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Shalom! Showcase Of Web Design In Israel


Israel is a young country with an old heart. It has been quickly built up over the last 60 years as an independent democratic Jewish state and is shockingly cutting edge for a country so new.

It is a tiny surreal sliver of land smack dab in the middle of the Middle East: a very European, modern civilization… just programmed to Jewish tradition. Israel has great weather, nice beaches along the Mediterranean sea, fresh and tasty food and a warm and friendly culture. It is home to historic holy sites of the world’s three major religions, and buses drive down streets whose stones are older than anything you’ll find in Europe.

Israeli design at its best: ILook2, an Israeli street-fashion blog. The text on the left side says: “Send me a good picture of a hipster and win 300 bottles of Maccabi beer” (via Tal Sach).

It feels as if Israel has one foot in Silicon Valley and the other in ancient Canaan — with an undercurrent of Middle Eastern hospitality and culture in this already multi-cultural society. And yet, English is commonly spoken here because many Jews from all over the world immigrate here regularly (not to mention the thousands of tourists from around the globe who pour in for sun, falafel, nightlife and a dash of biblical archaeology.) In some areas, you hear as much Spanish, French, Russian and English on the streets as Hebrew.

Because of its small size and the everyone-knows-everyone effect of being a bunch of Jews, cabin fever (and completion of mandatory army service for the younger generation) drives Israel’s citizens out on frequent travels across the globe, to India, Asia, and South America. As a result, a unique mix of cultural discoveries abroad is woven into Israeli culture.

Tel Aviv is Israel’s most urban, chic city: the capital of all things sexy, secular and spiritual (in alternative ways to traditional Judaism.) You can read more on Tel Aviv’s unique soul in this article3 by Ehud Azriel Meir.

Much like many of Israel’s cities — hastily built and functional, yet poorly planned — such is the unfortunate state of most of the country’s websites. Most Israeli websites look unfinished, and they probably are. And Hebrew being a right-to-left language doesn’t help! Being victims of circumstance, Israeli Web designers cannot unleash their creative potential to make modern, usable working websites.

Web design in Israel - agadir4
agadir5, a Hamburger joint.

Even though some cutting-edge technologies are being developed right here in Israel — which is home to former hot startups such as ICQ (which became AOL messenger) and Intel (which is inside your machine… have a look!) — most business owners still putter around in IE6. Israel opened its first official Mac store only last year.

What’s Unique About Israeli Web Design? Link

Here are some other issues that designers face here (and, I imagine, in most places outside the US, Canada and Western Europe):

  • Websites must work in legacy versions of IE (though IE6 is finally almost out). Israeli business owners emphasize this more than getting their websites to work in Safari or Firefox.
  • There is a strong liking for Flash-based designs… it must be a cultural thing.
  • Little value is given to Web designers (and those in related fields, such as copywriting — although marketers and SEO people seem to being doing okay), and many designers are not taking back their profession.
  • Clients care more about cost than usability and standards.
  • CSS-based designs are not standard, and many of the people responsible for hiring are not aware of it.
  • Big agencies are usually asked to make conventional designs, and although they do quite impressive branding work, the websites they turn out are behind the times. Because they are launched by such big companies, the websites succeed “in spite of themselves,” leading many to believe that this is the formula for wildly successful websites: for Agency X to do our website the way they did for Company Y.

The Lionways7 website.

  • Many entrepreneurs here believe that because they are smart and successful in tech that they know your field as well as their own. They think they can write English better than a US-born copywriter and can design better than a graduate of FIT. Needless to say, this can be frustrating for the person trying to build a new website for them.
  • Despite that, usability is starting to be demanded by many website owners, especially the genuinely intelligent tech companies, Web app providers and social media startups; hundreds of these are in Israel, mostly in English.
  • Israel is always a few years behind American and European trends and standards, and this is no different on the Internet.

The State Of Affairs Link

We spoke to key people in the Web design industry in Israel to get their point of view on the state of affairs.

Q: Do you find you have to convince and educate clients a lot to be able turn out the high-end websites that you do?

Arie Zonshine (Lionways.com8): “Most people calling for a quote don’t really know what they want. It’s as if they are calling to get the price of an air conditioner. It doesn’t matter if they want a new site or a make-over of an existing site: they usually don’t have written specifications, they don’t know what kind of pages they want and they don’t have a visual concept.

“So, I have to guide them through a series of questions, maybe looking at a few sites together in order to understand their needs. Sometimes, their lack of knowledge leads them ask for functionality that would work against them in terms of SEO, for example. I usually don’t have to work too hard to convince them to do things the right way.”

Eran Pal

Q: Are clients surprised by how much you quote them? What buzzwords do you hear most from clients?

Zonshine: “Always! Naturally, customers want the best price and, unfortunately in most cases, are not aware at all of the time and work invested. It’s even more problematic with issues such as Web standards and browser compatibility, because these aspects of the work have no visual impact on the website and are difficult for the client to appreciate. [I hear] SEO, AdWords and Flash. Very few mention browser compatibility, Web standards, semantic mark-up or CSS-based design”.

Q: Approximately what percentage of Israeli businesses are into the new standards of websites written in XHTML and CSS, that are non-Flash and that use minimal JavaScript?

Zonshine: “The numbers are unfortunately very low. I would say about 5%. Maybe less.”

Alfred Gallery Exhibitions

Q: Why do you think most Israelis are into conceptual Flash designs that are hard to navigate, outdated and slow? Is this a cultural thing? Are more people waking up?

Zonshine: “In too many initial conversations with potential clients, I hear requests to make things ‘Move on the screen like in PowerPoint.’ Many Israelis forget that the inside is just as important as the outside, and that foundations are more important than a cool façade (i.e. a flashy home page with clever animation) that has nothing behind it. I do believe it’s a cultural thing: you can see it in many areas. The ‘great façade with no foundation’ combo is very representative of Israeli culture. You see it everywhere. However, I do believe that appreciation of quality grows with time, experience and knowledge. More and more people call in already understanding the disadvantages of a Flash-only website”.

Tower of David10

Q: Arie, I notice in your portfolio11 that you still use Flash, though you seem to have found the middle road between Flash and usability. Please explain.

Zonshine: “Exactly. We wanted to make the point that cool and functional can work together seamlessly and are not contradictory. It was indeed an early decision that I took together with my partner Dana Ronen, who is responsible for the Flash programming on the site. We wanted to show creativity and Flash capabilities but also show that it can be done without compromising the accessibility, functionality and SEO of the site.

“So, on almost every page, there is a small or big gimmick in Flash, depending on the content of the page and its function. On the home page, the flying business card gets center-stage; similarly, on the ‘About us’ page, the laptop CD tray makes an exciting entrance. On other pages we wanted the client to focus on the content itself, so the gimmicks were demoted to a supporting role and, in most cases, done in Flash (e.g. the credit card terminal, the coffee steam and the compass) and in other cases in jQuery (e.g. the changing color stamp on the contact page)”.

Bee Creations Design Agency

Q: How does the fact that Hebrew is written from right to left influence your design work?

Zonshine: “If the site will be Hebrew, you just need to flip your way of thinking horizontally. In terms of layout, it means that the logo would be probably placed in the top-right corner of the page rather than the top-left. You also need to mirror the placement of elements on the page, because the visitor’s eye-tracking patterns are mirrored in Hebrew.

“The issue becomes more complicated when the site has both Hebrew and English or another left-to-right language. A good example of a dilemma that arises is a design that has a large background image, which I use quite often. When the background image cannot be flipped, it usually results in the logo and other elements being positioned on the “wrong” side of the page for one of the languages (Lionways is a good example of that). If, on the other hand, the image can be flipped, it’s much easier, as the Jerusalem Camerata site shows [see below] — the large violin image is mirrored on the English side of the site”.

Waltz with Bashir13

Another example of this issue is Twitter, which scrambles any right-to-left tweets to an almost ridiculous degree. But again, Israel’s creative minds come to the rescue with Talker, a Twitter API-based… well, Twitter, except in Hebrew and right-to-left. Compare a Twitter Talker right-to-left account with a left-to-right account14.

Q: How does Hebrew affect other aspects of Web design?

Zonshine: “First of all, a much smaller selection of safe fonts can be used for live text. Arial is probably the most common, followed by Times New Roman, Tahoma and Courier. That’s it, more or less. There aren’t any equivalents of Trebuchet, Georgia, Palatino or other fonts.

“Also, if the site has both Hebrew and English, choosing a font for titles and logos becomes much trickier, because you usually need to choose two separate fonts — for English and Hebrew — that work well together. The Hiddush logo is a good example of that. I spent hours searching until I found a close-enough English font (Anderson the Secret Service) that worked well with the Hebrew one (AgadaMF), and even then I had to clean it a little to match the other. A few font shops in Israel, such as FontBit, offer quality fonts that are designed to blend well in both Hebrew and English”.


“On top of all this, there are many technical problems with dealing with right-to-left texts in graphic elements, especially Flash components. Small and trivial things suddenly become an issue, such as the inability to control the location of punctuation marks, numbers and other symbols. Sometimes the only solution, as silly as it sounds, is simply to avoid certain characters, but this is impossible to control when dealing with dynamic content.“

Q: Do clients pay on time. And what is negotiating like?

Zonshine: “Negotiating is a part of Israel’s culture. People almost always ask for a discount. I almost always get paid on time”.

Uzi Shmilovici (co-CEO at Netcraft9616) adds: “A lot of the logos that are designed in Israel have English typography. So the question is, where should the logo appear on the site: the left side or the right side?”

Examining some of the biggest websites in Israel shows that this dilemma remains unsettled.

“The other issue”, Shmilovici continues, “is using English words and phrases (either quotes or special terms) in the middle of Hebrew sentences. They force users to change the direction of their reading, which affects the flow of the article and scanning”.

Israeli web design: Confederation House by bigdesign17

Typography Link

Typography is one of the most interesting crafts related to Hebrew websites and design. While traditional Hebrew fonts are great for creating an ancient or holy atmosphere, Web designers face a big challenge in finding or creating modern (or even futuristic) fonts from an alphabet that was invented for one thing: Torah books.

Typography fans might be interested in the “Torah Scribe,” written by a person who handwrites Torah books and who follows a strict set of rules and guidelines. The slightest mistake makes the book un-kosher, and he has to throw it away and start all over again (which is why Torah books cost so much).


Another trend in Hebrew typography is nostalgic fonts from the early days of the state (the British Mandate). A great example is the Palestina font created by Oded Ezer (see image below), which is an effort to fuse an ancient typeface to a modern design.


Oded Ezer’s website is a great place to look for modern Israeli fonts and experiments in Hebrew typography. A leading Israeli typographic artist, Ezer also runs the blog Spare Type19. If you are into typography (and who isn’t?), you must check out two works by Ezer in particular: Ketubah and Typosperma.

Any Israeli knows how hard it is to find beautiful fonts in Hebrew. Lucky we have Oded Ezer, a typographic artist, logo and type designer, lecturer and typographic experimentalist. His studio is located in Israel.



Fontef, Israeli font designers.


Ha’Gilda22: Hebrew fonts



Interesting Solutions to Israeli Design Problems Link

Yotam Hadar24 redesigned, Israel’s second-most popular news source and seventh most popular website. The old version had too many boxes, low readability and nowhere to focus the eye, not to mention unconventional and hard-to-use navigation. Since its redesign, the website has continually gained popularity (and the statistics show much longer stays), yielding more income and a smaller team on which to rely for maintenance. (The website was completed while the designer was working at Maariv, in collaboration with NRG’s design team, under chief designer Amir Hadad.)


Efficiency Is A Double-Edged Sword Link

In a 62-year-old country that is in a constant state of war, where every citizen has to join the army at the age of 18, efficiency (not to be mistaken for productivity or effectiveness) is almost sacred. It has been the most important quality in building this country, and it tends to be the most valued quality in any project. One could say, “It doesn’t matter if it’s good, as long is it works…” Sort of… Close enough. Thus usability, aesthetics and trends are ignored quite often, making the job of the designer secondary.

Another side effect of this harsh efficiency-driven attitude is the de-emphasis on a proper technological education. Because clients only demand that things “work,” standards, trends and aesthetics are the last thing on a developer’s mind. In turn, clients lack a real understanding of the media, which is why so many Israeli websites use Flash. The lack of variety of supported Hebrew Web fonts is also a factor. But fortunately SEO is creeping in and forcing even the most stubborn clients to ditch Flash for HTML and to replace images with live text as much as possible, which will hopefully push typography awareness to the next level.

ha’Sushia28 has an original navigation menu.

Adam Benayoun (CEO and co-founder of Lionite29), puts it very well: “It is a technology-oriented market. A lot of Israeli companies don’t focus on the front end, design, UI, experience, because we are all developing and selling technology to the US.”

Lea Aharonovitch (a senior product manager at and a UI/UX blogger30) adds: “I would even go further to blame each and every one of us Israelis as consumers for not demanding higher standards from websites that prefer banner spots to design.”

“Just a quick look at some of the 130 Israeli Web 2.0 companies demonstrates how much creative types and services are trying to solve problems and foster new exciting ways to do more on the Web… If we support designers and let them show us what they can really offer, we stand a chance that the next ‘Made in Israel’ design article will boast about how Israel has become the cutting edge of intuitive and excellent user-centered design.”

Lea is also a former manager of UPA Israel (Usability Professionals Association), which recently initiated a series of usability reviews published weekly on Israel’s biggest news website Ynet31 (the equivalent of CNN in terms of traffic and importance), inspecting a different Israeli website every week.

Tel Aviv city budget

Q: What other setbacks against designers in Israel can you identify?

“Behind every Israeli designer stands a team of managers who just don’t get it,” says Aharonovitch. “Managers don’t think they can afford to offer simple, less monetized interfaces, so designers are required to add as many monetization elements as possible”.

Shmilovici: “Strong interactive companies lead clients to invest a lot of money in the media (where they have big commissions), and the result is usually less resources for UX and design (because the development part is a must anyway)”

Oded Ezer, whose work was featured earlier in this piece, give us a typographer’s point of view: “Conservativeness. Instead of relying on 3,000 years of documented culture and Jewish heritage, young designers are looking to modern European design for inspiration.”



Local Influences Link

It’s worth mentioning that the second official language of Israel is Arabic, another right-to-left language with amazing appeal to typographers. But a whole other article would be required for that and for the question of why Israel has so few Arabic websites.



Mossawa Center34


Koloudtof36. This website is Hebrew but influenced by local cultures. Remarkably, about 50% of Israelis come from Arab countries.


Let’s Turn To The Future Link

Web designers in Israel seem to have two choices: find work overseas, or deal with the conditions in Israel, which in most cases mean lower wages and having to dabble in print design and other unrelated design work. This is another reason why finding good examples of Israeli Web design is hard, because most of the work is done for European and American clients or, if done for domestic clients, just doesn’t compare to the quality of design overseas.

But as Israelis, we always look at the bright side and seek solutions. “Clients in Israel are just like clients all over the world,” says Adam Benayoun, putting as much of the blame on service providers. “We need to educate clients on the importance of design,” he says, advice that is as true of designers in Israel as it is anywhere else.

Web design in Israel - baboo
Baboo, a lighting boutique.

Lionite is a great example of Israeli creativity in business model and workflow. The Tel Aviv-based Web shop provides a complete solution for clients in Israel and overseas, combining development, design and even marketing. “Clients overseas prefer us because of our standards, not because of or despite of our being Israeli,” says CEO Adam Benayoun. “We believe you have to be good no matter where you are from, no excuses.”

Netcraft’s Uzi Shmilovici seems to agree with that philosophy: “Although Israel is not the cheapest place on earth, it is still cheaper than Europe and the US. That said, professionally, Israeli designers are definitely on par with European and American designers. Take those two facts together and you’ll understand why Israeli design gives you the best value for your money.”

Q: So, what do you think we have to offer the world in terms of style, influence, etc.?

Shmilovici: “I do think that some of our unique typography issues have led to some nice progress. Because the Israeli font inventory was weak, we had to come up with new fonts quickly. Some of those explorations, done by Oded Ezer for example, ended up in the MoMA.”

Oded Ezer

Aharonovitch: “Israel is considered one of most innovative nations in the world when it comes to technology. It’s hard to compete with our sense of creativity, our high level of adaptability and flexibility and our high skill level in problem-solving and other traits.

”While at times it may seem that we’re not organized or that our affairs are managed informally or that our processes are not well defined, these are our advantages when considering the Agile or Lean development method that has been gaining popularity recently. The last thing to mention is the emotional strength and maturity that many Israelis develop at an early age — mainly derived from growing up in as challenging an environment as the Middle East and serving in the army at the age of 18.”

Showcase of Israeli Web Design Link

Denis Zilber38




Rachel Timor40


Elad Tayer42


Keoss Studios44 (warning: music is turned on automatically!)





Rubin Museum48



Hayehudim50, an Israeli music band.



Moran in the big city54


Moran in the big city


Segal Wines




Oded Babayoff


“The Block”


Israel Today58


IE Studio60


The Red Sea Jazz Festival Website


Zero Nine


Studiogavriel’s work


The Wall62, Jerusalem.



3 Bears66





Quicheria71, one of the many Flash-based websites in Israel (via Wix.com72)


Terry Poison, electro-rock and roll band.

Web design in Israel -

Duddi Hasson74, Fashion photographer.

Web design in Israel - duddi hasson75

halas.am76, Holon Art Lab Audio Service

Web design in Israel - halas.am77

shani bar78, Fashion designer.

Web design in Israel - shani bar79

while you were away80, Ben Ben-Horin.

Web design in Israel - while you were away81

hello supersize82, Matty Marianski (Supersize), Motion graphics and interaction design.

Web design in Israel - hello supersize83

The Jerusalem Camerata84






Israeli Designer Showcase Link

Those who are able to rise above the circumstances end up turning out top-notch websites. Some such stars are featured here.

Shual90 (meaning “Fox” in Hebrew) is a two-person team that churns out modern Web-standard websites. Its own portfolio is startlingly green. Aside from this neon-green page complete with fox howl, the team turns out such beautiful websites as the following:


Galia Offri92


Art Focus94


Netcraft9616 does it right and sets a good standard. It is one of the leading agencies in Israel.


It designed this well-known e-commerce website:


Lionite99 is an Israeli agency with a unique approach to business.


It also created Octabox…


… and Cubicl.


Itamar Lerner101 is an Israeli-born graphic designer. He started working as a designer at 2002. In the following three years, he was employed by several design studios around Tel Aviv.


Adam Tal127103 (a collaborator on this article) and the design agency Internetlife104 created the website.


Daina Reed126106 is a freelance Web designer in Tel Aviv.


Inbal Pinto and Avshalom Pollak Dance Company108 created this beautiful, simple and artistic Flash website, which may be impractical for most in the real world.


Inkod Hypera110


nucampaign112 offers great insight into the real Israel (as opposed to the Israel you know from the news).


Illustrators Link

Liron Tocker114 is a talented Israeli illustrator and icon designer who lives in Germany.



Mikimottes117 is commendable for his sketching of everyday Israeli scenery.


Asaf Hanuka119 worked on the art for the award-winning animated documentary feature film by director Ari Folman.


hoop121: this is just about the end of our journey. If you wish to absorb more Israeli design, you should visit hoop.

Web design in Israel - israeli design websites gallery122

You may be interested in the following related posts:

About the Authors Link

Daina Reed126106 is a freelance Web designer and Web project manager in Tel Aviv.

Adam Tal127103 is a Web entrepreneur who believes that code is poetry and design is music. Follow him on Twitter @adamtal128, or check out his website129.

Sara Eisen is a freelance writer, editor, journalist and “marcom” and Web content consultant. She blogs at http://the-word-well.com130.

Also, this article wouldn’t have been possible without the contributions of Joey Simhon131 and Lior Yair132 of Netcraft, a digital agency in Tel Aviv that specializes in user experience and Web technologies. Special thanks to Avi Joseph133, CEO of SmediaC for helping with the research for this article.

(al) (dr) (at) (vf)

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  1. 1


    • 2

      Very great!!
      You have also the Israeli Css Gallery here:

      for inspirations..

    • 5

      Israel’s design is UGLY .. i dont like it .. seems like they’re copying European design, cheap immitations.

      • 6

        Hey william,
        What is European design??
        Is the design in Greece and Norway looks the same?
        Romanian design and UK design look alike?
        The Hebrew Typography started much before Europe knew letters.

  2. 7

    Samuel Delabarre

    February 23, 2010 6:27 am

    Great collection ! Thx, Bravo.

  3. 8

    Muhammad Adnan

    February 23, 2010 6:28 am

    great designs ..!

    • 9

      Thanks for the complement, especially coming from someone with you name:). Where are you from? Would love to see a showcase of arabic websites, hope it’s coming soon.

      • 10

        hey Adam, design is Art, regardless of where it came from, loving it doesn’t mean supporting any political view other the other, also I ‘d LOVE to see that small beautiful country to be called ‘Palestine’ again!!
        Nice work

        • 11

          Nonsense. Art often has everything to do with culture, religion, upbringing etc. Don’t try to be politically correct.

          • 12

            Of course Art will reflect the culture of the artist.. its human nature, but admiring Art and beauty is far beyond political views and conflicts…

        • 13

          This comment was deleted due to offtopic.

        • 14

          Me Too would LOVE to see that small beautiful country to be called ‘Palestine’ again.
          SEO is very important for any website and flash is not helpful in this point.

        • 17

          Absolutely true.

        • 18

          Does anyone know how offensive the name Palestine is to Jews? The Phillistines, from whom the name is derived, were mortal enemies of the Jews. That’s like naming Germany “Land of the Allies” or like naming Russia “Land of America.”

          Anyway, cool expose!

  4. 19

    Excellent showcase! It’s always refreshing seeing other cultures’ designs.

  5. 20

    In the article, you mention biz owners especially want things to work equally well in IE6. Also you say the high Flash prevalence must be a cultural thing. My theory is that the high Flash rate is just the easiest way in many cases to get things looking the same in all browsers for said biz owners. I’m not endorsing it, just floating a theory.

    • 21

      If you prepared to sacrifice SEO, users time and bandwidth and accessibility to get the page to look the same in all browsers, than go right ahead…

    • 22

      Unfortunately I don’t think that was the motive, even though you made a good point. Most flash websites are not even aware of any browsers other than IE.

    • 23

      If I’m to hazard a guess, it would be a cultural thing in that many web developers who work on Israeli websites may all commonly have an affinity for Flash because it’s heavily taught in their schools. In the U.S., you can see a similar “trend” in a micro level in college towns, where a popularity of a technology, because it’s endorsed by the university/professors, is disproportionately prevalent compared to general usage statistics. For example, where I live, .NET is unusually popular, juxtaposed against nationwide usage statistics.

      In short, a simple explanation could be: “It’s what they were taught and what they’re asked to use by managers/decision-makers”. All of this is *pure guesswork on my behalf* – I’ve never been to Israel and I’ve never worked as a web developer in Israel.

      I’d love to hear an Israeli developer weigh in on the subject! *Cross fingers they read the comments*

      • 24

        Well, Israeli *designers* are taught little or no HTML/CSS, because the (correct, IMHO) assumption is that it’ll be too technical for most designers, and they should work with professional programmers for that stuff. So when a client wants to cut costs and skip hiring a separate developer, making a Flash site might be the designer’s only choice.

        Is it that different in the US, for example? Is HTML/CSS taught in a serious way in design colleges? I always had the feeling that the best web designers/developers are self taught.

        • 25

          Yes, flash is what is taught in school here to my knowledge (and I have some). Tho I can’t speak for any advances in education here the past two years when I stopped taking interest in attending a school here or had a friend enrolled. I DO believe self taught is the only way you can be on top of the latest practices and it is way too easy with all the great resources online! There really is no excuse :)

          I also think that to those clients who are not web savvy, and especially if their business has to do with something artistic, they do care more about being really unique and conceptual and want to make their website an “experience”. Thus the reason for wanting flash (plus if that has been the norm for sometime with their competitors). They may not realize the benefits of giving the user a easy to use site that they can find what they are looking for. I believe users don’t want to have an “experience” or unconventional way of navigating that takes 5 minutes to learn, or wait for frivolous animations– I think there are ways to still keep something unique and artistic within a usable site that is not in flash. Flash is fine sometimes and adds a unique touch– but just not for navigational purposes. I personally HATE when I can’t right click and open in new tab– I’ll just close the window and stop wasting my time. I also HATE when it’s a beautiful fashion site and I just want to see the goods but have to click around and wait for videos to load in a unique way and still leave my main q’s unanswered…How much is it? What does it look like from each angle? How come I can’t see all 20 at once and pick which one I want to take a closer look at etc? If I forget the url can I find it again via Google?

          This is the designers job to educate this type of client and point out all the things they are missing out on and say something like– well we can make a really cool effect with a fixed position design element and some jquery. (but obviously not using all that lingo on them! LOL)

          Also I believe designers don’t have to code and they shouldn’t! They should code at least one site just to understand what is possible and what is not and how they can make the coding easier for the person who will code it. To read frequently about the latest CSS trends, cool effects that are possible, how to speak the lingo, what works and doesn’t work in which browser and the hacks– and give these instructions to the coders and converse about these issues with the coders. That doesn’t mean they personally have to code. There are plenty of excellent coding services out there today.

  6. 26

    Great article, thanks for posting!

  7. 27

    Great article!
    Thanks for the mention :)

    But where is my ?:)

  8. 28

    מאמר נהדר. תודה על זה:

  9. 29

    great article. because I have to research right-to-left webdesign for a client, this article has given me some interesting insights. keep it coming!

  10. 32

    Excellent article, very informative and detailed.

  11. 33

    It’s very difficult for me to see the greatness of the designs immediately because of the reading order (or what’s it’s called). I have to study the design, before I can relate to it. Am I alone about this?

  12. 35

    Jeremie Kletzkine

    February 23, 2010 7:09 am

    Israeli designers are really special!
    Impressive post – Enjoyed it very much, keep up the good work!

  13. 36

    Great article. Thanks!

  14. 37

    This comment was deleted due to offtopic.

    • 38

      This comment was deleted due to offtopic.

    • 60

      Please keep your political (and racist) opinions to yourself, this post is about web design.

      • 61

        This comment was deleted due to offtopic.

        • 62

          Showcasing work, no matter what kind of work or who did it, is absolutely not political whatsoever (unless, of course, that’s the intention of the showcase which in this instance that is clearly not the case). If SM were to feature Palestinian design work, would you still be complaining? Of course not.

          • 63

            Ryan, everything is political. Even when something is claimed not to be. Now read the beginning again and then read any report from a human rights organization preferably from Israel and then come back and say that these fine pieace of design artical is not also political.

            It starts of positioning Israel as modern wounder with european flavour and peaceloving culture and sunny beaches. Not to mention the exceptional technology development. That´s the offical Israeli state propaganda that is now also to be a part of normal israeli citizens´ discours when they travel abroad or come in contact with others.

            Just because you can´t read the codes doesn´t mean they are not there. It means that you just don´t know the capabilities of Israel. Wake up!

        • 64

          This comment was deleted due to offtopic.

        • 70

          See? They are offended when we dare to spell “Israel” in public.

          • 71

            Why are people offended when Israel is portraited as a peaceloving country, Oleg?

            Because it´s not in the words that meaning is created it´s in the deeds. Israel is a colonial, racist country that occupys and has implemented an apartheid structure. Not being offended by Israel is to say that all this is OK. That you support whiteness, exceptionalism, racism, oppression, theft, militarism aso.

            All these reactions are and insight that there are people out there that do care about human rights and international law. Your comment Oleg, displays the other side that think they however are an exception to these rules and at the same time a guidelight for the rest of us. History is repeating itself time and time again…

        • 72

          please keep your political and racist comments to yourself. Oh, and scroll to see the Arabic sites, too.

    • 73

      This comment was deleted due to offtopic.

    • 74

      Christopher Anderton

      February 23, 2010 9:38 am

      Yeah, and the designers are out and killing people? Common. Talk design, not politics. There are better forums for that than Smashing magazine.

      • 75

        we as designers have a social responsibility that we cannot deny… its not just all pretty colors and frivolity.

    • 76

      I knew this would happen as soon as I read the article title. Let’s focus on design, brother. Leave the politics for some other forum.

    • 77

      You should stop weeping in public. Get a life.

      • 78

        Stop promoting and entity that stands for everyday ethinic cleansing and violations against human rights, Oleg! That´s so 1948.

        You should start respecting life, never mind the skincolour or ethinic beloning of that person!

    • 79

      This comment was deleted due to offtopic.

  15. 81

    This comment was deleted due to offtopic.

  16. 83

    I have to nitpick: what the heck is the cd rom drive on the Macbook Pro on Lionways’ site doing with a tray? It’s supposed to be slot loading!

    • 84

      Jezzz, no one noticed that?? i must assume that no one knows a macbook for not notice that.

    • 85

      The reason the tray was chosen instead of slot loading is the (presumably) cool rotating effect animation, as opposed to the less interesting behavior of a realistic Mac eject operation. Sorry if I offended any Mac users…

      • 86

        In addition to the numerous Israel vs. Palestine arguments, perhaps we could throw in a little PC vs. Mac debating, too. It’ll be WWIII!! :)

        In any case, great designs and article. I’m a Jewish-American, but I find my influences from designers all over the world. I would be happy to see some Arab designs reviewed here. (In fact, I suggest it – not only to see some great work but also so everyone will STFU.)

        Anyway, great article.


  17. 87

    Thank you, didn’t know that there such beautiful websites in ISRAEL.

    יפה מאוד, לא ידעתי שיש אתרים אלו בישראל.
    אנחנו על המפה בלשון זכר

  18. 88


  19. 91

    You forgot to mention punia net – I’m israeli as well :-)

  20. 92

    Thanks for this amazingly long and invested article.
    There are client-side & UX sharks in Israel. Nice to see :)

  21. 93

    Fabulous Collection.. Great Post.. :D

  22. 94

    I miss Netcraft :)

  23. 95

    This comment was deleted due to offtopic.

    • 96

      I’m surprised you forget to mention the matzot, which are made from the blood of little christian children.

      People, please try to leave your racism out, and keep it professional.

    • 97

      It’s funny how we can have a debate about webdesign in Dubai, Turkey and other islamic cultures, but it’s always the same bullshit and antisemitism when we are presented with Israeli websites and entrepreneurs. Can’t imagine how wonderful the world would be without uneducated and clueless people, damn. it’s a nice thought!

      • 98

        This comment was deleted due to offtopic.

        • 99

          Please don’t feed the trolls…. ;)
          Great article, so true about managers – designers ‘relationships’, efficiency < design or UX

      • 100

        if only…

      • 101

        Ahmed Kachkach

        February 28, 2010 6:25 am

        This is a bit off-topic, but hey :-p ; Let’s just answer!

        I don’t agree with most of the comments out there, but the thing is that we’re not talking about religion. We’re talking about a country, with all it’s political history and decisions.
        Israël is a country that was built by force and financial/military invasion, and not by any kind of contract or agreement; It’s normal then, to find it outrageous to encense a country were people live the dream (with all this lifestyle that the article author is talking about), while 10 or 20 km from there, people are starving and are chased out of their country.

        • 102

          Hi Ahmed
          you got the facts wrong.
          Israel was Not built by force, it only survives by force with no better options.
          people in gaza are not being chased out of their country, they can do whatever they want in their land as long as they are not trying to murder their neighbours.

    • 103

      When I walk on the streets of Israeli cities I see Palestinian construction workers are building house after house. None of them are dripping in blood. Shame on you and your posting. Go tell Smashing Magazine about contents of Hamas websites.

      • 104

        This comment was deleted due to offtopic.

      • 105

        Oleg, are you for real?!
        Your comment is a replica from a South Africa 30 years ago. Now, the kaffers are fine here. They do not complain as they lawn, build and clean our homes/cities.

        Have you been to the West Bank? Do you know that happends some km from you in Gaza? Have your house been demolished? Have you passed a checkpoint and seen the “others” waiting? Well if you have not it´s because you live in a segregated country where people are divided up. That palestinians come and work in your hood is because the economy in the West Bank is totally blown to peaces thanx to Israel. Ofcourse you don´t know this then again, how would you? You don´t care, you just walk down the streets in your wounderful country right!

        Shame does not attach persons like you Oleg.

        And yeah, let´s look what Hamas has on it´s website and then let´s look what various Israelis right-wing political parties have on their website + the Israeli goverment. And why not have a look at the Goldstone report (ooops I said it!). Hamas is an armed force against the occupation and demolishtion of the nation Palestine with an additional social program. They exist only thanx to Israel´s daily politics and israelis like you that do not oppose it´s inherent racist foundation.

        Oh, by the way, you know that armed resistance is allowed during occupation of an foreign power. How many neuclear weapons does Israel have now?

    • 106


  24. 107

    so i’m sitting in a cafe in tel aviv with my computer and, because it’s been a full two days since i’ve logged on, i thought i’d catch up on some smashing magazine… bam, best surprise ever :) i thought i was seeing things.. ha.

    the design talent in israel impresses me more and more every day i’m here. i am especially inspired by the print design (and modern architectural design and package design as well). love it! todah raba raba!

    • 108

      Hey Michelle,

      Good stuff. I’ve never been to Israel but my mom was raised there. I plan on making an Aliya in the near future. Truth be told… I probably wouldn’t want to come back. Glad to see a great design community there. Hopefully, I’ll get to meet some of you face to face someday!


    • 109

      @michelle I’m always working in Tel Aviv Cafes maybe I’ve seen you before? :) Feel free to contact me (you too David) (ps I made aliyah 6 yrs ago)

  25. 110

    Very nice articles. It is a shame that although there is quite a large community of high-level web-developers in Israel, the de-facto standard is all about cost, so people would rather get a sloppy ie-only site than a standard-compliant css-layouted site…

    anyway – another very cool Israeli designer’s site i think is missing from this showcase:

  26. 111

    very nice collection. a lot of quality design. you did it again smashing!
    another good web design company is shkedim studio
    I like their clean designs.

    • 112

      I agree they do some very nice work! Having said that, I have some gripes with the functionality- the portfolio is in flash and I can’t right click open in new tab to see their websites. I get a tiny mystery meat square so I can’t see if I even want to inspect that piece further I have to click wait for it to load and click all the way back to get back to the portfolio. I’d like to see their lovely work in larger thumbnails so I can see more of the page and to be able to open a bunch in new tabs and then after opening several go and check them out ;) Their sites are really really beautiful tho! They do excellent work!

  27. 113

    A concerned designer

    February 23, 2010 10:07 am

    As much as I liked some of the work presented here, I can’t help but see this article as a contribution to the current ”rebrand Israel” campaign, which seeks to counteract growing international opposition to the occupation and to Israel’s recent invasions of Lebanon and Gaza by drawing attention to more positive aspects of Israeli life and culture. I may be wrong, it could be just a coincidence, but if so it is an unfortunate one, as it made the article seem a bit suspect and thus a little uncomfortable to read.

    • 114

      Yes, this is all part of the Zionist propaganda, I’m sure the writer was asked to publish this by the Israeli ‘Hasbara’…
      How about sticking to the design? not everything has to be political. And by the way, some of the designers featured in this article actually have political views not dissimilar to yours, and oppose occupation and the invasion of Gaza.

    • 115

      I can assure you it’s not.

      I would write about egyptian design with the same enthusiasm, and would probably do so if I didn’t think there are people who could do a better job than me (hint for smashing mag:)).

      So feel free to enjoy this:)

    • 116

      “Hasbara”, despite of its menacing, foreign-sounding name, is largely a myth.

      Foreign relations, and international PR in particular is a tiny percent of the Israeli government’s budget, and its efforts are appropriately pathetic. Most pro-Israeli campaigns come from independent Israeli or Jewish organizations.

      I guess you could say that the author is suspect personally, but he doesn’t hide the fact that he’s Israeli, and there’s nothing sinister about wanting to present your country in a good light. Besides, it hardly reads like propaganda.

      So you can stop worrying about dark Israeli conspiracies (at least when it comes to PR :), and enjoy the article.

      • 117

        So Hasbara is myth only because you say so Eli the man?! Funny, Israel itself have no problem in boasting how their new propaganda section will work, target the “bias” white people of Europe and how it is funded. Then again, you ofcourse know this but assume that the rest do not have a clue right so you go into “myth” rethoric…

        This whole artical is PROPAGANDA from start to buttom. Propaganda means to simplfiy the image/reality for one side or the other. “Israel has a friendly culture”?! Really, for whom? It´s the world most RACIST country and is OCCUPYING the West Bank and starving Gaza. Now, again Eli, is that not a simplifyed image of Israel?! Proberbly not right? Its proberbly the pals fault right? There is no dark Israeli conspiracies right? Just ethnic cleansing, violations of human rights, racism, masscres, hatred aso… What is that? Israeli banality?

        It´s not for nothing that Israel has the worst brand in the World! This artical is so FULL of PROPAGANDA and plays into the hands of ignorant americans. Anyone that knows a little bit more of the world and the state of Israel society and history sees through this artical. That´s what you are working against Eli. Make sure you get your Hasbara check at the end of this week!

        But how about the editorial crew of Smashing?!
        If it´s only webdesign why then are all these imaginary tourist descriptions inserted into the text. There IS NO NEUTRAL POSITION! Especially when it comes to apartheid, masscre, cronical violation to international law, torture, ethnic cleansing…

    • 120

      Just to clarify (not sure if Eli/Adam’s replies are to me or to the concerned designer) – I was joking regarding the Hasbara campaign. To me it seems quite obvious that this article has nothing to do with politics or the Israeli Palestinian conflict, simply part of a series on web design in different countries.

    • 121

      This comment was deleted due to offtopic.

    • 122

      This comment was deleted due to offtopic.

    • 123

      A Concerned Designer (if that is your real name), Smashing Magazine has a series of articles showcasing design from different countries around the world. This has nothing to do with “rebranding Israel”. Please do some research before you make ignorant comments that impute political motives into design articles.

      • 124

        Louis, how about you do some research and reading up! Israel has the world worst brand and that´s is something the country has built up for 60 years!!! Read the artical again and tell me if it´s ALL about design?!!!!

        I can take your through the text and check sentence for sentence where Israel is framed in a positive lightning which sticks very well with guidelines from “rebranding” and Hasbara centers.

        You do not come out as ignorant Louis. You come out as very bias and totally irrelevant. You read what you wanna read! How very convenient! And how very pro-Israeli. Biznes as usual. Let´s built some more houses since it´s not about the houses, it´s abou the timing right?!

  28. 126

    You forgot my portfolio :-), we are a new israeli italian team.

  29. 127

    Babayoff and all the designers !

    Wonderful works!! keep up with the creativity..

  30. 128

    Great article and showcase of Israels talent. The illustration is very creative and cutting edge. The flash websites seem to be because they stay a few years behind design trends in the states and flash was all the rage a few years ago. It seems like the next step for them would be web2.0 then css based web design. Great post SmashingMag.

  31. 129

    A politically biased article that shouldn’t carry such a tone in a design magazine. Just sad.

    • 130

      I don’t think it’s political at all – unlike some of the comments.

      If you’d replace “Israel” with “Belgium” in the article, would it still be politically biased in your opinion?

      If not, then your complaints are just a product of your own political bias, and not of real desire for keeping politics out of design (a sentiment that I completely agree with).

      • 131

        Eli, Belguim is not Israel. As a matter a fact there is NO OTHER COUNTRY in the world that has the aggressiv military record, cronical violations against international law and human rights as Israel. Maybe except from USA. There are few other countries today that OCCUPY land and have implemented and APARTHEID regim over this land post-South Africa.

        Your argument is so irrelevant that you must know this. Israel stands as the world worst brand not because of the outside but because of the everday actions it does to cleanse and take land from Palestine and for the constant violations of human rights.

        This is fact! Trying to make Israel an victim and bias critic is just shows the state of the this “thin democracy” country and its avocates!

        Beligum has it´s faults as every other country but none reachs the level of Israel. Wonder why? Have a reading in any human rights report Eli. But then again, that would propberbly be bias for you right? It´s not about Israel – it´s about everybody else not forgetting the Arabs ofcourse!

    • 132

      This comment was deleted due to offtopic.

  32. 133

    Blue-White Patriot

    February 23, 2010 1:21 pm

    [This comment was deleted due to offtopic.]

    Ok, about the design, well yeah, Israel is far behind the US and Europe, but i think this situation is going to change in the near future as i can see the beginning of this changes now days as more and more people are getting in to the advanced CSS, JS libraries and leaving Flash behind.

    I enjoyed reading this post from beginning to end. Thanks SM, keep up the good job.

  33. 134

    I think I’ll stop reading the comments from now on. If I want politics and world affairs I’ll go to the newspapers or tv or books about politics. Art is art. Design is design. I come here to learn about these things not to read about everyone’s individual politics. If it’s included in the artwork, so be it. But I want it to speak for itself. I guess now the next country installment will be arabic/islamic artwork. Bring it on. I need to learn about all the countries and cultures and what they’re doing to express themselves. Thank you anyway, SM.

  34. 135

    Excellent article and great stuff. Thanks for it. I’ll be happy to see more countries and great webdesigners here too.

  35. 136

    Good article. Thank you very much.

  36. 137

    Great article and great showcase of some very cool Israeli designers, but you did’nt mentioned maybe the coolest interactive studio in Israel:
    really check out their works

  37. 138

    Any chance the admins could just delete the politics BS? Even if Haitham/Pakistani_Patriot/etc had the slightest clue what they’re on about, it still wouldn’t be the right forum for this.

  38. 139

    Very nice article indeed, although I know a lot of sites that need to be on that list and didn’t made it.
    Funny how every post on the internet about something Israeli, follows by racist quotes.
    Also noticeable how the comment on the other side are civilized and calm.

  39. 140

    This blog made me feel really bad for Israel. It makes me feel as though who ever wrote this is not giving them much credit for what they do.

    • 141

      Very good article. The sad truth is that Israeli design is very accurately presented here. Many Israelis have talent, but very few pay attention to detail or typography, and very few can even afford to do so with such a tiny market (there are only about 100,000 domains registered under the .il TLD in all). And while I am a strict XHTML/CSS guy myself, I can see why they would use Flash to control type, with such a small pool of web-safe fonts available.

  40. 142

    This comment was deleted due to offtopic.


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