I really like #5. It’s simple, easy to navigate, and current in modern web design. The mellow colors and large text are nice on the eyes as well. It’s good to see that bolder text form taking shape around the web these days! =D
30+ Examples of Big, Bold, and Beautiful Website Navigation Menus
One of the most recognizable elements in any website is the design of the main navigation menu. Some sites have large menus, others have small ones. Some sites have bold, attention-grabbing menus, others have something more subdued.
As a freelance web designer, you need to be able to draw upon many different styles depending on the current project you are working on. Since the current trend in design is bigger and more graphical menus, we thought it would be a good idea to offer some inspiration.
In this list we’ve compiled 30 of the most gorgeous navigation menu designs — all of which are big, bold, and beautiful. Take a look and see what you think:
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Add Your Thoughts…
That’s it for this list — what do you think? Did we miss any awesome examples? Did you disagree with any of our choices?
Which was your favorite?
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August 27th, 2009 at 1:54 pm
August 27th, 2009 at 10:57 pm
I really like the Ecosimply one and I agree with the others about #5. I am redesigning my retail store now and I want a much cleaner look that what I currently have.
August 28th, 2009 at 3:06 am
It never seems to amaze me how much beauty can be created using html, css, photoshop and java.
August 28th, 2009 at 6:32 am
very nice, head over to my site and see if you like my navigation!
I’m colour blind, so tried to be as colourful as possible.
August 28th, 2009 at 9:10 am
Big type, big menus – everything on the web is getting bigger, whatever next!
Still it appears it can look good at least.
August 28th, 2009 at 1:42 pm
wow, take a look at Jason Dorn’s, now that’s simple and awesome. The background seems a little busy, but it really pops out.
August 28th, 2009 at 2:17 pm
Beautiful set of menus
crazywabbitAugust 28th, 2009 at 2:59 pm
I agree everything is getting bigger, I am running at 1680 and still have to scroll. Are they mostly designed for the blind? Still some nice work.
August 28th, 2009 at 6:35 pm
what about our menu? ;-)
August 28th, 2009 at 11:59 pm
lots of strong work. one thought – when you push the nav design? push the language, too. some fresh wording is out there…but the old and familiar (“news,” “contact us”) seems like it pulls the powerful designs down a bit.
August 29th, 2009 at 2:19 am
I like #2 and #11 – they both have a little more fun and whimsy than the others, yet are still clean and professional. Great work!
Cathy at WebSavvyPR referred me to you… glad she did!
August 29th, 2009 at 7:12 am
That’s the great collection… i love apple menu …you should include that as well
August 29th, 2009 at 11:40 am
These are all beautiful examples … however … the creative aesthetic and completely appealing presentation of beautiful text has one drawback (and perhaps one may blame the lagging web standards and search tech for this problem):
One of the no-no’s of web design in the 90′s was locking up text in graphics – i.e. making important key-words and search phrases unavailable to search engines by locking the text into a graphic. Search engines don’t have eyes the argument went, and it is as true today as it was back then.
Web site titles, sub-headings and navigation text are all important components of effective SEO, just as important as well written, authentic and useful content. One may make the mistake of thinking that “alt” text will do the trick, alas, this alternative is not nearly as effective as using the straight old boring fonts verdana, arial, etc. (you get the picture) text on titles, headers and navigation. This brings us to the limitations set on designers/developers forced to use these ancient and completely stale fonts:
CSS is making advances in font presentation, yes. But the old wars between the browsers (IE is particularly guilty here) are preventing creative designers from using the available standards to full effect (infuriating isn’t it?). Perhaps HTML5 will hail a new era of true advancement in this old battle, one can only hope.
At present designers, developers and SEO specialists have to make sacrifices in favor of either: usability, optimal search or aesthetics. Current web standards and search won’t allow for an all-round great solution to this problem, yet. Maybe by 2050? Who knows.
August 29th, 2009 at 2:52 pm
Really great stuff….here…inspiring!!
August 29th, 2009 at 3:24 pm
I prefer a much more subdued menu, but not to the point where it is invisible. Between the navigation bar and my pages tab featured on the sidebar, I hope that the combination makes it easy for my visitors to get around.
August 30th, 2009 at 5:47 am
thanks for sharing, its just 30 or actually you have much more.:)
September 1st, 2009 at 1:15 pm
#30 is beautiful work
September 3rd, 2009 at 7:45 am
Agree with the comment from Anne.
There is an important factor here though, it’s making the sites more usable with clearer/bigger calls to action which can only be a good thing.
September 4th, 2009 at 6:54 am
i like nr.2 and nr.6
September 6th, 2009 at 6:12 am
I think Tutorial9 has the best design of all these. Great work!
September 10th, 2009 at 3:18 am
what a great post.thanks for sharing with us.pram from Indonesia say Hello There!may the best come with you always
JenniferSeptember 12th, 2009 at 12:59 pm
Thanks for sharing! My favourites are:
29 – Water’s Edge Media: I love the creative way he breaks out of the “tab” metaphor. I just think if the birds were the same red as the links, it would be even cooler!
16 – Loodo: Again, I love the way they broke out of the tab metaphor, and adopted a curving game board. Very cool and creative.
8 – DFW Usability Professionals: Simple, friendly icons convey the message of usability well!
September 16th, 2009 at 3:14 am
Coda is my favourite. Jiri Tvrdek my neighbour :-) Thank you for the list…
October 22nd, 2009 at 3:48 am
Some great navigations designed here, very impressive collection. Some of these designs are very sleek and business like and others like the Loodo design are more arty and look like more fun to design, I think it shows in the design. Obviously those kind of designs don’t suit every client though.
November 1st, 2009 at 8:12 pm
Thanks for the collection. I am currently working on a web design project and I needed inspiration for navigation bars. I think my search for beautiful navigation bars ends here :)
November 17th, 2009 at 12:37 am
i like mac rabbit , its minimal but its pleasing to the eyes, thanks for the great post
November 21st, 2009 at 1:52 pm
Thanks for the great info, Hope to use it soon, Thanks again
December 10th, 2009 at 2:09 am
Inspiring collection! Thanks for that…
Gotta love big buttons.
Huge fan of the cosmic soda.
January 28th, 2010 at 3:59 am
Great compilation! I got an idea now for my new websites! thanks!
March 3rd, 2010 at 4:52 pm
the dragon interface is really nice. thanks for sharing your collection.
March 17th, 2010 at 6:33 pm
amazing compilation…its inspirational
March 17th, 2010 at 6:35 pm
thanks for great information..keep up the good work
March 25th, 2010 at 11:38 am
very inspirational stuff
March 25th, 2010 at 11:39 am
amazing collection….thanks for sharing
May 16th, 2010 at 11:09 am
looks very cool and interesting thanks
TahaMay 18th, 2010 at 4:21 am
very impressive list but mostly form portfolio sites. I do’nt think I can use these full of icon navigation in professional sites.
June 13th, 2010 at 9:01 am
August 2nd, 2010 at 10:29 am
Great selection. CODA and Clearleft are particular favourites…
September 18th, 2010 at 3:44 am
Wonderful collection.Thanks for sharing.
January 2nd, 2011 at 12:22 pm
The website menus are awesome….thanks for sharing..
suhasSeptember 21st, 2011 at 2:58 am
i liked # 7, # 15 and # 22 are very beautiful websites designs..
i have fond one with changing background images .. have a look at http://www.horusintuit.com its nice ..
April 20th, 2012 at 8:14 am
You should take part in a contest personally of the greatest blogs on the web. I’ll recommend this site!
May 10th, 2012 at 9:01 am
Some stunning ideas. I’m still looking at my website and thinking how I can just spice up my menus without overdoing it. It’s always difficult when you’re doing something for yourself compared to a client. Guys any ideas please. Have alook at my site and see if you can help me with something nice and creative. http://www.ubuntuonline.co.za
Also are any of you using artisteer? Nice to have but the menus are very limited there.
September 5th, 2012 at 8:11 am
Wow really thanks, great collection, I used one of your tip for a site I was building.
September 22nd, 2012 at 5:18 am
Great Menu options available here, Nice!
Thanks a lot for all these options! Keep up the good work
October 25th, 2012 at 12:28 pm
Great collection. Thanks for the inspiration.
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