DESIGN INSPIRATION: List of best designed websites in 2008

January 17, 2009

We were going to order all the sites in this post from 1 to 100, but found it a bit hard with so many to choose from. So what we did was select our 20 favorite favorites and listed them from 1 to 20. So let’s say these are the cream of the crop!

1. StudentBox.org

Student Box

StudentBox.org

A strong grungy design, innovative and unique….

2. Kyan Media

Kyan

Kyan

The soft colours combined with strong typography and plenty of white space make Kyan Media’s portfolio site easy to look at and use. They have an awesome portfolio that offered us a lot of inspiration while designing the {radiiate} portfolio. Be sure to click on the little worm in their footer!

3. Max Voltar

Max Voltar

Max Voltar

Max Voltar is has a very minimalistic design. We love the use of gray scale with limited use of colour to highlight links. Websites in serif typefaces with a great layout and ample white space are always beautiful!

4. You Love Us

You Love Us

You Love Us

This site makes use of beautiful background images and a nifty Javascript sliding technique to deliver a unique and interesting user experience.

5. Jason Santa Maria

Jason Santa Maria

Jason Santa Maria

Jason is a web design legend, so you would expect his personal website to be awesome, and it is! Different layout and stylesheet for every article he publishes, need I say more?!

6. AdaptD

AdaptD

AdaptD

We like the bold use of color and typography on this one. The layout is unique and well structured. The banners going across the header are awesome!

7. Twirk Ethic

Twork Ethic

Twirk Ethic

Twirk Ethic is a design, music and culture website. The design is very classical / elegant with loads of interesting details all over the design. We like the string, center-aligned header graphic and the symmetry it gives the site.

8. Astheria

astheria

astheria

Again strong typography and loads of white space makes Astheria a really great design. The strong contrast between the pink and grey really draws your attention to all the important stuff.

9. The Lippincott

The Lippincott

The Lippincott

The Lippincott is a classic grunge design. We love the use of textures, torn edges and illustrations as it gives the site a very strong “handmade” feel that goes great with the purpose of the site.

10. The New York Moon

The New York Moon

The New York Moon

The New York Moon is an online magazine. The “old-school” newspaper feel is very fitting and the interesting use of typography and layout really does make this site feel like an online magazine.

11. Alexandru Cohaniuc

Alexandru Cohaniuc

Alexandru Cohaniuc

Web designers’ personal portfolios usually offers something special as they have more freedom to experiment than with client work. Alexandru Cohaniuc’s portfolio is no exception. The layout is something different and I really like the use of Javascript to display his work.

12. Space Collective

Space Collective

Space Collective

We like this site for it’s strong grid based layout. It’s very clean and easy to use. The Javascript slider at the top of the page is nice touch. I love the animation on their splash page!

13. Rockatee

Rockatee

Rockatee

I really love grunge design, and Rockatee is another great example. The textures and watercolor-like overlays gives the design a more “human” feel.

14. Viget Inspire

Viget Inspire

Viget Inspire

Viget Labs is a web design and development agency. This design is for their blog that features on front-end web design and development. The background landscape is awesome, and I think it’s really clever how the sidebar merges with the header. By doing so it blends into the background of the site, leaving the content column to grab the most attention.

15. Gary Nock

Gary Nock

Gary Nock

Gary Nock is a musician, and this is his personal website. It’s another grunge classic, and with me being a sucker for paper textures, I couldn’t not include this site! I love the big header with plenty of pictures of Gary. You get a pretty good idea of what Gary and his music is about as soon as the site loads.

16. Wearable Print

Wearable Print

Wearable Print

A very clean and elegant design. The subtle background texture is great and the design makes good use of Javascript for the slider boxes on the homepage.

17. Future of Web Apps

Future of Web Apps

Future of Web Apps

This is the website for Carsonified’s very popular “Future of Web Apps” conference. This design has a brave color scheme, but pulls it off well. The extra large typography is great and the quirky illustrations add a friendly feel to the design.

18. Ainsworth Studio

Ainsworth Studio

Ainsworth Studio

A solid, classic layout and serif typefaces make this design beautiful. The big watercolor background texture adds interest to the design without being distracting.

19. Danny Blackman

Danny Blackman

Danny Blackman

Danny Blackman’s personal portfolio site combines Javascript sliding and awesome illustration for a interesting user experience. You have to check this one out for yourself to see what we’re talking about!

20. Colourpixel

Colourpixel

Colourpixel

With web design it is often difficult to break the mold and come up with something unique, layout-wise. I think Colourpixel does a great job breaking the usual web design mold, whilst not being over-complicated and still being easy to use and read.

Honourable Mentions

Our top twenty featured our favorite favorites designs of the last year. We hope you enjoyed looking at them! But if you thought we were done, then think again! Below are 80 more absolutely fantastic designs that did not make our top 20, but we still felt they deserve a mention on here. Enjoy!

Wilson Miner

Wilson Miner

Edit Studios

Edit Studios

Pixelfuze

PixelfuzeViget Extend

Web Design Ledger

Web Design Ledger

Web Designer Depot

Web Designer Depot

We Are Not Freelancers

We Are Not Freelancers

Vogue

Vogue

Tylor J Reimer

Tylor J Reimer

Two December

Two December

Training by Collective Idea

Training by Collective Idea

Top Gear

Top Gear

Tony Geer

Tony Geer

Tim van Damme

Tim van Damme

TicToc

TicToc

The Rissington Podcast

The Rissington Podcast

The Oleg Blog

The Oleg Blog

The First Twenty

The First Twenty

The Design Studio of Mike Precious

The Design Studio of Mike Precious

The Darling Tree

The Darling Tree

The Blizzards

The Blizzards

Take the Walk

Take the Walk

Studio 7

Studio 7

Patrick Keefe

Patrick Keefe

SPD

SPD

Sofa

Sofa

Silverback

Silverback

shnme

shnme

Sensis

Sensis

Saturized Studio

Saturized Studio

Sascha Eggenberger

Sascha Eggenberger

Radu Ceuca

Radu Ceuca

Pure Volume

Pure Volume

Power to the Poster

Power to the Poster

Paiko

Paiko

Ordered List

Ordered List

One Mode

One Mode

Nuedo

Nuedo

Nue Media

Nue Media

Monty Lounge

Monty Lounge

Mix

Mix

Miles Dowsett

Miles Dowsett

Medicon Media

Medicon Media

Matt Dempsey

Matt Dempsey

Matt Brett

Matt Brett

Macalicious

Macalicious

LeetGeek

LeetGeek

Langgatan

Langgatan

Karma

Karma

I Love Colors

I Love Colors

Upstruct

Upstruct

Go Media Zine

Go Media Zine

Ginger Monkey

Ginger Monkey

Giant Creative

Giant Creative

Galan

Galan

Apilot

Apilot

Function

Function

Freshest

Freshest

Lee Munroe

Lee Munroe

Fortyseven Media

Fortyseven Media

Elliot Jay Stocks

Elliot Jay Stocks

Digital Mash

Digital Mash

Design Jobs On The Wall

Design Jobs On The Wall

Andy Montoya

Andy Montoya

Design 82

Design 82

Delicious Design Studio

Delicious Design Studio

Checkout

Checkout

Campaign Monitor

Campaign Monitor

Babylon Design

Babylon Design

Brian Murchison

Brian Murchison

Coda.coza

Coda.coza

Berit Sømme

Berit Sømme

Art of Dying

Art of Dying

Art4Web

Art4Web

Ali Felski

Ali Felski

Abiblog

AdWorks!

Abiblog

Abiblog

365 Days of Astronomy

365 Days of Astronomy

80/20

80/20

2Pitch

2Pitch

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49 Comments

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    Awesome, i’m gonna try to do a test with this

  2. Kris Acai says:

    Damn what a nice designs !

  3. Thanks for taking the time to list all these. Its a great way to learn from others who do things well.

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