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The Smashing Book #5

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50 Beautiful CSS-Based Web-Designs in 2006

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2006 was rich on creative, beautiful and unusual design concepts. We’ve seen a lot of whitespace, many examples of readable and usable text-design, badges, stars, rounded corners, shapes, gradients, mirror and 3D-effects – just name it. Let’s take a close look at some of the most beautiful designs we’ve seen in 2006. Links checked: May/29 2008 – 5 outdated designs deleted.

Vibrant Designs Link

Screenshot1

SteveLeggat.com2

Screenshot3

Emotionslive.co.uk4

Screenshot5

Dinis91.com6

Screenshot7

Joyent.com8

Screenshot9

olivier.danchin.neuf.fr10

Screenshot11

Foxie.ru12

Screenshot13

Komodomedia.com14

Screenshot15

Bartelme.at16

Screenshot17

Quatuour.be

Screenshot18

Onlinecenter.nu19

Screenshot20

Fall.tnvacation.com21

Screenshot22

Zero.ru23

Screenshot24

Methodarts.com25

Screenshot26

Summer.tnvacation.com27

Screenshot28

Icebrrg.com29

Dark Designs Link

Screenshot30

Kineda.com31

Screenshot32

BeSuperCharged.com33

Screenshot34

Veerle.duoh.com35

Screenshot36

Obuweb.com37

Screenshot38

Slideshowpro.net39

Screenshot40

Whitwa.net41

Light Designs Link

Screenshot42

Mstefan.com43

Screenshot44

Subdued.net45

Screenshot46

Devlounge.net47

Screenshot48

Media2006

Screenshot49

ElectricPulp.com50

Screenshot51

SusannePaschke.de52

Screenshot53

PixelEden.net54

Screenshot55

Jek2k.com56

Screenshot57

Morellc.com58

Screenshot59

Attitudedesign.co.uk

Screenshot60

CSS Vault61

Screenshot62

Evaneckard.com63

Screenshot64

Footnotes Link

  1. 1 http://www.steveleggat.com
  2. 2 http://www.steveleggat.com
  3. 3 http://emotionslive.co.uk/
  4. 4 http://emotionslive.co.uk/
  5. 5 http://www.dinis91.com/
  6. 6 http://www.dinis91.com/
  7. 7 http://joyent.com/
  8. 8 http://joyent.com/
  9. 9 http://www.haveamint.com/
  10. 10 http://olivier.danchin.neuf.fr/
  11. 11 http://foxie.ru
  12. 12 http://foxie.ru/
  13. 13 http://www.cameronmoll.com/portfolio/
  14. 14 http://www.komodomedia.com/
  15. 15 http://www.bartelme.at
  16. 16 http://www.bartelme.at
  17. 17 http://www.quatuor.be
  18. 18 http://www.onlinecenter.nu
  19. 19 http://www.onlinecenter.nu
  20. 20 http://fall.tnvacation.com
  21. 21 http://fall.tnvacation.com
  22. 22 http://www.zero.ru
  23. 23 http://www.zero.ru
  24. 24 http://www.methodarts.com
  25. 25 http://www.methodarts.com
  26. 26 http://summer.tnvacation.com
  27. 27 http://summer.tnvacation.com
  28. 28 http://www.icebrrg.com
  29. 29 http://www.icebrrg.com
  30. 30 http://www.kineda.com
  31. 31 http://www.kineda.com
  32. 32 http://www.colourmod.com
  33. 33 http://www.besupercharged.com/
  34. 34 http://veerle.duoh.com
  35. 35 http://veerle.duoh.com
  36. 36 http://www.obuweb.com/
  37. 37 http://www.obuweb.com/
  38. 38 http://www.slideshowpro.net
  39. 39 http://www.slideshowpro.net
  40. 40 http://www.whitwa.net
  41. 41 http://www.whitwa.net/
  42. 42 http://www.mstefan.com
  43. 43 http://www.mstefan.com
  44. 44 http://www.subdued.net
  45. 45 http://www.subdued.net
  46. 46 http://www.devlounge.net
  47. 47 http://www.devlounge.net
  48. 48 http://www.theologisches-seminar-elstal.de
  49. 49 http://www.electricpulp.com
  50. 50 http://www.electricpulp.com/
  51. 51 http://www.susannepaschke.de/
  52. 52 http://www.susannepaschke.de/
  53. 53 http://www.pixeleden.net
  54. 54 http://www.pixeleden.net/
  55. 55 http://www.jek2k.com
  56. 56 http://www.jek2k.com
  57. 57 http://www.morellc.com
  58. 58 http://www.morellc.com
  59. 59 http://www.attitudedesign.co.uk
  60. 60 http://www.cssvault.com
  61. 61 http://www.cssvault.com
  62. 62 http://www.evaneckard.com/
  63. 63 http://www.evaneckard.com/
  64. 64 http://www.wallopcreative.com
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Vitaly Friedman loves beautiful content and doesn’t like to give in easily. Vitaly is writer, speaker, author and editor-in-chief of Smashing Magazine. He runs responsive Web design workshops, online workshops and loves solving complex UX, front-end and performance problems in large companies. Get in touch.

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  1. 1

    Some fine looking websites here, but also a nice illustration that “CSS-based” means nothing when applied to semantically incorrect markup. Some of these sites are even plain inaccessible.

    -5
  2. 2

    Great stuff!

    3
  3. 3

    Impressive!

    It’s nice to see what we can do with CSS + XHTML but, surely, we need to have in mind that a semantic markup is VERY important to a successful site.

    0
  4. 4

    Beautiful and crazy

    -1
  5. 5

    Very impressive list. But I would like to suggest one more site to this list which is missing here. With your permission:

    N.Design Studio – very beautiful work!

    Cheers!

    -1
  6. 6

    Thanks for featuring Devlounge, great list!

    -3
  7. 7

    Very cool!

    -1
  8. 8

    Super nice work, well done :)

    -3
  9. 9

    Wow. Thanks for the inspiring list.

    -2
  10. 10

    Not to be a party pooper, but http://foxie.ru/ looks like a table-based mess to me. Or perhaps I don’t understand the rules for inclusion on this list :)

    -1
  11. 11

    Real beauty. Very inspiring. Thanks for the list.

    -1
  12. 12

    Great list, will add to My Ma.gnolia bookmarks

    0
  13. 13

    What an inspiring list! Awesome.

    -1
  14. 14

    Nice sites!

    -1
  15. 15

    Wow Beautiful!!!

    -1
  16. 16

    All these sites look eerily the same. I like clean gradients and tabs as much as the next guy, but the shit has to stop. It’s like the 45 degree angle thing during late 1999-2000. (Damn you 2Advanced!) There is nothing impressive about rehashing the same crap over and over. CSS+XHTML does not mean you site needs to look like a trendy web 2.0 logo.

    I’m not saying these are not good sites, because most of them are, but good design should look good 10 years later, and these will not. They are part of trend, like low-rise pants and bug-eye glasses. So take off you Von Dutch hat and think up some new ideas.

    1
  17. 17

    Indeed great collections man…

    -1
  18. 18

    Yeah, I think http://www.ndesign-studio.com is beautiful and Nick is great CSS designer.

    -1
  19. 19

    great list… with many differents styles..
    2006 was a goodYear..

    -2
  20. 20

    Nice work! I got lost in the list for hours…

    -1
  21. 21

    Thanks for the screenshot, but you got the URL wrong – its Nice-Design.co.uk

    -1
  22. 22

    Bullshit. Why is it always LOOKS over USABILITY?

    I mean there are hundreds of sites that “look nice” but are extremely difficult and tedious to use. Small text, radical colors and contrast, usage of Flash, required scrolling, useless images, too limited effective area without scaling support, non-standard solutions (= difficult to interpret what is a link/button) etc.

    The list goes on and on but yet many people deem such sites as incredible.

    6
  23. 23

    Great list, all very beautiful!

    0
  24. 24

    This site is absolutely knackered in IE7. It doesn’t matter what the browser is, you have to cater for them all. So don’t come trying to tell me what’s good when you obviously can’t build one yourself…

    And if I see one more page centered css site with a graphic popped on top of the page I am going to SCREAM.

    0
  25. 25

    What about mattbango.com, oh wait, rikcat.com stole his design and then gets the credit.

    0
  26. 26

    Great collection. I always enjoy seeing different examples of CSS goodness! The art on those sites is nice as well.

    0
  27. 27

    Really impressive designs! This list is another great resource for inspiration!

    Thanks!

    0
  28. 28

    David,

    I believe that ‘CSS-based’ merely differentiates between the CSS and Flash wars that went down a few years back. For example, the gorgeous http://www.ampedesports.com/ uses CSS for 99% of layouts but still includes a bit of flash and html (tables) here and there, so I’m not sure… should it be allowed?

    -1
  29. 29

    Woooooow!

    This sites are really very pleasant for the eye!

    Great 4 inspiration!!

    0
  30. 30

    designs are really nice
    but how would i know because your CSS on
    this site is messed up

    -1

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