Menu Search
Jump to the content X X

Today, too many websites are still inaccessible. In our new book Inclusive Design Patterns, we explore how to craft flexible front-end design patterns and make future-proof and accessible interfaces without extra effort. Hardcover, 312 pages. Get the book now →

Top 10 Creative Ways To Display Time

By Haroon Baig

Clocks don’t have to be boring. Of course, clocks need need to remain usable and display current time; however, they can do it in a number of creative ways. You are about to see some of the most creative examples out there. Take some time and enjoy. [Content Care Nov/09/2016]

1. Uniqlock

Uniqlock1

What shall I say. If the others are songs, Uniqlock2 is the concert. Japanese girls dance focusing your attention away from the passing time. Probably one of the strangest — unique — clock screensavers out there.

2. Word Clock

Word Clock3

Whether you hate or love Helvetica, you’ll just love Word Clock4 (for you haters out there the typeface can be changed). Simon Heys5, the creative director of Tonic, definitely deserves the place on the podium with this stunning piece. You can download the screensaver (PC and Mac) as well as an iPhone application.

3. DropClock

DropClock6

DropClock7 is an aesthetically intriguing motion clock screensaver. Every minute of real time is numerically expressed with heavy helvetica dropping into water in super slow-motion. An impressive piece of art by Yugop. You can get the screensaver here8 (PC and Mac, price: $15).

4. Uncontrol Clock

Uncontrol Clock width=

Among other things Uncontrol Website offers the so-called “55 clock” for free download. This clock uses the 3rd dimension to combine an analogue display with a digital clock display. Ingenious.

5. FedEx “Just in time”

Just in time

Just in time is the message of this advertising banner for FedEx, which won a Gold Lion in the Cyber Lions category in Cannes 2005. And deservedly so. You get the message.

6. Pulse Clock

Pulse Clock

This neat little Actionscript Experiment by Mrdoob currently rocking at HiReS!9 convinces through simplicity and aesthetics. Built using Papervision3D to experiment with real-time shadows.

7. Humanclock

Humanclock10

Humanclock11 is a project by Craig D. Giffen. People from all over the world submit pictures with certain times on them. Every minute there is a new picture telling the current time. Simple as that. Read the project page12 for more info (you’ll find an analogue version, too).

8. Industrial Clock

Industriafigure ClockWay back in 2000 the design legend Yugo Nakamura aka Yugop amazed the community with his Industrial Clock. It is not exaggerated to say that this piece has created a whole new genre of “video clocks” and served many others as inspiration (as you can see in some other examples).

9. Grid-Based Clock Link

Grid Based Clock

This clock is built by Geoffroy Delobel and based on an idea by Sleepatwork13. The Grid Based Clock is a rather “constructivist” approach to display the time. Its elementary formal vocabulary makes a unique and unusual charm.

10. Clockr Link

Clockr14

Mario Klingemann (aka Quasimondo) came up with this classic. Clockr15 uses random digit images from Flickr to display the current time.Click on a number to change the image, double-click it to view the full image. Use the mouse wheel to cycle through (just give it some time if it doesn’t display the images right away). You can download the screensaver here16 (Win only).

Runners-up Link

Runners-up

Well, they might not be made it to the top 10, but they are worth a look: Scott Blake’s Barcode Clock17

Yugop’s ClockBlock

Runners-up

Mathieu-Badimon’s Block Clock18

Runners-up19

Georg Meyer’s Site with a “Tangram Clock” (see the middle of the navigation bar)

Runners-up

Polar Clock20

Runners-up21

You disagree with the order? What is your favorite? You know another amazing clocks that are missing? Please use the comment section to show your examples!

About the author: Haroon Baig is a communication designer currently working as a User Interface Designer in Germany.

Footnotes Link

  1. 1 http://www.uniqlo.jp/uniqlock/
  2. 2 http://www.uniqlo.jp/uniqlock/
  3. 3 http://www.simonheys.com/wordclock/
  4. 4 http://www.simonheys.com/wordclock/
  5. 5 http://www.simonheys.com
  6. 6 http://scr.sc/products/dropclock/
  7. 7 http://scr.sc/products/dropclock/
  8. 8 http://scr.sc/products/dropclock/
  9. 9 http://hi-res.net/
  10. 10 http://www.humanclock.com/clock.php
  11. 11 http://www.humanclock.com/clock.php
  12. 12 http://www.humanclock.com
  13. 13 http://www.sleepatwork.com/
  14. 14 http://www.quasimondo.com/clockr.php
  15. 15 http://www.quasimondo.com/clockr.php
  16. 16 http://quasimondo.com/clockr_screensaver.zip
  17. 17 http://www.barcodeart.com/art/clock/clock.html
  18. 18 http://lab.mathieu-badimon.com/
  19. 19 http://lab.mathieu-badimon.com/
  20. 20 http://blog.pixelbreaker.com/polarclock/
  21. 21 http://blog.pixelbreaker.com/polarclock/

↑ Back to top Tweet itShare on Facebook

Advertisement

Some contributors with just a single posting. To learn more look at our ebook.

  1. 1

    at first I was gonna say some of these I’ve already seen, but the runner up category sealed the deal for me. An excellent article all around.

    0
  2. 2

    One link is wrong, please fix that:
    Mrdoob’s 2008 clock, the tex link’s ok, but the iamge down under is linking to a wrong site.

    but really a great article, loving the variation.
    keep up good work.

    0
  3. 3

    Vitaly Friedman & Sven Lennartz

    August 15, 2008 5:04 am

    @Johnob (#2): fixed, thank you.

    0
  4. 4

    Thank you so much for this!
    Always a big fan of flash clocks (and then, transform them into a neat screensaver hehe!)!

    Just a small detail:
    “Time Bat” should be “Time Beat”

    ^_^

    Once again, great post!

    Otafu

    0
  5. 5

    The art of the empty one.
    If a common man, a newbie-disowned freelance create it, has great value?

    Those blinded for boredom !!!!!

    0
  6. 6

    Good list, thanks!

    0
  7. 7

    link to 55 clock at the Uncontrol Website is not working

    0
  8. 8

    My fav is polar clock! Installed few days ago and it’s really cool – while it’s not so legibility it looks awesome :)

    0
  9. 9

    I had a problem with a few of those links including the dropclock. Gave an error.
    But good list.

    0
  10. 10

    Is there any way that you can get a clocks like these for your home? That would be awesome!

    0
  11. 11

    Very nice!

    0
  12. 12

    Wow – brilliant. First thing I did once I read it was download Wordclock.

    Great article!

    0
  13. 13

    The best guest article so far! It’s what everyone loves about Smashing: lots of pictures, brief commentary and great examples of a single design concept.

    0
  14. 14

    Good, but didn’t SM recently do a post very similar (on topic) to this?

    0
  15. 15

    I enjoyed the top ten but thought it was a liiiiitttle bit sneaky to add a bunch more at the end!

    0
  16. 16

    Some of the examples already were on Smashing Magazine!

    0
  17. 17

    Awesome! Triple thumbs up from me! (I had to borrow my daughter for the third thumb).

    0
  18. 18

    Pretty nice. I believe “Drop Clock” was previously mentioned on smashingmagazine.com, I really enjoyed it back then and used for a while.

    0
  19. 19

    Amazing post.
    Could you please post the Download Links for Runners-up 1, 5, 6, 7

    Thanking you very for this.

    0
  20. 20

    Those are very nice – how about a look at some calendars for the next post? All those boring wordpress calendars need some sprucing up, there must be a better way!

    0

↑ Back to top