Three weeks ago we have announced the Style Switchers Design Contest where we’ve presented some ideas for style switchers design and encouraged our readers to create a style switcher for their own web-sites. One of the participants was to be awarded with an Apple Cinema 20 Flat Panel Display. Over 60 designers participated and — as in all of our earlier contests — the results are indeed pretty smashing. Now it’s time to review some of the best designs and, of course, announce the winner.
This contest has proved one thing: there are a number of possibilities for creative use of style switchers in your designs. They don’t have to be boring and can combine functionality with a beautiful and engaging design. Style switchers are back now; and we are glad that so many designers have participated in our contest learning how to use them and apply them to their designs.
The winner of the contest is Florian Pichler, the designer of the iamBlog‘s style switcher. Congratulations, Florian, we are happy to smash you with an Apple Cinema 20 Flat Panel Display! We’ll contact you via e-mail over the next 24 hours.
And now let’s take a look at 60 excellent examples of style switcher designs created by the participants of our contest. Please notice that only those designers have participated in the contest who followed exactly the rules we’ve published in our announcement post.
Iamblog.de has put a lot of effort in designing an advanced style switcher. Hit the button “Hintergrund ändern” in the upper left of the page to open up the styleswitcher and choose a background you like. Previews, backgrounds and the switcher itself are loaded with Ajax, the list of available backgrounds is generated dynamically so every writer of the blog can easily add their own background. Currently 10 different styles are available. The Ajaxified style-switcher can be dragged across the site layout.
Komodo Media Link
Sometimes style switchers can also be extremely creative. Rogie King has designed a sliding foliage-o-meter. Visitors can select the intensity of the foliage in the design (from sparse to dense). The leaves appear not only in the header, but also in navigation options, bullets and headings. Beautiful design, excellent style switcher.
pure structure Link
Nigel O Toole offers an advanced and dynamic style switcher. At one, the presentation of items in Nigel’s portfolio can be adapted to user’s needs. Apart from that the background image of the site can be changed as well. The style switcher itself has two levels: the first level takes care of the structure. To access the second level you need to click on the visual at the right.
On Engage interactive you can change the theme via the button in the top right — there are 4 to choose from. All themes are completely different. Each one changes the site holder and also a few bits in the portfolio. Graphics are replaced as well.
Gnomdesign has three themes with different background images and blog headers.
Schillmania has an advanced mood switcher: visitors can adjust the brightness of the displayed header image and add a snow effect
Small Stone Link
Smallstone allows its visitors to “swap out the shelf” — exchange the header, visuals and links. The style switcher is placed right under the header and is also designed in a unique and professional way.
Kulturbanause has a quite unusual blog design with two artistic themes — Daylight and Sunset. As the designer says, you can “play god” with the themes. The style switcher is placed in the sidebar. When the theme is switched both graphics and visuals are changed.
Nofrks has a day and a night style. In both cases only background image is replaced.
Luke Larsen Link
Luke Larsen allows visitors to switch between the blue sky view and the goldfish tank view. The site layout is quite wide: when the style is switched, a number of design elements such as background and used images change as well. In the blue sky view dove is used, in the fish tank view a golden fish. The style switcher is placed in the navigation at the top of the page. The site didn’t have the text “Smashing Magazine” which is why it hasn’t been considered when selecting the winner.
Planetopija enables users to change the color of the header illustration. The style switcher itself is nicely designed (see the image below, the switcher is hidden behind “colour your world, oboji svoj svijet“).
Westin Melbourne Hotel Link
Westin Melbourne Hotel has an advanced mood switcher: visitors can adjust the brightness of the displayed header image and add a snow effect
Since Olidax has a space theme, it allows its visitors to change the theme using a, well, space switcher. You can switch the styles while choosing a planet (you can find it on top of the right column). Earth, Saturn and Mars themes are currently available.
Lee Munroe Link
Lee Munroe has a style switcher that changes depending on the time of day. Visitors can also pick their desired style if they prefer. The style switcher is placed at the upper right corner of the content area. The shadows in the footer change with the changed theme as well.
Sam Gerdt Link
Sam Gerdt allows visitors to select one of three background patterns for the header. The styleswitcher appears when the button at the right upper corner is clicked.
Diego Valobra Link
Diego Valobra has two different antique designs. The background image is replaced. The style switcher is placed in the right bar of the layout.
Maikel Neris Link
Maikel Neris replaces background images: the style switcher provides visitors with an access to three blog themes.
John Scott Link
John Scott has a style switcher with 4 available skins. In each case the background image and the header are changed.
Thomas J Bradley Link
Thomas J. Bradley has a style switcher which is controlled by the Flash banner at the top of the page. When you click on the pink star you will be presented with a slider to glide through the different styles for the site. Each of the styles correspond to a time of day, and are displayed during that time period. As designer says, he wanted to have a fun hidden aspect so he provided this easter egg to slide through all the time periods / styles. 5 styles are available. However, the style switcher is not really easy to find.
Gbot has four different background images: earth, paper, tree and sky. Created using Mootools 1.2 Beta 2. The style switcher is placed in the footer of the layout.
Sitesquared with a day- and night-theme of the design. The designers of the site love Smashing Magazine, we love your designs too!
Further solutions Link
Pegd‘s style switcher is very minimalistic; it uses transparent png’s and background-color to save on loading different logos for each selected color. When the style is changed logo color and link color are changed. The style switcher is placed in the sidebar and is represented by colorful rectangles.
Peter Bucher has five style sheets, a styleshow which automatically changes the style and a font-size switcher. The style switcher itself is quite wide.
Timbix Media uses three color variations as well as a font size switcher in the left sidebar. Since the layout is elastic, not only text size is increased, but the layout increases as well.
Roy Quilor allows his visitors to switch from default text style to Serif fonts and to a “creme colour” design.
This switcher allows its visitors to change the width of the layout to fit an 800×600 or 1024×768 screen. It also has a font-increase functionality that also changes the size of the home and print icons on the side. The style switcher is placed in the sidebar. The icons are simple and easy to understand.
Viatrax has an automatic style switcher. The user can’t do anything here; instead WordPress loads a random style automatically when the page is loaded.
Lucia Vega has four color styles for his headers and the layout.
Minimal.ca present three versions for your best color contrast. The style switcher is placed in the sidebar.
Ledger pad has a sticky style switcher which has a fixed position at the right corner at the bottom of the page and remains there even when the page is being scrolled. Blue and black-white-styles are available.
On 2ndzenith.com three style themes re hidden behind the “Customize” button. When the button is clicked, the theme picker is sliding. With a changed style links, background and text colors are changed.
Flanisoft can switch between a dark and a light background.
Jimmyweb offers some color variations of the layout color and link colors.
VMP-Finanz offers a basic font-size style switcher in the sidebar.
Weiqi.nl with a dynamic style switcher which offers 5 different themes. When the theme is changed, links, header and background image are replaced.
Da Scritch has a black toolbar in the header of the page with font-size switcher (”dézoomer” and “zoomer”) and dark/light-switcher (”éclairer”). The visitors can also activate/deactivate fancy animations (”sans anim” and “déplier”).
Freeneedle offers 7 color variations for the site design, background images and link colors.
MSDevstudio offers 3 different stylesheets with a dfiferent color variations of the layout.
Color and background variations Link
Ganato Design Link
Cnow Designs Link
Chris Taulborg Link
Chris Taulborg has a weather-based style switcher — there are a clear, cloudy, snowy, stormy and night themes available.
Visual 28 Link
Visual28 goes smashing. The site offers a Smashing-style design layout as alternative style.
rex offers 5 themes — color and design variations — with font-size-switchers.
Liverpool Youth Service Link
Liverpool Youth Service with a text size switcher, high contrast version, text only version and a reset button.
Ryan Harris Link
Ryan Harris’s styleswitcher is a little bit too complex: to activate the theme switcher users need to click on “change background” link: after that the theme of the design can be selected.
Salt Solutions Link
Web Gallery Plus Link
Anni 80 Link
90seven Design Link
90Seven offers its visitors two different designs.
Card Pac Link
Card Pac with a style switcher placed right in the content. Such style switcher is hard to find and hard to use as the color is selected via a not-so-user-friendly pop-up.
now-streaming with a tiny four colours-box under the logo — each of the colors stands for the corresponding design layout.
Hans Engel Link
Hans Engel has a tiny icon that allows users to expand the layout. The style switcher is placed at the top left corner of the layout.
Codesignville has 2 styles switchers, one for Text Size and other to change the theme (Day, Afternoon and Night).
due chiacchiere Link
due chiacchiere has a style switcher aimed at accessibility. Visitors can increase/decrease the font size, text alignment, layout and remove/add details.
Your site is valid Link
Your site is valid can switch from a dark layout to a light one.
Your Web Pro Template Gallery Link
How about a site that has fifty style sheets to choose from? YourWebPro offers 50 color schemes (authoritative, dependable, enchanting, energetic and unique) — the changes affect both the layout and the color of the links. Hint: energetic color schemes not only look energetic. Don’t try this at home.
A tiny layout switcher on Yutheme.cn changes the position of sidebar in the layout. The style switcher may be hard to find, though.
DinPattern uses a style switcher to display the tiled pattern to the user when the “preview” link is clicked below any pattern. It simply changes the body class to display the correct pattern tile.
We express sincere gratitude to all participants for a number of creative, beautiful and truly smashing style switchers. We hope to see you next time!
Hold on tiger! Thank you for reading the article. Did you know that we also publish printed books and run friendly conferences – crafted for pros like you? For example, Smashing Book 5, packed with smart responsive design patterns and techniques.