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Top 10 Plan View Web Designs

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Web Trends: Plan View Web Design

As we know, big, large imagery is always popular in today’s web design. With larger monitors, higher resolution tablets and even iPhones we can see more detail and, well… more! A recent trend to gain popularity over the past year or so is something referred to as, “horizontal projection”, “web tableau” or  “plan view”. For this article we’ll call it “Plan View”, but no matter what you call it, incorporating this kind of visual into your website design is very cool.

What is plan view in the context of a web trend? It’s a specific photographic technique used to create an arrangement of objects or scene. The visual is illustrated or photographed, first-person perspective, typically directly above- a bird’s eye view or sometimes at an angle. It is usually of a familiar sight, just at a more creative angle or hovering above something ordinary (see tip #3 in our web photography post)- a desktop with the usual objects arranged in an organized way, or a kitchen counter with ingredients and tools. These images ultimately become the “hero” visual of a webpage for instructional illustration or just eye-candy fun. Creative typography is often set on top of the image, working around the objects as if they are on the same plane. Sometimes the objects are arranged geometrically- fitting together like a puzzle, with purpose. Other times  the plan view is taken to look like a moment in time captured- off the cuff, a refreshing, candid image. These scenes or arrangements are meant to tell a story about the product(s) or service(s) displayed and often organized, taxonomic manner.

This Plan View web design trend is popular because it places the viewer in another’s shoes, seeing that individual’s perspective, something organized, often colorful and still has a touch of whimsey. This is an image of the photographer or designer’s view, their mind at work. We have seen this plan view web design technique pop up in many places, so we wanted to showcase our favorite websites using it- and very well in our opinion. We’d love an excuse to design a website around this trend. Who’s in!?

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1) Mijlo – We love the concept this company created to push their backpack kickstarter project. Most of these arrangements are very geometric but a few break out to a little more fluid layout… both approaches work beautifully.

2) Groovemade – This website plan arrangement allows the photography to stretch full screen and the colors are subdued enough that the type can sit on top nicely.

3) Sweet Robot – This website has been re-pinned countless times off our Pinterest Web Design + Interface board. It’s no wonder… the neat and tidy plan view and beautiful color palette attracts everyone’s attention.

4) Amy Merrick – A flowing, organic and simply beautiful plan view photograph used for her website landing page.

5) Gnosh – A great example of working the type around the imagery. Love the painted words!

6) Handy Test – Big fan of old tools, and look at that cat! Random fun.

7) WootenNot all of the imagery uses plan view but there is a great first person perspective helping tell the an intimate story about the product and it’s maker.

8) Eva Black – Minimal almost vignette views of this trend, used in just the right amount.

9) Munchery – Organized plan view presentation of finished plates- simple, basic foods. No doubt very delicious… I’m hungry.

10) Doris – Lots of first person perspective to help the viewer comprehend the workspace issues this company helps solve.

Here’s a plan view pic (slight angle) of my desk area in the office… a view I see pretty much every day….

SlickFish Studios is a small, creative website design and development company located down by the water in the historic Old Port of Portland, Maine. SlickFish specializes in inspired custom websites, animation & logo design. For more stuff like this check out our blog. If you'd like to see some of our professional work please visit our portfolio. Also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and let's connect on LinkedIn.