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:

1. Pixel Resort

2. Tap Tap Tap

3. Tutorial9

big menu example

4. Checkout App

big menu example

5. Clearleft

big menu example

6. Cosmic Soda

big menu example

7. Cultured Code

big menu example

8. DFW Usability Professionals

big menu example

9. Digital Artifex

big menu example

10. Dragon Interactive

big menu example

11. Ecosimply

big menu example

12. Explovent

big menu example

13. ExpressionEngine

big menu example

14. Icon Designer

big menu example

15. Jason Dorn

big menu example

16. Loodo

17. MacRabbit

big menu example

18. Mason Hipp

big menu example

19. Nitram + Nuca

big menu example

20. Nopoko Graphics

big menu example

21. OKB Interactive

big menu example

22. Panic Coda

big menu example

23. 30elm.com

big menu example

24. Rawnet

big menu example

25. South Creative

big menu example

26. Apple Reviews

big menu example

27. Fluxiom

big menu example

28. Worship Leader Insights

big menu example

29. Water’s Edge Media

big menu example

30. Jiri Tvrdek

big menu example


More Web Design Resources from FreelanceFolder

If you liked this list of beautiful headlines, you might also enjoy these other web design posts from FreelanceFolder:

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?


  1. says

    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

  2. says

    @Steve — I’ll second that, #5 is very pretty.

    I’d have to say my favorites are #7 and #13, though, there’s just something about beautiful icons that catches me (maybe because I can’t seem to make them myself).

  3. says

    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.

  4. crazywabbit says

    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.

  5. says

    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.

  6. says

    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!

  7. says

    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.

  8. says

    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.

  9. says

    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.

  10. Jennifer says

    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!

  11. says

    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.

  12. says

    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 :)

  13. Taha says

    very impressive list but mostly form portfolio sites. I do’nt think I can use these full of icon navigation in professional sites.

  14. says

    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.


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