About a year ago, I compiled a huge list of artistic sites. It seems like the trend has carried on in 2008 and is growing stronger (thank God the glossy style is gone). So what's hot now? Pencil sketches, handwritten notes, card stocks, watercolor effects, collage art, script fonts, grungy and splatter ink backgrounds (glossy gradients are not "in" this year). Another trend to be on the lookout for are the vintage and retro styles which I've posted earlier this year. Here is a list of 82 sites picked from Best Web Gallery that show the current design trends.
Recently, I saw a very nice collection of vintage ads posted by Abduzeedo (via Digg). Speaking of vintage design, I also have a nice collection of vintage websites that I dug up from my old bookmarks and Best Web Gallery submissions. I'm not a big fan of vintage design, but if you want to see more vintage inspiration, here are 23+ sites.
Warning: some of the sites that you are about to view might be very old (click at your own risk)
As you probably know, illustration is a big trend now. We see them every where from fashion design, print media to web design. Here is a nice collection of over 30 sites that demonstrated excellent use of vector illustration. This set of site has proven that illustration is suitable for all type of sites — from personal blogs, to designer showcases, and even professional or corporate sites. Not only illustration can set the mood and characteristic of the site, but it can also establish an icon (branding) of your corporate image. Here are some good examples...
With the millions of websites on the internet, having a unique design is a must to get your visitors' attention. The following sites displayed below are the few that I personally find inspiring. What made them unique is they used various traditional art techniques and applied to modern web design technology. The result is breathtaking and simply beautiful.