Showcase Of Elegant And Original Blog Designs

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When visiting a blog for the first time, you get an instant and strong impression from the design and layout. Cluttered and confusing blog layouts can be an instant turn-off, while sleek and elegant designs immediately captivate the audience.

The 35 blog designs featured in this showcase engage visitors with a memorable layout, elegant design and good usability. They have no need to shout; they attract attention through sheer elegance and beauty. Through careful planning and judicious placement of elements, each of these layouts brings something unique and truly special to the Web.

Designers can take inspiration from these featured designs to create their own brand of magic.

You might also enjoy this previous article:

Elegant And Original Blog Designs

Istok Pavlovic2
An elegant watercolor design with close attention to details. Notice the navigation menu, RSS button and headings in the sidebar. The footer is incredible, too!

Screenshot3

Chris Guillebeau4
The attention to detail in this blog design is incredible.

Screenshot5

Hicks Design6
This blog design features a stationary menu interface with scrollable content. The muted colors are set off with bold tangerine accents that pull the whole design together.

Screenshot7

Ma.tt8
Beautiful graphic design is the highlight of this blog design. Dream-like images fill the screen, while the simple navigation bar waits to take the reader on a journey inside.

Screenshot9

Newtoyork.com10
An original blog layout with white space and an unusual design for the comments area.

Screenshot11

Ayakaito12
Muted colors, reminiscent of days gone by, give this design a comfortable vintage feel. The beautiful graphic in the header and simple navigation in the sidebar below set this blog design apart.

Screenshot13

Alpha Aesthetica14
An elegant grid-based design with incredible typography.

Screenshot15

Hugs for Monsters16
The author’s own artwork was used to create this stunning design. The layout is simple and tidy, yet a work of art at the same time. As an added bonus, humor is used to entertain readers as they enjoy the view.

Screenshot17

Outlaw Design Blog18
The bold use of color and heavy reliance of graphics work well together in this stunning blog design. The warmth of the color scheme and background create an inviting atmosphere.

Screenshot19

Le Bloe20
Shades of blue and gray with a splash of color make this blog design a work of art. The content is neatly presented and visually stunning.

Screenshot21

Typographica22
A celebration of typography awaits. Intelligent organization and simple navigation allow readers to immerse themselves in the simplicity of beautiful text.

Screenshot23

Agami Creative24
Watercolor at its best: a beautiful design in which each color is carefully chosen and skillfully used.

Screenshot25

retinart26
Grungy design with beautiful typography and unique distorted design elements.

Screenshot27

Belvoir George28
A visually impressive blog with awesome typography. This design makes perfect use of an appealing and striking background image.

Screenshot29

Stephen Caver30
This layout is an example of excellence in simplicity. The main navigation is the focus, and there are absolutely no distractions.

Screenshot31

Amour Chaleur32
Beautiful, original illustrations, and the one-column layout is creativity at its best.

Screenshot33

Neural Net Effect34
Very subtle design with an interesting structure, excellent use of imagery and nice typography. Simple, clean and elegant are the reasons this one is in this showcase.

Screenshot35

Bert Timmermans36
Clean and compact, this blog’s design organizes content like a book. The navigation is housed in the bookmark-shaped tabs, which smoothly glide into view as the mouse rolls over them.

Screenshot37

Good Little Wee Blog38
Simple shapes and cartoonish graphics make this blog design memorable. Content is organized simply and logically, making navigation extremely easy.

Screenshot39

Forgetfoo40
Simple, clean, minimalistic and beautiful.

Screenshot41

Web Science Man42
Color and graphics dominate, but don’t overwhelm, this design. Elegant navigation sits at the top for ease of use, making this blog design both fun and highly functional.

Screenshot43

Talking of Design44
One look at this blog design is enough to see that the designer is also an artist. The judicious use of animation draws interest without adding clutter.

Screenshot45

Kris Colvin46
This well-organized blog design has a slightly grunge feel. Interesting graphics in the header attract attention, and the content begins right away, leaving no room for boredom.

Screenshot47

Lyrical Media48
The easy navigation in this bold and simple blog design offers a quick snapshot of the content. Although usually difficult to pull off using an image this large and dominant in an elegant design, this layout seems to do it with ease.

Screenshot49

The Design Superhero50
Bold color combined with simple blocks of content displayed in a straightforward way are the highlights of this blog design. The content is neatly organized, with no clutter to distract readers.

Screenshot51

Visual Nightmare52
A unique blog design with grunge elements and a simple yet distinctive blog structure.

Screenshot53

Kimberly Coles54
A three-color blog theme, with hand-drawn design elements and a watercolor background.

Screenshot55

Chengis.me56
Bold, bright and beautiful, this blog design focuses on complete simplicity. Menus smoothly appear when the mouse rolls over the images, giving the visitor plenty of tasty choices.

Screenshot57

David Torondel58
A blog with a “traditional” two-column layout, many illustrations and a really cute design.

Screenshot59

Escaping the Word Cage60
Chain-link fencing has never been more beautiful. The unusual blend of hard and soft make this design unusually beautiful.

Screenshot61

Fubiz62
Color contrast and exceptional organization in this blog design gives visitors not only a visual treat but also easy navigation. Content is neatly displayed in concise blocks, making it simple for users to find their way around.

Screenshot63

Bjørn Friese64
Bold color and contrast and exceptionally good use of typography allow this blog design to work beautifully without images. It comes as no surprise that the author states in his bio that he loves both color and typography.

Screenshot65

Blogless66
Minimal design meets great typography and a one-column layout. The result is simple and elegant.

Screenshot67

Bonus

Pixelpretation.com68
The footer in this one is really hard to forget.

Screenshot69

Northern Classics70
… and so is this one.

Screenshot71

Further Resources

(al)

Footnotes

  1. 1 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/10/23/50-beautiful-blog-designs/
  2. 2 http://www.istokpavlovic.com/blog/
  3. 3 http://www.istokpavlovic.com/blog/
  4. 4 http://chrisguillebeau.com
  5. 5 http://chrisguillebeau.com
  6. 6 http://hicksdesign.co.uk/journal/
  7. 7 http://hicksdesign.co.uk/journal/
  8. 8 http://ma.tt/
  9. 9 http://ma.tt/
  10. 10 http://www.newtoyork.com/
  11. 11 http://www.newtoyork.com/
  12. 12 http://ayakaito.com/log/
  13. 13 http://ayakaito.com/log/
  14. 14 http://weblog.cynosura.eu/
  15. 15 http://weblog.cynosura.eu/
  16. 16 http://blog.hugsformonsters.com/
  17. 17 http://blog.hugsformonsters.com/
  18. 18 http://www.outlawdesignblog.com/
  19. 19 http://www.outlawdesignblog.com/
  20. 20 http://www.lebloe.com/?page_id=145
  21. 21 http://www.lebloe.com/?page_id=145
  22. 22 http://new.typographica.org/
  23. 23 http://new.typographica.org/
  24. 24 http://www.agamicreative.com/blog/
  25. 25 http://www.agamicreative.com/blog/
  26. 26 http://retinart.net/
  27. 27 http://retinart.net/
  28. 28 http://blog.belvoirfruitfarms.co.uk/
  29. 29 http://blog.belvoirfruitfarms.co.uk/
  30. 30 http://stephencaver.com/
  31. 31 http://stephencaver.com/
  32. 32 http://amourchaleur.com/
  33. 33 http://amourchaleur.com/
  34. 34 http://www.neuralneteffect.org/
  35. 35 http://www.neuralneteffect.org/
  36. 36 http://www.berttimmermans.com/
  37. 37 http://www.berttimmermans.com/
  38. 38 http://goodlittlecompany.com/index.php/weeblog/all_posts/
  39. 39 http://goodlittlecompany.com/index.php/weeblog/all_posts/
  40. 40 http://www.forgetfoo.com/
  41. 41 http://www.forgetfoo.com//
  42. 42 http://www.webscienceman.com/
  43. 43 http://www.webscienceman.com/
  44. 44 http://www.kevadamson.com/talking-of-design
  45. 45 http://www.kevadamson.com/talking-of-design
  46. 46 http://kriscolvin.com/
  47. 47 http://kriscolvin.com/
  48. 48 http://www.lyricalmedia.com/
  49. 49 http://www.lyricalmedia.com/
  50. 50 http://thedesignsuperhero.com/
  51. 51 http://thedesignsuperhero.com/
  52. 52 http://visual-nightmare.com/
  53. 53 http://visual-nightmare.com/
  54. 54 http://www.imwithsully.com/blog/
  55. 55 http://www.imwithsully.com/blog/
  56. 56 http://chengis.me/
  57. 57 http://chengis.me/
  58. 58 http://blog.torondel.net/
  59. 59 http://blog.torondel.net/
  60. 60 http://escapingthewordcage.com/
  61. 61 http://escapingthewordcage.com/
  62. 62 http://www.fubiz.net/
  63. 63 http://www.fubiz.net/
  64. 64 http://frieze.dk/
  65. 65 http://frieze.dk/
  66. 66 http://www.designlessbetter.com/blogless/
  67. 67 http://www.designlessbetter.com/blogless/
  68. 68 http://pixelpretation.com/
  69. 69 http://pixelpretation.com/
  70. 70 http://www.northern-classics.de/
  71. 71 http://www.northern-classics.de/
  72. 72 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2007/08/28/45-excellent-blog-designs/
  73. 73 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2007/11/22/30-more-excellent-blog-designs/
  74. 74 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/02/20/45-more-excellent-blog-designs/
  75. 75 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/05/08/now-more-than-ever-50-more-excellent-blog-designs/

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Gerri Elder is a content producer and social media strategist who has worked full-time on Internet development and marketing since 1997. Her current projects include ChicagoNow, GreenBiz and ProspectMX. Gerri can be reached on Facebook or Twitter and is often found on the Web under the username "absolutelytrue".

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  1. 1

    Very cool

  2. 2
  3. 3

    really inspiring for me…I have planned to make a unique blog too

  4. 4

    wow… AMAZING…

    really inspired

  5. 5

    Not sure about the ‘elegant’, but sure a lot of them are original…

  6. 6

    Great list of inspirations..i liked Le Bloe’s blog…

  7. 7

    coooooool

  8. 8

    Floris Fiedeldij Dop

    April 28, 2009 8:49 pm

    I think the word elegant was misused here.

  9. 9

    Some of these are really pretty sweet…some are kinda… well… really not so sweet…
    i would like to take a moment to petition any designers out there to please stop using the Bleeding Cowboys font…(as in Outlaw Design Blog) its starting to become another PAPYRUS eeek! (i’m sorry i know i shouldn’t have said the “P” word… haha)

  10. 10

    Le Bloe’s blog is WooTheme’s free ‘Irresistable’ theme with a few new images.

  11. 11

    Great examples of blog design. Though sometimes I wonder if all those great designers do not feel restricted by the blog design itself. I mean, is there something beyond blog design? Maybe something where the layout follows the individual content and not that everything from text, to photos, to illustrations, videos etc. is put into the same long container list? Something that is not so predictable like flickr photos and twitter tweets in the sidebar? Something more individual than always the same concept? … I don’t have an answer (and also use wordpress for my projects) and this is not to say that blogs are bad. I just wonder if there is more than the current blog design to present (especially visual) content.

  12. 12

    AT LAST some new designs for us hungry designers. Great list post with NEW items on it and designs we haven’t already seen dozens of times. Keep up the good work!

  13. 13

    Nice list, and thank you very much for the inclusion! made my day

    Alpha Aesthetica is such a beautiful design, isn’t it? I’ve returned to it a few times just to have a good look at the layout.. I also quite liked the textures of lebloe too

    Matthais – I know exactly what you mean, but it stems from a couple of things i think – there are a lot of resources floating around of what to put into your sidebar, what to have in your header, your menu, etc etc.. and they’re all very similiar tips, because its just what work at the moment. It’ll change as time goes on and blogging as a platform/design grows..

    and plus, it’s way more work to have something unique.. a lot of people don’t want to put that effort in.. they have a thought, a design that looks good and want to put their thought thought into that design to get it out quickly and easily.. its what’s appealing about blogs :)

    But there are those who break away from this (Jason Santa Maria for example)

  14. 14

    So many blogs here are not developing for content, but develop content to support the design. Not long ago this was the wrong thing to do, but more and more people seem to forget or suppress this, but what for? Even more specialized blogs?

  15. 15

    Thank you very much for having chosen my blog. Considering the quality of the others, i am honored !
    I particularly appreciate Newtoyork and Ayakaito.

  16. 16

    Well doesnt really get me off my chair

  17. 17

    The Stephen Caver site is a bad example, imho. I was clicking and nothing happened, until I found out that the navigation took up all of my browser space and the content was below the fold. To say that there’s no distraction….one huge distraction: the navigation (and logo). Looks: good. Usability: not so good….

  18. 18

    Some nice inspirations. Thanks.

  19. 19

    Does the Lyrical Media guy read .Net magazine (or Practical Web Design in the US) by any chance? Not really sure how they got away with that one.

  20. 20

    Does the Lyrical Media guy read .Net magazine (or Practical Web Design in the US) by any chance? Not really sure how they got away with that one.

    If you check out the post on his blog about the redesign you’ll see he explains exactly where the inspiration came from and why it looks so similar to a magazine.

  21. 21

    Istok Pavlovic and Hugs for Monsters are the two most original designs I’ve seen for a long time, absolutely fantastic work.

  22. 22

    wow, makes me realise just how mediocre I am….

  23. 23

    Excellent round up.

    I feel bad about my new blog design now!

  24. 24

    Very well done, nice roundup of designs.

  25. 25

    Hmm most of these blog designs is a grunge style, and no doubt that most of them are beautiful… But I think it’s wrong to call these (alot of these) ‘ORIGINAL’, they are really not. In that way it’s obvious that the Author of this, has a love for the grunge (/ cut/paste) web style, but it does not represent originality.

  26. 26

    is it just me or is the new trend using big pictures to make up for the fact that content isn’t important anymore? most of the examples above look like they are not made with the intention that the reader actually reads a blog but browses it.
    i mean not all of them are bad, but some are and en plus blog design looks so predictable: take the standard wordpress theme, add some graphics and voilà there you go.

  27. 27

    Nice list but I agree with some comments above. The grungy style is becoming the ‘easy’ way. Just plaster some textures and the content will go in the holes…

    Also a shame that only about 5% of those sites have valid html code…But that’s another topic.

  28. 28

    egal:
    See my comment, it’s number 16.

  29. 29
  30. 30

    Edmund Blackadder

    April 29, 2009 3:23 am

    Papyrus? Eek! Whatever you do, don’t mention Comic Sans… Oh, bugger!

  31. 31

    Excellent List! Awesome Blogs.

  32. 32

    Really cool designs, I really think Smashing is reading my mind sometimes!

  33. 33

    Maxime Perron Caissy

    April 29, 2009 4:41 am

    Another great collection of blog designs! The world needs more good looking sites like these! Thanks for sharing once again Smashing!

  34. 34

    Most of those blogs contains soooo much, it makes them so confusing to read.

  35. 35

    Great sites but I think that we all need to get over blogging and move onto real world designs that are results oriented. Show me how a IT contracting company built their site to attract customers, and what research and techniques were responsible for the successful design and more stuff like that instead of hey, here are some beautiful cool designs. I think that we are all going to be over being connected every two seconds and want to move onto to real world design and development projects that make our society more efficient. I want to see more innovative stuff come out of this place.

  36. 36

    Alpha Aesthetica is my favorite on that list. Simple, elegant, perfect.

    I have to agree with others here, that the majority of blogs are too busy looking. It’s nice to focus on the content, if you’re a blog. It’s one thing to make a marketing site or a micro-site, but blogs should be about what you are writing../

    But I guess personal blogs are mainly for attention whores, so might as well put on the stripper glitter and tons of makeup…

  37. 37

    All designs are great !!! Can’t say any one blog to be my favorite as every blog design has some uniqueness.

    Regards

  38. 38

    Awesome stuff!

  39. 39

    I like the web science one. That one is really cool. Hey how come my blog deisgn is not listed here? ;-)

  40. 40

    This is an excellent list! I especially like Istok Pavlovic’s blog,

  41. 41

    dang it all no link dropping… :( well I was gonna say I thought my blog was pretty nice too. hmm in anyevent.. Smashing rocks thanks for the inspiration…

  42. 42

    Wow. These are all wonderful! Great work! I don’t comment on SM enough. I should show you guys some love.

  43. 43

    Interesting mostly grungy list of designs, though I wouldn’t call them elegant really.

    el·e·gant (l-gnt)
    adj. Characterized by or exhibiting refined, tasteful beauty of manner, form, or style
    The word elegant is also used to express refined simplicity, clarity or sophistication.

    Not trying to be irritating about this but the word elegant has been used just way too many times to describe the wrong type of designs in the last year or so.

  44. 44

    When visiting a blog for the first time, you get an instant and strong impression from the design and layout. Cluttered and confusing blog layouts can be an instant turn-off, while sleek and elegant designs immediately captivate the audience.

    I hate to say this, but Smashing Magazine is getting cluttered. I never minded the sidebar ads, but the jarring (and huge) Nokia block tips the scale.

  45. 45

    Thank you very much for featuring for featuring my design, FRIEZE – Design by Bjørn Friese You are doing a young man a very big favor.

    However, you got my name wrong. My name is not Bert Timmermans but is Bjørn Friese. If you would mind to update my name i would be you ever gratefull

    (SM) Sorry for inconvenience, Bjørn, the name was updated. Thank you.

  46. 46

    really inspiring for me. Thanks a lot. Noah Lieske

  47. 47

    These are all very beautifully done.

    Like others, however, I’m really curious to see where design trends are going to take us next. I love the look of grunge and “sloppy” collages and the scrapbook feel… yet at the same time, they’re getting over-used.

    I remember back in the early 2000’s when the style was that impossibly tiny and hard to read text and a lot of usage of futuristic, abstract shiny 3D elements.

    I’m betting the pendulum will start to swing back over to extremely clean, minimalist trends in a year or two.

    Thanks for sharing these, though – I’m always inspired by the different approaches people take – even if a lot of them are all a different approach to the same trend.

  48. 48

    absolutely love the Alpha Aesthetica, so clean, yet detailed and well laid out

  49. 49

    nice work,i like design of Fubiz

  50. 50

    Thanks for your response Smashing Magazine!

    Unfortunately, the name of Bert Timmermans site has now been changed to Bjørn Friese and the name of my site is still Bert Timmerman.

  51. 51

    Excellent collection. A pretty common style on most of them but I personally like the tactile, flawed, human feel on them. Its real and appropriate for personal blogs.

  52. 52

    RTP.pt is the website of the national PORTUGUESE television. pt domains are from Portugal; pl domains are from Poland…

  53. 53

    Amaziiiing!!!!

  54. 54

    I love Istok Pavlovic’s blog. It is so unique! Thanks!

  55. 55

    Nice collection. Love it. Thanks

  56. 56

    Some good designs here. I have to say, though, I’m not a fan of the two-column layout, in which one column is divided into two to serve as the sidebar. It feels cluttered or confusing to me, and I always have to read through one side of the column and scroll back up for what’s in the other side of it. I’ve noticed a lot of design blogs doing this and it frustrates me since there are usually some good “blogroll” links and other info in there. Am I just being crazy?

  57. 57

    I see that the wootheme Irresistible was mentioned, I use it to :D I really like that theme with the custom frontpage enabled.
    Im new to this WordPress thing, so I need to learn how to tweak the theme eaven more.
    There is plenty of nice themes out there and the Bjørn Friese one is verry original :D

  58. 58

    Very nice! Thanks!

  59. 59

    I find the most interesting thing about this list to be how each blog design creates the right personality to present the content. From Bjørn and Aesthetica’s beautiful typography to Lyrical Media’s powerful image… so much variation depending on the designer’s personality and what they’re conveying. And many thanks for including my humble blog (a very nice, but very big surprise) – ‘unusually beautiful’ will do nicely!

  60. 60

    Wow,, thank you so much for posting my blog on here!
    I’m really honored to be put featured in smashing magazine!!

  61. 61

    Very nice, lots of useful inspirations.

  62. 62

    super kool!!! amazing worx

  63. 63
  64. 64

    Hello

    No french in this list….boooo :)

  65. 65

    Where is the french webdesigner ….

  66. 66

    Some nice inspirations. Thanks

  67. 67

    Really really great list! Thank you.

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