20 Coolest Web Designs From the Far East

webdesign in south east asia

The far east is perhaps, more widely known for its diverse culture and strong traditions that dates back to several thousands of years. They are also known for their exotic artwork and some of the most prolific paintings we have ever witnessed. Such a diversification has helped in their evolution to become more competitive and challenge the trends of art and design.

Apart from the obvious differences in language and text, there are many other aspects of web designs from the Far East that set them apart from their Western counterparts. The Web in the far east is young, and designers are catching up to the trend very quickly. Despite the challenges, more opportunities are seen equipped with smart people, a potential market, increasing demand, flexibility and innovative and user-centered design thinking.

While it is hard to generalise such a broad range of designs, certain elements are prominent: extensive use of images and animation; minimalism and complexity; fusion of ancient and modern styles; and widespread use of music.

Many modern Asian artists seek to blend ancient Asian themes with contemporary artistic styles. This post brings together 20 examples of cool websites from China, Japan and Korea, covering a range of styles from corporate sites and professional bodies to social networks and personal portfolios.

{post image illustration by Ricardo Gimenes. Check out his portfolio here}

1. Sixstation Workshop

Based in Hong Kong, Sixstation Workshop offer graphic, illustration, web design and branding. Their website combines Chinese characters, ink and water animation and atmospheric music to convey a strong sense of the agency’s choice of aesthetics.

website hong kong

2. Dongpai Design

The creatives of Dongpai studio present a stunning interactive website to communicate their philosophy and approach to design. The lush ink calligraphy drawings and animations fuse ancient and modern, with visual’s inspired by ‘The Romance of the Three Kingdoms’, an epic Chinese text from the 14th Century.

website chinese

3. Shoebox

Shoebox’s website employs extensive Flash animation and hand-drawn visuals on brown paper background to create a sense of homemade intimacy and eminently cool styling.

website shoebox

4. Neocha

Shanghai-based Neocha is a social networking platform aimed at bringing together and exposing China’s creative talent and subcultures. Users can upload and share music, promote events and follow the activities of their favourite artists.

website china

5. Idea Design

Idea design presents a Flash-heavy website with clean, minimalist graphics and pleasant animations, reflecting the studio’s creative practice.

6. Artlans

Artlans studio uses this website to showcase the best of their output in web, multi media, Flash, illustration and branding.

7. Mole Lele

Mole Lele’s personal web portfolio is truly charming. The artist’s alter ego walks through the rooms of an underground house as visitors navigate through the site.

8. Stoned Circle

The work of designer Saga Masahiko exists in the context of ukiiyo-e, traditional Japanese painting and printmaking. Masahiko takes the subject matter and style of this ancient form and translates this into beautiful digital images, as found on this portfolio website.

9. Karimoku

Karimoku are Japanese designers and makers of furniture, focussing on the qualities of wood, Japan’s long tradition of domestic design along with a modern sensibility. This stylish site showcases Karimoku’s New Standard range of chairs, tables and interior items.

10. Japan Association Press

The website of Japan Association Press uses really strong design work combining photography, typography, animated buttons and navigation.

11. Tibori Design

Tibori Design presents an ongoing project of stunning three-dimensional artworks inspired by classic eight-bit computer games such as Mario, Space Invaders, Final Fantasy, Mega Man, Kirby and Pokemon.

12. Ishiyama Senkoh

Japanese kimono company Ishiyama Senkoh has a beautiful Flash-based website, with subtle typography and full-page photographs effectively showcasing their exquisite garments.

13. Mikihiko Kyobashi

Mikihiko Kyobashi is a Japanese photographer specialising in dramatic underwater images of breaking waves. His website is a great portfolio for his work, with animated backgrounds of churning sea and suitably aquatic ambient music.

14. All Japan Kendo Federation

The website for the All Japan Kendo Federation nicely blends the traditional aesthetics and imagery of the martial art with animated graphics and easily navigable design.

15. Mitekero

This map from the website of Japanese broadcaster NHK is a cute example of websites that combine hand-drawn cartoon-style graphics with animated interactivity.

16. Moonlinx

Moonlinx is an online magazine focussing on art, design, music, creativity and communication. The magazine’s sophisticated design makes maximum use of photography and typography, transparencies and animations to accompany the content

17. Masuda Tomomi

Artist Masuda Tomomi produces sublime images in the Japanese tradition of Super Flat painting. This website is a cool showcase of the work, a minimalist layout that lets the paintings speak for themselves.

18. Daum

Based in Seoul, Daum Communications is a leading player in Korean language websites. This recruitment-related page is typical of Korean design, with colourful, quirky graphics and friendly design.

19. DCM Entertainment

DCM Entertainment offer website planning, management and development; multi media and motion graphics, presentations, promotions; mobile, Flash and all design content. The company website showcases the approach to design, with a highly detailed and interactive interface.

20. Apple News

The Apple News website is another example of eccentric yet cool Korean design, combining cartoon-style graphics, futurism, and interactivity, all in an eye-catching green and yellow colour scheme.

Further resources for inspiration:

1) Exploration into Traditional Artistic Japanese websites – OXP

2) Showcase of Webdesign in China : From Imitation to Innovation : Smashingmag

So, what are your opinions about the webdesign industry in the far east. It certainly looks very promising and we can definitely see the raging interest in designers and developers to build more user centric websites and thus making the web, a global platform to contribute and collaborate and to create a rich user experience on the internet.

We hope you liked the article, and we will be featuring such awesome sites from different countries in our upcoming articles. So, stay tuned.

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22 Responses to “20 Coolest Web Designs From the Far East”
  1. great inspiration and impressive designs. thanks for share Tom
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  2. sriganesh says:

    nice collection and never seen this site before, another unique post from you !!
    keep going brother
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  3. Ben says:

    nice like these far eastern designs cheers Tom
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  4. Really nice collection. Websites from the far east are so different in comparison with european or american websites.
    .-= Webstandard-Blog´s last blog ..Semantisches Web – HTML-Code seiner Bedeutung entsprechend auszeichnen =-.

  5. jeprie says:

    Nice. I love the Japan Asosiated Press, it reminds me of a japanese magazine i’ve read long time ago.
    .-= jeprie´s last blog ..Link Minggu Ini 020510 =-.

  6. Very nice collection.Thanks for sharing the oriental modern arts with us.
    .-= Johnson Koh´s last blog ..30 Charming Websites of Restaurants and Wine Bars =-.

  7. Awesome!! thanks a lot for sharing…

  8. I’ve been thinking about a web redesign myself and this is very inspirational stuff. Thank you very much for sharing. *THUMBS UP
    .-= rod rodriguez´s last blog ..How to set-up a free website on a free web-host for newbies =-.

  9. Really great designs here, accompanied by some very creative illustrations – thanks for the post.
    .-= Attitude Design | Graphic Design Portfolio´s last blog ..The Internet Conference 2010 =-.

  10. thanks a lot for sharing this nice post! I always love to read your blog.

  11. Omar says:

    thanks you!! …. good post!!

  12. you just have to get used to modern art to appreciate the beauty of it ;,”

  13. Wow! wonderful part of web design. Nice Web Designs From the Far East. I thinks this style of design is different from others part of the world. Because of Japanese thinking. Thanks for sharing such kind of outstanding work

  14. GaryR says:

    Wow! great post and some excellent finds! everyone of the designs rock! my fave is Mitekero…love it!

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