Corporate Website Design: Creative and Beautiful Solutions

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What do corporate websites have in common with other people’s children? Three things: they have their charm, like finger-paintings on the refrigerator; they can be useful, if infrequently; they are usually admired only by the people who created them.

While designers know that a user’s experience on a website has a large impact on the way that customer will interact with them, impressing that concept on the corporate establishment has taken a very long time. Trends in design are making their way into corporate web, albeit slowly; with patience and a little luck, businesses will soon start to consider carefully coded and appropriately functional design as important as their mission statement and recent sustainability reports.

One unfortunate fact is evident above all else: despite having plenty of money at their disposal, many corporations are lost in sterile MS Word-esque designs that are more stagnant than a museum exhibit… though at least museums have dinosaurs and mummies and stuff. Here’s hoping we all will get new corporate clients soon.

Below, we present some interesting corporate websites, although the insight they offer may not be immediately apparent. This review is not about aesthetics or visual appeal, but rather about the design solutions the sites exhibit. In fact, corporate websites aren’t as visually arresting as you might think, so if the appeal isn’t immediately apparent in the previews below, take a moment to visit and interact with each of them.

Beautiful Corporate Websites

Levi Strauss & Co1
With its website, Levis demonstrates that it has not only a strong flair for style and interactivity, but a rich sense of history. Hover over or click the photographs to see some of the company’s defining moments; ever known for its sense of identity, Levis draws you into its past, present and future, excellently breaking through to customers and inviting them to stay.

Screenshot, LeviStrauss.com.2

McDonald’s3
By simplifying and softening the navigation, McDonald’s opens the entire screen up to use as canvas for their product. Harmonious colors in the typography complement the food (and exploit the visual association with hamburgers), while the vivid photography does not obscure surrounding elements.

Screenshot, McDonalds.com.4

Starbucks5
Gentle colors and careful hierarchy of elements aside, Starbucks’ strength is in the details. The navigation exhibits an attention to hierarchy not often seen on corporate websites, while offering alternative destination links, should you find yourself in the wrong section. Such consideration for the user would be a welcome trend in design going into 2011.

Screenshot, Starbucks.com.6

Sony7
You’ll see that this is a link to Sony Canada’s website. While the navigation and theme is the same as its American counterpart, the experience here is different: here you can see short films in which people relate their experiences of how Sony technology has enriched their lives. Best of all, a floating meter lets you sort stories into categories, giving you control of the content. Brilliantly executed.

Screenshot, Sony.ca.8

The Ones You Would Expect

Adidas9
Few websites employ a grid design that is at once so rigid and flexible. Individual modules expand and contract to allow for dynamic exploration—a lot of fun, particularly because the website has so many parts to explore. The only thing to note is that images do not obviously reflects the content they open to display, necessitating the standard top-menu — an important point in usability.

Screenshot, Adidas.com.10

Citroen11
While the technique of using tiny images to fill a shape has been done a million ways, Citroen takes an old technique to the next level. Draw your cursor across the world to see the photos dance around it, beckoning you to select a region. An excellent use of a landing page, effectively drawing in users without information inundation.

Screenshot, Citroen.com.12

Fender Guitars13
While you may need to be a guitar player to fully appreciate the beautiful lines and tones of Fender products, you need only a pair of eyes to appreciate the simplicity and functionality of Fender’s website. Unobtrusive navigation at the top and hot links lower down make way for a large stage on which Fender can showcase the stars of its website: its beautiful instruments.

Screenshot, Fender.com.14

Heinz15
One of the most recognizable brands in the world, Heinz has intelligently focused its website on its consumers. Rotate the globe by clicking on photos to see simple recipes from around the world. A design brilliantly suited to users of any skill level, Heinz has found a new means to engage their customers and entice them to visit more.

Screenshot, Heinz.com.16

Prologue Films17
Any company that designs opening credits and effects for movies needs a keen aesthetic sense, and Prologue Films’ visual dynamic is evident on its website. A clean grid with gray tones puts the company’s custom type and effects (an impressive collection) front and center, the same technique made famous by artists and photographers. Using a pop-up window for the content, though, is ill-advised.

Screenshot, PrologueFilms.com.18

Rolex19
The beauty of this website is in Rolex’ masterful attention to detail. With the gorgeous products on display, the eye almost misses the clever tricks contained therein, such as the clock face that adjusts to your time zone. The intuitive user experience reinforces the notion that great design blends together. When it works right, it’s seamless.

Screenshot, Rolex.com.20

Steinway & Sons21
Lucky for us, Steinway invests as much effort into its website as it does into its pianos. Elegant type and warm subtle imagery grace this design and project an image of quality, undoubtedly the intended effect.

Screenshot, Steinway.com.22

The Ones You Should Have Thought Of

Aflac23
While a blue and white palette is nothing new, Aflac has mastered the use of subtle gradients to enhance type. Smartly assembled, this site is intuitive and easily digestible. The clever part is the horizontal scrolling frame, a visual hook aptly used here to display customer testimonials.

Screenshot, Aflac.com (Individuals).24

American Standard25
A gorgeous website; American Standard exemplifies grid design, employing the majority of frame as a news scroller. Intelligent use of color, elegant type and thoughtful spacing make this website particularly easy on the eyes.

Screenshot, American Standard (americanstandard-us.com).26

Avery Dennison27
At first glance, this might look like the website of any old manufacturer of office supplies. At second glance, though, brilliant little touches leap out:: the subtle grid, the attention to readability, the side-scrolling frame that harmonizes type, color and imagery. Oddly dissonant, the side and top navigations make this website looks almost as if it were a composite of different designs over time, a curiosity.

Screenshot, AveryDennison.com.28

Con Edison29
While the Con Edison website doesn’t have much to look at, the section for the annual report has been capably executed. Great attention to space, clean type and subtle movement are all used to great effect in this section where Con Edison addresses its corporate responsibility.

Screenshot, ConEdison.com.30

Grow Interactive31
Most interactive firms don’t have exciting websites, which makes Grow stand out all the more. Grow demonstrates an expert use of type and illustration, moving your eye in perfect circles over the page, and nuances like the small interactive animals along the footer make it stand out among its peers.

Screenshot, Grow Interactive (thisisgrow.com).32

PGI33 (formerly Premiere Global)
Here is another rare instance of a Canadian version surpassing its regional siblings. A playful take on the boxed blog/corporate theme, the website for PGI puts an interactive panel into the fold, an attractive way to draw users further into the website. The layout and color elements are evidence of authentic design acumen.

Screenshot, PGI.com.34

Rohm and Haas35
This Fortune 500 company knows how to engage visitors online, with interactive features coming from every angle. The innovation in its products is reflected in the playfulness of the website, which encourages users to explore. Careful, effective use of otherwise familiar textures and themes support an engaging concept, to good effect.

Screenshot, RohmHaas.com.36

Society for Environmental Graphic Design37
While the inclusion of an organization of graphic designers in this showcase is no surprise, SEGD shines in its presentation of simple yet powerful elements. As any designer can attest, bold colorful shapes can easily run a design off course, but that isn’t the case here. SEGD has married vivid color with effective usability, creating a website that is smooth and wonderfully user-friendly.

Screenshot, SEGD.com.38

Virb39
Recently rebranded and redesigned, Virb demonstrates a capable grasp of visual elements even in this placeholder page: good typography, ample white space, soft shapes and forms — akin more to social media than standard corporate toadery, excellently indicative of the target demographic.

Screenshot, Virb.com.40

The Ones You Might Not Know About

Acro Media41
A Web development firm that knows exactly when to stick to the grid and when to break boundaries. The most impressive parts of this website are the way certain elements react to hovering, such as the company name in yellow at the top left. Mousing over it flips the logo around to display a toll-free number. Clever.

Screenshot, Acromediainc.com.42

AgencyNet Interactive43
The spirit of AgencyNet is clearly the team of creatives behind its work. Showing the team at work (and play) behind the scenes in the office is refreshing, well executed and a great way to engage viewers to learn about the company.

Screenshot, AgencyNet.com.44

AmoebaCorp45
A small creative firm, AmoebaCorp shows expert use of type on its website. The type establishes a strong hierarchy, enabling the content and navigation to coexist on the left without confusing the user about functionality.

Screenshot, AmoebaCorp.com.46

Imaginary Forces47
Less is more with Imaginary Forces, which displays its brilliant work as prominently as possible by cluttering the screen as little as possible. Even without the showcased work, the website would stand out: take away the grand images, and you’d still have a clever arrangement of type and navigation, which is more than can be said of most websites.

Screenshot, ImaginaryForces.com.48

Kurylowicz & Associates49
This Polish architecture firm has produced a website that bleeds inspiration from every pixel. Elegant in its use of gray tones, this website combines line, shape and space in a way no other website does. Perhaps it took an engineer to think abstractly enough to design with such abandon, but the result is brilliance online, from start to finish.

Screenshot, Kurylowicz & Associates, (apaka.com.pl).50

Vancouver Convention Centre51
Aside from the harmonious colors and subtle grid that frames the content, the Vancouver Convention Centre succeeds by going the extra mile to make its website visitors feel local: the “Cheers!” factor in action. Not many websites impart a sense of belonging with their welcome; that this one does makes a strong case for using heart as a design tool as much as shape, color and texture.

Screenshot, VancouverConventionCentre.com.52

What Have We Learned Today, Bobby?

Finding beautiful corporate websites proved to be quite a challenge, and we had to make a number of unusual choices along the way. We sought regional versions of international websites, for instance, because multi-national companies present a number of differences among their sister websites. Bizarrely, did you know that many Fortune 500 companies don’t even have websites? Or worse, have non-working ones?

Admittedly, the word “corporate” is pretty loose in definition here. For the sake of impartiality, we did not discriminate by industry or field. We were more interested in collecting websites that employ interesting techniques. Because innovative and fresh stand out on the Web whatever the industry, putting aside traditional definitions is crucial.

For further reading on corporate websites and design, you may be interested in Corporate Blog Design: Trends and Examples53, published August 2009.

Would you like to see more similar showcases on SM?


(al)

Footnotes

  1. 1 http://levistrauss.com/
  2. 2 http://levistrauss.com/
  3. 3 http://www.mcdonalds.com/
  4. 4 http://www.mcdonalds.com/
  5. 5 http://www.starbucks.com/
  6. 6 http://www.starbucks.com/
  7. 7 http://www.sony.ca/
  8. 8 http://www.sony.ca/
  9. 9 http://www.adidas.com/us/homepage.asp
  10. 10 http://www.adidas.com/us/homepage.asp
  11. 11 http://www.citroen.com/
  12. 12 http://www.citroen.com/
  13. 13 http://fender.com/
  14. 14 http://fender.com/
  15. 15 http://www.heinz.com/
  16. 16 http://www.heinz.com/
  17. 17 http://www.prologuefilms.com/
  18. 18 http://www.prologuefilms.com/
  19. 19 http://www.rolex.com/
  20. 20 http://www.rolex.com/
  21. 21 http://steinway.com/
  22. 22 http://steinway.com/
  23. 23 http://www.aflac.com/
  24. 24 http://www.aflac.com/
  25. 25 http://www.americanstandard-us.com/
  26. 26 http://www.americanstandard-us.com/
  27. 27 http://www.averydennison.com/avy/en_us/
  28. 28 http://www.averydennison.com/avy/en_us/
  29. 29 http://www.conedison.com/EHS/AnnualReport/
  30. 30 http://www.conedison.com/EHS/AnnualReport/
  31. 31 http://www.thisisgrow.com/
  32. 32 http://www.thisisgrow.com/
  33. 33 http://www.pgi.com/ca/en/
  34. 34 http://www.pgi.com/ca/en/
  35. 35 http://www.rohmhaas.com/
  36. 36 http://www.rohmhaas.com/
  37. 37 http://www.segd.org/
  38. 38 http://www.segd.org/
  39. 39 http://virb.com/
  40. 40 http://virb.com/
  41. 41 http://www.acromediainc.com/
  42. 42 http://www.acromediainc.com/
  43. 43 http://agencynet.com/
  44. 44 http://agencynet.com/
  45. 45 http://www.amoebacorp.com/
  46. 46 http://www.amoebacorp.com/
  47. 47 http://www.imaginaryforces.com/
  48. 48 http://www.imaginaryforces.com/
  49. 49 http://www.apaka.com.pl/
  50. 50 http://www.apaka.com.pl/
  51. 51 http://www.vancouverconventioncentre.com/
  52. 52 http://www.vancouverconventioncentre.com/
  53. 53 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/08/20/corporate-blog-design-trends-and-examples/
  54. 54 http://polldaddy.com/poll/3670282/
  55. 55 http://polldaddy.com/features-surveys/

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A compulsive student of graphic design, equally passionate about music — Bobby also writes extensively for Interrobang, a publication of Fanshawe College in London, Ontario.

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  1. 1

    really like ‘AgencyNet Interactive’ and ‘Kurylowicz & Associates’, dont see many website like that about

  2. 2

    citroen is the best coorporate site design..

    • 3

      I wonder if there are any B2B companies that take this approach. B2C beautiful designs I can expect, but its rare to see a B2B with a high quality design.

      • 4

        Aubrey,

        I was thinking exactly the same…

        Corp bigwigs and design by committee usually rule in this area!

        Johny

        • 5

          I wonder if clients are so discombobulated by web technology that they just sit there and allow the developers and designers do their thing? Maybe a bit of sparkling type and prancing unicorns are suggested here and there but rejected in the end?

          • 6

            allow the developers and designers do their thing? Maybe a bit of sparkling type

          • 7

            Yeah… working for a a corporation my self bud they rarely let you “Do your thing.” Especially when marketing gets involved. They like to think of themselves at the highest echelon of design since their degree plan required them take intro to graphic design. They may know what looks good but they tend to get overly excited and cram everything that looks good all onto one page. (i.e. the Adidas site) As far as functionality is concerned its the designer/developers job to make sure that this “Cramming” is functional which the Adidas developers didn’t do a bad job at. So if the corporation wants unicorns and sparkling type they’ll get it no doubt about that. But that’s not what this article was about. This article was about functioning websites be they beautiful or not.

      • 8

        I agree totally. I worked at a B2B agency for a short period and they tried to extract more contemporary designs from me. It didn’t work. Perhaps its the B2B mentality that discourages good creative hehe.

  3. 9

    AgencyNet Interactive is really cool! Like this article. Unfortunately the company I work for is far away from having a beautiful website. :-(

  4. 10

    Hm, these are showcased as usable websites?
    I just recently got ahold of Jakob Nielsen’s Eyetracker study. Sites like the Rolex one (large image taking up space) did poorly (the example in the study was JCPenny). These all LOOK NICE, but do users skip over important text because the designer was trying not to look like 1990?
    The company I work for sells clothing from brand names like Levi, and going through their corporate sites to get necessary product images or information has always been a frustrating experience, especially with all the slow Flash loading. But, luckily, I’m not a customer trying to buy something there… maybe that’s the difference. Maybe these sites aren’t for customers.

    Design-wise, though, many of these are very beautiful.

    • 11

      Totally agree with this. These sites seem to think they are (posh) magazines and we have all the time in the world to browse right through them. We don’t. In fact, we don’t care at all really, given a few basic nice things are in place (clear nav bar, obvious info areas etc). We just want to find what we came to find, really quickly, and get on with the next thing we need to do in our very busy lives.

      It’s not always popular to say these sort of things, but any ‘punter’ will more than likely agree with this perspective.

      OK?

      • 12

        If you think that we live in a utilitarian world where design has no meaning your dead wrong. There’s a reason why we have Bently and a Ford – in the end both are cars right? Also, design evokes emotions and most decisions are based on emotion believe it or not – marketing 101.

        Also, ironically you emphasis that no one has the luxury to engage with a site due to lack of time yet you find time to comment on this site…

        Open your eyes bro and start appreciating the finer details in life, OK?

        • 13

          If you drive a Bently, you will see the difference from a Ford. Performance is the key in any product. The design entices (hence the emotion response), enhances usability (salability) and sells the product (needs satisfaction). Design, however, is secondary to usability. Lose that and you lose sales and even decay your branding.

          This is why design by committee destroys all three main factors, ergo (with a bit of a jump over other factors), no consumer confidence.

          • 14

            sorry what? when you’re looking at $10,000+ watches I’m pretty sure you’re focused on design and prestige and have thrown usability out the door.

            Do you really think someone interested in a high-end watch is going to give up on the rolex website and order a seiko instead just because they could click through their website faster?

          • 15

            @lee – No, people want to look at pictures, see a list of the functions and while they say, “if you have to ask the price, you can’t afford it,” the price as times have changed (no pun intended). They want the two most basic functionalities; visuals and information they can comprehend. Within that — within the design, functionality rules. So why can’t beauty and functionality co-exist? Probably because there was some non-creative interaction.

            As for “giving up” on the web site — how many times have we all gotten impatient and promised ourselves we’d “come back?” It won’t sell more Seikos to Rolex lovers…unless it’s within their real budget.

            Keep in mind the demographic of the consumer. The site is mostly visited by those who dream of owning such a time piece. Edge consumers will check it out online so they are not embarrassed in the store by asking. Those rich enough to not care are usually just given the watch so the manufacturer can say “so-and-so wears one!” Otherwise a weekly shopping trip on Rodeo Drive might have them pick one or two up.

          • 16

            @Speider – I really wish that a lot of these self proclaimed experts that troll these websites really had a chance to come down to the city and participate in the kind of research we do. I’m not talking about reading some usability document online and making it the “law”.

            If we put together a focus group where two versions of the Rolex site was presented: one looking like Craigslist (the world you propose) and one with a big image of a water splash hitting a Rolex watch (current site) the splash would win 9/10 times. I’m sorry to inform you this but people gravitate towards beauty over anything else. You have to stop assuming that people would analyze a website like you would – most people don’t live in a world of zeros and ones. Design wins every time.

          • 17

            @speider

            Take a bigger look at design. Its not just aesthetic. Its functional. Its an approach that encompasses conception to completion and everything in between

  5. 18

    Exactly what I was looking for, great showcase. Would be good to see some more like this – but for SMEs instead of large chains, as I don’t get to work on these large ones every day…!

  6. 19

    Very good list! Thumbs up for Rolex!

  7. 20

    very nice selection, keep it up!

  8. 21

    AVERY’s website looks like a 90’s website…. very dated in my opinion!

  9. 22

    It’s a shame so many of these sites are flash based :(

    • 23

      agree with Ben!
      Too too flash use! Lovely but after 5 minutes you’re bored!
      The companies still use old ways of doing website, I think.

    • 24

      We’ve recently redesigned the corporate website for the Landmark Group, a leading retail and hospitality conglomerate in the Middle East and India. landmarkgroupme.com/. Would appreciate feedback from the Smashing community…

  10. 25

    Few niece pages, a lot of disasters.

    Nice first look does not define good sites at all. They should be usable and some of these are far from it.

    I.e. Prologue Films page which seems to be OK unless you try to go for more content and see light blue texts mixed with light blue background lines on white page. WTF is that? How much contrast they’ve set up on their screens to consider this readable?

    Apart from it: Citroen site is the worst IMHO. Waited 3 minutes (loading) to see Flash which immediately gave me an impression that Citroen is trying to run away from me. reminded me about old pranking software which was taking control over Windows Start button.

    • 26

      Citroen: it took just 3 seconds to load here, and I like the site’s navigation a lot.

    • 29

      Citroen: 3 secs.
      And even with an old monitor with a broken backlight Prologue is still readable. Maybe it’s time for a new computer? Try a mac!

      • 30

        Mac is an internet connection?

        Last time I checked, broken monitors didn’t have anything to do with download times.

        • 31

          @Mark
          I am not native English person but I thought that “Apart from it” will split post into two *separate* cases:

          1. colours usability for Prologue Films page – broken monitors can explain that part.

          2. an idea of Flash based sites which I am against of – not related to #1. Surprisingly: other Flash heavy pages are not problematic for my Internet connection.

  11. 32

    “The rumours of my death have been greatly exaggerated” – Adobe Flash

    Seems as if the Fortune 500 companies didn’t get Steve Jobs’ memo.

  12. 34

    That is a wonderful and awesome posting today. I love all the works(web site) especially the AgencyNet Interactive.

  13. 35

    Sorry but I don’t really agree with your selection. rolex.com for example has some massive usability issues, mcdonalds.com looks nice on the home page but suffers from inconsistency on deeper levels and starbucks.com is massively overloaded. And citroen.com? Seriously? I had to load a flash, click 4 times to get my country, click once more to chose my language, was redirected to another page, load an other flash and then I could start using the page.

    • 36

      The ‘inconsistencies’ are individual page styling – something I rather like in a website. Check out http://jasonsantamaria.com/ – Jason Santa Maria is one of the most respected and sought after web guys in the world right now and every single one of his articles is styled differently based on whatever he is writing about in that article. I agree with you on Rolex though – but then again, Rolex isn’t looking to grab any customers with their website. If your going to get a Rolex, their website will not make that decision for you, more so your bank account!

  14. 37

    Rolex indeed is really weird on the navigation. I think you like more the watches then the site.

  15. 38

    Thanks Bobby for such a beautiful inspirational articles and wonderful showcase of corporate sites.

    Recently i visited a corporate site of Opal Clocks which has been redesigned recently,
    i wish if you would like to add this in your case study.

    Regards,
    Rakesh Tomar

  16. 39

    Sorry but these websites not Corporate websites. They are consumer websites. But they looks nice :)

  17. 40

    please, please…. no need to advertise for bad companies mcdonald’s and edison…

  18. 41

    Rupnarayan Bhattacharya

    August 25, 2010 4:23 am

    Designing a corporate site is a real challenge, It should be attractive yet minimal. I like macdonald’s site a lot.

  19. 42

    Great set of sites there, really like the the Citroen and Aflac sites. Corporate websites can be a tough one, good see so many getting it right.

  20. 43

    Incredible collection.Agencynet website is way too cool.For the rest of collection i really liked McDonald’s website.

  21. 44

    stunning list! now I must find the time to go through each… what with 6 projects on the go at once… eish

  22. 45

    Great line-up here! Thanks! Furthermore, despite Jobs’ attacks on Adobe Flash, a lot of theme still use that technology…

    ;-)

  23. 46

    nice

  24. 47

    This is a bit of a tangent to the main thrust of the article, but the labelling of museum exhibits as “stagnant” in the third paragraph isn’t a legitimate generalization. Having experience in both the museum and the Web worlds, I see a lot of similarities between exhibits and Web sites. Just as there are outstanding Web sites, there are also outstanding museum exhibits, where much attention is devoted to things like interactivity, interpretive context, content selection and composition, color choice, and how the user selects what material to examine. It’s not stretching things too far to say that a Web site is a particular kind of exhibit, and that Web designers and developers and exhibit designers and developers could learn a few things from each other.

    • 48

      That’s a very good point, Paul. To be clear my intention wasn’t to slag museums but to draw upon a generalization. In actuality, I imagine that museum curators must be busy individuals with the way exhibits are so immaculately presented.

      I agree with you that we could learn things from them, particularly in that a sense of culture can add subtext and heart to any work. Thank you for reading, and for bringing up a good point.

      • 49

        Thanks for the clarification, Bobby. Interesting that you bring up the word “curator,” because it’s starting to be applied to the Web world in the context of content curation–i.e., the strategic selection, arrangement, and interpretation of a site’s content.

        • 50

          Habit, I suppose — the few people I know in that world are curators at small city galleries. And really, I think few terms adequately inspire the vision and personality required in such a role.

          I think that the concept of curation has been long overdue in web design, it’s a shame that’s it’s taken until now for the community to consider; as the method of delivery of the imagery and content is arguably (and in many cases, lamentably) for important than the content itself, it seems like a natural progression.

    • 51

      All web production is an exhibit, definition: ‘to make manifest; explain’ – can’t think of one instance in 10 years web design these haven’t applied: you’re making something real, tangible, presenting it to the world and providing information (explaining the character, motivations etc) through words, sound, imagery, animation etc.

  25. 52

    This is a great example of what you can do when you have great source material to draw from.

    A reality though – even of some larger corporate web sites – is you are only as good as your source material and no – they don’t have the budget or inclination to do any photography – because the over-filtered, overtly saturated, photoshopped images are all we have – even if they are from 1995 (we don’t know where the source images are).

    So – yes – this article is great inspiration – if only my clients sold Steinways or Rolexes.

  26. 53

    Thanks, I really needed this!
    Need to show the corporate stiffs, what others corporate stiffs are doing!

  27. 54

    If only McDonalds Stores were as clean as their website!

  28. 56

    Great designs. All websites serve different purposes and all look stunning. Thanks for sharing.

  29. 57

    Excellent article. I’d love to see a similar article that specifically focuses on “catalog” companies, i.e. companies that need to showcase a very large number of products and clearly showcase them and allow users to sort intelligently through them. Amazon is the obvious example, but other interesting ones to evalute might be shoe companies (shopnewbalance.com), music companies (bigfishaudio.com), fashion companies (express.com), gadget companies (monoprice.com, meritline.com, focalprice.com), supply companies (rima.com), etc…

    There is an art to having a clean design yet giving as-easy-as-possible access to hundreds/thousands of products and conveying that you carry everything the customer could ever want.

  30. 58

    Great roundup! You guys should have a roundup of roundups!

  31. 59

    Maybe I don’t know very well the term – but what does corporate mean to you?

    OK, some of the samples, mainly the first section – we can say corporate. But what’s corporate at AgencyNET, Virb and a lot of the sites here.

    I agree that all sites look nice, creative but far far far far (you get the point)…from corporate label. I know it is nice to have SEO titles and stuff but this is pretty low.

    You should check the last link from your article and see what corporate blogs are. This way maybe you can match the term and find some real corporate site.

    Cheers!
    And a better post moderation.

  32. 60

    Thanks for a good selection. Just yesterday I was browsing web galleries for some business sites and most of the galleries are filled with designer and design studio sites.

    Keep the business sites coming.

  33. 61

    I really like this list… great to see how traditional companies are pushing the edge in web…. my only wish is that so many of the sites NOT be from creative firms. While these are great to see, as they are always cutting edge and interesting, I think it is much more helpful to see how non-creatives are able to market their products in inventive ways. Thanks for posting some great sites!!

  34. 62

    loved the branding and user experience on rolex website. Seems like your’re actually being served by someone :-)

    Alan

    • 63

      What exactly did you like about Rolex user experience? What do you think a +40 client with no or small web experience would do when entering the site? I’m sure he’ll understand that when you click the “right button” you can go from stories of a watch to another watch…

  35. 64

    You are a huge inspiration to Wibu Design. I am so glad you have these inspiration posts every so often.

    Ed

  36. 65

    thanks a lot its a good set of sites to learn from, looking forward for more

  37. 66

    I think the SEGD site is actually a bad example. It’s content and imagery are restricted to the boxes. Which is too bad because since it’s an environmental graphics showcase website, it should have large enough pictures for people to clearly see the photograph details.

    Also, I found the nav to be quite annoying. It’s slow and sometimes you can’t see that the other tabs are since the current one over laps. The inner menu is horrible. Once you’re inside a project showcase, you there’s no back button to go back up a level.

    Design wise overall, it’s being too generic. Doesn’t speak wayfinding or environmental graphics. Just another Java site.

    BTW, the project they showcase are bad examples too. But that’s another topic.

  38. 67

    I ran across the Lens Crafters website the other day and I was really impressed. Interesting and very functional UI, clean, easy to navigate.

    • 68

      Seriously? The Lens Crafters website looks like a load of crap to me. It’s nothing like their genius marketing, the warming emotion their ads and stores tend to evoke. It’s cold and distant… and almost entirely utilitarian.

  39. 69

    Well, the site are not one they are lot for us, thank you for all the info

  40. 70

    When I saw the title I thought “great, an article about designing corporate web sites”
    And the I saw it was a showcase, which is still cool but can you guys write something about corporate web design.

    One thing that bothers me is that a lot of people argue that there are to many lists/showcases and yet they still vote “yes absolutely” in the polls.

  41. 71

    One of my favorite corporates sites recently has been IGN Entertainments corporate site. Great use of images, copy and typography:

    http://corp.ign.com

  42. 72

    Great work guys, as usual keep them coming!!!

  43. 73

    More of these post with corporate websites. They are far more inspirational than ever post before… Thank you… :-)

  44. 74

    Some nice websites listed, i like the ‘Grow interactive’ website the design concept is simple. But with little details such as the textured backgrounds, bold typography and flash animations the site looks interesting.
    also really like the design for the ‘prologue’ website, the typography and lined background makes the site look like a futuristic notepad however its not the easiest website to navigate around.

  45. 75

    Ricardo Ortega Avalo

    August 26, 2010 12:37 am

    Great showcase, but … I hate flash content ¬¬, I prefer css3/Html5 sites based :)

  46. 76

    My favorite website definitely has to be Lamborghini’s… it has everything a car website could ever need! *Sarcasm*
    lamborghini.com/

  47. 77

    It is funny how to see while people still talking shit about flash platform, it is still a reality (and will be) that if you want to create a UNIQUE web experience you can forget about HTML. As always. Didn´t expect to see them on SM where it seems that you guys have something against the flash platform.

    The only reason I see why people don´t like flash is because they don´t know how to use ActionScript. The same goes for the usability and “user friendly” gurus. Each website is different, each project is different, each client has a different goal and target and to try to set up golden rules on the subject, is just stupid. You can discuss it all the day long but at the end, is like the colors, each one have their favorite and you can´t say people why red is better than blue. It does not work like that in the real world.

  48. 78

    Good work guys , keep those nice sites coming …

  49. 79

    Why does large, condensed sans-serif automatically qualify as ‘good typography’ just like garamond and caslon? Isn’t there a good ol’ difference between good typography and font selection?

    Case in point, Virb, which I fail to see as an outstanding design. Good, yes, worthy of mentions? Not at all!

  50. 80

    Nice, great websites here!

  51. 81

    That is an excellent corporate design design. I think the Aflac website looks awesome.

  52. 82

    Kurylowicz & Associates,
    Which is my favorite design that I’ve ever seen.

  53. 83

    Great list. There’s certainly many more out there!

  54. 84

    Why doesn’t Smashing Magazine create a design gallery? You’re uniquely positioned to market the gallery – I’d expect you to become a market leader in design gallery/css gallery in a matter of months. I have no idea what the stats are for those galleries, but I’d expect it could be similar to Smashing Magazine.

    Feature selections of the gallery in posts just like this, but direct users to the gallery for an even broader selection. To monetize, offer positions in the gallery listings for sponsor to designers and service providers.

    If you’d like more advice/input on the topic, I’m available for a quick chat.

  55. 86

    This is a great collection of truly “corporate” websites. Many of the supposed corporate design collections are not very corporate feeling. Great list. Thanks!

  56. 87

    This article kept me wondering… if most of these websites are made in Flash and take so long to load, how do they look in a mobile browser? how many people would have left before even visiting it?

    • 88

      I haven’t tried he others, but the Rolex site has an html version that looks pretty good on iPhone..

  57. 89

    The Starbucks website header looks very attractive with the option to navigate through different featured posts.

  58. 90

    Yes, these are good stuffs. I just hope my employer is not as conservative as he is now!

    c”,)

  59. 91

    Thanks for great article. I need a help here. I have to choose a design for big Genband. But I am not sure about gredients. I can only present one design to marketing department so could you please help me which one is the best?

    http://www.persefer.com/genband3/index.php
    http://www.persefer.com/genband4/index.php
    http://www.persefer.com/genband5/index.php

    • 92

      Difference between 2 and 3 is the gradient effect at right end left of menu panel. What is your chooise? 2 or 3?

  60. 93

    Some nice websites listed, i like that they don’t conform to the standard layout restrictions that designing a corporate website can provide. The only concern i would have is, if the user isn’t web savvy then it will be more difficult to navigate the unusual layout and they may be put off.

  61. 94

    Hate to say it but most of these are terrible and terribly over reliant on flash. Why the hell is the Grow site even in Flash?
    Standout for me is the Steinway site: classy, understated, beautiful typography, its homepage even validates.

  62. 95

    Frankly the first 5 sites (including Sony) are derivative and unoriginal… Hardly worthy of mention… unless u really, really, like BIG N LARGE “step on me please” style brands that emulate yesterday’s designs.

  63. 96

    very poor list

  64. 97

    all flash websites? I remember back in 04 i used to do all flash sites and was like yea thats cool no restrictions, then a .net developer came over to me and said thats stupid. He was right, people want content now and clean designed. Its better to be a designer with restrictions then without, and I think flash now works on a couple mobile platforms. Flash is not mobile friendly yet, and more importantly, people dont just look at one website at a time. With at least 10 windows open, I dont want these all flash sites to slow down my comp. Seriously, I like flash used as elements of the site, but sick and tired of hearing every marketing director and owner of a company saying I like that cool flash stuff..yea I like cool effects too, I’ll just prefer to go to the imax to see cool effects.

  65. 98

    Some inspiring website designs ideas, I like some of the imagery that the designers have used with these designs. Although some of the website are quite flash heavy, which created longer loading times.

    Jearky Oats

  66. 99

    got some great ideas,
    really worth collection.
    Thanks for the share

  67. 100

    Does anyone remember the Nikon D40 ‘Picturetown’ campaign and corresponding website? – It was entirely original and absolutely genius.

  68. 101

    Darrow Alexander

    August 30, 2010 9:16 am

    Impressive collection.

  69. 102

    For me, this list is 50-50. Some are gorgeous and really are beautiful and creative. Then the other half- (especially Avery, PGI, and even ((for me)) the Society for Env. Graphic Design) are not beautiful nor very creative.
    I do not click on the links, just look at the screen shots, so just going by visuals, but PGI is just, badly designed. The dots make the whole front page look cluttered and there’s no defining- this is the important (or main part) of our site. Just don’t like it.

    Really like Con Edison and Acro Media

  70. 103

    superb collection!

  71. 104

    I’d put IKEA up there.

  72. 105

    It’s interesting how companies are moving from the nonchalant approach to web design and making the design more friendly.

  73. 106

    I imagine you’ll see a lot of these guys on entire Flash-sites moving away from that.

  74. 107

    using beautiful in every title is annoying

  75. 108

    I hate how people exaggerate the difficulty of usability when a designer steps out of the box. The Rolex site is a breeze to navigate. A first grader could browse through that!

  76. 109

    Also, lovin the type on the Prologue website.

  77. 110
  78. 111

    I love Smashing Magazine.

  79. 112

    I`m absolutely inspired

  80. 113

    Cracking list, but it’s only the US version of the site that Starbucks seem to have put any effort into.

    The UK site is pretty poor: http://starbucks.co.uk/en-GB/

  81. 114

    Nice Collection….

    Cheers

  82. 115

    Exemplary creativity that whets apetite

  83. 116

    Cool! was looking for a page i can gather some design idea. Thanks a lot.

  84. 117

    I Just redesigned my companys Corporate website’s front page, how well do you guys think It stacks up? Nordea we change the video top all the time..

  85. 118

    Great resource, have bookmarked your site (in the toolbar no less)!

  86. 119

    I like too much AgencyNet Interactive concept. It is so nice.

  87. 120

    Very very Thank UUUUUUUU!!!

  88. 121

    Nice stuff. Thanks for sharing.

    P.S : why you changed your website design? I think the previous one was much better!

  89. 122

    GReat collection..
    i really like vancouver convention centers design..
    thanks

  90. 123

    Wow, Rolex still using Flash…haha.

  91. 124

    How so? Heinz is a corporate holdings company that owns products/brands like the ketchup and beanz. It represents the corporation but speaks to the consumer and investor.

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