Free For All: Because We Love You
15 Hard-to-Read Fonts
Why would you want fonts that aren't easy to read? Because you can use the highly decorative free fonts below to set type that isn't supposed to be read. They open up a world of decorative background and pattern possibilities, as well as the potential to use the shapes as logo design elements, photo clipping paths, vector building blocks, and more.
HTML Email Templates
Could you use some help designing email newsletters? CampaignMonitor has more than 25 separate HTML email newsletter template packages, and they're all free. Each package includes a template that's specially tagged for CampaignMonitor's mailing list service. But each package also includes a standard HTML template you can send from any email client capable of HTML email, including Outlook, Gmail, Lotus Notes, Apple Mail, and more. You even get a layered Photoshop PSD document so that you can tweak and customize the template graphics to perfectly match your style.
Speaking of email newsletters, check out the designs for CreativePro.com's daily and weekly versions.
Host and Attend Events
This may not sound like a creative pro tool, but give it a chance. Eventbrite lets anyone host a meeting or event. It's not a virtual conference room like Adobe Connect or WebEx, but a management tool you use before a gathering—be it in-person or virtual—takes place.
Using Eventbrite, you can create a page describing and promoting your event—client meeting, workshop, online seminar, whatever—and then invite, manage, and organize attendees. It's free to set up an event, and if attendance to your event is also free, no money changes hands between anyone. If you charge admission to your event, however, Eventbrite can handle order processing, payment, and even ticket distribution for you. Even then there's no upfront cost: Eventbrite takes 5.5% percent of the sales plus a $0.99 per transaction fee. You can elect to have Eventbrite deduct its fees from the cost of a ticket or add them on top of the ticket price.
Even if you don't want to host an event, you'll probably find events you'd like to attend. Although you can search for events in any locale, Eventbrite geo-locates you based on your IP address and suggests upcoming events in your area. In my town I've found meetings of software user groups and typophiles, upcoming charity events that were glad to receive my offer of pro bono design work, and business networking cocktail parties that led to several new contracts. And, though Eventbrite is most often used to coordinate and promote in-person events, you'll find quite a few e-seminars and online meetups as well.
Quora is a site with a simple concept: Ask a question, answer a question. It isn't strictly design-related any more than Twitter is, but, like Twitter, creative pros have established a substantial community on Quora.
If you want to know something, first search to see if someone else wondered the same thing; if you're the first, ask the question. Someone will come along and answer it. If more than one person answers, you can vote answers up (useful and right on target) or down (not as useful or missing the point). And, of course, you can share your experiences and expertise answering others' questions. If you get to Quora, look me up and friend me.
Choose an Object Style while Placing in InDesign
From the ever-fertile mind of Marijan Tompa comes another highly useful InDesign script, tomaxxiPLACE . Once added to InDesign, tomaxxiPLACE lets you apply object styles to images and other content as you place them. It saves you from placing one or more assets onto one or more pages and then going back and assigning them object styles; the scripts lets you do it all in one step.
If your average InDesign document is light on placed content, you might not get much out of using tomaxxiPLACE. However, if you produce documents like catalogs, membership directories, newsletters, newspapers, magazines, large proposals, or any other type of document into which you'll place a large number of pictures, videos, or external textual content files, tomaxxiPLACE might just save you tons of time.
What can I find free for you? Want more free fonts? More Photoshop brushes? How about more online applications that do this or that for free? Tell me in the comments what you'd like to see in future installments of Free for All, and I'll do my best bloodhound impression to track it down for you.
Please note: Free for All will often link to resources hosted on external Web sites outside of the control of CreativePro.com. At any time those Web sites may close down, change their site or permalink structures, remove content, or take other actions that may render one or more of the above links invalid. As such neither Pariah S. Burke nor CreativePro.com can guarantee the availability of the third-party resources linked to in Free for All.