As we approach our first winter holiday season since the pandemic set in, the world could feel like a very scary place; there is a great deal of uncertainty about the future for businesses, for young people in education, for jobs, for travel. Celebrations are certainly going to be a lot quieter this year.

And yet, the web is far from showing doom and gloom. We’re seeing confidence and positivity in designs across the board. As businesses and people adapt to the demands of social distancing and WFH, we’re seeing a focus on simplifying, appreciating quality over quantity, taking better care of ourselves and our world, and making the most of our time. And this is reflected through design in a variety of ways: visually minimal style, pared down content, fresh colors, statement type, great photography, illustration.

There is confidence in abundance on the web. Enjoy…

 

Mammut Expedition Baikal

Mammut make outdoor clothing and equipment, and this microsite is for its Eiger Extreme collection. Stunning photographs of Swiss speed climber Dani Arnold climbing at Lake Baikal in Siberia are cleverly interspersed with details of the company’s products he can be seen wearing, along with links to buy. It feels natural, rather than forced.

 

Wavering Stripes

This a beautifully made site highlighting the experiences of people held in immigration detention centers in the US. The illustrations belie the grimness of the stories told — on the landing page there is a warning as to the nature of the content.

 

Juan Mora

Proof that holding pages don’t have to be boring, this ‘under construction’ site for interface designer Juan Mora is a far cry from the warning-barrier and stick-figures-at-work gifs of the web’s early days.

 

Cafecrema

Cafecrema’s simple, one page site creates the atmosphere of 1950s coffee shops through its illustration style, a jazz soundtrack, and a very mid-century modern color palette.

 

A N Other

Perfume brand A. N Other prioritises quality ingredients and materials, simplicity, craftsmanship, and the environment. Its website captures this perfectly, and invokes a sense of luxury as the result.

 

Puddle Sound

Puddle is an architectural and interior design company, who also do product and furniture design. For a Tokyo hotel project they created a vacuum tube amplifier, that is the subject of this site. It is as simple as can be with only the barest essential information, and with all attention focused on the product shots.

 

Hous

Hous Luxe Woningen are a Dutch company who build luxury homes. The high quality images, muted color scheme and generous use of white space in its website reflects this sense of luxury perfectly.

 

Who Cares?

Who Cares? is an interactive game designed to raise public awareness of endangered animal species. The illustration style is very pleasing, and there are some lovely little details in the animation and sound.

 

Ugly

This site for sparkling water company Ugly, uses bold, cartoonish typography and illustrated characters to add a lot of character to, well, water.

 

Glyphs

Glyphs font editor version 3 was released on 16th November. The accompanying site has a fresh feel, mainly due to its striking color scheme. The on scroll animation showcasing variable fonts is a nice touch.

 

Ruler Agency

Ruler Digital Agency uses color only in the images of work on its own site. Everything else is grayscale, even the images, which can be a really effective technique when it is used well, as it is here.

 

Zoë Pepper

Zoë Pepper is a collective of freelance brand strategists who work with early stage startups. The site is minimal without feeling empty, and utilises quirky illustration and scrolling animation to good effect.

 

Karst

Karst make notebooks using paper made from stone, and woodless pencils. Its site has a simple, clean feel with a muted, neutral color scheme that complements the colors of its notebook covers.

 

London Alley

London Alley is a production company who concentrate on music videos and advertising. Its site is simple and striking with plenty of video, and effective use of split screen.

 

LoveSeen

LoveSeen makes false eyelashes, and nothing else. The site has a fun, inclusive feel — more girl(and boy)friends together than glossy, high fashion magazine. It’s appealing and persuasive.

 

Chartogne-Taillet

This site for wine-growers Chartogne-Taillet uses illustration and an animated, ‘hand’ drawn map to create a sense of heritage, appropriate for a family with a long history of making wine in the Champagne region. It is reminiscent of a label on a good bottle of wine.

 

Refusi Studio

Refusi Studio is a design agency from Italy. This portfolio site is simple, with strong colors and big, statement typography. And a giant cartoon eye.

 

Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow

Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow is an interactive project from the National Film Board of Canada. It uses tweets to trace emotional ‘waves’ throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

Boost

Boost is a gummy (chew) vitamin supplement for the immune system. Big type, big graphics and lots of orange and purple — the colors associated with vitamin C and antioxidants — make vitamins cool.

 

Philiber

Philiber is a meal delivery subscription service, available in urban centers in Quebec. The site is clean and modern, with a comforting color scheme and a nice mix of photography and flat style illustrations.

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