Yep, it goes without saying, but we’re going to say it anyway – Start Digital is big on websites. As a digital marketing and web design agency, we’ve spent a lot of time checking out other people’s websites this year. With 2020 right around the corner, what could be a better time than now to share some of the gems we’ve found? So here are Start Digital’s 19 Favourite Sites of 2019!
A bit like our own website, Webflow has undergone multiple site makeovers throughout 2019. We’re fans of everything Webflow has done to their site this year – content selection, dark and neon theme, subtle animations and its current box pastel and gradient design included. Whilst we’re still a WordPress agency, don’t be surprised if you see Webflow on our list of favourite sites in 2020!
Blank.Org is just a blank website. Really? Yep, until you notice the small red dot which, when you click, loads text which reads – blank is beautiful! You can magnify this text four more times (through clicking), and then you’re at the end. There’s nothing visually great about this site except it makes us laugh each time we visit it!
We’re big admirers of Amsterdam’s Wonderland (a.k.a the guys who did the Cool Club project.) Combining a black background with white Lydian and Untitled Sans fonts, square content boxes and unexpected uses of bright colours (#f9ea5d, #a99cfe and #8efc9f) for hyperlinks and call-to-action buttons, the Wonderland site does a lot with very little.
4. Delete Agency
While this website might lack the visual aesthetics most of the others on our list, Delete Agency gets a shout-out! We’re big on website performance and frequently utilise industry-tools such as GTmetrix to help optimise our client’s sites for enhanced user-experiences and rankings. Where many agencies aren’t even aware of Google Lighthouse, Delete has achieved a perfect 100% score for performance which is no easy feat!
5. Cann Social Tonics
Ok, so it’s not legal (yet) but cannabis-infused drink company, Cann Social Tonics, have created a brand and web site that reimagines how to present cannabis in 2019. Presenting vibrant colours, bold fonts, subtle animations and floating shapes, there’s not a Bob Marley flag in sight!
6. Yul Moreau
Step into our office, and you’ll notice we’re big fans of the 1980s. A minute on Yul Moreau’s site, and you’ll see why this is one of our favourite web portfolios ever. A retro video slider, single-page layout and funky font all while showcasing some really cool projects – what else could our Back to the Future loving hearts want?
7. Running On Experience – Adobe
You’d expect Adobe to have an incredibly well-designed site and, with this Running on Experience landing page, they’ve managed to present digital marketing statistics in a bright, engaging and fun way. Bold scripted fonts, stunning infographics and a seemingly endless scroll make this a page you have to see.
8. Design Better
InVision’s Design Better is a super clean yet effective website. Design Better is another site that becomes 10x better due to the scroll animations and animated illustrations. Another thing that catches the eye – and is really appreciated by us – is every page has been designed and developed with extreme detail.
We’ll be honest, we’re still unsure about what this site is for but we love Zoomanity nonetheless! Something about this combination of scrolling interactions, brand colours and typography equals endless fun and creative displays. Another big plus is the in-site translation functionality.
10. Elwood Jeans by G Star
Pharrell Williams (minus that Grammy hat) caught our eye originally but the product pages on the G Star’s Elwood Jeans kept us coming back. You need inspiration for your eCommerce site? Check out the bold and trendy work by G Star. (But also beware, you might end up being tempted to buy a pair of checker pink and black jeans…)
11. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Columbia Tristar’s website for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood offers a great combination of images, colours, fonts and scrolling trickery. Like an old school magazine article recreated for the digital space. It’s an incredibly ambitious site that occasionally suffers from performance issues and lags, but we’re happy to turn a blind eye to that.
Cooler than ice cold cool, Zoccon throw in every 2019 cutting-edge design technique to create a site we’re a little jealous of. Big fonts, fast paced video and smart animations help create a website perfect for those of us with a short attention span.
This is beautiful and more than a little psychedelic! There are lots of sites that do hover state animations but none as good (or therapeutic) as the Haus website. Their work is incredible and well worth checking out!
14. Culturally Connected
We’re suckers for illustrations, custom made shapes and animations, so the Culturally Connected site was always going to be a winner. We also like leaves, which is a good thing because they’re everywhere here. Sites that bridge the gap between digital and analogue are difficult to pull off – this manages it with style.
15. Adidas FutureCraft
If we’re honest, there’s not too many sites we come across and can’t think of one flaw – Adidas FutureCraft happens to be one of them. We don’t know what we like the best – the pulsating background motions, the scrolling animations, the subtle parallax effect applied to the images or the use of Adineue Pro (a custom Adidas font by MCKL) transparent font with bold border. (P.S. Please don’t get our office’s sneakerheads started on the FutureCraft kicks themselves…)
16. 66˚ Nord
One site which makes the most out of its photographs is 66˚ Nord. Showcasing the beautiful landscape of destinations such as Alaska, Antarctica, Canada and Feroe Islands within an extremely well-design layout, 66o Nord’s site makes us want to book a holiday right now. It’s all the little funky features that come together to make this site a winner!
17. Noon Pacific
Noon Pacific release 3, 10 track mixtapes/playlists per week that link with an active Spotify account. The site has been a ‘go to’ site in the office for the last few years and, whilst the design is basic, the cover artwork and playlists are stunning. If palm trees, sunsets and cocktails are your thing this site could soundtrack your life.
AllBirds are a new player in the eco-shoe space, creating well made, simple sneakers without the flashy logos. To promote the brand, AllBirds created a super smart, beautiful advert on the New York Times website. As well as being an incredibly cool marketing play, the advert was a website experience in itself. Too cool!