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9 Inspiring Websites That Break The Mould

9 Inspiring Websites That Break The Mould
Ever since Apple drastically changed the aesthetic of their iOS (which, in an ironic twist, was inspired by the new look of Windows 8) web designers have been following suit, scrapping their shadows, reflections and glows in favor of monotone photos, flat colours and minimalist icons.

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.

1. Hochburg

This site for a German design agency combines a flat black and white interface with hand drawn elements and beautiful monochromatic photography.

Hochburg

2. Union

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.

Union

3. Heads of State

This design company from Philadelphia uses texture to great effect on their site, giving it a retro aesthetic.

Heads of State

4. Adventure.com

This site has beautiful travel photography and places the shots well with a solid underlying grid, capping it off with hand drawn font.

Adventure

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.

Earnest Hemmingway Collection

6. Letters Inc.

The lined illustrations and the way they animate are like something I've never seen before.

Letters Inc

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.

The Charles

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.

This Is Now Exhibition

9. Agra-Culture

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.

Agra-Culture

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.

author bio

About Kyle Racki

CEO of @proposify. Product designer and podcaster. Dad to two beautiful boys. Karaoke superstar. Freed cultist. Batman enthusiast. Follow me on Twitter

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