One of the first things to do when planning out a new website is to work out all of the content that will be in the site. You then divide that up into sections and then into various levels of navigation.

The result is a boring list of links.

That list of links is one of the most important part of your website though, it goes without saying that every visitor to the site will be using them to get around.

In this post we’ve pulled together some of the best designed navigation bars (both horizontal and vertical) to help give you ideas to enhance your own.

Horizontal Menus

1. Fabric London

A beautiful minimalist menu with fast colors and a compact design.

FabricLondon

2. Nopoko Graphics

Sleek looking tabs with drop shadow and a beautiful background pattern.

NopokoGraphics

3. Culture Code

iPhone style menu for an Iphone app.

CultureCode

4. Box Wish

Simple, compact and sleek.

Boxwish

5. Mac Rabbit

Light colors and creative symbols make this menu stand out from the crowd.

MacRabbit

6. Kyan Media

Solid colors and simple MouseOver effects make this menu pretty.

KyanMedia

7. Loodo

A nice multi-colored menu. The tiny green car indicates the current page.

Loodo

8. Firestone Live

A beautiful black and white themed menu with block fonts.

FirestoneLive

9. Matt Maxwell Design

A simple menu with beautiful contrasting colors.

MattMaxwellDesign

10. Cognigen

Another simple, light-colored design with unique tabs.

Cognigen

11. Black Book Mag:

A black-and-white menu with a transparent effect.

BlackBookMag

12. Agachi

A simple multi-line menu with soft blue colors.

Agachi

13. App Storm

A classy example of a minimalist multi-line menu.

AppStorm

14. Built By Buffalo

Wide tabs and simple fonts give this menu a pretty sophisticated look.

BuiltByBuffalo

15. Clear Left

Another multi-line menu with a great color scheme.

ClearLeft

16. Fashion Photography

A truly dynamic menu. A thumbnail pops up every time you hover on a menu item.

FasionPhotography

17. Mia and Maggie

A cool multi-line menu with the traditional underline effect.

MiaAndMaggie

18. Michael Austin

Wide tabs and simple colors.

MichaelAustinProductions

19. Mint

Another wide-tabbed menu with a transparent effect.

Mint

20. Rockatee

Refreshing use of numbers with each menu item.

Rockatee

21.Ronny Pries

Chalk-on-blackboard effect makes the menu casual yet creative.

RonnyPries

22. Royal Caribbean

Another great menu with elegant fonts and nice contrasting colors.

RoyalCarribean

23. Small Stone

A really creative and unique menu for a DJ.

SmallStone

24. Sohtanaka

Pretty colors, elegant fonts and light effects.

Sohtanaka

25. The Resume Girl

Another creative menu with a nice casual look.

TheResumeGirl

26. Sky Larkin

Each item in the menu is of a different color when you mouse over it. Really creative and fun.

WeareSkylarkin

27. Web Designer Wall

Another casual sticky-note style menu.

WebDesignerWll

Vertical Designs:

28. Surfstation

One of the most elegant menus. Nice use of bullets in a minimalist design.

SurfStation

29. Alex Cohaniuc

An expandable vertical menu with lots of colors.

AlexCohaniuc

30. Carbonica

A casual arrow and a circle indicates the current page. The casual font also adds to the beauty of this menu.

-Carbonia

31. District Solutions

Every item in this vertical menu turns a different color when you mouse over it.

DistrictSolutions

32. IipVapi

A black-and-white vertical menu in the shape of a post card.

IipVapi

33. Intereactive

An elegant, multi-line vertical menu.

Interactive

34. Power To The Poster

Sophisticated fonts and a transparent effect make this menu stand out.

-PowerToThePoster

35. Jeff Sarmiento

A colorful menu with extra large fonts and symbols.

-JeffSarmiento

36. McAllan Ridge

Another multi-line menu with a nice textured background.

McAllanRidge

37. Nando Designer

A casual menu with a notebook effect.

NandoDesigner

38. Pixel Media

Simple and elegant.

-PixelMedia

39. Nick Ad

A highly dynamic menu with great effects and contrasting colors.

NickAd

40. Nocturnal Miami

Another vertical menu with a transparent effect.

NocturnalMiami

Your Favorite Menus

Every site on the internet has its own menu, which means it’s simply impossible for us to even come close to finding all of the amazing menu designs out there.

What sites have you visited with a menu so nicely done, that you actually paused to look at it?

Enjoy this post? You should follow me on Twitter!