With first impressions — you only have one shot to get it right.
For websites, this holds true. Your website is the gateway to your product, service, or project, and a good website header design is a great way to ensure you leave a positive first impression.
But what if you want to go one step further? A by-product of the rise of templated website layouts is oversaturated designs — the average web surfer has already seen thousands of versions of the same headers over and over again. Beyond creating something that communicates your mission and offerings, it’s important that your website stands out. That’s why wowing your visitors with a unique, creative website header design is key to crafting a memorable and impactful website experience.
Now, let’s explore what makes for a good website header design, explore some examples, and get inspiration for your next project.
What makes a good website header design?
First and foremost, a good website header design needs to convey the purpose of the website. There’s more to it than just featuring the name of your product or service. It needs to communicate — through the visual elements it incorporates — the overall identity of the person, product, or service.
If you’re an animator creating a website to share some of your fun, quirky character designs, for example, it would feel a little odd to have a super-serious header with a muted color palette and dull fonts. It would clash with both the work you’re advertising and (probably) your own personality.
In short — a good website header design accurately reflects your brand and identity. After you accomplish this, everything else is fair play. There is no set parameter for how large your header should be, or even what should be on it. Whether it’s a fixed sticky header, involves parallax scrolling, or involves a call-to-action, template or original design, these are all variables that can be played with.
Creative website header design examples
If you’re looking for inspiration for your own website, look no further. We’ve compiled a list of some interesting, creative, and downright cool website header designs from a wide variety of approaches,
Sabina Van Gils is a copywriter and editor from the Netherlands. Her personal site, “Sabina met een A” or “Sabina with an A” starts off with a simple animated header that illustrates the actions of editing, highlighting, and circling elements of her website title.
This is a great example of how an animated header, even in its simplicity, can be used to convey the product or service being offered, as well as the personality of the human behind it all. With a quick animation, Sabina gives her site a ton of personality, and more importantly shines a light on her purpose and who she is.
A great way to take your header design up a notch is to use a video — and this cloneable from Timothy Ricks is one of the most creative ways we’ve seen motion used.
With this project, users can hover their mouse pointer over each of the different sections and open up a brief accompanying video. The seamlessness of the transition and interactive elements give this website header design a sophisticated and modern feel.
To get started on using this cloneable for your own project in Webflow, click here.
The Light Factory website by Joseph Berry and Andrea Jelic was built to advertise their eponymous video production house. Instead of the brief glimpses of video that we saw with Timothy Ricks’ GSAP FLIP Column Hovers, Light Factory incorporates a full sizzle reel in the header of the website — a great way to catch the attention of visitors.
Using large video can often make your website seem cluttered, or even confusing. With a clear visual hierarchy, a discreet call-to-action (CTA), and a hamburger menu that provides easy access to key areas of the website, Light Factory’s header design manages to avoid feeling overwhelming or disorganized.
Stephen Bell’s site kicks off with a static image that occupies the full width of the site, featuring Stephen’s name in large bold letters with a simple and subtle animation on the header text.
Our favorite part of Stephen’s header is how he breaks it up into two sections: an introductory image or “splash page” that serves as the first impression for visitors, and a sticky header that displays links and remains fixed at the top of the page as the visitor scrolls through the website. Stephen’s approach is a great way to emphasize usability and function without sacrificing personality.
When it comes to creating a website header with personality and fun, the folks at Shuuga sure know how to dazzle. This creative header design involves animation, parallax scrolling, and interactivity, with the product being put front and center for the world to see.
Their site strikes the perfect balance between well-executed header design and brand representation. Shuuga is a company that makes vegan candy, so their homepage design is deliberately fun. A similar header wouldn’t work if the website was advertising a law firm, for example. The product or service being showcased should inform the header and overall site design.
An interactive header like this is a great way to keep visitors engaged and entertained. Additionally, the custom cursor is a nice touch that brings the design to the next level.
The website for Studiopresto, a web design company specializing in brand identity projects, is another example of how interactive elements can be leveraged to make a strong impression and provide a seamless and engaging user experience.
At the top of the header the design shows images of three people, each of which has its own animation that can be triggered by hovering the cursor over them. These animations are each accompanied by their own hidden popup that links to the relevant page.
This clever use of static and animated elements and parallax scrolling give this website a highly interactive feel, all while providing a comfortable navigation experience for the user.
There’s a risk involving many interactive elements and large header size. But by keeping a clean and open design and being smart about element deployment, you can dazzle your visitors with your landing page while remaining useful as an information hub.
Simple and aesthetically pleasing is the name of the game for this website for design studio Coming Up Roses. It uses a clean, uncluttered design that emphasizes ease of use and great UX.
The header is split into two navigational elements: a mission statement accompanied by the company logo and a few CTAs that invite the user to explore further. Additionally, visitors can find a static hamburger menu on the left corner that links to various sections and social media.
Dividing headers this way ensures that you are effectively presenting your business while also providing your visitor with all the information they may need.
If you want to grab the user’s attention with a great header — take a few notes from the excellent Poolbar Festival website. As soon as you enter the page, you’re immediately struck by wacky animations along with a comprehensive list of navigation options in the scrolling header at the top of the page. This is a great example of the power of a well-executed dual header.
The header’s design, as well as the fact that it has a subtle bit of interactive functionality, effectively presents the irreverence and fun of a music festival.
Sometimes what you really need is to make a splash, and the design for Cultivate Food’s site does just that. The header uses a large piece of artwork with typography over it and a subtle parallax scrolling effect to provide more dynamism. On the left side, there is a fixed link to the initiative’s social media profile.
This header is simple and straightforward, but also gorgeous and impressive — proof that there’s no single “correct” approach to your website header.
If you’re a company that makes a product that is highly visual, such as this inflatable 3D alphabet, it’s important to put the product front and center.
With a simple CTA button on the top for users to download the typography and just a touch of interactivity (the “inflatable” letters bounce up when the mouse hovers above them), this website header design fits perfectly for its purpose.
11. Nicolas Hercent
When building a portfolio website, it’s important to show off as much of their work to visitors as possible. And since most visitors will spend only a limited amount of time on your website, you’ll need to make those moments count.
Nicolas Hercent’s site header is a great example of this — it displays a wide array of his works in a way that remains visually interesting and attractive. At the top, a well-placed nav bar guides users to the other parts of his site.
12. Sous Amsterdam
Sous Amsterdam’s header features a friendly greeting followed by a cascading picture gallery.
The static header text, along with the differing scrolling speeds of the images, creates an elegant tumble of visually pleasing pictures. Aside from that, there is a sticky header at the top that provides easy access to essential sections such as the menu and the link to making a reservation.
Start building your own website today
Whether you’re advertising your product, business, ecommerce website, creative project, or even yourself, your website header is your introduction to the world. It should accurately reflect the nature of your project, and it should do it in a way that stands out from the crowd.
We hope these examples of creative website headers gave you some inspiration. If you’re looking for more, check out some of the other great sites on Made in Webflow.