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Showcase Of Web Design In Germany

Germany, which is situated in the heart of Europe and neighbors nine other countries, is not only the motherland of eminent philosophers, poets, composers, world-famous automobiles and great beer, but also a place where some of the most talented and highly ranked Web designers live.

You may be interested in the following related posts from our new series on global Web design:

German design is certainly worthy of respect and a delight to the eye of anyone who takes the time to observe it. For years, we have accumulated knowledge, upheld eternal principles of style, simplicity and accessibility, adopted best practices and kept up with the latest global trends. I’m proud to present here a showcase and discussion of world-class German Web design.

German Web Design - jung von matt7
German Web Design: jung von matt8

State Of Things Link

The creative industry in Germany is extremely competitive and consists of thousands of freelancers, studios and agencies. We have the pleasure here of presenting a brief interview with several German design gurus to lend some insight into the local design scene. As talented creative professionals, blog and book authors and freelancers, they are passionate about sharing their knowledge with others. Our participants are:

  • Prof. Fons Matthias Hickmann9, graphic designer, typographer, Professor of communication design at the University of the Arts Berlin, Director of Fons Hickmann m23 design studio, author of “Beyond Graphic Design” and “Touch Me There” books;
  • Mike John Otto10, founder and Creative Director of blackbeltmonkey design studio;
  • Kai Becker, Creative Director at Elephant Seven agency;
  • Christian Bartsch11, Associate Creative Director at Neue Digitale / Razorfish agency;
  • Dirk Ollmann12, freelance Creative Director;
  • Markus Angermeier13, design freelancer;
  • Björn Seibert14, Web designer, information architect, founder of the Webzeugkoffer blog, and author of the book “Professionelles Webdesign mit (X)HTML und CSS”;
  • Dirk Behlau15, graphic designer and photographer.

German Web Design - creative style agentur16
creative style agentur17

Question: Could you please describe the current state of the German design market. What is the life of a freelancer, developer or designer in Germany like? How much do designers earn?

Prof. Fons Matthias Hickmann: Working with interesting and open-minded people is not something you can take for granted. And earning money by doing what you love involves luck.

Mike John Otto: The current situation for good designers, developers and especially freelancers is surprisingly good. That strange year 2009 wasn’t as bad as many thought it would be, and there was a big demand for good creatives with experience to help realize projects at agencies. As many bigger agencies reduced their team sizes, freelancers were highly welcome, and I honestly think that shrinking in such a “crisis” always benefits the quality of creative projects, because people try harder to prove themselves with good work instead of just doing their job.

Kai Becker: I think 2009 has been a hard year for designers. Although we had a lot of work (compared to conventional advertising agencies), many clients cut their budgets, which often meant less time for the design process. I also missed jobs in which the design or idea played a leading role. Briefings were very conservative or half-hearted and often came with a very reduced budget. A screen designer earns around €2000 to 2800; from there on you’d be an Art Director. Most of them earn €2900 to 4000, but a few earn a bit higher. Freelance screen designers earn in the range of €150 to 250 per day, Freelance art directors get from €300 to 500. Because conventional agencies had to sack quite a few designers, a lot more freelancers have been available in 2009, and as far as I know they have had a hard time.

Armin Morbach in Showcase of Web Design in Germany18
Armin Morbach19

Christian Bartsch: I think we have the perfect market right now for small studios and freelancers. All the big agencies tried to build up knowledge of digital services in the past five years to be more integrated. Those that failed now have to to work with specialists and independent freelance networks to be competitive. Clients want their 360° communication, and you need professionals for that. A lot of these professionals, including myself, can be found on Design made in Germany20, a platform for German designers. Money-wise, I would say it is the same as everywhere else. If you are good, you’ll be booked.

Dirk Ollmann: The financial crisis had a strong impact on the freelance market. I know a lot of them were starving and sleeping under the bridges in Hamburg. Just joking. Life is not that bad, but agencies tried to manage all of their work with their own staff, and so hiring freelancers was a no-go for the last two years. Now the market is rising again, and the fact that agencies were very cautious and kept their staff counts low will now help freelancers. An art director can earn between €300 and 500 a day, depending on his skills, quality and speed.

Björn Seibert: Web designers and developers are working — surprise, surprise — as freelancers and employees. Freelancers work more on interdisciplinary projects and teams. The employees work in small specialized agencies, in bigger full-service agencies and large industry enterprises. I would guess the majority work for small to mid-sized businesses. But overall, I don’t think that this is particular to the German market.

Working as a Web designer or developer is rarely a 9:00 to 5:00 job. Your income depends of whether you work as a freelancer or employee. Secondly, it depends on whether you work for a small agency or large enterprise. It may also depend on education. Employees can earn from €35,000 up to 50,000 or even more. As a freelancer, it depends on your market, target groups and customers. As a freelancer, you can and should ask for an hourly rate of at least €50 and up.

German Web Design - sven kils - graphic studios21
sven kils – graphic studios22

Dirk Behlau: Hmm… I have been working as a freelance graphic designer and photographer for ten years now, and I have been lucky enough to develop Pixeleye Interactive (my business) from year to year. I mainly work for international lifestyle, car and custom-bike magazines and top brands. For example, I was in Mexico with the Finnish rock band Leningrad Cowboys in the fall of 2009; we will produce a photo book and DVD documentary together. All I mean to say with this example is that I am not sitting in my office every day from 9:00 to 5:00. I travel a lot, meet cool people and a lot of new things happen. So no day is like another, which keeps me motivated. How much do designers earn? That depends on how “established” you are in the business… I have all I want and can make a good living out of it.

Question: Are there any patterns of usability or rules of thumb that are typical of German design? Are the standards of Web design in Germany changing?

Prof. Fons Matthias Hickmann: Although the Web is completely different from print or anything else we thought we knew, you can still apply your principles and tastes to Web design. At the moment, almost anything is possible, and that makes it exciting.

Mike John Otto: Well historically, German design has always been really clear and straightforward. On the one hand, everything produced in Germany, including the design, is usually very precise and content-driven. On the other hand, I see a new trend of more experimental designs that try to break out of grids and usability patterns. As globalization hits every one of us, and with one click anyone can see what is highly rated in other countries, German designers are trying to develop something new, a new German design language, as happened on the German music scene before.

A new German aesthetic language that still hasn’t quite developed but will hopefully soon be as strong as the German music and art scene is today. The most creative areas in Germany currently are Berlin, Hamburg and the Frankfurt am Main area. A lot of smaller German design and digital studios pop up and do remarkable work far away from daily advertising work, even if the big networks still play a bigger role in the German creative scene than they do in, for example, the UK or Sweden.

{ths} in Showcase of Web Design in Germany23

Kai Becker: I wouldn’t say so. This is a difficult point, but I can’t see anything explicitly “German” in Web design from here. Standards are always changing, but I think that affects Web designers and developers worldwide.

Christian Bartsch: The design culture in Germany is still very young. With the rise of Berlin as one of the hot spots in Europe, German design has taken a big step. We had and still have a lot of influence from Spain and France. If we speak of Web design, Germany always has been competitive in the global market. You will find a lot of German projects on The FWA463725.

Dirk Ollmann: For me, as a creative director who has worked on a lot on big brands in the car and consumer goods industries, the financial crisis has had a huge effect on marketing strategy and the process and technology of the Web designer. It turns out that the short-term “return on investment” is more important than long-term brand building.

Today, analytics is the driving force in Germany. But what effect has this had on Web design? The trend is “back from Flash to HTML.” This is the technology that works best with Google’s search engine. Actually, the new BMW website design is based on HTML. Last year’s Web designers were expected to have a lot of skill in Flash and inventing new navigation concepts and visualizations. Now, we’re going back to the roots of Internet, keeping it very simple, do everything that Google wants and trying to sell the product with a few clicks. That’s it.

German Web Design - bellyshades26

Björn Seibert: First of all, I don’t think there should be a special rule set for a specific national market. We and others are working hard for a common understanding of Web standards, usability and accessibility around the world. There could be derivative or special requirements for special markets or target groups. But there is foremost a strong demand for international and widespread standards by which every designer and developer can build websites and applications of high quality and a high level of user experience.

Spurred by the Web standards movement in the US, and led by “General” Zeldman and his combatants, the Web standards movement accelerated very quickly in Germany as well. Many of us in Germany started thinking about those standards and proposed best practices. In 2005, Jens Grochtdreis28 founded the Webkrauts29. The Webkrauts are working hard on doing awareness training for Web standards and best practices in Web design and development. Their publications help to educate others and point to obstacles.

German Web Design - colibri - contactlinse & brille30
colibri – contactlinse & brille31

Question: How important is professional education in the design industry, and do you feel that the education available in Germany is adequate to develop world-class designers?

Prof. Fons Matthias Hickmann: Professional education is very important, and more open-minded and sensible young talents are out there than ever before. I am anxious for them to take over soon.

Mike John Otto: I truly believe that all world-class designers have an innate feel for design but have also learned and shaped their skills at art school and by working in agencies. So yes, a professional education is not only important but essential, and a few very good ones not only teach students creative and software techniques but open their eyes to art, design history, common trends and design rules as well as things like film, theater and marketing. Nowadays, design students who are looking for jobs have to know much more than they did a couple of years ago: about film, conceptual thinking, advertising rules, digital trends such as social media and online campaigns, to name just a few.

These so-called “digital natives” have a much wider range of techniques and hardware to mix into their daily work than I had when starting out in the business in 2000. This is a big opportunity and a big pain at the same time. Every good school has to prepare to students to meet this wide new range of market needs.

German Web Design - figurenschneider puppenbau norman schneider, bielefeld32
figurenschneider puppenbau norman schneider, bielefeld33

Kai Becker: For advertising agencies, your portfolio matters the most. I judge designers by the work they have done already, not if they have studied the right thing. And yet Burg Giebichenstein in Halle, Germany, is the place that develops world-class online designers. If you can make it there, you’ll make it anywhere.

Christian Bartsch: I think professional education shapes your style and keeps you focused. I experienced big differences in quality at German design schools. After four years, I transferred because I was unsatisfied with the conditions at my school. Design is evolving. Multi-touch and augmented reality offer new ways to approach content. Interfaces are becoming more and more complex. Some schools still think in paper.

Dirk Ollmann: Of course, a professional education is essential. It speeds up your talent. But learning your craft is only one aspect. You should also use your university or design school to meet people and network. World-class designers? Of course there is enough room for them in Germany. Have a look at the biggest multi-touch wall34 made by Sensory Minds!

MWP Online in Showcase of Web Design in Germany35
MWP Online36

Björn Seibert: This topic was the subject of my latest article for the German “Webstandards Magazin” (Issue 4/2009). And yes, I think there is a need for more professionalism in terms of education and orientation for job starters in the field of Web design and development. Indeed, we are seeing a bit of action with apprenticeship; people who study digital media and design have the opportunity to do some specialization. But so far, there is no special degree course or job training that fully concentrates on educating Web designers and developers. In my opinion, there is still a lot of work to do in offering more professional education and better safeguards to hopeful professionals — safeguard that would keep people from thinking that any Web design job could easily be done by their neighbor’s son.

Dirk Behlau: Nowadays, getting a good education is becoming more and more important for someone to be successful in the design field. There are a lot of good people out there. I started 15 years ago as a full auto-didact, developing my own style and look. Designers coming from university are often very impractical in normal “office life.” They may have learned how to use programs like Photoshop, but they don’t have the experience to be successful in their business. Self-marketing and self-promotion are very important, and these are not taught very well in universities.

Question: Where do you get inspiration from? How do you stay informed about the latest design trends? What books and magazines do you read?

Prof. Fons Matthias Hickmann: Like almost everybody I speak to about inspiration, I feel overwhelmed by the amount of information we process every day from the Web. A few websites are clever and thoughtful, giving insight into the creation and process of design, rather than just showing random pictures. Where do I get my inspiration from? From every form of culture. And from daily life. The Web now plays a part in both.

Mike John Otto: I get my inspiration from a mixture of influences: Hamburg and Berlin’s night scenes, youth culture and their dress and music codes, travelling, music magazines and my daily work with colleagues and students from my class. Of course, I check out design websites such as The FWA463725, High Floater38 and Digital Arts39, as well as magazines such as PAGE27940 and IdN5041, but I don’t get inspired by checking out other design work. True inspiration comes from fields such as music, theatre and story-telling. Sometimes new ideas are born of these influences, and sometimes one kind of recycles all of this stuff and creates something new from it.

German Web Design - visualorgasm news42

Dirk Ollmann: Before you design, you need an idea. I think this is the most difficult thing. A lot of designers use the Internet to try to come up with a unique idea, but that’s the last place to find it. I try to keep my eyes open for things that happen in real life… keep my eyes open and record. After a while, you have a database of ideas waiting for implementation. Stop working, get inspired! Ideas will come by doing something completely different. Try something! I use to pet my cat, kite-surf, play bass, etc. Nevertheless, there are some websites I check regularly: Behance44 for random searching (those are some cool guys from Eastern Europe); for style, The Cool Hunter45 is one of my favourite websites; and The FWA463725 for state-of-the-art Flash design.

Björn Seibert: A normal day starts with Google Reader and the Twitter timeline. These are my main sources of information for keeping up to date on Web design trends and issues. Actually, I’m subscribed to about 230 feeds, mostly covering design, Web design and development, usability and user experience topics. Further, I’m subscribed to some Posterous blogs. I love to discover small new unknown blogs with good and relevant copywriting. For me, inspiration is nothing you go out looking for. It starts with good content, smart insight into Web design issues and smart solutions to common problems. I read a lot of Web design-related books. Lately: Sexy Web Design, Designing with Web Standards, Integrierte Informationsarchitektur. At the moment, there is only one magazine I’m willing to pay for, the quarterly Webstandards Magazin.

German Web Design - iconwerk, custom icon design & pictogram design.47

Dirk Behlau: I travel a lot, meet new artists and exchange ideas with them. And I do read a lot of magazines and check websites, blogs, social network websites, etc. So, I do look everywhere, and I’m interested in a wide range of themes from movies, music, video games, travel, lifestyle, hot-rodding, custom culture, skateboarding, custom bikes, graffiti, tattoos, to name just a few. I do get a lot of magazines from around the world every month, covering everything from cars to tattoos to music. I love the Juxtapoz49 and IdN5041 magazines.

Question: Are there any other issues unique to German Web design? Do you see any remarkable differences in comparing it to creative industries worldwide?

Prof. Fons Matthias Hickmann: One obvious difference is the language. English is omnipresent on the Web, German is big as well. How should we deal with that? Is translation a good method, or an alternative? How will our culture change? What can we do as designers?

Mike John Otto: Not really. British, US and Swedish influences are big in Germany, and so the product is becoming more and more similar. A German design and Web design language is being formulated more and more but is still not strong enough. Most of the German work seen at award shows and in magazines is still mainstream from a handful of very well-known German agencies. Although German ads and design are winning more and more at award shows: Germany was in the top five in quite a few rankings this year. I hope a remarkable difference will show itself in German design sometime soon.

German Web Design - moargh51

Kai Becker: There may be slight differences between European, Asian and American Web design, but I would not say they are remarkable. Perhaps German Web design is typically straight, clean, simple and tidy. Kind of what you would expect from a German, wouldn’t you? :)

Christian Bartsch: Right now, Flash development is particularly good in Germany. Small studios such as blackbeltmonkeys53, Less Rain54 and Artificial Duck55 are pushing the limits.

Dirk Ollmann: Germans are often seen as “number crunchers” — that’s absolutely true. The big brands always want to know what the results will be before we do anything, and we try to avoid any mistakes. The result is that we miss a lot of opportunities that the Internet provides. But maybe this is a worldwide problem as well. Styles and trends? I hope German Web designers will kill glossy 3-D buttons, wet-floor shadows and those ’80s trend next year. Website design will evolve into big clear typography, short copy, only a few themes per page, big easy buttons and a lot of video content.

Making videos will become increasingly easy, and we’ll turn away from the high-end glossy advertising grease. Even big brands will host their videos on YouTube or Google Video to allow users to embed. “Sharing” will be the driving force of content and Web design in the coming years. The biggest task of brands will be to conquer social networks like Facebook, MySpace, etc. But most brands have no idea how to achieve this. For me, this is one of the most interesting fields in advertising today.

German Web Design - das leben ist wie eine schachtel pralinen56
das leben ist wie eine schachtel pralinen57

Björn Seibert: I generally have a more global point of view. But what must be emphasized is that a line of German Web design has emerged. There are a bunch of very talented Web designers, and the Web standards movement is upon us, in no small part thanks to the Webkrauts initiative. There is also a highly recommended Web-standards podcast Technikwürze58 that covers the latest Web design trends and features the best from the Web in Germany. But I think that sometimes we should be more self-confident and share with each other our thoughts about modern Web design and current issues.

Dirk Behlau: That’s difficult to answer because I work for international clients that demand my particular style. Sometimes I think European and American clients are more experimental.

What’s Going On In Germany? Link

Events Link

A number of design and tech-related events happen in Germany on regular basis. Some worth mentioning are Forum Mediendesign; Designers’ Open; webinale ; WebTech, DesignCamp (January 24-25, 2009 in Cologne). A famous international arts festival, “Illustrative,” was held this year in Berlin.

Awards Link

Among the most prestigious awards in the German design industry are the red dot design award, iF communication design award, Designpreis, Gute Gestaltung, Deutscher Multimedia Award (DMMA), BIENE-Award and LeadAward.

Showcase Of Web Design In Germany Link

In this showcase, we bring you a selection of the most inspiring and well-designed websites in Germany, either personal experimental or corporate.

friseur hamburg – rolf & bernd72

German Web Design - friseur hamburg - rolf & bernd73


Junopilot in Showcase of Web Design in Germany75

pisto – magazin über web und die welt76

German Web Design - pisto - magazin ?ber web und die welt77

erfolgreiche webseiten und marketing-kampagnen aus hamburg78

German Web Design - erfolgreiche webseiten und marketing-kampagnen aus hamburg79

Kaiserschnitt Hair-Styling80

Kaiserschnitt Hair-Styling in Showcase of Web Design in Germany81


German Web Design - bieh.de83

tanner + tailor84

German Web Design - tanner + tailor - eigene accessoires gestalten85

oliver twardowski, addicted to coffee86

German Web Design - oliver twardowski, addicted to coffee87

dinge geregelt kriegen – ohne einen funken selbstdisziplin88

German Web Design - dinge geregelt kriegen - ohne einen funken selbstdisziplin89

Michael Heinsen90

Michael Heinsen in Showcase of Web Design in Germany91


German Web Design - artcore-illustrations

flaek footwear92

German Web Design - flaek footwear93

Bianca Elmer94

German Web Design - postbank95

kinderspiele, malvorlagen, kindergeburtstag96

German Web Design - kinderspiele, malvorlagen, kindergeburtstag97

stefan velthuys – web & frontend-designer

German Web Design - stefan velthuys - web & frontend-designer

stilvolles webdesign, printdesign, illustration und animation98

German Web Design - stilvolles webdesign, printdesign, illustration und animation99

noel nieto – strassenfussballer

German Web Design - noel nieto - strassenfussballer

high quality writing instruments100

German Web Design - high quality writing instruments101

bauer konzept & gestaltung102

German Web Design - bauer konzept & gestaltung103

andreas mühe104

German Web Design - andreas m?he105

visionpixel mediendesign106

German Web Design - visionpixel mediendesign107


NerdFilms in Showcase of Web Design in Germany


Jägermeister in Showcase of Web Design in Germany109

J. Konrad Schmidt110

J. Konrad Schmidt in Showcase of Web Design in Germany111


Donate-a-meal in Showcase of Web Design in Germany113

Kubis Welt114

Kubis Welt in Showcase of Web Design in Germany115

Julius Brink & Jonas Reckermann116

Julius Brink & Jonas Reckermann in Showcase of Web Design in Germany117


Irrland in Showcase of Web Design in Germany119

Lukas Lindemann Rosinski120

Lukas Lindemann Rosinski in Showcase of Web Design in Germany121

Diet Riot122

Diet Riot in Showcase of Web Design in Germany123

The Lotus Eater124

The Lotus Eater in Showcase of Web Design in Germany125

Holsten Pilsener126

Holsten Pilsener in Showcase of Web Design in Germany127


Paulaner in Showcase of Web Design in Germany129

Allude Cashmere130

Allude Cashmere in Showcase of Web Design in Germany131

Ochs Schmidhuber132

Ochs Schmidhuber in Showcase of Web Design in Germany133

Arthur Schlovsky

Arthur Schlovsky in Showcase of Web Design in Germany

Marc Aurel134

Marc Aurel in Showcase of Web Design in Germany135

Carsten Mell

Carsten Mell in Showcase of Web Design in Germany


Michelbergerhotel in Showcase of Web Design in Germany137


Kubikfoto of Web Design in Germany139

Pritt World140

Pritt World in Showcase of Web Design in Germany141


Supergid in Showcase of Web Design in Germany143

Kiri Spass144

Kiri Spass in Showcase of Web Design in Germany145


Neubauladen in Showcase of Web Design in Germany147


Telemaz in Showcase of Web Design in Germany149


Designschneider in Showcase of Web Design in Germany151

Andreas Hinkel152

Andreas Hinkel in Showcase of Web Design in Germany153

Wendt & Kuehn154

Wendt & Kuehn in Showcase of Web Design in Germany155

Santamaria Tour

Santamaria Tour in Showcase of Web Design in Germany

Isabel Abedi156

Isabel Abedi in Showcase of Web Design in Germany157


Kultika in Showcase of Web Design in Germany159


Quintezzense in Showcase of Web Design in Germany

Wild Web Woods160

Wild Web Woods in Showcase of Web Design in Germany161

Mustafas Gemüsekebap162

Mustafas Gemüsekebap in Showcase of Web Design in Germany163

My Lane164

My Lane in Showcase of Web Design in Germany165

photocase – kreative stockfotos166

German Web Design - photocase - kreative stockfotos167

misfall – t-shirt168

German Web Design - misfall - t-shirt169

habitat seven – very flexible170

German Web Design - habitat seven - very flexible171

cape arcona type foundry

German Web Design - cape arcona type foundry

vier für texas *ideenwerk

German Web Design - vier für texas *ideenwerk

wm team – showtime for your brand172

German Web Design - wm team - showtime for your brand173

xplicit ffm / grafik – und webdesign aus frankfurt174

German Web Design - xplicit ffm / grafik - und webdesign aus frankfurt175

Showcase Of Design Agencies Link

The design sector in Germany is dominated by a number of highly professional creative agencies that have earned international public attention and many prestigious awards: among them the red dot design award, iF communication design award and Designpreis.

Scholz & Volkmer176
Clients: Mercedes-Benz, Adidas, Samsung, Coca-Cola

Scholz & Volkmer in Showcase of Web Design in Germany177

Clients: Adidas, American Express, Audi, BASF, BMW, Bosch, Braun, Canon, Chevrolet, Citroen,Douglas, Ehrmann, Fiat, Ford, Gerry Weber

recom in Showcase of Web Design in Germany179

Clients: Adidas, Audi, BMW, Breuninger, L’Oreal, Nivea, T-Mobile, Volkswagen

Mutabor in Showcase of Web Design in Germany181

Tilt Design Studio182
Clients: Audi, Belmondo

Tilt Design Studio in Showcase of Web Design in Germany183

Saint Elmo’s184
Clients: BWM, Lufthansa, AxelSpringer

Saint Elmo's in Showcase of Web Design in Germany185

GNC Design186
Clients: HTC Deutschland, Ford Deutschland, Renault Nissan Deutschland

GNC Design in Showcase of Web Design in Germany187

Toca Me188
Clients: Amway, BMW, Burda, Compaq, Fujitsu Siemens, Henkel, L’Oreal, Mc Donalds, Microsoft, MINI, Müller Milch, Novartis, Red Bull, RitterSport, Sony BMG, Vodafone, Xbox

Toca Me in Showcase of Web Design in Germany189

hauser lacour190
Clients: Bayer, Berlin Chemie, Commerzbank, Lufthansa

hauser lacour in Showcase of Web Design in Germany191

Clients: McDonalds, Adidas, Sarotti, Hasseröder, hohes-C, L’Oreal

urbn; in Showcase of Web Design in Germany193

Clients: Mitsubishi, Edeka, FC Bayern, Chelsea FC

blackbeltmonkey in Showcase of Web Design in Germany195

Clients: Beck’s, Coca-Cola, Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, GfK Group, Jay-Z, Leica Camera, Mercedes Benz, Metro Group, o2 Deutschland, Smirnoff, Swarovski, ThyssenKrupp, Toblerone

Taobot in Showcase of Web Design in Germany

Clients: L’Oreal, Garnier, Volkswagen, Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone, Dior, Maybelline, WWF, Canon


Goldener Westen198
Clients: Axel Springer, Coca-Cola, Edeka, ZKM Karlsruhe

Goldener Westen in Showcase of Web Design in Germany199

Clients: Volkswagen, OTTO, Conrad, Audi, Klett Verlag, Lufthansa, Nici, eBay

MetaDesign in Showcase of Web Design in Germany201

Clients: Audi, Bayer, BenQ, Coca-Cola, F.A.Z., Siemens, Sony, Triumph, Volkswagen

Aperto in Showcase of Web Design in Germany203

Clients: Adidas, Audi, Comdirect, Görtz, s.Oliver

Loved in Showcase of Web Design in Germany205

Clients: Aral, Bayer

Antwerpes in Showcase of Web Design in Germany207

Are We Designer208
Clients: BASF, Burda, Deutsche Telecom, Vodafone

Are We Designer in Showcase of Web Design in Germany209

Clients: ARD, Beate Uhse, Bild, BMG, Burger King, Chupa Chups, Procter & Gamble, Red Bull, RTL, Siemens, Skoda, Universal Music, ZDF

Marctropolis in Showcase of Web Design in Germany211

Parasol Island212
Clients: MTV, IKEA, Sony Ericsson

Parasol Island in Showcase of Web Design in Germany213

Clients: DHL, Mazda, Milka, Lacoste, Jaguar, RTL, Nintendo Deutschland, Disney, Procter & Gamble, Ferrero Deutschland, Karlsberg, Nike, Renault Germany, Warner Music Germany, Sparkasse, Opel, MTV

Fiftyeight in Showcase of Web Design in Germany215

Showcase Of Web Design Freelancers Link

Besides the professional creative agencies, we find a lot of freelancers working in the industry.

United States of Design216
Clients: Adidas, Audi, Bacardi, Berliner Sparkasse, Bertelsmann, Coca-Cola, Deutsche Bank, Mini, MTV, Mozilla, Plazes, Sprite, Siemens, Sony, Sony Ericsson, TDK, Volkswagen

United States of Design in Showcase of Web Design in Germany217

Martin Anderle218
Clients: Adidas, BMW, Sony Ericcson, Volvo, ZDF

Martin Anderle in Showcase of Web Design in Germany219

Clients: Stiftung Warentest, Daimler, SPD Berlin, Plazes

kosmar in Showcase of Web Design in Germany221

Dirk Schütze222
Clients: Leibniz, Konica Minolta, Deutsche Post

Dirk Schütze in Showcase of Web Design in Germany223

Clients: Gillette, IKEA

Radekal in Showcase of Web Design in Germany225

Clients: Peugeot, Ford, Jaguar

mediziehm in Showcase of Web Design in Germany227

Matthias Dittrich228

Matthias Dittrich in Showcase of Web Design in Germany229

Sugah Design230

Sugah Design in Showcase of Web Design in Germany231


psychosystems in Showcase of Web Design in Germany233

Thorsten Konrad234

Thorsten Konrad in Showcase of Web Design in Germany235


sieben:null in Showcase of Web Design in Germany237


chez-boo in Showcase of Web Design in Germany239

Hoan Luu Duc240

Hoan Luu Duc in Showcase of Web Design in Germany241

David Hellmann

David Hellmann in Showcase of Web Design in Germany


C.L.I.T.O.R.I.O.U.S in Showcase of Web Design in Germany243

Round-Up Of German Design Resources Link

To stay competitive and successful on the creative scene, we have to know what’s happening in the fields of Web design, Web development, graphic design and typography and know what trends are set to become the next big things in the design world.

The round-up below of over 70 design-related resources should give you an overview of German blogs, Web design galleries (both CSS and Flash), communities, social networks and magazines (both online offline). You would be well advised to read or at least occasionally look through these to catch up on the latest design trends and get a daily dose of inspiration and encouragement. I invite you to discover some of these unique and enjoyable resources!

Blogs Link

Web Design Galleries (CSS and Flash) Link

Magazines Link

Your Opinion Is Welcome! Link

What is your opinion of the German Web design scene? In case we’ve missed any exceptional websites, please share them, and your thoughts, in the comments section. We always look forward to your feedback and support!

Stay Tuned And Get In Touch! Link

This article is the fourth in our new Global Web Design series. Over the next months, we’ll be covering various continents, featuring Web developers and designs from different countries and looking closely at what is happening on the Web design scene worldwide.

If you”d like to prepare an article for this series, please contact us, and we’ll discuss details.


Footnotes Link

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  1. 1

    Very nice “german-webdesign-summary”. Aygul, it’s like in other countries too – some good Webdesigners, some “less good” Webdesigners ;o)

    • 2

      Absolutely agreee with Steve,

      thanks for your work, but there are great philosophs and all the other disciplines in any country. This excessive overdose of “we are something special” in the intro is exactly the thing that makes it different to others, not the work.

      Good work, bad habit.

  2. 3

    Great Post, I Love Smashing Magazine….Everyday new Articles that inspire and surprise us..


  3. 4

    This sites have a particular stile! Love german designers.

  4. 5

    Mistyukevych Serge

    January 26, 2010 5:17 am

    Definately nice artworks!
    What’re (TOP 5) biggest agencies in german?

  5. 6

    damn that my website is not listed

    nick jantschke – freelancer – germany

  6. 7

    Love the designs & SM…
    Waiting for Indian showcase :)

  7. 8

    Wow, Germany can boast of so many great designers! A good bunch of inspiration in this post. Thanks.

  8. 9

    Some very interesting design here. I’m really liking the showcases from various countries. Thanks SM!

  9. 10

    I read smashing daily and there are lots of reason behind that……

  10. 11

    You should update the events, guess what: Even we Germans have already celebrated the New Year. :-)

  11. 12

    I read smashing daily and there are lots of reasons behind that……

  12. 13

    I was expecting this article for a long time. Great. Thank you.
    “straight, clean, simple and tidy”

  13. 14

    something you guys really haved to missed to list is
    check there site, it’s freaking awesome!

  14. 15

    You forgot
    Great web design startup!

  15. 17

    anonymous (berlinerin)

    January 26, 2010 6:39 am

    Where are the women design gurus?

  16. 18

    @Mistyukevych Serge
    the biggest web agencies in germany

  17. 19

    This is a great series. Can you guys do a piece on India? I’d love to see that.

  18. 20


    January 26, 2010 6:45 am

    Germany 4 evaa =)

  19. 21

    Nice collection! If you look at the website of Mutabor and these flipping signs: Sometimes one of the girls does a mistake. It’s really funny to see ;)

  20. 22

    stunishing post.SM is the best around:D

  21. 23

    Sorry, but i’ll have to swim up the stream of elogious comments on this one.

    How come not a single one of the so-called designers mention the heritage of Bauhaus and its application in web design? Or the ZKM, for that matter?

    it strikes me that you ask web designers to talk about their country’s web design. Web designers live on the web and have their own sub-culture. Will anyone admit that none of the websites shown here have anything really different than the usual flow of today’s mainstream webdesign icons?
    If you want to find the specificities of German (or any country for that matter) have a look at their experimental actors, not the mainstream. Ask real designers (real= seeking something new) what is their take on the specifics of German history/ history of art and its influence in german (web) design.

    By the way, it’s 2010: it’s ok to say that the nazis had one of the most powerful logo, without implying that you support that ideology – we are talking design, not philosophy.

    Hope this helps trigger a more interesting discussion.

    • 24

      Agreed. So many SM postings lack any historic look back or insights how certain styles developed. They are usually shallow link lists with loads of “awesomeness”. But most people handle design posting like men’s magazines: they only here for the pictures …

      I like to add the following topic to your list:

      * German Surrealism & Dadaism
      * Berlin in the 1920’s and 1930’s as an extremely progressive city / cultural mix
      * German “Sachlichkeit”, especially such great Designer as Otl Aicher and his famous Olympic Pictograms
      * one of the grestest Modernist and Typographer Jan Tschichold

      And so much more …

      • 25

        Even though this particular post doesn’t mention Bauhaus and none of the German designers interviewed mention the history, to generalize Smashing Magazine not covering this is not fair. They’ve dedicated posts just on Bahaus (see: Bauhaus: Ninety Years of Inspiration). This is a showcase of current Web Design in Germany, not the history of design in Germany. That later topic alone can span three articles.

      • 26

        @pixline: Do you really think the links you posted are good examples for german webdesign. I guess 10pt fonts are not really state of the art and the usage of black and white and one highlight color (usually magenta) is not that innovative.

        You are right, maybe, the shown website look quite similar to other countries, but what do you expect? We germans life in a bubble, without looking left or right? I am not sure about the main goal of this article, but I guess they try to give an overview of general webdesign in german. So it’s not about art in german or about the history and that’s what they have done.

        By the way the Logo of the Nazis was a egypt symbol for luck and the Nazis mirrored it.

        @orangeguru: What the hell you are talking about, this article is about design and not art. Sure there is a synergy between both, but where is the point, you want to have a art lesson or talking about current design directions?

    • 28

      I don’t agree that “real” designers are those who seek for something new. I don’t care if the design is inventive as long as it looks and feels good. And as the end user, i find the websites you cite as examples neither beautiful nor usable. You suggest interesting topics to discuss though, they just have nothing to do with showcase articles. Why don’t you write for SM?

    • 29

      There is no philosophy in nacism, I´m convinced.

  22. 30

    Roland C. Müller

    January 26, 2010 7:12 am

    thank you for this great post!
    best wishes

  23. 31 is the worst example for german webdesign ever-i cant believe it. the real view to jvm is here (only in german)
    the others are very good.

    But webdesign is only good, when its user-friendly. And some website are …

  24. 32

    It would have been nice if you had included some women. This certainly gives the impression that German Web design is an exclusively male club.

  25. 33

    Beautiful work!

  26. 34

    Mirco Herzberg

    January 26, 2010 7:46 am

    as a german designer i really like this post.

  27. 35

    Another one of these endless lists of “cool designs” without any real insights into the teutonic mentality and historic roots.

    Most of all it misses some good reflection on the most important aspect of German Webdesign: the German Clients and how to do business with them.

    • 36

      teutonic roots of webdesign?

    • 37

      Insights into the teutonic mentality? We’re in 2010, not 1941.

      • 38

        The word Teutonic has not really anything to do with the year 1941 or the nazi regime…

    • 39

      Most of all it misses some good reflection on the most important aspect of German Webdesign: the German Clients and how to do business with them.

      You are right !!!

  28. 40

    Fantastic collection, some really innovative and diverse designs here. Good work Smashing.

  29. 41

    Great article and quite well presented. Love the amount of consistently good content you guys deliver!! Keep it up.

  30. 42

    quite an extensive list it seems. Pitty almost half of it doesn’t load inside this page.

  31. 43

    Nearly every website featured looks like it’s trying to be a poster, if that’s a good example of cutting edge web-design then I’m confused :[

  32. 44

    Check also my portfolio

  33. 45

    nice showcase, but you forgot and

    • 46

      Ronny Graupner

      January 29, 2010 4:01 am

      Hallo Sebastian :-)
      Da da dieser Artikel eine Momentaufnahme ist, ist wohl logisch das nicht alle tausende von website geprüft werden…klar gibte snoch so viele andere tolle innovative Designer in Deutschland. Mach dir nix drauß das ist ein Blog und kein Wettbewerb ;-)
      Der cube ist ja auch keine Agentur^^ Nur eine deiner Referenzen, haha

      cheers Ronny

  34. 47

    wow.. it looks like the best showcase so far!! very conceptual

  35. 48

    love the originality of many designs

  36. 49

    cheap. I agree – these “cool design” posts are getting a bit ridiculous. No explanations of WHY they are good. And I agree with some of the other comments…where’s the women?

  37. 50

    Nice list – thank you! You will also love

  38. 51

    rolf & bernd is right around the corner of my parents place…

  39. 52

    u missed out those two sites: , a german kindergarden with special navigation design a typo3 freelancer with focus on search engine optimzation.

  40. 53
  41. 54

    Simon Dabkowski

    January 26, 2010 10:02 am

    The website: “Creative Style Agentur” at ripped my website :(

  42. 55

    I’m applying for internships in German new media, and this article was very informative, especially the showcase of agencies. Thank you for putting this together! I hope to see more about German design in the future.

  43. 56

    One of the best showcases in the last time! :)

  44. 57

    Great Work Germany!
    didn’t you guys promised some showcase of Israeli web design?

  45. 58

    David Hellmann

    January 26, 2010 10:57 am

    Thx for featuring my Site. But i have relauncht since few days. You have a old Screenshot :)

    And here is a Link to a another german Website Gallyer: Make Better Websites –

  46. 59

    Markus Angermeier

    January 26, 2010 12:05 pm

    because they seemingly were left out of the article, here are the answers i had:

    take care and have fun!

  47. 60

    you forgot to mention this very good, young and upcoming design agency! They are awsome!

  48. 61

    Thanks for the great article and featuring our site :-) Lots of information for German webdesigners! Especially the list of blogs is very useful :-)

  49. 62

    Germany’s web design skills are so awesome!! Makes me want to study there. There’s something about how intricate their designs are yet elegant and clean at the same time. Very sophisticated style and I like how they follow the grid (some of them).

  50. 63

    Smahingmagazine auf deutsch wäre eine wirklich angenehme Erweiterung, ganz nebenbei ;)

  51. 65

    best showcases of German wirk


  52. 66

    I propose that this article be renamed “Web Design in German” — because web design trends don’t change from country to country, the only thing that changes is the language.

    • 67

      @Andrew: I adamantly disagree. Apparently, you’ve never taken an art history class. Art and design are often distinct country to country. For example, when the Art Nouveau movement was happening — the style had similarities, but explicit distinctions in countries like France, Spain, and even America.

      • 68

        Oh, really? Then please, do tell me the difference between so-called “German” web design and “French” or “Spanish” or “American” web design.

      • 69

        Your assertion that he knows nothing about art history was presumptuous and somewhat rude. If you’re going to try and challenge someone’s stance, you can at least attempt to properly tackle their point.

        Of course, web design can be influenced by older art and (non-web) design styles; however I’m yet to see a large collection of WEB-DESIGN work from England (for example) being clearly influenced from by pre-existing English art/(non-web) design styles. This is true for work in other countries too. I say non-web design because you chose to mention styles that existed prior to the web.

        Even within print design, I see less distinct styles from country to country and it probably has something to do with accessibility to work from other countries. As it is there is nothing that separates work such as the Creative Styles and Taobot websites from other sites frequently seen on design inspiration blogs/showcases that feature work from designers around the world.

    • 70


  53. 71

    Yay for the Bauhaus ;)

  54. 72

    I think this post is a little bit nationalist…
    NOTE: I love german design and Smashing Magazine, but what is it?

  55. 73

    best showcases of German
    I love “”

    didn’t you guys promised some showcase of Indonesia web design?


  56. 74

    Alicia Martinez

    January 27, 2010 12:33 am

    Germans are far better in Web Design than any other on the planet. Our company’s site is missing in this list. – Alicia

    • 75

      Wow, you bought a standard web template and now you think you’re a big hitter. You read that nofollow is in use here, right? So quit the link dropping.

      • 76

        Alicia Martinez

        January 28, 2010 12:03 am

        @Chris , Its not standard template, fiber works is award winning site , Nobody competes with Germans , and what do you mean by nonfollow ? – Alicia –

  57. 77

    YOU MOFO’s!!!

    why do you dxmn bast3rds have to go and FUX UP what was a very good Vampire Weekend Youtube playlist with your gawd awfullly LONGer than poppycoch post of bantha pudu! have you looked at this tripe? This page is probably over 2mb and as a crap wifi user you should be ashamed of yourselves for not using your POS blogOcrap Framework’s pagination function .. go choke on an exponential factorial

  58. 78

    Very nice collection.
    You sure missed this guys:
    They’ve collected 11 FWA award so far ( Their work is really insipiring

  59. 79

    P.S. I will refrain from using Smashing FROM NOW ON …

    if this ever happens again

  60. 80

    thanks a lot for this fantastic web inspirations. really amazing concepts and programming.

  61. 81

    Beeing a german and living in Germany with some clients in several different European countries I see nothing specific “german” within the webdesigns of this showcase.

    It is just a “patchwork” of webdesigns of some german companies.

    And the interviews, … well it seems, some of the people asked, live in their very special own world outside of reality…

  62. 82

    Sadly, Smashing once again focusses on showcasing mainly jurassic flash monsters that look fancy. Even though even one of the interviewees mentioned the (long overdue) move back to HTML.

    This is one reason why I (as a German who is also a professional designer) don’t think Germany’s web design is as advanced as you make it sound. Looking around the products of the bigger agencies, I still see too many big footprint flash sites that nobody cares about. The Adidas Teamgeist “microsite” (there is nothing micro about it, it takes 5 minutes to load even with broadband internet) is one example for this attitude (don’t get me wrong though, it’s definitely nicely done. I just think the barrier it sets for the audience is too high. No promotional website is worth waiting one minute, let alone five).

    The real avant garde of webdesign, to me, is what is happening in America. Beautiful, efficient, small footprint websites that take advantage of HTML5, are accessible from mobile devices, with a reduced “no frills” design. Germany is lagging behind at least 5 years. Partly it’s the customers fault. After years of being subjected to the brainwash of Flash developers they finally “got it” and what’s the result? Wasted time and resources.

    • 83

      I completley agree with you – we Germans are quite behind in terms of web design.
      Extravagant designs and old technologies often beat simple and usable approaches.

  63. 84

    I would like to share one more link about web design in Germany:

    Showcase of popular German blogs

  64. 85

    Check out made by

  65. 86

    In combination with german BAUHAUS Design which is also very good known in the architecture scene we combined german webdesign, innovation and productdesign in one. So I think it should be on your list:

  66. 87

    the bloody truth is: there is no such thing like “german” webdesign and never was. countries and borders doesn’t exist within the digital world.

  67. 89

    Quoting SM: “motherland of eminent philosophers, poets, composers, world-famous automobiles and great beer…”
    You forgot Luther; what he did was more important than the above mentioned ‘stuff’. Don’t forget God, all else will fade away one day. Or as someone once said: Everything that is not eternal, is eternally useless.

  68. 90

    ….bietet aber nicht die selbe Qualität wie SM!?

  69. 91

    Cool Sites!

    What’s with this one?

  70. 92


  71. 93

    Daniel Sentker

    January 27, 2010 4:55 am

    Very good article, i love Smashing Magazine! As a german i can say that there are still to many “(Web)design agencies”, who never heard about CSS3, HTML5, jQuery, tableless design etc… There are only a few good webdesigners in germany, in my opinion.

  72. 94

    There’s a huge gap between the designs shown here and what most customers get / want. German design in my eyes is often very boring and full of “Sachlichkeit”. It’s depressing for creative people like me. :(

  73. 95

    A nice article and thanks for introducing my site.

  74. 96

    Amazing Showcase…

  75. 97

    Don’t forget: as a matter of fact you are looking at a website “Made in Germany” right here, right now!

    Smashing Magazine rocks!

    • 98

      Wow! I think noone else can do that. An innuit not and an Norwegian neither an African not.
      Stupidity is a tremendous gift, sorry.

  76. 99

    I’m missing some talented newcomers..
    For example:

    (don’t know the maker personally)


  77. 100

    different in style but very Nice:)

  78. 101

    This is also a very nice website «made in germany» by

  79. 102

    I would say the top 5 German Agencys are:
    – KliXX GmbH:
    – Neue Digitale:
    – McCann Erickson:
    – SinnerSchrader:
    – Saatchi & Saatchi:

    These are top Agencys. I like saatchi & saatchi and klixx the most because they are really creative and also i love the fact that these two agencys don’t really do any advertising for themself but they are know really well. =)

  80. 103

    Patrick Offczorz

    January 28, 2010 5:27 am

    Amazing Collection
    And another one:

  81. 104

    Isabel Tenbrink

    January 28, 2010 7:52 am

    A long list – but where am I?

    Schönen Gruss nach Schduagerd Aygul. Ein echt urschwäbischer Name, in der Tat….

    My greeting to Aygul in Stuttgart. A really swabian name, really…


  82. 105

    I am sorta disappointed in the actual showcase. Out of this collection, I checked out about 15 or so showcased websites that immediately sparked my curiosity based on the screenshot provided in the article. Out of those I only encountered two that actually had both form and function. Sadly, several of the others either took too long to load (and therefore lost my interest before I got to see what they were about) or seemed “broken” – as in there were places that were supposed to be “clickable” that simply didn’t do anything. One of the sites was entirely lacking in any content at all! It was just a mildly interesting looking collection of characters that blinked when the mouse hovered over them and a two sentence quote off to the side… I have NO CLUE whatsoever that site was about. If I only found 2 hits and 13 misses out of the 15 that I chose to explore, I have to seriously wonder about the overall quality of the entire collection. If you wanted to showcase the best, many of these should have been culled.

  83. 106

    wow that’s an extensive showcase of designs there. i’ll have to bookmark this page for future reference and inspiration. thanks.

  84. 107

    Awesome just awesome post ……..

  85. 108

    Why is not 24-7media?
    They have a lot of greate project.

  86. 109

    just it is an awesome posting

  87. 110

    Adam Hermsdorfer

    January 31, 2010 5:57 pm

    It was really interesting to learn the web landscape in Germany. I spent all of October there, visiting Bonn, Berlin and Munich. It would’ve been awesome to meet up with some of the panelists or designers. Next time! I loved Dirk’s prediction of what design elements need to disappear in ’10 – wet floor reflections!

  88. 111

    awesome posting

  89. 112

    Benschi Aadalen

    February 3, 2010 7:30 am

    awesome :-)
    i love smashingmagazine…i’d like to buy the book :)

  90. 113

    hey for indian showcase … please check

  91. 114

    Thanks for mentioning my blog (Volderette). I was really surprised to see it listed between all these fantastic websites.

  92. 115

    Hehe, Chris from went to my school ^^ … Besides that: Nice one!

    Greetings from Germany,


  93. 116

    Some awesome work is coming out of Germany at the moment – you only have to glance at the screenshots to see what young, innovative web designers are getting up to there. There’s also a lot of innovation when it comes to business ideas – check out Michael Hansen and DubLi – though Hansen is Danish, his team is largely comprised of a young and dynamic German team.

  94. 117
  95. 118

    Parasol Island is amazing! :)

  96. 119

    typical German: no single woman interviewed!
    Already 10 years ago I attended a design conference as a speaker – one of the American speakers was very surprised abaout the fact that she and me were the only female speakers! She said this couldn’t happen in America…
    and nothing has changed since then… only, that it’s even less stylish today to remind of such facts!

  97. 120

    Carina / Sugah Design

    August 2, 2010 8:27 am

    Wow, being 3 times featured with Junopilot, Supergid and my own website is a great honor to me!
    Thanks a lot from Sugah Design outta Hamburg

  98. 121

    very nice web designing !

  99. 122

    Thanks for the great post. Germans are very innovative technologically. They have played a major role in shaping our internet. Didn’t anyone notice that PHP, Zend, various CMSs, et al came from Germany? What I like the most about Germans is their “best use of technology.” e.g. use of flash only where flash is absolutely necessary (given that majority of users worldwide run on less than 32kbps bandwidths), content is calculated, and just by looking at the site you can know what it’s all about, and it won’t disappoint!

    From the post, its apparent that the level of web sophistication in Germany is rising while at the same time remaining user friendly, and purpose oriented.

    Thanks again for the great, great eye opener on web design levels in Germany! Please do a round two this time covering a wider scope (i.e. not only the state of things, but say, the best of corporate, best of industry, travel, fashion, government, etc)

  100. 123

    i just wanted one information… i am totally interested in pursuing web designing as a profession and wish to do my post Graduation in the same field… so can someone suggest me some really good university that offers any course… thnks!!!

  101. 124

    gr8 smashing……

  102. 125

    awesome designs”’

  103. 126

    catch visitors’ attention which is why footers are often forgotten or ignored and not given the attention they deserve.

  104. 127

    I’m somewhat certain they’ll be informed a lot of new stuff right here than any one else!
    Thank you


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