form and the mail contents flexibly with simple markup. The form supports Ajax-powered submitting, CAPTCHA, Akismet spam filtering and so on.

Related Plugins

If you are interested, check out the previous list I made for creating this blog.

WordPress Plugins – What’s Under Your Hood?

I’ve had a few emails asking me which plugins I use for various sections of my Blog and site, so I would like to share mine today. Whats under your hood?

Advanced Category Excluder

http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/advanced-category-excluder/

it can override your search results, your RSS feed listing, your category listing, and also your entry page, if you want to. This is great, for SEO reasons, for content separation, for grouping information, and handle them as real sub pages.

Contact Form 7

http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/contact-form-7/

Contact Form 7 can manage multiple contact forms, plus you can customize the form and the mail contents flexibly with simple markup. The form supports Ajax-powered submitting, CAPTCHA, Akismet spam filtering and so on.

Easy Gravatar

http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/easygravatars/

This plugin will display gravatars for the people who comment on your posts. You do not need to modify any of your template files — just activate the plugin, and it will add gravatars to your comments template automatically.

Get Recent Comments

http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/get-recent-comments/

This plugin shows excerpts of the latest comments and/or trackbacks in your sidebar. You have comprehensive control about their appearance. This ranges from the number of comments, the length of the excerpts up to the html layout. You can let the plugin order the comments by the corresponding post, or simply order them by date.

Google XML Sitemaps

http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/google-sitemap-generator/

This plugin will create a Google sitemaps compliant XML-Sitemap of your WordPress blog. It supports all of the WordPress generated pages as well as custom ones. Everytime you edit or create a post, your sitemap is updated and all major search engines that support the sitemap protocol, like ASK.com, Google, MSN Search and YAHOO, are notified about the update.

Most Popular Posts

http://www.wesg.ca/2008/08/wordpress-widget-most-popular/

a very simple widget that displays a link to the pages with the most number of comments. You can customize the title of the widget, the number of posts to display and comment count.

SEO Title Tag

http://www.netconcepts.com/seo-title-tag-plugin/

SEO Title Tag makes is dead-easy to optimize the title tags across your WordPress-powered blog or website. Not just your posts, not just your home page, but any and every title tag on your site! If this plugin, along with a few hours of keyword research and copywriting of optimized titles, doesn’t make a significant impact on your search traffic, you’re doing something wrong!

Similar Posts

http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/similar-posts/

Similar Posts displays a list of posts that are similar or related to the current posts. The list can be customised in many ways. Similarity is judged according to a post’s title, content, and tags and you can adjust the balance of factors to fit your own blog.

Sociable

http://yoast.com/wordpress/sociable/

Sociable is a plugin which adds social media buttons to your posts, and does so easily, and beautifully. While originally developed and maintained by Peter Harkins, it had seen no updates for 8 months, and it wasn’t rolled into the WordPress plugin repository, so I’ve decided to give it a new life, after being request by my friend Mel Carson to “get him some social media buttons”.

WordPress.com Stats

http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/stats/

Once it’s running it’ll begin collecting information about your pageviews, which posts and pages are the most popular, where your traffic is coming from, and what people click on when they leave. It’ll also add a link to your dashboard which allows you to see all your stats on a single page. Less is more.

WordPress Database Backup

http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-db-backup/

WP-DB-Backup allows you easily to backup your core WordPress database tables. You may also backup other tables in the same database.

WordPress Page Navi

http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-pagenavi/

All the information (general, changelog, installation, upgrade, usage) you need about this plugin can be found here: WP-PageNavi Readme. It is the exact same readme.html is included in the zip package.

20 Useful Web Apps, Tools, and Resources

Here are some of my favorite web apps, tools, and resources for my daily web needs. Feel free to browse through to see if there are any that would be useful for your everyday tasks, if you have some that are not mentioned please let me know!

Google Keyword Tool

Useful tool by Google to research keyword competition and search volumes.

Useful Web Applications and Tools

Google Analytics

Learn more about where your visitors come from and how they interact with your site.

Useful Web Applications and Tools

Google Webmaster Tools

Provides you with detailed reports about your pages’ visibility on Google.

Useful Web Applications and Tools

Colour Lovers

Great site for color inspiration – Thousands of color schemes and more.

Useful Web Applications and Tools

I Like Your Colors

Web app that will display the colors from your favorite website. The app searches for color values embedded in the site’s CSS files then displays a swatch.

Useful Web Applications and Tools

Color Mixers

Color Tools, Color Theory, Color mixers and Palettes.

Useful Web Applications and Tools

Color Blender

Free online tool for color palette design and matching.

Useful Web Applications and Tools

Alexa the Web Information Company

Website that provides information on web traffic to other websites.

Useful Web Applications and Tools

Greeking Machine

Useful tool to generate dummy text for your design comps.

Useful Web Applications and Tools

Type Tester

An online application for comparison of the fonts for the screen.

Useful Web Applications and Tools

Postable

A simple tool to convert some special characters to HTML entities.

Useful Web Applications and Tools

W3C XHTML Validator

W3C’s easy-to-use XHTML validation service, based on an SGML parser.

Useful Web Applications and Tools

W3C CSS Validator

Finds errors and potential problems in Cascading Style Sheets.

Useful Web Applications and Tools

Clean CSS

Optimize and format your CSS using a variety of different compression settings.

Useful Web Applications and Tools

Web Page Analyzer

Free website performance tool and web page speed analysis.

Useful Web Applications and Tools

Feed Burner

Allows weblog owners and podcasters the ability to manage their RSS feeds and track usage of their subscribers.

Useful Web Applications and Tools

Stock.Xchng

Stock photography community – browse their huge gallery for high quality stock photos or share yours with others.

Useful Web Applications and Tools

Vecteezy

Vecteezy is an index of Free Vector Graphics available for download by some of the best designers around the world.

Useful Web Applications and Tools

Domains Bot

The first place to go to find a great domain name: Available domain suggestions, name spinner, expired and expiring domain name search.

Useful Web Applications and Tools

Make Words

Generates domain names that haven´t been used yet.

Useful Web Applications and Tools

Cross Browser CSS Fixes, Tools, and Hacks

As designers and developers we are all responsible for the product we produce, and cross browser testing is a must in our line of work. Although the W3C statistics show about 7 browsers that people tend to use most, in my opinion, two of them are the most important and should be given special attention to perfecting (Firefox and Internet Explorer).

Below are some commonly used browsers, tools, solutions, and hacks to overcome your daily issues.

Commonly Used Browsers

Want to find more? Checkout Smashing Magazine’s article.

Cross Browsing Tools

Sometimes its not possible to have a running browser with multiple versions (example: IE7 + IE6 on Same PC) so its useful to have standalone browsers to help you debug and test. Here are some tools below that may be helpful for you.

Want to find more? Checkout Smashing Magazine’s article.

Great Articles For Your Everyday CSS Fix

CSS Hacks

I hesitate sharing these hacks, because most beginners have tendencies to want to hack everything up, which leads to a nightmare in the long run. I have come a cross a few of them which I would like to share, but please use them wisely. With good XHTML/CSS structure, hacks are not needed. If all else fails, go ahead and check some of the options below.

IE Conditional Tags

<!--[if IE ]>
  <link href="iecss.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css">
<![endif]-->

Checkout Site Point’s Article on conditional tags for IE

IE 6 Hack

*html .classname {}

IE 6 ‘!important’ Hack

.classname {
float: left;
margin: 200px !important; /*--The !important; hack tells IE6 to skip this line.--*/
margin: 220px;
}

IE 7 Hack

*+html .classname {}

Safari Hack

html:lang(en)>body  .classname {}

Opera 7 Hack

@media all and (min-width: 0px){
.classname {}
}

CSS Hack Resources

Conclusion

As you can see, testing and making your design work in all browsers can be a pain at times, but the more you get the hang of this the smoother your work flow will be. If you have any other solutions, tools, or tricks of your own, I would love to hear about it.