Up until now I thought new creative design on the Internet had all but come to a stop. I was thinking this when I walked up to the counter to pay for this month How Magazine’s Interactive Annual.

It seems like its been forever since anything really cool and new came along. I have many annuals, journals, and links to articles that all but announce a marriage to sites like Williams & Sonoma and Apple — the list goes on and on. These sites winning constantly winning awards in Laker’s three-peat fashion.

While this works for professional sports, I was starting to think that now one was ever going to spend the time and money it took to create new annual-spotlight material.

I was wrong, and glad for it.

Among my favorite designs from those featured in the 2002 How Interactive Annual:

Within These Walls — I love the muted color palette used for this site as well as the layout. Any time a design features small boxes of detail that change with the browsing journey, it is a big plus in my book.

San Jose Hotel — Another site featuring lots of detail (in little boxes) that helps present the eclectic feeling of the hotel. I also like the photography used to showcase the features of the hotel, think Dwell Magazine vs. Travel + Leisure.

Sleeping Giants — This work has an unfamiliar Americana feeling with the replacement of red, white, and blue with a muted color palate that is reminiscent of a 1950’s Betty Crocker Cookbook. I also like the type choices for the site which helps give the site a feel of nostalgia.

Take a look when you get a chance. I can’t wait to see what made it into the Communication Arts Interactive Annual. Hopefully they will have found other unique works to admire.