25 Beautiful & Inspiring Navigation Menus

By / Apr 4, 2011 / Inspiration
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The importance of a website’s navigation shouldn’t be overlooked. After all, without it, one wouldn’t make it much further than the home page. That’s why designers spend extra effort coming up with ways to make the navigation menu not only look great, but also easy to use. For your Monday inspiration, we’ve rounded up 25 examples of beautiful and inspiring navigation menus.

Beautiful Type

Also some nice colors and type here. Social menu on the header and everything else on the left side.

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Drupalcon Denver

Single page layout with footer navigation menus that will take you around.

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CXXVI

Browse around using the header menu or the image slider, really nice and clean.

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Unfold

Another beautiful single page layout with a nice and smooth header navigation menu to take you around.

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Tinkering Monkey

Beautiful layout! Nice and clean menu, colors and typography.

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Shout

Nice colorful layout with a basic straightforward menu. Also a nice typography choice.

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Sellected Studio

Really beautiful layout and navigation. Color combination and typography are really elegant.

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Webvisionary Awards

A strong and cool single page layout. You can scroll around or use the header nav menu.

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David Desandro

Nice layout based on shapes and typography. Header menu using pure typography and hover effects.

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TEDxPortland

Another nice single page layout with footer navigation menus that will take you around.

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Bluecadet Interactive

Beautiful and elegant layout with nice navigation menu that ‘frame up’ when you hover it.

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anCnoc

Clean layout based on typography and beautiful images. Header and footer menus to help your navigation.

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Lounge

Delicate single page design with typographic header menus.

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Gene’s Sausage Shop

Beautiful typography and style on the navigation menu, and it actually looks like a real menu. ;)

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Luke Dorny

Nice layout, colors, typography and menus. I also really liked the blurred effect when you load the page, check it out.

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Visual Republic

Elegant single page design with a side menu that follow you where you go and help you navigate the site.

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Wigolia

Beautiful layout. Elegant choice of colors and typography. Smooth navigation menu with a fade hover effect.

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Facio Design

Beautiful layout and colors. Nice framed menu with hover effects.

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Collaborative Fund

Another nice single page layout with smooth navigation menus.

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The Coastal Cupboard

Nice layout, colors, type and images. Elegant and simple navigation menu with hover effects.

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Ferocious

Header menu based on typography and shapes.

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Scribble & Tweak

Super beautiful single page layout with smooth and clean menus.

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Don’t Throw Batteries

Big and simple – a good combination for an effective nav.

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Nordkapp

Yes, another single page layout with smooth navigation. ;)

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Interlink Conference

Nice colors, type and menus.

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Source:

The Best Designs
Unmatched Style

About the Author

Gisele Muller loves communication, technology, web, design, movies, gastronomy and creativity. Web writer, portuguese/english translator and co founder of @refilmagem & @mentaway Twitter: @gismullr

16 Comments

  1. deon
    April 4, 2011

    Well, they are good examples but none of them are ‘inspiring’.

    Reply
  2. Bill Bone
    April 4, 2011

    Great stuff, thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  3. Kevin
    April 4, 2011

    Very nice examples, I especially lijke ‘Visual Republic’. Thanks

    Reply
  4. Jeff Wagner
    April 4, 2011

    Some very creative ways to display your website’s navigation. I think the web’s come a long way since using just static text to move around one’s site.

    Well done everyone.

    Reply
  5. BroC
    April 4, 2011

    Lots of great examples, as usual, thank you.

    Personally though, I’ve never been keen on using multiple typefaces on a page (eg Gene’s Sausage Shop), but each to their own :)

    Reply
  6. Jocelyn
    April 4, 2011

    Awesome list site with awesome navigation menu, I like “Nordkapp”…

    Reply
  7. Tim
    April 4, 2011

    Some of these are really nice. Then there are things like Wigolia. The layout is nothing new and while the colors are nice, I am surprised that this is a design company. Look at the logo. The kerning is all over the place – between the w and i and around the o. You can’t even tell what that icon is to the right of the logo. I realize this post concerns navigation, but being a designer myself, it’s hard not to notice stuff like that.
    And the Webvisionary Awards site has some terrible illustration going on, not to mention being a MASSIVE layout.
    The Bluecadet site is very nice.

    Reply
  8. Erik
    April 4, 2011

    Great inspirational article, I especially love the Ferocious example. Very creative and best yet flows left to right as a horizontal navigation.

    Reply
  9. GBaniya
    April 5, 2011

    great collection.. love em.

    Reply
  10. ddeja
    April 5, 2011

    Overall excellent collection! GratZ. Although I have some problems with few…

    1. tedxportland – you wrote that there is some footer navi. Didn’t see any. Something missing?
    2. tinkeringmonkey – the navigation is quite nice. The problem is that there’s no active sections… I think that kind of thing is basic issue.
    3. cxxvi – I don’t know but for me that navi font is just baaad… I have it, but maybe it’s just me.
    4. ancnoc – why make 2 fixed navi sections? The one of the footer does the trick.
    5. nordkapp – the idea is just great but… why for the first two sections this option is missing? Secondly the posiotioning of this navi in some sections could be better. My opinion is – If you’re doing something great make it look good:)

    Cheers.

    Reply
  11. Jason
    April 8, 2011

    Though these are examples of basic, no frills navigation menus, they are anything but inspiring. In fact, the only way these could be considered inspiring is if you were looking for the most minimal and standard navigation format you could get, or possibly if you had no content (like some of these sites). Are these all friends of yours that needed hits or am I missing something?

    Reply
  12. GIVISION | Jiri Mocicka
    April 11, 2011

    Really nice article
    Thanks

    Reply
  13. Kian Ann
    April 13, 2011

    Nice! I like the sausage shop one! Must have spent quite some time designing it! Some of the others seem quite normal though.

    Reply
  14. Jatin
    April 18, 2011

    I am quite inspired with few of the designs, would be changing navigation for my website soon.

    Reply
  15. Jeffrey
    April 18, 2011

    I just came across http://www.optimumlightpath.com/. They seem to have a very nicely designed and functioning navigation. I like the colors and how the tab goes above the bar. I also like the use of images instead of just using all typical links and how you can find anything you want through the nav.

    Reply
  16. Gareth
    March 23, 2012

    Some very good examples. Thanks for sharing. I particularly like the Ferocious and Selected Studio examples. Do you think we’re starting to see more circular designs and navigation in 2012?

    Reply

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