60 Elegant and Visually Appealing Designs

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It’s quite easy to get stuck in creativity blocks, but it’s damn hard to get out of them. Particularly if you are out of time and don’t want to compromise your professional principles selecting the first “quick-n-dirty” solution you can think of. To get things done, you need inspiration and creative thinking. You need fresh ideas and elegant approaches. And you need to be able to find them as quick as it is possible. Handy references and examples are therefore both useful and enjoyable – after all, who can resist gorgeous, professional, elegant and visually appealing designs?

We’ve selected some of them. In an overview below you’ll find 60 fresh, elegant, professional and visually appealing designs, which pay close attention to details and manage to remain simple, user-friendly and nice-looking.

You might be interested in taking a look at design showcases we’ve published before:

Please feel free to comment upon the selected designs: nothing is more important to us than constructive criticism from your side.

Elegant Designs

1. Tomáš Ledba _ grafický design _ web design _ corporate identity6

Solid and Serious Designs - Tomáš Ledba _ grafický design _ web design _ corporate identity7

2. Intype8

Solid and Serious Designs - Intype9

3. BigFilebox10

Solid and Serious Designs - BigFilebox11

4. FreelanceSwitch12

Solid and Serious Designs - Advice, Tips, Community, Resource and Jobs for Freelancers - FreelanceSwitch13

5. FluidBook14

Solid and Serious Designs - FLUIDBOOK - Catalogue interactif, brochure en ligne - Online catalogue, interactive brochure15

6. Panic – Coda – One-Window Web Development for Mac OS X16

Solid and Serious Designs - Panic - Coda - One-Window Web Development for Mac OS X17

7. boo-box, as simple as that…18

Solid and Serious Designs - boo-box, as simple as that...19

8. Future of Web Apps20

Solid and Serious Designs - Future of Web Apps21

9. Freshview – Refreshingly Simple Software22

Solid and Serious Designs - Freshview - Refreshingly Simple Software23

10. Welcome to Revyver.24

Solid and Serious Designs - Welcome to Revyver.25

11. allpaymedia.com | Welcome26

Solid and Serious Designs - allpaymedia.com | Welcome27

12. Stuff and Nonsense28

Solid and Serious Designs - Stuff and Nonsense | Creative web site design specialists based in North Wales, UK29

13. StyleSpion30

Solid and Serious Designs - StyleSpion - Einrichten, Lifestyle, Einrichtungstipps, Wohndesign, selber machen, Design und Musik31

14. Online Portfolio of Vijay S Nair

Solid and Serious Designs - Online Portfolio of Vijay S Nair - Interactive Media Designer - Based in Bangalore, India

15. Svenigson™ – Yes, a Blog Kind of Thingy32

Solid and Serious Designs - Svenigson™ - Yes, a Blog Kind of Thingy33

16. Iconkits.com34

Solid and Serious Designs - Iconkits.com | Premier Stock Icons At Affordable Prices35

17. The Big Noob36

Solid and Serious Designs - The Big Noob37

18. Cómete Mallorca38

Solid and Serious Designs - Cómete Mallorca - Recomendaciones. Restaurantes. Fiestas. » recomienda tu sitio favorito como si fuese a un amigo.39

19. DNA 11 – From Life Comes Art.40

Solid and Serious Designs - DNA 11 - From Life Comes Art. DNA art, DNA portraits, personalized art, fingerprint art41

20. smashLAB42

Solid and Serious Designs - smashLAB - Simply great websites43

21. Playground Blues44

Solid and Serious Designs - Playground Blues45

22. Design Workflows at Work: How Top Designers Work Their Magic46

Solid and Serious Designs - Design Workflows at Work: How Top Designers Work Their Magic47

23. Idécollection – effektiva golv för din miljö48

Solid and Serious Designs - Idécollection – effektiva golv för din miljö49

24. Elliot Jay Stocks50

Solid and Serious Designs - Elliot Jay Stocks51

25. the Geniant blog52

Solid and Serious Designs - the Geniant blog53

26. North x East54

Solid and Serious Designs - Web Business with North x East55

Selected Designs

27. blog.critical | Andy Pearson56

Solid and Serious Designs - blog.critical | Thoughts on The Web, Design, Gaming, Apple and Life by Andy Pearson57

28. Chris Shiflett: PHP and Web Application Security58

Solid and Serious Designs - Chris Shiflett: PHP and Web Application Security59

29. inspired web – affordable web design, marketing and hosting on the gold coast australia60

Solid and Serious Designs - inspired web - affordable web design, marketing and hosting on the gold coast australia61

30. Nitram+Nunca62

Solid and Serious Designs - Nitram+Nunca63

31. unFortunate – Cookies Not Included.64

Solid and Serious Designs - unFortunate - Cookies Not Included.65

32. 3daysafter — Journal of Rian Triharyana66

Solid and Serious Designs - 3daysafter — Journal of Rian Triharyana — Indonesian Web Developer67

33. Krabi & Mask68

Solid and Serious Designs - Krabi & Mask69

34. OkapiStudio70

Solid and Serious Designs - OkapiStudio71

35. Reise-Community globalzoo.de72

Solid and Serious Designs - Reise-Community, Reise-Blog, Reisepartner und mehr. globalzoo.de73

36. OUTLINE to DESIGN74

Solid and Serious Designs - OUTLINE to DESIGN service. What You Need Is What You Get. Web, Identity, Print Design Which Meets Expectations.75

37. Immo Varro vastgoedmakelaar76

Solid and Serious Designs - Immo Varro vastgoedmakelaar77

38. Webdesign, Usability, Grafik und Design – Kai Müller78

Solid and Serious Designs - Webdesign, Usability, Grafik und Design - Blog und Portfolio des Webdesigner Kai Müller, Köln79

39. Jonathan – Snook.ca80

Solid and Serious Designs - Jonathan - Snook.ca81

40. Breeze82

Solid and Serious Designs - Home | Breeze - Create and send amazing email campaigns83

41. The TLC84

Solid and Serious Designs - The TLC85

42. Jogger.pl – bloguj przez Jabbera86

Solid and Serious Designs - Jogger.pl - bloguj przez Jabbera87

43. Global Moxie :: The Hypertext Laboratory of Josh Clark88

Solid and Serious Designs - Global Moxie :: The Hypertext Laboratory of Josh Clark89

44. Quo Consulting90

Solid and Serious Designs - Quo Consulting — branding, advertising, web design and e-business solutions and applications91

45. mezzoblue92

Solid and Serious Designs - mezzoblue § Home93

46. Mala krcma Skalinada | Volosko94

Solid and Serious Designs - Mala krcma Skalinada | Volosko95

47. Period Three96

Solid and Serious Designs - Period Three - simple web design and development. // Home97

48. Express4J – The Lightweight & Flexible UI Framework98

Solid and Serious Designs - Express4J - The Lightweight & Flexible UI Framework99

49. Tony2Nice – Once ate dog food to see how crunchy it was (hint: very)100

Solid and Serious Designs - Tony2Nice - Once ate dog food to see how crunchy it was (hint: very)101

50. Spouse Notes – Submitted by Apollo Loose102

Solid and Serious Designs - Spouse Notes - Submitted by Apollo Loose103

51. elixir graphics | professional rapidweaver themes104

Solid and Serious Designs - elixir graphics | professional rapidweaver themes105

52. ErgonoMind106

Solid and Serious Designs - ErgonoMind®, Agence de développement de site et d'application Web. ergonomie internet ihm intranet mobile interface logiciel conseil etudes sites web utilisateur utilisation designer web design ergonome 19/05/2007 03:20:04107

53. Nathan Carnes – Bellingham, WA Website Development and Graphic Design108

Solid and Serious Designs - Nathan Carnes – Bellingham, WA Website Development and Graphic Design109

54. nclud | Our Work110

Solid and Serious Designs - nclud | Our Work111

55. EUtelNet :: Web design and development ::112

Solid and Serious Designs - EUtelNet :: Web design and development ::113

56. Welcome to Buzz — Buzz Recruitment114

Solid and Serious Designs - Welcome to Buzz — Buzz Recruitment115

57. None-Design Media | Webdesign Recklinghausen116

Solid and Serious Designs - None-Design Media | Webdesign Recklinghausen117

58. Bistrian Iosip’s Blog118

Solid and Serious Designs - Bistrian Iosip's Blog119

Flash

59. WeSC – Let’s Get Physical120

Solid and Serious Designs - WeSC - Let's Get Physical121

60. Merten Snijders, Mhq Interactive 2007.122

Solid and Serious Designs - Merten Snijders, Mhq Interactive 2007.123

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Vitaly Friedman loves beautiful content and doesn’t like to give in easily. Vitaly is writer, speaker, author and editor-in-chief of Smashing Magazine. He runs responsive Web design workshops and loves solving complex problems in large companies. Get in touch.

  1. 1

    Stunning list!
    I adore the minimal approach to design evident in some of these sites.

    0
  2. 2

    Dmytro Shteflyuk

    May 21, 2007 9:16 pm

    That’s great! Thank you so much for your amazing job!

    I really love solution with menu in 60, lightness of the first, style of 51, woman on 16 :-), and just great design 28.

    0
  3. 3

    Wohooo… thanks for including my site :)

    0
  4. 4

    great list!! as always

    0
  5. 5

    is so beautiful~~@@

    0
  6. 6

    Very nice compilation. Love smashingmagazine! Keep the good job.

    0
  7. 7

    Some of the designs don’t match my taste. Number 44 for example, the brown design of Quo Consulting has neither a good color, nor do I like the color-in-color approach.

    On the other hand, other designs listed here are stunning.
    Thanks for this list!

    0
  8. 8

    Nice list – thank you. Have really enjoyed this blog since finding it last year – keep up the great work!

    David

    0
  9. 9

    Thank you for including not only one, but two of my sites.

    0
  10. 10

    more quality then last time! last is my favorite …

    0
  11. 11

    @andy: Interesting; the brown-on-brown Quo site was one of my favorites. One man’s junk and all that. Now I just wish anything I tried to put together looked like these!

    0
  12. 12

    Paweł Kata (Oszczędzanie pieniędzy)

    May 22, 2007 12:01 am

    Wow! Polish Jogger is on the list! Way to go! :-D

    0
  13. 13

    There are some pretty good pieces of work listed here, many of which I’ve come across already. It’s pretty amazing what people are doing with design and CSS on the web these days.

    One note, your screenshot of Elixir didn’t quite finish loading it seems (the middle image is not complete).

    0
  14. 14

    A good list, but you forgot one: http://www.bmindful.com/

    0
  15. 15

    57. Nonedesign is a semi-blatant copy of http://www.astheria.com :/

    0
  16. 16

    Great list, I really love some of the minimalist designs you have listed. Thanks for all the work!

    0
  17. 17

    Awesome list!

    And Jogger! Congratulations to Rid. ^^

    0
  18. 18

    AWesome list, awesome designs! ;)
    And awesome Riddle and his Jogger.pl :D

    0
  19. 19

    Thanks for including my site. I’m very excited

    0
  20. 20

    Thank you for the great overview. There are some great designs. A fresh design that I also like is

    0
  21. 21

    I stopped paying attention after I saw that 7 out of the first 10 sites had that horrible Web 2.0-licious lime green color (or some variant of it) as a key element.

    Seriously, why does every site these days have to use that? It’s painful.

    0
  22. 22

    These are breathtaking. Well done!

    0
  23. 23

    Fantasic Article again, Dugg!

    I love the new direction that people are taking, with the ability to design at 1000px there is so much more ‘pop!’ that people can do!

    Great list!

    0
  24. 24

    http://www.feelbreeze.com/pricing is pretty close to http://campaignmonitor.com/pricing/ (especially the copy)

    even the application screens look the same… is Campaign Monitor licensing their product now?

    0
  25. 25

    Daniel Anderson Tiecher

    May 22, 2007 3:41 am

    Most of the sites listed in the articles are stunning and some of them are simply mind-blowing! I wish I have the skills needed to create sites like these. Guess I’ll have to stick with coding, eh?

    Great article, BTW.

    0
  26. 26

    Carlos Magaña

    May 22, 2007 4:00 am

    Great! you are great looking good designs, I was needed some of inspiration, this was very usefull

    0
  27. 27

    Great post.

    0
  28. 28

    Dmytro Shteflyuk

    May 22, 2007 4:35 am

    2bill: Because they look good. Very clean, simple and useful. This is just evolution.

    0
  29. 29

    Nice list! Got really good picks

    0
  30. 30

    What is not mentioned is that a fairly large number of these sites appear to have been built using the Apple “easy-peasy” web templates accompanying it’s very low-end iWeb web-page editor that ships for free with the Mac. So if this is good design, the folks at Apple should get the award for at least a third of these sites. :-)

    0
  31. 31

    This site is nothing but junk lists. Sure they have useful articles once in a while but all these lists are just useless and not journalism. I think they should rename this site BoringMagazine.

    0
  32. 32

    Some very nice designs in there, glad to see more designers using white space in their designs.

    0
  33. 33

    Eric: Breeze is using MailBuild, which is a reseller version of Campaign Monitor. No harm, no foul, they’re doing exactly what MailBuild encourages companies to do.

    0
  34. 34

    Superb list! I can’t believe I haven’t seen some of these great designs before.

    0
  35. 35

    I’m noticing a theme here:
    - large blocks of solid color
    - repeating header bars of color
    - tons of “dead” space around text and images
    - cutesy iconography with gradient textures

    I think that sums up the graphical style of Web 2.0

    0
  36. 36

    Nice selections all, I put a post in the SG forums, challenging the forum users to define how many are good enough for Stylegala. I think everyone’s just to busy to write up the reviews anymore.

    Join the discussion there if you like:
    http://forum.stylegala.com/about5324.html

    0
  37. 37

    Some very nice designs in there, glad to see more designers using white space in their designs. Thanks :)

    -1
  38. 38

    You have out done yourselves again Smashing Magazine, thanks for the great list!

    -1
  39. 39

    Don’t forget that beauty is only screen-deep. To point out a few not-so-well-formed examples: #1 and #9 uses some span spacers. Hello, what’s the point of using CSS if there are going to be spacer elements? And both #1 and #2 uses strict XHTML but still serves it as faux-XHTML _AND_ uses an XML prolog (what’s the point?). Don’t try viewing source for #18, it is pure horror. #19 is a nice bowl of Dreamweaver tag soup; #20 is a lighter serving.

    I strongly agree with Jeff’s comment here.

    -1
  40. 40

    Great post. Always helps to have inspriation when embarking on a new design, and there are definitely some top notch designs on this list. I’ve made this blog a regular read!

    1
  41. 41

    Jonathan Solichin

    May 22, 2007 8:42 am

    Wow! Great list, thanks for sharing! Definitely inspired.

    1
  42. 42

    Great list, thanks a lot !

    Dark colors seem to be the bg color to go with at the moment – personally i wish there were more lighter color shemes out there.

    2
  43. 43

    wow, looking at all these sites really inspires me to design! fantastic compilation of some of the coolest looking sites i’ve seen so far! :D

    -1
  44. 44

    Mostafa Mourad

    May 22, 2007 3:55 pm

    GREATTTTTT!!!

    -1
  45. 45

    great looking designs with all the modern and yet effective trends. thanks for the overview.

    0
  46. 46

    Very nice list ! A great source on inspiration.

    0
  47. 47

    Your selected sites are a holiday for my eyes!
    Especially glad to see #46 – a Croatian site!
    Where in the web heavens did you find it?

    Keep smashing!

    0
  48. 48

    Great list as always. Some of these aren’t my taste but can see why they might be liked. Keep up the good work

    0
  49. 49

    60?! that’s just excessive. could you not whittle it down?

    0
  50. 50

    Speechless! Some wonderful examples – real gems. Love Fluid Book and Svenigson. Thanks for putting this list together – what an inspiration!

    0
  51. 51

    Jennifer Farley

    May 22, 2007 7:51 pm

    Genuinely Inspirational, thanks!

    0
  52. 52

    Every site is cool… The navigation of last site #60 is SLICK..

    0
  53. 53

    Thanks for including one my site! :)

    0
  54. 54

    Nurul Amin Russel

    May 22, 2007 10:54 pm

    wow! really beautiful…

    0
  55. 55

    I really like the simplicity of Web 2.0 designs. the down side is the lack of complete creativity. However some did show more then just whitespace and gradients.

    0
  56. 56

    Cool!
    I found a CV in the list.
    How do you think, my CV is elegant too or not?

    0
  57. 57

    awsome list however a couple sites is off in IE6

    0
  58. 58

    Nice list. Some of the design are truly stunning. Thanks for it.

    0
  59. 59

    Wow big suprise they ALL look the same!! Kind of like eating the same thing for lunch each day.

    0
  60. 60

    Smashlab use the same style that apple uses in his sites.. so splendid
    sorry guys…

    0
  61. 61

    Respiro the logo design guy

    May 22, 2007 3:40 pm

    Great list!

    0
  62. 62

    Nur Ahmad Furlong

    May 23, 2007 5:12 pm

    The designs are indeed beautiful in their own way though as some have said very similar in nature, style and even content to a certain degree. While I personally still like the style of using soft features, rounded edges, subtle gradients and the like it would be nice to see something not so common. For example when I first saw the electric pulp site I thought, hey, that’s beautiful, but different.

    0
  63. 63

    where is bartelme.at?

    Impressive list, though.

    0
  64. 64

    This time you’ve really spoilt us! Thanks

    0
  65. 65

    @Jeff Woelker

    I don’t agree with you that there’s a “web 2.0″ style. It’s just whats fashionable right now, and it will eventually change independently from “web 2.0″ (what ever that is).

    0
  66. 66

    What about webdesignfromscratch also?

    0
  67. 67

    hey smash look whats hot on del.icio.us right now…. hahaha
    http://tutorialblog.org/30-great-website-designs-part2/
    looks VERY similar.. don’t you think?? the dirty dirty bastards..

    0
  68. 68

    On site #10, revyver.com, the author calls himself “an award-winning designer and blogger with a knack for business” and says that he wants to “provide compelling and unique design that ultimately helps your bottom line”. He then proceeds to tell the reader that if they are using IE to view his site, then they have come to the wrong place.

    Is he kidding?

    0
  69. 69

    web 2.0 is a joke

    May 31, 2007 11:53 am

    Literally all these designs are similar. “Web2.0″ IS A JOKE. It’s just a style/hype/fashion that eventually every designer will start doing and will become a norm in no time.

    Blah..

    0
  70. 70

    Nice collection of websites and some have good logos.

    0
  71. 71

    Awesome list once again. Thanks a lot guys!

    0
  72. 72

    Absolutely inspiring. Thanks for the list.

    0
  73. 73

    Great list. The only problem I had with it was Bistrian Iosip’s blog (http://blog.bistrianiosip.com). If you read a few paragraph’s of Bistrian’s blog, it sounds like it was written by a 10 year old… not a good thing for a blog. I know these sites are being listed for their visual appeal, but if attention to detail was also listed as one of the criteria, and that should include grammar.

    0
  74. 74

    Playground Blues is beautiful, the rest is boring.

    0
  75. 75

    Nice one. Thanks

    0
  76. 76

    Nice site with good logos!

    Inspiring :)

    0
  77. 77

    Interesting.

    Thank you for sharing

    0
  78. 78

    Franklin de Leon

    July 3, 2007 4:05 am

    Really inspiring

    0
  79. 79

    Starting with webdesign its alot of help,really (times infinity)great sites,thanks…

    0
  80. 80

    WOW!!! the designs are amazing…

    0
  81. 81

    You guys have the best damn content i’ve come across for a long time.

    0
  82. 82

    Thanks for your post. I like OUTLINE to DESIGN (№36) very much. It’s the best website design I’ve ever seen.

    0
  83. 83

    Hi there!
    A wonderful list of themes with an increadibly big serviceableness.

    0
  84. 84

    Cool post. I always have only good emotions

    0
  85. 85

    The #60 design is just awesome, brand new idea. #41, something similar we used for a project a couple years back, but is much better then mine. Great Collection. Thanks.

    0
  86. 86

    I like nr 17 best!

    0
  87. 87

    Anthony Armendariz

    January 18, 2008 12:57 pm

    While 1-4 of these are really unique, all the others, while attractive, also seem expected and cliche.

    0
  88. 88

    its really superb and great study material…

    0
  89. 89

    This is the best site I have ever found for design inspiration. I you know better please send a link.

    0
  90. 90

    Best site ever for inspiration. A picture is still worth a thousand words!

    0
  91. 91

    This is a really nice list of websites! Great design, great inspiration!

    Best Regards,
    Jonathan

    0
  92. 92

    These sites really fit the word elegant. Highly conceptual and inspirational.

    Damola

    0
  93. 93

    Ashish Lohorung Rai

    March 23, 2008 11:38 pm

    Really cool link..I love it..ples post more…

    0
  94. 94

    I like very much. My creativity will increase on seeing your website.
    Thank a lot.

    Finally I hope you must update more design especially floral motive design also

    0
  95. 95

    These are excellent sites with several unique and highly creative concepts and designs I had not thought of…very inspiring. My favs were 17, 22, and 36. Thanks!

    0
  96. 96

    Ya I agree with your article because you say right web designer have a creative mind they design the sites with their good ideas.

    0
  97. 97

    Great list.
    Can I have a bigger screenshot of that smashlab page of last year (solid-and-serious-designs-20). That looks really awsome.

    They have changed their page design this year.

    Keep putting up and we ll keep looking up.

    0
  98. 98

    it like me, simple styles.

    0
  99. 99

    ok i am officially inspired! my fav is freelance switch…. wonder if those illustrations are from istock??

    0
  100. 100

    thx,
    fine list

    0
  101. 101

    I really wish I could design pages like this. Awesome.

    0
  102. 102

    Extremely helpful,informative…. Persons like me who are freshers…. are delighted

    0
  103. 103

    Hi there,
    awesome designs even though first one (http://www.tomas-design.com/) doesn’t seem to work any more.

    Great source for business design inspiration. Thanks a lot and keep up a good work. Regards.

    0
  104. 104

    How are Kroenke and Fiszman killing the club? ,

    0
  105. 105

    Whatever methods we use to teach skills and knowledge at the professional stage involve us in many assumptions about how we learn professional skills, knowledge and values, what we learn and why, and what we expect students and trainees to do with that learning. ,

    0
  106. 106

    That’s cool ! thanx

    0
  107. 107

    Poorly researched list, really. Not many sites here speak elegant to me, everything is very content heavy and kinda ugly. Everything is too designery and not enough real life commercial examples…

    2
  108. 108

    I adore your work!

    0
  109. 109

    Roy from Barstow

    July 26, 2010 3:35 pm

    I find many of these sites to be sterile and lacking depth.
    Most resemble the same graphic style of gradient backdrops
    and square headers. To conservative for my idea of elegant.

    1
  110. 110

    nice post!

    1
  111. 111

    Very useful post for design inspiration!

    Take a look at http://www.freecssshowcase.com is showcasing most beautiful web designs under many different categories!

    0
  112. 112

    elegant? most of the posted websites aren’t. sorry to say so.

    4
  113. 113

    Nice list you have here!Great collection.thanks for share such a nice post.Keep up the excellent work!

    0
  114. 114

    very wordpressy. not awesome.

    0

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