As the monitor resolution and internet speed is advancing, it seems like more and more designers use over-sized photo or illustrated image as the website's background. Large background image can create the stunning visual effect, especially for high resolution monitors. It can also add more life to your site design compared to the traditional tiled background graphic. Here is a collection of 80 websites that used large image as the site background (must-see, you won't be disappointed).
Are you looking for ideas to design a portfolio site? Maybe all you need is a single-page site? Single-page design works if you don't have much content, but just want to showcase your work. It can save time and cost because you don't need to build the CMS and templates. In other words, it's perfect for the non-coders. Here are 30+ single-page portfolio sites with exceptional design and implementation. Hopefully, they can give you some inspiration.
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.
If you are looking for inspiration for grid and column design, here is a nice collection of 32 column-based websites. These sites show how grid layout can be applied on various type of sites — whether a massive content editorial site or just a personal blog. Check out how the layout can be divided into 3 columns, 4 columns, a mixture of narrow and wide columns.
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)
For those who don't know, I'm also the guy behind Best Web Gallery and N.Design Studio. In 2006, I started Best Web Gallery as a gallery site where I feature the best CSS and Flash sites. I'm glad that I started the project because it gives me the opportunity to keep my design sense up-t0-the-trend. In the past year, I've seen a lot of sites from the submissions (some are great, some are horrible). As 2007 is wrapping up, I would like to share the best design sites with you. Here is a list of 50 websites hand-picked from Best Web Gallery — Best of CSS Design 2007.