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30 Dark Designs You Should’ve Seen

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Dark designs can be really stunning. I mean, really. In Web 2.0 designers try to do their best to impress their visitors and in many cases they definitely succeed in doing so.

As a second (out of five) part of our 50 Beautiful CSS-Based Web-Designs in 20061 collection we’d like to present some stunning, but rather unknown dark designs, which you really should have seen if your aim is to develop web-sites in the modern “Look & Feel”-style. Links checked: June/15 2008 – 5 Designs deleted.

http://www.designbyfront.com/2
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Footnotes Link

  1. 1 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2006/12/19/50-beautiful-css-based-web-designs-in-2006/
  2. 2 http://www.designbyfront.com/
  3. 3 http://snagt.net/
  4. 4 http://www.justinshattuck.com/
  5. 5 http://www.glingglo.net/
  6. 6 http://www.brokenkode.com/
  7. 7 http://www.johndahlback.com/
  8. 8 http://fusionfox.com/
  9. 9 http://www.soulshaker.co.uk/
  10. 10 http://www.merix.com.pl/
  11. 11 http://coda.co.za/
  12. 12 http://ebonmusic.com/
  13. 13 http://www.dacreate.co.uk/
  14. 14 http://www.magnitude.co.uk/
  15. 15 http://www.zindustry.com/
  16. 16 http://www.badboy.ro/
  17. 17 http://www.cviscusi.com/
  18. 18 http://www.deardorffinc.com/
  19. 19 http://www.backbeatmedia.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

    Great collection, each single site is worth to enumerated here! In my point of view, maybe only http://www.mein-brandenburg.com is missing. Thanks for providing such inspirations.

    1
  2. 2

    Great post, All the designs are inspirational layouts!

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  3. 3

    Milosz Lodowski

    January 13, 2007 11:00 pm

    Thanks for your kind opinion about my work ;)
    It’s a real pleasure of mine to be the one of this 50’s

    Best wishes
    Ice

    0
  4. 4

    Undeniably beautiful designs, but dark websites remain in the realm of web designers rather than web content publishers.

    I’ve seen people try to use dark designs for content-heavy websites, I’ve tried it too, and it just doesn’t work as well as a light design would.

    For design sites though, stunning.

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  5. 5

    Milosz Lodowski

    January 14, 2007 12:38 am

    Dan: It depends on kind of project…
    In general – You’re right, but in special cases the dark design is more emphatic, sophisticated, full of feeling and emotions, ie. night club or parties sites, linigerie sites, some events, occasions and many more…, they’re also commercial but in specific way of feeling

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  6. 6

    Awesome collection! Inspiring no doubt :)

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  7. 7

    Is it only me who finds these desings incredbily boring, uninspired and are simply joining in on the Web 2.0 Circle-Jerk? Very few of these break any mold and simply play into todays repetitive trends?

    0
  8. 8

    Great article. Nice way to get inspiration.

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  9. 9

    Motorcycle Guy

    January 14, 2007 5:09 am

    I’m still not sure I like dark designs. Some of those do look rather good, but to me traditionally I’ve never thought dark designs look professional.

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  10. 10

    “Otherwise we’ll break this series of articles and will offer you another content.”

    Nothing like a threat to make me want to bookmark you.

    0
  11. 11

    trevor Nohcudg

    January 14, 2007 5:51 am

    This will all end with crying

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  12. 12

    danofthenorthstar

    January 14, 2007 5:56 am

    Dark design just looks great if you know how to handle bright text colors on gloomy backgrounds. Your first option should be using white for the continuous text.

    “Dark pages” have an elegant and classic look if they are done the right way. Indeed, it’s more difficult to create a working “dark” page instead of creating a white one.

    Photos or pictures are working very well on a black background. The colors, the brightness and the contrast of the photo seem to be much “sharper” in contrast to placing pictures on bright backgrounds.

    On the other hand i just read (sorry don’t know the source anymore) that text written on bright backgrounds would be approx. 30% faster to read. Greetings, Dan.

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  13. 13

    Milosz & danofthenorthstar, thanks for the insight.

    I may simply be stuck in the mindset of “dark text on a light background = professional publisher” if some people can make it work well the other way round. Personal preference probably plays a part in how I see sites.

    I agree party and special occasion sites are exactly the sort of sites that would suit a dark design.

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  14. 14

    David G. Paul

    January 14, 2007 7:08 am

    One thing I’ve noticed from dark sites is that after you’ve been reading one for a while and then look away from the monitor you see lines before your eyes – now that’s disturbing

    But I do like dark sites! They always manage to look cool, and the ones above are definately some very cool looking sites. Nice list.

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  15. 15

    Dark sites are very easy on the eyes.

    I wish more sites used darker themes

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  16. 16

    Carlos Eduardo

    January 14, 2007 9:39 am

    Really good examples.

    It shows that we didn’t need to use “light” colors to have a great design; different from that “design pattern” that we have today.

    Great sites!

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  17. 17

    THIS LIST MADE MY DAY! Love dark sites, LOVE.

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  18. 18

    Thanks for the inclusion of my site, guys… I’m truly honoured!

    Lots of really great sites in that list, many of which I’m jealous of myself – especially Snagt as Ive never seen it before

    0
  19. 19

    Thanks to talk about us!!! Our bandwidth crashed, but all it’s ok today. Good luck!

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  20. 20

    Nonconformist

    January 15, 2007 8:08 am

    A great list. Rusty Lime should have been in there as well: http://www.rustylime.com

    0
  21. 21

    I want a dark design too.But my blog doesnt fit.If i ever start a personal blog.I will come back to you

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  22. 22

    Another great one! Thanks Guys

    0
  23. 23

    That is a really nice list of websites. Beautiful design & inspiration!

    Thanks :)

    0
  24. 24

    I like all the templates. It shows that always light colors are not good. Dark colors can also make the great designs.

    0
  25. 25

    hmm.. i guess i need to redesign my blog to enter the next selection!

    0
  26. 26

    Lelia Katherine Thomas

    January 18, 2007 3:09 pm

    I think EbonMusic does the best job with lighting; they never seem to over-contrast or under-contrast. All of these are great designs, though, I feel. :)

    0
  27. 27

    Rafal Zrobecki

    January 19, 2007 4:16 pm

    I am impressed by Larissa Meek. Her work is fantastic!

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  28. 28

    No No No No Nooooooooo!

    Darn. Now I have to lock myself in a room for at least a week to learn all the neat tricks myself…

    That’s really incredible work, thank you!

    0
  29. 29

    great selection of dark design. Is there a section with design divided by color?

    0
  30. 30

    silver_fox Thank you for showing an intrest in my site. If you don’t mind me asking. Where did you hear about my site? Enjoy.

    J.A. Catero

    0
  31. 31

    Angry Canadian

    February 2, 2007 12:56 am

    Great collection. I just launched http://www.radiodetox.com, which has a pretty simple interface with black, red, gray, and white. Check it out.

    0
  32. 32

    PeterPriest

    March 9, 2007 6:19 pm

    Very goof and interesting !!!

    I have one more link to this post (Dark Design) harddays.net

    This is site about underground music in Uzbekistan.

    0
  33. 33

    On a dk background there are no white tints (prbloger.com and cviscusi.com)
    And generally – very much inspired works of art!

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  34. 34

    Yea styles are much easier to make these days and with so many templates out there even web site designers who are starting out can make a site looks great in a matter of minutes.

    1
  35. 35

    Aria Rajasa

    July 16, 2007 7:36 pm

    @hEXA
    You can’t download it, it’s the work of others. Please appreciate

    Btw nice post, there are a lot of dark designs incorporating black and blue color scheme. I didn’t see much of black and orange though although it’s my fave color sheme :P

    0
  36. 36

    hi,

    Thanks for your kind opinion about my work ;)
    It’s a real pleasure of mine to be the one of this 50’s

    0
  37. 37

    Hey,
    thanks a lot! I’m just about to redesign my site and looking into the darker side. :)

    0
  38. 38

    Dahlbäck is the best!

    0
  39. 39

    I prefer light designs. I don’t like dark.

    0
  40. 40

    Dark designs are OK but the problem is with advertisers – according to my past and present experience they do not trust to advertise on dark web pages because it gives them sort of “underground” or maybe “something illegal” feeling. And naturally they don’t want their company to be connected in anything “illegal” …

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