Friday, April 04, 2008

Design Reference Sites

The folks at asked me to provide the 20 sites I reference when I need design ideas, but you don't really need that many. So, I provided them with 10. If you can't get inspired to design with these sites, you're in the wrong business. Here goes.


1. The FWA ( – These guys have been really dedicated to putting together a nicely organized compilation of great sites. Their hard work has paid off. This is the best aggregation of high end sites out there.

2. Netdiver ( – Carol Guevin has been curating the link list here since at least 2001 [1998 to be exact. Thx Carole]. She knows her stuff, and displays a great mix of Flash and CSS sites.

3. CSS Beauty ( – The best CSS link list hands down. It was this site that really convinced me of the usefulness and significance of web standards.


4. LogoPond ( – I’m always amazed when a designer can display the meaning of a company with a simple image. You can also access the portfolios of the designers that you like, which makes the site even more appealing. This site will suck you in.

5. Smashing Magazine ( – 20 examples of great tabs. 15 examples of great footers. Collections like these make researching design approaches so much easier.

6. Three Minds Blog @ Organic ( – This blog, maintained by members of one of the original interactive design powerhouses, shows both the work of the firm as well as work they admire. Very good stuff.


7. EVB ( – The portfolio of EVB is outstanding. I was fortunate enough to visit their office once. Once you walk in, you see the value placed on creativity.

8. Fantasy Interactive ( – Another strong portfolio. Unlike many design firms, though, they’re own site pushes the limit of the latest audio and video technology. They work great with 3D imagery too.

9. Group94 ( – Nothing that comes out of these offices is ordinary. What really stands out in their work is the innovative navigation that they use in their campaigns, and the clarity of their designs.


10. ( – I’m a car nut and the large format photos that serve as the background for every page are all works of art. Want to know how to make use of great photography in a web page? Go here.