Websites that employ skeuomorphic design elements reminiscent of “Web 2.0” now appear dated. That's OK, the web has moved on from the gaudiness of it's adolescence.
The problem now is that the majority of websites all look really similar. It’s uncommon to see a website that breaks the mould and does something daring and different.
Below are examples of websites produced by designers that went against the grain. I'm not saying theses sites don't have "flat" elements, but they hardly look cookie cutter.
This site for a German design agency combines a flat black and white interface with hand drawn elements and beautiful monochromatic photography.
Union is a digital agency from North Carolina. Their website uses gorgeous imagery and typography along with scaling that gives the interface a three-dimensional effect.
3. Heads of State
This design company from Philadelphia uses texture to great effect on their site, giving it a retro aesthetic.
This site has beautiful travel photography and places the shots well with a solid underlying grid, capping it off with hand drawn font.
5. Ernest Hemmingway Collection
This website makes use of old photographs, a monochromatic colour palette and stenciled typography to communicate history without making the design appear dated.
6. Letters Inc.
The lined illustrations and the way they animate are like something I've never seen before.
7. The Charles
There's a lot to like about this site from an agency with offices in New York and London, but the opening screen with a background video of smoke curling to reveal the type is breathtaking.
8. This Is Now Exhibition
Duotoned images and experimental typography reminiscent of 90s design icon, David Carson, this site for a design exhibit in Norway has a look all it's own.
Restaurants and catering companies are notorious for having bad websites. This site presents their food elegantly with great food photography and type and makes use of subtle textures.
Do you know of any other examples of websites that break the "flat" mould? Please link to them in the comments along with a short description of why they're awesome.
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