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Web Design FAIL: Iran’s New Holocaust Denial Cartoon Site

Posted By David Kaplan On August 21, 2010 @ 10:00 am In NewsReal Blog | No Comments


Holocaust? What holocaust??

As a professional artist, writer, and web designer of 15 years and with almost thirty years of online experience (both web-based and BBS based), I very often scour the web for exceptional examples of web design. This week, I hit upon a doozie.

Recently, Iran and it’s heavily state-controlled media wing made live a new website – HoloCartoons.com- which  is based on a comic book written by Omid Mehdinejad and illustrated by Maziar Bijani. Plain and simple, the site denies the Jewish Holocaust as a fabrication and myth. Complete with swastika emblazoned user interface buttons, the site categorically rejects Jews as true followers of Moses and Abraham and even offers a “dedication” to those who lost their lives in WWII “under the pretext of the Holocaust”.

As a Jew and enlightened individual, this site is obviously despicable. But, as a web designer, it’s interesting from a critique standpoint and it looks like they actually spent time, money, and energy designing the thing. So, in the interest of furthering better better web design, here’s my professional design critique.

The site features a page-by-page recount of various Jewish conspiracies and sanctions various varieties of Jewish demonizations using artistic renditions suitable for junior high-school newsletters. I’ve seen 8-year-olds with more artistic talent. It is a known truism within the web design community that a design should use fonts that compliment each other – typically no more than 2 or 3 at a time. This site fails utterly – using various misaligned oblique, outline, script, serif, sanserif and ornamental fonts. Oy! The writing is similar in style to that of an anti-social high school student ranting in his journal about some perceived bullying at school right before he goes on a murderous rampage against his student peers and teachers.

The site is rendered in a God-awful mustard yellow (intentionally or unintentionally) reminiscent of WWII “Jew badges” in Nazi Germany – aka rouelles. I give the site positive feedback for internationally localizing itself using three different languages – including English. Hey, bigotry is universal among nations, right? Unfortunately, the translated content itself is so completely amateurish, misinforming and maligned that any of the aforementioned accolades are rendered completely moot.

The site’s designer, Ermia Graphics Group, is run by Reza Amirkhani. Smile for the camera, Reza! You’re about to loose a few billion potential customers:

Reza Amirkhani, owner, Ermia Graphics Group – his hobbies including poetry and promoting genocide.

Ermia Graphics Group is responsible for promoting not just genocidal atrocities, but design atrocities, too. Perhaps if they weren’t so busy trying to wipe out millions of people, oppressing their own people, and taking over the world, Ermia Graphics Group may actually have acquired some design talent. Here’s a recent article by Smashing Magazine – the consummate design authority – showcasing exceptional Israeli web design. To be fair, there are many talented web designers, writers, and artists in Iran, as well. Unfortunately, Ermia Graphics Group, Reza Amirkhani, Omid Mehdinejad and Maziar Bijani are not among them.

As much as the president of Iran – Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – would like the world to believe he wishes to destroy “evil Zionist Israel”, not Jews themselves, any half-way intelligent person knows he’s engaging in “The New Anti-Semitism” which masks Anti-Semitism (hatred against Jews) with “Anti-Zionism” (hatred of Israel). Now, of course Mr. Ahmadinejad could deny any involvement in this site, but, in Iran’s highly controlled media – that’s an easy thing to find out. A simply WHOIS search reveals the administration and location of this site (for those not aware, WHOIS is a tool that provides details on who owns and operates a website – like a web site 411):

Registrant:
    Shahbazi Ins.
    Mohamad Mahdi Hemati        (m.m.hemati@gmail.com)
    No 204, No 32 St., Janbazan e Sharghi St., Nabovvat Sq.
    Tehran
    Tehran,1649975683
    IR
    Tel. +98.9123789761
    Fax. +98.2177209040

Now, of course anyone can register a website and provide any address they wish. So, we need to dig a little further. Using DigitalPoint tools, one can reveal the physical location of a web server and plot it on a map (thanks Google Maps!). Here is the location for HoloCartoons.com:

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