Designing Memorable Websites: Showcase of Creative Designs

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One of the main goals of having a website, whether it be a portfolio website or a business website, is to declare your presence on the Web. There are thousands upon thousands of websites out there; it’s pretty well established that you are competing for your audience’s interest and attention. To this end, it’s important to make those few seconds count when making a first impression.

There are many things happening in web design today. One of the interesting developments is the emergence of responsive web design31, in which fluid grids, flexible images, and CSS media queries are used to create more adaptive layouts and hence more elegant user experiences. These designs can adapt to the browser’s viewport, completely changing the layout or the overall design of the page altogether, to fit the available space.

Responsive Design2
In responsive web design31, as described in Ethan Marcotte’s article, fluid grids, flexible images, and CSS media queries are used to create more adaptive layouts and hence more elegant user experiences.

We also see a rising popularity of soft :hover and :active/:focus-effects, where buttons, navigation items and links feel more responsive and engaging as well. The transitions are smooth, and often subtly or vividly animated. Another important development is of course the rich web typography, made possible with the emergence of font embedding services4. We have much more freedom for our typographic decisions which is an opportunity to create more diverse, unique and therefore memorable designs.

How To Design A Memorable Website?

  • Make use of original and unique graphics. Having a large, punchy or slightly quirky graphic on your portfolio can help separate you from the competition.
  • Feel free to experiment with non-traditional color combinations. Experiment with various contrasts to create tension, but put readability always first. Invite the users to feel engaged, but keep the page usable.
  • Use original, compelling language to clearly emphasize your differences. Unfortunately, your visitors are likely to read only a small percentage of the text on your website. You can pack the most punch in that percentage by using confident opening statements, catchphrases or interesting summaries to pique the interest of your audience.
  • Keep things organized. This might go without saying, but if visitors can’t navigate through your website or figure out who you are from the start, chances are they won’t stay around to see your amazing portfolio.

Let’s now take a look at some recent examples of striking, memorable designs.

Zinguh! Creativ

Modern Minimalism and Cool Green Accents

Zinguh Creativ5 features a large, bold slide show and a memorably detailed green leaf favicon. This is a nice example of a slide show spanning the width of the page; it’s both funky and neatly executed. Notice the high quality of product images throughout the site.

Screenshot6
Green accents in the navigation, and in the favicon, are a unique touch, but could be improved for better readability

The green highlights for text are a bit harsh on the eye, a slightly darker green would probably work better. A minimalist arrangement of the images is a nice touch.

United Pixelworkers

Pixelly Images: A Visual Pun!

United Pixelworkers7 features a subtly pixellated, textured background as well as foreground images with blocky edges, creating a play on their name which is fun, cute and smart. The texture is so rich, and the information architecture so clean, that this website feels far more content-rich than it actually is.

Screenshot8
United Pixelworks uses a static, left-aligned navigation bar

The left-aligned sliding navigation bar is an example of static navigation done right. It’s there, but it doesn’t get in the way of the content and isn’t too obnoxious or obvious. The select color palette and letterpress-style links at the bottom are a nice final touch.

Outback Creative Studio

Large Original Illustrations

Outback Creative Studio9 features innovative, large navigation buttons on the right side which is a fresh, colorful and inviting approach. The colors, the graphics and the blocky feel of the layout work together to create a bold and unique statement.

Screenshot10
Outback Creative Studio has “night” and “day” themes, emphasized with a rooster graphic

The “night” and “day” button allows the user to switch between themes, a creative and unique presentation reinforced by the central rooster graphic. The graded orange and purple color scheme is rich and unusual, and lends the design a unique look and feel.

Mike Kus

Right-aligned, Interactive Logo

Mike Kus11 has an eye-catching interactive logo with a motto that displays on mouse-over. DEAD stands for “Dreaming Everyday About Design,” which stands out and is easy to remember. DEAD is featured in the favicon too, adding more places for users to see and absorb the tagline.

Screenshot12
Interactive logo

The light background again leaves the emphasis on the work, which is strong enough to stand on its own. Punches of color and the use of images lead the eye down the page very well; notice how well each project’s description and related images are grouped, making the page flow very smoothly.

Wez Maynard

Right-aligned Graphic Mayhem

Wez Maynard13 uses offbeat graphics, creative layout and original content phrasing to make his website memorable. The design is completely right-aligned, which is quite unusual to see and feels truly novel. The ribbon sidebar on the left is interesting and unique, and the vintage graphics and blue, textured footer are fun and visually interesting. The quirky messaging is a great example of how to use language to create an impression. This is a nice example of an original, unique and interesting design.

Screenshot14

Quirky graphics, and messaging to match

Epic Web Agency

Bookplate Graphics, Rainbow Textures and Grunge

Epic Web Agency15 lives up to its name with its portfolio website. With grungy textures, plenty of bold, contrasting color and Spartan-like helmets as themes in the graphics and images, this site is certainly “epic.” The loud typography and punches of orange add excitement. The colorful logo adds a bit of saturated color to the header. Notice how visual tension is created with a thick diagonal line on the home page. The website uses various background images across its second- and third-level pages, all related to the “epic” look.

Screenshot16

Texture, color and type work together seamlessly

The artwork used here is all the more unusual because it’s in a much more traditional style, usually reserved for print media. Epic Agency uses plenty of graphics, and does so in a very original way, making for a very visually striking user experience.

Ryan O’Rourke Presents

Elegant, Dark, Responsive Layout

Rourkery.com17 features a vivid, majestic, theatrical theme which juxtaposes well with playful typography and colorful graphics. Using a distinct theme can be a good way to ensure that content, graphics and messaging work together in a focused way. The website’s centered logo and navbar are both unusually and elegantly done, aligned in the center and using a subtle navy pattern.

Screenshot18
Theatre theme keeps content and graphics focused

Potential downsides to note are the leading of the text, as well as the visibility of the home page link, which is the logo in the center of the header. Notice how well orange is used as the main color across various design elements. The layout and images resolutions also nicely respond to changes in the browser window size, responsive design at its best.

Christina Ung Illustration

Bold, Unique Use of Typography

Christina Ung Illustration19 is all about the typography. The liberal use of bold and lighter font-weights, along with the mix of lowercase, uppercase, and mixed serif and sans-serif fonts, all work together to make the type as visually interesting as the use of graphics would be.

Screenshot20
Bold typography logo

The clear, dark logo anchors the eye on the left-aligned navigation, which leaves plenty of room for the portfolio content occupying the main part of the page, to be the main focus. Large screenshots allow the content to be seen very easily without clicking through the actual blog posts. The pink highlights feel fun and fresh, but not overpowering.

Josh Sullivan

“Droll” is Memorable

JoshSullivan.me21 is a good example of how even a one-page website can pack a punch. The large header graphic is very unique and memorable, with its old-fashioned “nature book” feel. The background is an interesting mix of textures, colors, geometric shapes and historical-feeling images. While nothing is really clickable, this is just a calling card so nothing really needs to be; the social networking and email address links serve as the page’s call to action.

Screenshot22
Interesting stew of background images

The color palette may look a little offbeat, in keeping with the graphics, but this all helps make the website as memorable as it is visually appealing. One small suggestion would be to make the links on the page a bit more prominent so that users don’t end up wandering. A stronger contrast between the text color and the background color would help. The main graphic is so central that it might be a bit overpowering for some, but this really does depend on who the audience is.

Jake Przespo

Fun Graphics and Clean Organization

The portfolio of Jake Przespo23 features another very creative central graphic. The “fun factor” goes a long way toward making a website memorable, and this is one that adds fun, very effectively. As users navigate through the website, the graphic flips around. The words in the red banner stand out, with subtle hover effects and woodcut detail.

Screenshot24
Whimsical central image flips around as users navigate through

The minimal colors and splash of red keep the page a clean, minimal background for the front-and-center images. The readability of the content would certainly benefit from an increased font size, though.

Cooper Graphic Design

Large, Bold Header Graphic

The colors really draw the user into Cooper Graphic Design25. The shades of brown, with texture and punches of turquoise, feel very bright and upbeat. The layout is clean and systematic, while the main, large center graphic contrasts with the more subtle background graphics in an interesting, attention-grabbing way. The top-level navigation is also very clear, making this an effective and visually appealing portfolio website. Also notice an interesting background image that lends the page more visual appeal. And don’t forget to resize the browser window, too.

Screenshot26

Bold header graphic contrasts with subtler background

One small usability problem, however, might be the tabbed navigation at the bottom of the page. The use of tabs often signifies internal navigation, rather than external. In this case, these tabs seem to link out to external pages, which might confuse users a bit.

Brandon J. Schmidt Design & Photo

Watercolor Graphics

The watercolor graphics on Brandon J. Schmidt Design & Photo27 are very prominent and visually appealing, especially on the front page. The black, white and yellow color scheme feels minimal and modern, an interesting juxtaposition with the old-world feel of the watercolor.

Screenshot28
Soft watercolor graphics

The logo graphic on the home page is faded into the background on the website’s second-level pages, keeping the website logo as the focus and leaving a lasting impression on users.

Water’s Edge Media

Minimal Design With Floral Illustrations

The simple, solid navigation structure and design of Water’s Edge Media29 stands out even without the illustrations, but the illustrations help make it more memorable. The logo, in particular, is very fresh and modern.

Screenshot30
Fresh, modern color palette and pretty floral illustrations

The slide show of recent work is neat, but it could use some polish, especially the slider buttons. The left alignment adds a modern feel. Overall, however, a little more variance in font type and size would make the design just a bit more interesting.

Jordan Gray Creative

Minimal Design With Left-aligned Navigation

Jordan Gray Creative31 features seamless left-aligned navigation below a clean, minimal typography logo. This design is super-minimal, relying on the work in the slide show for content and appeal. Subtle details like the favicon and CSS spacing keep the design from seeming too simple.

Screenshot32
Striking minimalism lets the work speak for itself

Eight Hour Day Design & Illustration

Bold and Colorful

Using the portfolio as the graphic element, Eight Hour Day Design & Illustration33 integrates a lot of color through relying only on the work. The select color palette of the page itself is crisp and bright. The type is clean and vivid. Although it’s simple, the hint of subtle patterning and shadowing at edge borders and between navigation menus effectively keeps things from looking flat.

Screenshot34
Colorful elements are drawn directly from the Eight Hour Day portfolio

It’s Not My Type

A Typography Blog About Typography

It’s Not My Type35 makes good use of the richness of Web typography—with strong slab serif typography widely used across the various design elements, including the Web form, date and comment areas.

Screenshot36
Fonts change as users navigate through the website

The scrolling content panel works pretty well here; the colors and subtle textures are clean, and add visual appeal.

McKinney

Simple But Elegant

McKinney37 features a minimal design with accent graphics that are not textures, but geometric shapes like lines, circlesand triangles. The red, gray and black palette is striking yet subtle.

Screenshot38
Elegant touches through geometric accents

One thing that would be fun, is if the slide show controls were draggable. More hover effects would also give the page a more dynamic feel, making it more interactive and responsive (some elements do, however, respond when clicked on). The consistency of the layout and color choices of the website’s internal pages, also deserves a mention.

Shaping the Page

Playful Origami Animations

Shaping the Page39 uses a soothing, light and airy color palette as a backdrop for fun, whimsical, animated origami illustrations, which are a visual pun on its name.

Screenshot40
Elephants, butterflies and more!

The lightly textured blue background and the wispy social networking graphics at the bottom of the page are downright charming. The portfolio page is nicely organized and right-aligned, which seems to work well with the playful, moving illustration on the left to visually balance the content.

Broken Pencils

Pencil Sketch Illustrations

Broken Pencils, Inc.41 has a prominent and visually striking logo. Although the navigation is split into bottom and top sections, it doesn’t look redundant since the top is more understated and the bottom uses different colors. The slow color transitions on hover effects on the “Services” page are a nice surprise as well. All of the graphics are simple and modern. The most striking part of the design, however, is the pencil sketch illustrations, in keeping with the “pencil” theme.

Screenshot42

Pencil sketch illustrations echo the website theme and company branding

Who is Leon

Fun With Interaction!

The background animation of Who is Leon43 might be the first thing the user notices. The static background and scrolling content, combined with the slightly blurred photography, work together to create a sense of motion and excitement. Users might feel invited to click around, and many elements on the page are, in fact, interactive.

Screenshot44
Hover, click and move!

The grayed out portfolio screenshots turn to color on hover. Against plain flat background this really makes the screenshots pop, and along with the prominent buttons, invites visitors to take action. The website also involves the use of several fonts, which add to the overall striking effect of the design.

David Paul Seymour

A Monster!

The portfolio of David Paul Seymour45 is a very fun, colorful, illustration-based website. The illustrations take up most of the page, making them the main focus as well as a design statement. The cloud illustrations for the navigation are fun and makes users want to click around. In contrast to the previous website, none of these illustrations are interactive. This feels a little bit like a missed opportunity, as some hover effects or small animations would really go a long way toward adding to the playful feel of this website.

Screenshot46
Color and whimsy make this page stand out

One other thing that stood out was the lack of a favicon. The addition of a favicon (most especially on such a graphically rich website) is a really quick and easy way to enhance brand recognition, and to add a more polished, complete feel.

Creativepayne

Bold, Unique Graphics

Creativepayne47 is a bit tongue-in-cheek, graphically speaking. The old-world art mixes with a variety of other styles; there is a lot going on in this design. The color palette is a subdued mix of browns and tans.

Screenshot48
Bold, unique graphics and mix of styles

The call to action, “ESTIMATES get yours TODAY,” does get a bit lost in the top right corner; overall, if some of the other design elements had slightly bolder fonts, they might balance out the main, large graphic a little more.

Chicago Interhoods

Interactive Map

Chicago Interhoods49 is an example of a great marriage of design and information. The orange, cream and blue color palette is striking and fun. With a prominent, central logo and clearly organized top-level navigation, this design is a clean and effective backdrop for the interactive map. The map itself is a nice visual way to browse for information.

Screenshot50
Beautifully interactive design aids browsing for information

AdPacks.com Classy Sites & Classy Ads

Vintage Graphics and Type

AdPacks Classy Sites & Classy Ads51 features a fun, vintage feel in the graphics, fonts and textures. The visual interest created by this mix, invites and engages users to interact the website elements.

Screenshot52

Fun, vintage graphics and type

The visual representation of the products makes it easy for potential buyers to see and understand what the products are, while the calls to action are clearly laid out in the buttons for each section, making this a complete, well-laid out product landing page.

Min Tran’s Journal

Beautiful Typography and Unusual Textures

Min Tran’s Journal53 features a ribbon navigation that is sophisticated and tidy. The soft colors work together nicely; the playful typography looks informal and engaging, and also works nicely with the graphics and overall feel. The two-column layout features columns of equal width, conveying a clean, well-organized and fresh impression that is unique at the same time.

Screenshot54

Camera graphic, centered two-column layout

Solid Pink Studios

Big, Bold, Diagonal

Solid Pink Studios55 takes the pink theme its name suggests, but takes it in a completely unexpected direction; the grumpy rock monster looks like he means business.

Screenshot56
The solid pink rock monster is a fun, memorable element

The diagonally-aligned text works best at a fixed width, and could present some display difficulties to users with a small screen; on smaller screen resolutions, the blog link is cut off to the point of nearly being hidden. Overall, the diagonal text alignment is is a fun and memorable way to present content and is very in keeping with the rest of the design. One final note: this is nit-picky, but it does feel a bit odd that the favicon for Solid Pink is green, not pink.

Summary

When creating a memorable website, make sure to pay special attention to the treatment of your design elements. Risk something unusual and creative. A clean, well-structured backdrop for fanciful graphics, creative animations and bold typography can all make the design stand out even more. The more personal and creative you appear, the better your chances of being remembered and selected for your next project.

Related Posts

(wcp)

Footnotes

  1. 1 http://www.alistapart.com/articles/responsive-web-design/
  2. 2 http://www.alistapart.com/articles/responsive-web-design/
  3. 3 http://www.alistapart.com/articles/responsive-web-design/
  4. 4 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2010/10/20/review-of-popular-web-font-embedding-services/
  5. 5 http://zinguh.com/home/
  6. 6 http://zinguh.com/home
  7. 7 http://www.unitedpixelworkers.com/
  8. 8 http://www.unitedpixelworkers.com
  9. 9 http://www.cafundoestudio.com.br/site/
  10. 10 http://www.cafundoestudio.com.br/site
  11. 11 http://mikekus.com/
  12. 12 http://mikekus.com/
  13. 13 http://www.wezmaynard.com/
  14. 14 www.wezmaynard.com
  15. 15 http://epicagency.net/
  16. 16 http://epicagency.net
  17. 17 http://rourkery.com/
  18. 18 http://rourkery.com/
  19. 19 http://www.christinaung.com/
  20. 20 http://www.christinaung.com/
  21. 21 http://joshsullivan.me/
  22. 22 http://joshsullivan.me
  23. 23 http://jakeprzespo.com/
  24. 24 http://jakeprzespo.com/
  25. 25 http://coopergraphicdesign.com/
  26. 26 http://coopergraphicdesign.com
  27. 27 http://brandonjschmidt.com/
  28. 28 http://brandonjschmidt.com
  29. 29 http://www.watersmedia.com/
  30. 30 http://www.watersmedia.com
  31. 31 http://www.jordangraycreative.com/
  32. 32 http://www.jordangraycreative.com
  33. 33 http://eighthourday.com/
  34. 34 http://eighthourday.com
  35. 35 http://www.resistenza.es/itsnotmytype.com
  36. 36 http://www.resistenza.es/itsnotmytype.com
  37. 37 http://mckinney.com/
  38. 38 http://mckinney.com
  39. 39 http://www.shapingthepage.com/
  40. 40 http://www.shapingthepage.com/
  41. 41 http://webreakpencils.com/
  42. 42 http://webreakpencils.com/
  43. 43 http://whoisleon.com/
  44. 44 http://whoisleon.com/#home
  45. 45 http://www.davidpaulseymour.com/
  46. 46 http://www.davidpaulseymour.com/
  47. 47 http://www.creativepayne.com/
  48. 48 http://www.creativepayne.com
  49. 49 http://chicago.interhoods.org/
  50. 50 http://chicago.interhoods.org
  51. 51 http://adpacks.com/
  52. 52 http://adpacks.com
  53. 53 http://www.mintran.com/
  54. 54 http://www.mintran.com
  55. 55 http://solidpink.com.au/
  56. 56 http://solidpink.com.au
  57. 57 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/11/26/50-beautiful-and-creative-portfolio-designs/
  58. 58 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/09/03/40-creative-design-layouts-getting-out-of-the-box/
  59. 59 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/07/01/best-practices-for-effective-design-of-about-us-pages/
  60. 60 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2010/05/04/web-design-trends-2010/

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Sarah is a UX Engineer for Durham-based startup Adzerk. Adrienne is a graphic and print designer currently working from Syracuse, NY. We work together to create and build beautiful easy-to-use things at Kahnlab.com.

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  1. 1

    All great examples of strong design concepts.. very well executed.

    Really love the Ad Packs layout.

    Simplicity sells :)

  2. 2

    Hey, thanks for featuring the design I did for AdPacks.com

  3. 5

    The sparta web design is EPIC!!!!

  4. 6

    Outback Creative Studio? Please! Do not translate foreign language company names. The correct name is Cafundó (which, by the way, means something more like ‘very far away’). Other than that, great article!

  5. 7
  6. 8

    Thanks!

  7. 9

    Love AdPacks and Cooper Graphic Design…

  8. 10

    Great collection of sites, and some very cool and creative examples. I remember back in the day, http://www.24-7media.de was the best at doing cool, retro sites. They put together some amazing combos of graphics, images and little easter eggs in their designs.

  9. 11

    Really nice selection!!

  10. 12

    I hate to say it but this is probably one of the most lackluster posts I’ve ever seen by SM. Most of the “descriptions” are just talking about colors and elements but we can clearly see them… tell us WHY this works and HOW to implement it in other designs. All this is is a gallery of agency and personal sites, which are completely different than those we design for clients. Where’s the real information at?

    • 13

      Nice collection. I loved them.
      @Tabitha: I don’t need description to taste the beauty of this masterpiece, I rather need some one to grab my attention to some thing that’s exist but I didn’t know about.
      Thanks Sarah & Adrienne.

  11. 14

    “DEAD” stands for “Dreaming Everyday About Design”, not “Dreaming About Design Everyday”. How did you screw that one up? haha

  12. 15

    Zinguh creativ website is a theme for WordPress created by Organic Portfolio. The leaf favicon is the default one that come with the theme. http://www.organicthemes.com/themes/portfolio-theme/

  13. 17

    why was my last comment deleted?

  14. 18

    Ana Flávia Maestri

    November 11, 2010 8:51 am

    Hey, all the guys from Cafundó Estúdio Criativo (that you named “Outback”) are very glad to be here again! Thanks for the recognition!

    (Just for the record: we normally don’t translate our name. but don’t worry, this is just to let you know!)

    Thanks again!

  15. 20

    Neat design concepts adopted, very well. Thumbs up to AdPacks… Best to you both..

  16. 21

    I like the designs, but to be honest I find these kinds of lists unhelpful. They tend to be all marketer or designer sites, which don’t provide any realistic inspiration for content or functionality-heavy sites. Just my .02.

  17. 22

    I’d just like to say, the final site in the website solid pink doesn’t work at all.
    The solid pink site seems to be ok in safari and firefox, but in ie the purple dude doesn’t fade out, so on a 1024px resolution you cant read anything at all. And its not on a slant, with is quite a big design change cross browser, considering that was the strongest design element.

    • 23

      Agreed. If you’re going to do something visually daring that it looks completely borked when you’re not viewing it in full screen mode, you simply have to use responsive layout.

  18. 24

    Beautiful artwork, and creative, original designs, but many of these seem really hard to use. As art, great. As usable websites, not so much.

  19. 25

    It would be nicer to see these applications applied to industry sites. Portfolio and designer websites have free reign creatively, but it doesn’t say much about how effective it is from a client or product standpoint. Furthermore, some of the examples, in my opinion, aren’t really that great.

    • 26

      I agree about seing ‘creative’ design applied to industry or corporate sites. I would be far more interested in that. Something with a lot of content or a ‘dry’ subject matter for example..

  20. 27

    After seeing a Crazy Monkeys Hijacking a Baby Carrier illu as a websites main visual, I am not easily impressed anymore by Large Original Illustrations like that rooster.

  21. 28

    Super Awesome sites!!!

  22. 29

    Daniel Maffioletti

    November 11, 2010 5:47 pm

    Congratulations, Beautiful Works…

  23. 30

    Awesome! Thanks for using my site “Creativepayne.com” as an example… I’m proud to be in the same gallery as the rest of these great sites!

  24. 31

    Beautiful thanks!…

  25. 32

    Nice, but there really isn’t anything new or ground-breaking here… Yes it has pretty pictures but take those away and the shell isn’t anything we haven’t seen before in the web world. Show me some creative layouts and not just fancy artwork shadowing a less than impressive layout.

    Me: Senior User Interface Designer

  26. 34

    *Yawn* I feel like I’ve seen many of these designs before

  27. 35

    Solid Pink Studio’s link to their twitter page: “We just twat!”

    Not sure if Twat means the same thing in Australia as it does here in the UK, but I’d definately not advise its use as the past tense of Tweet.

    • 36

      What a great post, I really like the excellent information you post in your blog, with interesting topics, accurate and quality information is sought, congratulations and thanks for your input. Greetings
      visit: innovanets.com

  28. 37

    bunch of lame examples, sorry this is just mho.
    Most memorable site I saw in 2010 is http://carsonified.com/

  29. 38

    I’m sorry, but I won’t remember any of these except Epic Web Agency…
    Interesting picks though!

  30. 39

    So if I write negative comment it will be erased?
    Great!
    You know what? This article suck.
    Why?
    Because, I didn’t find anything memorable on author’s website at all.
    So how can you sell me this story? No, you can’t.
    Second, as frequent visitors of smashing magazine, I give my self right to write such comment,
    like you give yourself right to delete my comment.

  31. 40

    Excellent collection. Thank you!

  32. 41

    So what design came first?

    Solid Pink or Solid Giant? Both use same BG texture and ideas, yet on different sides of the planet.

    ummmmm.

    • 42

      I’m glad you noticed too! What the heck man! I got ripped off!

      You can tell my design has way more thought put into it, and is more polished.

      • 43

        I only noticed has I have your site bookmarked, I really enjoy checking it out as the ideas you have implemented and the layout is top notch.

        Are you going to contact solidpink?

  33. 44

    Who would have thought a website with a giant cock on the front page would get featured

  34. 45

    Just an FYI to the community, “Solid Pink Studios” ripped off my background and almost my entire business name.

    I’m very, very disappointed.

    Their background image: http://solidpink.com.au/images/bg.jpg

    My background image created months ago: http://solidgiant.com/img/background/patterns/pattern4.jpg

    My URL: http://www.solidgiant.com

    Them: http://solidpink.com.au/

    WOW!

    • 46

      Time to kick some asses, Josh. Can I help? I’ve got a pitchfork!!

      I can imagine the way the design process has gone:
      – our company will be named “Solid Pink”, because my wife likes pink
      – now we want a website, time to google for inspiration
      – we’ve found solidgiant.com and want something that looks like that
      – the designer does his job with the given input
      – after evaluation we think it has to look more like solidgiant (we like the big texts, the pink color and even the paper texture at the back)
      – the designer does his job with the given input
      – after evaluation we are still not happy with the result. We don’t know why but the solidgiant website attracts more
      – the designer does his job and uses the content of solidgiant
      – we are happy! How big is the change that someone of solidgiant will visit our website?

      I think the described process is one that will happen very often.

  35. 47

    Josh Sullivan’s site is definitely memorable. I tend to visit it for a pick-me-up on occasion! And Wez Maynard’s site is a total stunner – wow!

  36. 48
  37. 49

    Hello ! I have one question:

    Q: How do you select websites that are labeled here: “striking and memorable” ?
    My suggestion is to have contests in order to decide this.
    Many of the selections are not so great for the human eye.
    Even the author commented on them, they have many flaws… So, why don’t you do a better selection ? Next time , maybe.

    ex:
    1 )Zinguh! Creativ really doesn’t impress me at all, the favicon is common and that light green hurts my eyes , I wouldn’t visit them again.
    2) the pixelworkers abuse the iphone-ish white over black effect… It’s too much of it
    3)Mike Kus – the project titles too big, the logo doesn’t impress me
    4) Outback Creative Studio has meaningless tentacles with gradients, I’ve seen it before on smashing I guess..
    5) Josh Sullivan – striking indeed if you take it literally.
    6) the last one is maybe a test to see if everyone would tilt his head .. and as Josh Starr said: they stole a texture, that is both striking and memorable for me.

  38. 50
  39. 51

    What a great collection, thanks.

  40. 52

    Cool, I really like the Outback Creative Studio Design. Nice and cleanly done. :-)

  41. 53

    Am I the only one bored looking at these?

  42. 54

    It was possible to do almost all of this in Flash over a decade ago. Not exactly ‘new’. Most of these websites are not particularly fantastic examples

  43. 55

    These are some great sites… really liked the Mike Kus site.

  44. 56

    Nice portfolio, thanx a lot. here is another very interesting site i found by searching web-portfolios: http://www.vierblatt.eu
    i think its a nice idea!

  45. 57

    Some good ideas to pinch. I liked Jake Przespo, Creativepayne, Adpacks and Solid Pink.

    John

  46. 58

    What a great article to bookmark and revisit for inspiration. Thanks so much for sharing.

  47. 59

    Nice collection, most of these sites are quite lovelly but what I notice is that it’s only about design, art, web creation or so, there are no “real world” websites : a toy factory, a sustainable developpment council agency, a small furniture industry…
    In fact those “design” websites only deal about design.
    As a website developper, my clients are not designers, does this means that only people working in design shall have such websites ? I don’t think so.
    Find some real world example !

  48. 60

    Some of these website designs are absolutely great and really inspirational. The risks that have been taken in some designs have really paid off in the end and created a website that stands out from the crowd. The simplicity of creative animations and bold typography really makes a website come alive.

    Design after all is all about getting noticed and being remembered, which these designs most definitely fulfil.

  49. 61

    WOW! This is a great break down of what designing a memorable website should have. Top of my list are clean, organized layout with contact information. Also, it is always good to have a press contact. You want to get your name out there and you want it to be easy for people to contact you so be sure you have one and it is easy to find.

    Banish website frustrations forever with Webvanta (a different kind of hosted CMS, designed to help you work faster and smarter – no matter who you are.)

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  50. 62

    Yet another showcase of some good but average designs. I won´t remember most of these websites.
    I remember websites for different reasons:
    – really impressive presentation (e.g. http://ecodazoo.com/)
    – creative interaction, viral etc.
    – interesting content
    – simply if I like them for some reason, be they good designed or not.

  51. 63

    Everything is so subjective…

  52. 64

    Solid Pink Studios looks like a complete rip off. I cannot believe they get a mention on Smashing Mag. Shame on the designers Solid Pink.

  53. 65

    Thanks for featuring my site “whoisleon.com”. These are certainly some of my inspiration.

  54. 66

    Thanks for featuring my site “itsnotmytype.com”. Please check also my latest font http://www.resistenza.es/afrobeatlight/

  55. 67

    Good inspiration, take a look at my site http://maketodayhappy.com

  56. 68

    Nice collection! Thanks!

  57. 69

    Very cute ideas

  58. 70

    Great examples :) very useful

    ps. Wez Maynard has a wrong link

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