Top 10 Creative Ways To Display Time


By Haroon Baig

Clocks don’t have to be boring. Of course, clocks need need to remain usable and display current time; however, they can do it in a number of creative ways. You are about to see some of the most creative examples out there. Take some time and enjoy.

1. Uniqlock


What shall I say. If the others are songs, Uniqlock2 is the concert. Japanese girls dance focusing your attention away from the passing time. Probably one of the strangest — unique — clock screensavers3 out there.

2. Word Clock

Word Clock4

Whether you hate or love Helvetica, you’ll just love Word Clock5 (for you haters out there the typeface can be changed). Simon Heys6, the creative director of Tonic7, definitely deserves the place on the podium with this stunning piece. You can download the screensaver (PC and Mac) as well as an iPhone application here8.

3. DropClock


DropClock10 is an aesthetically intriguing motion clock screensaver. Every minute of real time is numerically expressed with heavy helvetica dropping into water in super slow-motion. An impressive piece of art by Yugop2411. You can get the screensaver here12 (PC and Mac, price: $15).

4. Uncontrol Clock

Uncontrol Clock13

Among other things Uncontrol Website offers the so-called “55 clock” for free download. This clock uses the 3rd dimension to combine an analogue display with a digital clock display. Ingenious.

5. FedEx “Just in time”

Just in time14

Just in time15 is the message of this advertising banner for FedEx, which won a Gold Lion in the Cyber Lions category in Cannes 2005. And deservedly so. You get the message.

6. Pulse Clock

Pulse Clock16

This neat little Actionscript Experiment by Mrdoob17 currently rocking at HiReS!18 convinces through simplicity and aesthetics. Built using Papervision3D19 to experiment with real-time shadows.

7. Humanclock


Humanclock21 is a project by Craig D. Giffen. People from all over the world submit pictures with certain times on them. Every minute there is a new picture telling the current time. Simple as that. Read the project page22 for more info (you’ll find an analogue version, too).

8. Industrial Clock

Industrial Clock23

Way back in 2000 the design legend Yugo Nakamura aka Yugop2411 amazed the community with his Industrial Clock25. It is not exaggerated to say that this piece has created a whole new genre of “video clocks” and served many others as inspiration (as you can see in some other examples).

9. Grid-Based Clock

Grid Based Clock26

This clock is built by Geoffroy Delobel and based on an idea by Sleepatwork27. The Grid Based Clock28 is a rather “constructivist” approach to display the time. Its elementary formal vocabulary makes a unique and unusual charm. You can get the screensaver here29 (PC and Mac).

10. Clockr


Mario Klingemann (aka Quasimondo31) came up with this classic. Clockr32 uses random digit images from Flickr to display the current time.Click on a number to change the image, double-click it to view the full image. Use the mouse wheel to cycle through (just give it some time if it doesn’t display the images right away). You can download the screensaver here33 (Win only).



Well, they might not made it to the top 10, but they are definitely worth a look:

You disagree with the order? What is your favourite? You know another amazing clocks that are missing? Please use the comment section to show your examples!

About the author

Haroon Baig48 is a communication designer currently working as a User Interface Designer in Germany.

Editor’s note

This post is one of the finalists of our guest author contest49. Over three weeks selected top-10-lists and discussion articles will be published. To rate the articles we’ll analyze their popularity, users activity, quality of backlinks, traffic and further data.


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  1. 1

    Woderful! very creative!

    Schahryar – a web designer

  2. 52

    How do i use Mathieu-Badimon’s Block Clock on my pc? i really want this one as screensaver!


  3. 103

    #8 is the Industrious Clock, not Industrial. Typos aside, it’s a great list.

  4. 154

    Great article. I have been thinking about ways of displaying passage of time myself. Time is mostly displayed as a snapshot (here is our, admittedly rather daft take on that: I am yet to see something that would give a feeling of continuum.


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