Sphinx Web Design Experts http://www.sphinxnow.com The Leader in Affordable High Quality Websites! Mon, 05 Oct 2015 16:16:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Plone Conference 2015 to be hosted in Bucharest http://www.sphinxnow.com/blog/2015/10/05/plone-conference-2015-to-be-hosted-in-bucharest/ http://www.sphinxnow.com/blog/2015/10/05/plone-conference-2015-to-be-hosted-in-bucharest/#comments Mon, 05 Oct 2015 16:16:34 +0000 http://www.sphinxnow.com/blog/2015/10/05/plone-conference-2015-to-be-hosted-in-bucharest/ Between the many popular open source platforms it’s tough to make time for new additions. Plone CMS is an open source Python framework that’s been around for years. It has a growing community and a whole bunch of support. There’s also a big annual conference named Plone Conf which will reemerge in 2015. It’ll kick […]

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Between the many popular open source platforms it’s tough to make time for new additions. Plone CMS is an open source Python framework that’s been around for years.

It has a growing community and a whole bunch of support. There’s also a big annual conference named Plone Conf which will reemerge in 2015. It’ll kick up on October 12th and run until the 18th with each day split into different segments.

This full 7-day conference is split into a schedule of 2 days for training, 3 days for the typical conference, and 2 final days of conferences/workshops titled “sprints”.

Plone Conference 2015 website

If you’re a Plone developer or just want to learn more about this system, Plone Conf 2015 is a great place to do so.

Those who have time to attend should grab tickets before the sell out. It should be noted that 15% of all ticket sales go directly to Plone’s open source platform to further development.

Naturally many people will not be able to attend because of financial or scheduling reasons. But you can keep up with the latest developments on Twitter @ploneconf.

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Cycle Tab switches between your Chrome New Tab Extensions http://www.sphinxnow.com/blog/2015/10/05/cycle-tab-switches-between-your-chrome-new-tab-extensions/ http://www.sphinxnow.com/blog/2015/10/05/cycle-tab-switches-between-your-chrome-new-tab-extensions/#comments Mon, 05 Oct 2015 16:16:34 +0000 http://www.sphinxnow.com/blog/2015/10/05/cycle-tab-switches-between-your-chrome-new-tab-extensions/ Many extensions have been developed for Google Chrome that allow users to add special data into their new tabs. Rather than leaving them blank or setting a homepage, each new tab can instead be customized with add-ons like Momentum or Giphy Tabs. But what if you like a few of these different extensions? Well Cycle […]

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Many extensions have been developed for Google Chrome that allow users to add special data into their new tabs. Rather than leaving them blank or setting a homepage, each new tab can instead be customized with add-ons like Momentum or Giphy Tabs.

But what if you like a few of these different extensions? Well Cycle Tab completely solves that problem by automating the switch between each extension.

Whenever you open a new tab in Google Chrome the Cycle Tab extension with randomly give you one of various custom tab features. There are so many to choose from with new extensions being developed year-after-year.

Chrome cycle tabs extension

To install just visit the Cycle Tab website or visit the plugin page on Chrome’s webstore. It runs just like any other extension so it’s just a one-click install to get it running.

For now Cycle Tab is only limited to Google Chrome users based on the current marketplace for “new tab” extensions. In time we may see this ported to Firefox for Mozilla fans.

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Typekit adds new Fonts to their growing Library http://www.sphinxnow.com/blog/2015/10/05/typekit-adds-new-fonts-to-their-growing-library/ http://www.sphinxnow.com/blog/2015/10/05/typekit-adds-new-fonts-to-their-growing-library/#comments Mon, 05 Oct 2015 13:45:58 +0000 http://www.sphinxnow.com/blog/2015/10/05/typekit-adds-new-fonts-to-their-growing-library/ The Typekit team just published a new blog post detailing some brand new fonts added into their collection. It seems Q4 2015 users and beyond will have access to some grand new font families, along with additional styles to previously-existing families. Many new additions come from the foundries of Delve Fonts and Phil’s Fonts. All […]

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The Typekit team just published a new blog post detailing some brand new fonts added into their collection. It seems Q4 2015 users and beyond will have access to some grand new font families, along with additional styles to previously-existing families.

Many new additions come from the foundries of Delve Fonts and Phil’s Fonts.

District Pro typekit font

All of the updates are fully available for web use and syncing based on Typekit plugins/apps.

Here’s a list of the new fonts & font styles to expect:

Visit the Typekit blog post to learn more and to check out all these fonts live on the website.

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Chris Spooner Interview on SpoonGraphics & Advice for Web Designers http://www.sphinxnow.com/blog/2015/10/05/chris-spooner-interview-on-spoongraphics-advice-for-web-designers/ http://www.sphinxnow.com/blog/2015/10/05/chris-spooner-interview-on-spoongraphics-advice-for-web-designers/#comments Mon, 05 Oct 2015 13:45:57 +0000 http://www.sphinxnow.com/blog/2015/10/05/chris-spooner-interview-on-spoongraphics-advice-for-web-designers/ The online blogosphere is full of websites talking about how to make websites. But there are also many niche topics like vector art, pattern design, and pixel-perfect icons. Chris Spooner has risen to fame through his popular digital design blog SpoonGraphics. He’s a very skilled designer with a focus on vector art and some interface […]

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The online blogosphere is full of websites talking about how to make websites. But there are also many niche topics like vector art, pattern design, and pixel-perfect icons.

Chris Spooner has risen to fame through his popular digital design blog SpoonGraphics. He’s a very skilled designer with a focus on vector art and some interface design.

This interview delves into Chris’ history and opinions relevant to the design industry.

Chris Spooner interview photo

Q: How did you get started with design and what made you stick with it for so many years?
I always excelled at the Art and Design subjects in school so I continued studying at college and university, which naturally led me into my first full time job as a Graphic/Web Designer.

Q: Can you share a little about your work history? What was your first real design job and how much work have you done to get to where you are today?
My first full time job was at a small local design studio, which was actually the first job I applied for straight out of university.

During that time I set up my Spoon Graphics design blog, which gradually grew in size to the point where it allowed me to leave my job and head into the world of self-employment as a freelancer. Over recent years I’ve been lucky enough to reduce the amount of project work to the point where I now run my design blog as a full time job.

Q: Out of curiosity, how long do you think it took for you to go from creating novice work to “good” work? At the time could you recognize your skills were improving, or is it more like an “in retrospect” kinda thing?
Whenever we look back at our old work we all shudder and cringe, so it’s definitely something you only become aware of in retrospect.

Writing tutorials has actually helped me improve my skills. It’s important to fully understand a technique if you’re going to explain it to others!

Q: How did you get the idea for SpoonGraphics and what was your goal when first launching the blog? It’s been online for many years now – do you feel it has achieved its goal?
Back in 2006/2007 I saw a bunch of design blogs springing up and I simply decided to give it a go myself to share what I knew about Adobe Illustrator with others.

Illustrator tutorials were quite rare compared to guides for Photoshop, so my blog found a niche. I never expected it to grow so large. In fact, I never really had any plans for it. I still don’t have a specific goal.

I’m just happy riding along and seeing where it takes me!

Q: Right after launching SpoonGraphics how difficult was it to maintain & build an audience? Do you still have time to manage new content?
Since I found a niche with Illustrator tutorials an audience started to grow quite fast. My posts often ranked highly in search results and were often included in tutorial roundups on other websites.

These days I find it a little easier to manage new content since I do this all day, every day. But the articles are much more in depth so I still find myself worked to the max.

Q: When did you decide to launch Line25, and what’s been your experience running that site along with SpoonGraphics?
I launched Line25 in 2009 after becoming more interested in Web Design.

After developing Spoon Graphics with a focus on Illustrator and Graphic Design, I didn’t want to suddenly oversaturate it with web design stuff, so I decided to set up a new standalone blog with its own branding. Over recent years I’ve actually lost interest and fallen behind with the web design scene so Line25 was sold a few months ago.

Q: What’s your typical creative process when starting on a new project? How do you brainstorm & organize ideas to figure out the best creative direction?
Design projects for me these days involve writing a tutorial or creating a free design resource. Since there’s no client giving me requirements, I simply create stuff based on what takes my fancy or inspires me.

I’ll often browse Pinterest and other inspiration sites to find design styles that I’d love to try out myself.

Q: Do you prefer working with an agency/in-house or doing freelance work? Do you feel one offers more creativity than the other?
I did a bit of agency work back in the day. I really enjoyed the social aspect of it, but I much prefer working alone.

Q: Are there any fundamental concepts or bits of knowledge you wish you knew back when you first started to learn design?
I think the use of grids to balance a design (even for logo designs) is something that would have really improved my older work.

Q: How much do you think a designer should specialize? Is it better for a designer to focus on one area(print, web, calligraphy) or attempt to become a jack of all trades?
I think there are benefits to both.

Some people find huge success being a specialist in one subject, whereas others set themselves up as a one-stop-shop where they can offer a wide range of services. It all depends on your personal interests.

I think I personally have a broad range of design interests but they’re confined within a certain area of expertise.

Q: What are your thoughts on drawing as a key skill for design work? Do you think all designers should learn how to draw? And why or why not?
Drawing not so much – unless you want to be an illustrator!

But sketching is a great skill that anyone can do. Drawing skills obviously come in handy for creating more artistic work, but with the digital tools that are available to us it’s possible to create great design work without touching a traditional tool.

Q:Do you have any favorite designers that do awesome work or that you think are just awesome people?

I’ve always admired James White’s work (aka Signalnoise). It’s been interesting to see his style develop and change over the years I’ve followed him.

Otherwise I actually find inspiration from many different designers and artists, some of which I don’t even know their names. But I often recognize their work on showcase websites.

Q: So much has changed on the web looking back even just ten years ago. Do you have an opinion or any ideas regarding what else we might expect to change over the next 3-5 years?

It’s hard to say!

I don’t think I could have predicted how the web looks now 10 years ago and likewise I can’t imagine what will change in the next decade.

Q: Lastly can you share any vital tips or words of advice for young design students just starting their career?

I’ve seen great success from blogging and sharing the things I’ve learned with others so I’d definitely recommend that people embrace the social aspect of the web and interact with fellow designers. It can lead to some amazing opportunities!


I’d like to thank Chris for taking the time to do this interview – if you want to learn more check out his personal site or his design blog Spoon Graphics.

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Postabounty offers Referrals for Recommending Job Applicants http://www.sphinxnow.com/blog/2015/10/04/postabounty-offers-referrals-for-recommending-job-applicants/ http://www.sphinxnow.com/blog/2015/10/04/postabounty-offers-referrals-for-recommending-job-applicants/#comments Sun, 04 Oct 2015 19:46:42 +0000 http://www.sphinxnow.com/blog/2015/10/04/postabounty-offers-referrals-for-recommending-job-applicants/ So many companies are looking for great talent but it’s hard to find the perfect fit. With the Internet it has become so much easier, but there’s still a gap with knowing where to find great talent. So is there a way you can actually earn money with this process? Surprisingly, yes! Postabounty is a […]

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So many companies are looking for great talent but it’s hard to find the perfect fit. With the Internet it has become so much easier, but there’s still a gap with knowing where to find great talent. So is there a way you can actually earn money with this process?

Surprisingly, yes!

Postabounty is a brand new web application that lists currently open positions all around the US. If you see one that could be a fit for anyone you might know, recommend them through Postabounty and help them setup a meeting. If all goes well and your recommendation gets hired then you get paid a signing bonus for the referral.

Postabounty homepage

Companies are desperate for great talent and it really is hard to find someone to fit higher-level roles. This site provides the best way for talent to be found through crowdsourced recruiting. And the financial bonus is nothing to scoff at with some bonuses ranging from $500-$1,500!

To get started visit the site and browse through the open positions. There’s also a brief FAQ page with more info about how it all works and your role in the process.

And if you’re a company looking for talent just click the big “Post a Bounty” button to get started on your digital search for the perfect employee.

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Hacker Menu Delivers Hacker News to your Mac Menu Bar http://www.sphinxnow.com/blog/2015/10/04/hacker-menu-delivers-hacker-news-to-your-mac-menu-bar/ http://www.sphinxnow.com/blog/2015/10/04/hacker-menu-delivers-hacker-news-to-your-mac-menu-bar/#comments Sun, 04 Oct 2015 17:09:59 +0000 https://www.sphinxnow.com/blog/2015/10/04/hacker-menu-delivers-hacker-news-to-your-mac-menu-bar/ The widely popular Hacker News site has gained notoriety for breaking stories related to the startup & programming sphere. Popular stories rise every day and it’s a very lively community. Mac users now have the option to access Hacker News right from their native desktop. Hacker Menu is a completely free open source project that […]

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The widely popular Hacker News site has gained notoriety for breaking stories related to the startup & programming sphere. Popular stories rise every day and it’s a very lively community.

Mac users now have the option to access Hacker News right from their native desktop.

Hacker Menu is a completely free open source project that moves Hacker News posts into your Mac menu bar. It’s easy to install and pulls out the latest feed with vote counts and comment details.

Hacker Menu for Mac

The project has been released for free on GitHub and has since gained a decent amount of attention. Similarly it appears the developers are hard at work to release similar applications for Linux and Windows machines.

When using the menu bar you’ll be given the option to track read posts based on highlights in the dropdown menu. This way you’ll always be able to tell which stories you’ve already read & which ones are brand new!

Be sure to have a peek at the Hacker Menu website to get a list of features. You can download straight from the website or pull from GitHub based on your own personal preferences.

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Stacklist Collects Business Apps for Startups http://www.sphinxnow.com/blog/2015/10/03/stacklist-collects-business-apps-for-startups/ http://www.sphinxnow.com/blog/2015/10/03/stacklist-collects-business-apps-for-startups/#comments Sat, 03 Oct 2015 20:31:26 +0000 https://www.sphinxnow.com/blog/2015/10/03/stacklist-collects-business-apps-for-startups/ A new hand-curated website collects some of the best applications for businesses and organizes them based on features. The site is called Stacklist and it seems to be growing in popularity. It’s meant to be a hand-curated guide of all potential tools out there from invoicing to CRM and project management. You can view a […]

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A new hand-curated website collects some of the best applications for businesses and organizes them based on features. The site is called Stacklist and it seems to be growing in popularity.

It’s meant to be a hand-curated guide of all potential tools out there from invoicing to CRM and project management. You can view a full list of categories to get the bigger picture.

Stacklist is completely free to use and new tools are added every month. You can search based on the tool you’re looking for(eg. accounting), or you can view pre-made stack lists.

Stacklist homepage

For example, one such list is named The Information which is a collection of tools employed by The Information. You get a chance to peek behind the curtain at some interesting startups & companies to see the general corporate stack they’re using.

While Stacklist does include typical development stack tools, it’s meant to focus primarily on business stack which is where the name derives from.

If you’d be interested definitely check out the site and view their current stacklists page to see what other companies are using.

Read More at Stacklist Collects Business Apps for Startups

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New Webapp Lists Internships in San Francisco Area http://www.sphinxnow.com/blog/2015/10/03/new-webapp-lists-internships-in-san-francisco-area/ http://www.sphinxnow.com/blog/2015/10/03/new-webapp-lists-internships-in-san-francisco-area/#comments Sat, 03 Oct 2015 15:28:13 +0000 http://www.sphinxnow.com/blog/2015/10/03/new-webapp-lists-internships-in-san-francisco-area/ A brand new website has launched under the name Internships in San Francisco. It’s meant to be a large data collection of internships for programmers, designers, marketers, and anyone else who may want to move into the tech/startup industry. Each internship is ranked by category, length of time, and if it’s paid or unpaid. It […]

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A brand new website has launched under the name Internships in San Francisco. It’s meant to be a large data collection of internships for programmers, designers, marketers, and anyone else who may want to move into the tech/startup industry.

Each internship is ranked by category, length of time, and if it’s paid or unpaid. It seems like a great way for young talent to find contacts within the industry – especially folks in school who are encouraged to take on an internship before graduating.

SF Bay internships webapp

The site is completely free and curated by hand via submissions and searches online.

If you’d prefer to get updates right to your inbox you can sign up for the newsletter. This contains many of the latest SF Bay area internships that are posted on the site without having to revisit every week.

It’s certainly a minimalist design running on Bootstrap which makes browsing very simple.

Check out the site if you’re interested or if you know anyone else who might be looking for intern opportunities in the Silicon Valley area.

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A Free Open Source Node.js & MongoDB CMS http://www.sphinxnow.com/blog/2015/10/02/a-free-open-source-node-js-mongodb-cms/ http://www.sphinxnow.com/blog/2015/10/02/a-free-open-source-node-js-mongodb-cms/#comments Fri, 02 Oct 2015 21:14:45 +0000 http://www.sphinxnow.com/blog/2015/10/02/a-free-open-source-node-js-mongodb-cms/ Hundreds of free open source CMS engines have flooded the market with new releases every year. Advancements in development have allowed for greater support among CMS devs that go far beyond general Rails or PHP. Notably the Node.js library allows devs to write frontend + backend code strictly in JavaScript – something that’s seemingly quite […]

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Hundreds of free open source CMS engines have flooded the market with new releases every year. Advancements in development have allowed for greater support among CMS devs that go far beyond general Rails or PHP. Notably the Node.js library allows devs to write frontend + backend code strictly in JavaScript – something that’s seemingly quite revolutionary for the time.

This has spurred a large movement of JS devs and pushed many new concepts like the Apostrophe CMS. It’s an open source content management system written solely in Node.js with a Mongo database structure.

The creators of Apostrophe wanted to make something easy to use and editable in-context. Check out the live Apostrophe demo to see it in action.

Apostrophe CMS

With admin access you have the ability to edit any text or images on the page without moving into a backend dashboard. Inline editing is a huge feature that works perfectly for non-technical clients who just want to perform basic maintenance of their website.

I’ll admit that anyone who’s unfamiliar with Node will have a very hard time learning the ropes. You really need some foundational knowledge of JS & Node before diving into Apostrophe. But if you can get through that phase you’ll be happy to learn Apostrophe has free how-tos and dev tutorials right on their website.

The core is very easy to install with full access available from the GitHub repo. Curious Node developers that want to push their boundaries may find Apostrophe refreshing and quite the exciting learning challenge.

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New API for Pulling Website Screenshots Programmatically http://www.sphinxnow.com/blog/2015/10/02/new-api-for-pulling-website-screenshots-programmatically/ http://www.sphinxnow.com/blog/2015/10/02/new-api-for-pulling-website-screenshots-programmatically/#comments Fri, 02 Oct 2015 18:41:42 +0000 http://www.sphinxnow.com/blog/2015/10/02/new-api-for-pulling-website-screenshots-programmatically/ Have you ever needed to pull a fullscreen website photo without grabbing a screenshot manually? Dynamic libraries do exist, although they’re few and far between. Custom coding is another option but requires a lot more time. http2pic is a free open source API for pulling images via HTTP. It works from any website URL and […]

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Have you ever needed to pull a fullscreen website photo without grabbing a screenshot manually? Dynamic libraries do exist, although they’re few and far between. Custom coding is another option but requires a lot more time.

http2pic is a free open source API for pulling images via HTTP. It works from any website URL and can be set to deliver a very specific width/height value based on custom settings passed to the API call.

You can find the full source code for free on GitHub with a small intro guide. It relies on wkhtmltopdf which converts HTML to a PDF file that can be manipulated.

The options list includes a custom width or full viewport(width+height). You can also set the output type as JPG or PNG, enable/disable JavaScript, or setup caching for the script.

It’s still not perfect and certainly won’t run smooth in all browsers. However this is definitely a cool project that shows how far we’ve come in the past couple decades of web development.

To learn more visit the official GitHub repo for download links & install details.

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