When combined with CSS and a few other bits and pieces, HTML5 is widely considered the best way to construct modern immersive web pages. But before HTML5, a plug-in called Flash was realistically the only way to do this. Created by a company called FutueWave and subsequently taken over by Macromedia, Flash allowed designers and developers to program fully interactive multimedia websites complete with images, video, animation and typography presented in a way that wasn’t otherwise possible at the time.

In later years, Flash along with the rest of Macromedia was absorbed into Adobe and became infamous for its vulnerabilities and its rejection by late Apple CEO Steve Jobs who refused to allow it to run on iOS, the operating system that powers the iPhone, iPod Touch and the iPad which ultimately brought the Flash era to an end.

Growing up in the 2000s, I was always fascinated with websites in general but Flash websites always stood apart. Some examples, most of them for musical acts made a lasting impression on me as a designer many years later. Below are some the those examples.


DJ Hell

Designed by Paul Snowden

Released around the time of Hell’s album NY Muscle in 2003, this Flash website featured signature Paul Snowden typography, sharp metallic graphics and a built in music player.

Pet Shop Boys

Designed by Airside

V&A China Design Now

Designed by Airside

Arctic Monkeys

Pet Shop Boys, Y3, Jean-Michel Jarre, Arctic Monkeys, Kaiser Chiefs, V&A China Exhibition,