Flax Media creates superlative interactive experiences that inform, enlighten, entertain, educate, convey messages, fulfill missions, and build communities.
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We design, develop, architect, strategize, consult, collaborate, conceptualize, market, and and and...
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We have been making websites for 15 years and counting.
And still love it.
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  • Jean-Michel Cousteau: Ocean Adventures
    Content & Development

  • Common's A Minute Contest
    Development for: Kaiser Family Foundation

  • The Botany of Desire
    Design & Development

  • The Cook Political Report
    Design & Flash Development

  • Michael Pollan
    Design & Development

  • Malaria No More
    Design & Development

  • PBS Engage
    Design & Development

  • News21
    Flash & Consulting for: UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism

  • The Waiting Room
    Design & Development

  • E3 Biofuels

  • International Resource Center
    Design for: Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

  • Listen To Your Buds
    Website for: American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

  • San Francisco Craft Show
    Design & Development for: American Craft Council

  • Shotover Canyon Swing
    Flash & Development

  • Curriculum Bank
    Development for: KQED Education

  • The Captive American
    Design & Development

  • Deer Park Safaris
    Design & Development

  • Janet Wiscombe
    Design & Development

  • Foundation of Family Values
    Design & Development

some of our latest and greatest work
Michael Pollan Website

Michael Pollan
After years with a website that did the basics, author Michael Pollan was looking to expand his online presence with a site that allowed him to offer more information and resources to his readers, as well as to make his body of work more accessible. He hired Flax Media to rebuild his site from the ground up, resulting in a site that offers a wealth of information both about and by the author.
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The Waiting Room Website

The Waiting Room
A unique blend of locative media, social media and traditional documentary film, The Waiting Room tells the story of a county "safety-net" hospital in Oakland, California. When the creators came to Flax Media, they had a basic blog that they were looking to transform into a full-fledged multimedia site. The end result kept the WordPress core of the site, but with a highly customized design and information architecture that enables users to explore the project to a much greater depth.
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The Botany of Desire

The Botany of Desire
First a book, then a documentary film, and now a website, The Botany of Desire is an eye-opening exploration of the human relationship with the plant world, seen from the plants' point of view. Flax Media was hired to design and build a site that captured the ideas behind the book and the film, and to create engaging interactive experiences that use Flash, video and other online media to offer a unique look at the human desires for sweetness, beauty, intoxication and control.
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The Cook Political Report

The Cook Political Report
Looking to offer more up-to-the-minute election information, political forecaster Charlie Cook completely revamped the Cook Political Report website. Flax Media, as design and Flash lead, collaborated with Home Front Communications to create a throughly informative experience, offering Drupal/XML-driven interactive Flash map applications, subscription services, and extensive news and information about policy and politics.
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PBS Engage

PBS Engage
When PBS was looking to build a social media arm to reach out to audiences across their wide spectrum, they hired Flax Media to bring the idea from concept into reality. PBS Engage originally launched as the network's online space for experimentation. Developed in the open-source Drupal platform, the site has continued to evolve and expand ever since. Some of the innovative features Flax Media has created include dynamic live chats with PBS personalities, creative aggregations of PBS and member station blogs, and a social media gallery. 
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Jean-Michel Cousteau: Ocean Adventures

Jean-Michel Cousteau: Ocean Adventures
From the beginning of this ongoing series about the state of the world's oceans, broadcast on PBS, Flax Media has worked with in collaboration with KQED Interactive on content development, visual design, multimedia interface development, and production for the Ocean Adventures website. We were especially proud to have been part of the project when, shortly after the original site launch and broadcast of "Voyage to Kure," President Bush announced the creation of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands as a national monument, an unprecedented example of public broadcasting making a visible and lasting contribution to the world's environment. 
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A Minute Contest

A Minute Contest
Grammy-award winning rapper Common's "A Minute" Contest is an HIV-awareness campaign targeted at 13 to 25 year olds, who were invited to write lyrics for a song about HIV prevention. Flax Media, as development lead, collaborated with Fluent Studios create the site that enabled contest entrants to upload their lyrics as well as audio and video of themselves performing their songs. Judges from all over the country then used a custom-built judging interface to watch the videos and narrow the thousands of entrants down to the eventual winner, whose lyrics were performed by Common on MTV.
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KQED Curriculum Bank

KQED Curriculum Bank
Between its educational outreach division and its many broadcast and online properties, Northern California Public Broadcasting had hundreds of educator resources and lesson plans spread across its websites. Flax Media was hired to bring all the resources together in one centralized location and then build a dynamic interface through which educators can browse, search based on a variety of criteria, and discover new resources in their areas of interest.
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Rivers Wild

New Zealand Adventure Travel Guides
A high-end adventure travel business based in the Southern Alps of New Zealand needed a new look and a new site structure, so that potentional customers could easily find the services the company offers and experience the full effect of the stunning scenery on their trips. A significant rise in bookings immediately followed the site relaunch, and the Rough Guide selected one of the company's trips as one of the Top 25 Ultimate Experiences in New Zealand.
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interactive design & development

At Flax Media, design and development go hand in hand. From the very beginning of a project we take into consideration what technologies a site will use and how it will be built, and we create designs with the engineering and overall performance in mind. We view the entire process as highly collaborative, so our clients are very involved – you bring to the table your ideas and inspirations; we bring our experience and knowledge of what's possible. We do not build websites for you; we build websites with you.

interactive strategy & consulting

This line of work would be a lot easier if everyone walked through the door knowing exactly what they wanted and how they wanted to get there. But it would be a lot less fun too. One of the biggest and most challenging parts of creating any interactive experience is determining the strategy that will take you where you want to go. It could be that you are looking for a web solution, but the best avenue for you is in mobile technology – or vice versa. We look at a broad range of options – what is tried and true, what has already been done, what is waiting to be done – and work with you to maximize the potential of today's technology and to harness the power of our increasingly connected world.

social media & marketing

Whether you have a message to convey, news to share, or a product to sell, the best way to reach your target audience is changing as rapidly as technology changes. Engaging, or sometimes creating, social networks can be a key part of achieving your interactive goals. (Or it may be completely irrelevant!) We help you navigate these waters, and plan and implement a social media strategy that will extend both the reach of your message and the trust of your audience.

content development

One of the reasons that so many Flax Media websites are content-focused is that we too are content-focused. Even when we are designing sites or developing code, our teams are comprised of veterans of journalism and academia, driven by a true passion for sharing ideas and information. We have extensive experience in developing content in a variety of formats, including the written word, interactive quizzes and games, in-depth multimedia features, educational materials, and short-form videos.

agency collaboration

We work with several design, communications and marketing agencies to complement their internal resources with our interactive expertise. The areas in which we frequently collaborate are design, Flash, development, and content development.


Flax Media is an interactive design and development company. Flax Media creates superlative experiences that inform, enlighten, entertain, educate, convey messages, fulfill missions, and build communities.


Our philosophy is one of open-mindedness. We approach every project with a clean slate, and we adapt our process – and our teams – based on the assessed needs of the project. We have worked with clients whose requirements led to highly experimental all-Flash sites with non-linear serendipitous navigation. And we've also worked with clients who needed very strong and clear user interfaces, and powerful content management systems to drive extensive hierarchical data. Rather than customizing our projects to fit our approach, we customize our approach to fit our projects.


Why flax? Because it's one of the most useful things on the planet. The flax plant is incredibly vigorous and has been used to make fabric, dyes, paper, medicines, sails, nets, soaps, oils, cereals, and more. If Flax Media is a fraction as useful as its namesake, we're doing pretty well. Also, by sheer coincidence, six months after the company was named, the first actual Flax Media office had this view of an endless field of flax.
Why Flax Media? Because we are good and fast and efficient and clever and creative and personal and all the things you want in a small web firm. And because we have never missed a deadline or delivered anything not to specification, and we always exceed expectations. And we are ridiculously organized, so you don't have to be (though we of course don't mind if you are!)


Good question. Our clients are everywhere from New York to New Zealand, and Flax Media work has been conducted in all four hemispheres. Operations are currently based out of San Francisco and Lake Tahoe.


The virtual doors of Flax Media opened in 2004. We are infinitely grateful to our first clients who made everything possible.


Flax Media started out as the web nom de plume for the freelance work of Emily Coven. As projects got larger and more exciting, Flax Media grew from a girl-and-her-laptop into the collaborative efforts of many people and their brilliant skills. In order to keep overhead low and the company as flexible and adaptable as possible, Emily remains the only full-time employee, but is incredibly lucky to work with some of the most talented people making interactive media today.

Emily Coven


After a career hunt that took her through neuroscience, whitewater rafting, classroom teaching, and non-profit management, Emily was relieved when the world wide web arrived (thank you, Sir Berners-Lee!) and she found that she loved making websites. Emily has been working in the online space since 1999 and has not looked back. Prior to founding Flax Media, she held web production and management positions at SonicNet.com, MTV Networks, and KQED Public TV & Radio. A graduate of Yale University (in the ever-applicable field of Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry), Emily also holds a Master's Degree in Creative Writing. When not designing, developing, or managing the creation of Flax Media websites, Emily can be found on the trails of Lake Tahoe, in the taquerias of San Francisco, or getting dragged around various bodies of water pretending she knows how to kitesurf.

And a few of the amazing people who work on Flax Media projects:

Susan Harris Hammond

Design & Flash

Susan has been specializing in multimedia since 1995. She studied design and later taught at the California College of the Arts and Crafts (CCA) in San Francisco. After working for various designers – including on the ground floor of Flash software developer Macromedia – Harris founded Fluent Studios, a full-service design agency specializing in interactive, motion, and Internet design. Susan co-authored a high-end Web design textbook (HTML and Web Artistry II) currently in circulation in both English and Spanish. Her work has been awarded some of the most prestigious medals in the field of web and online journalism design.

Ariana Killoran

Illustration & Animation

Ariana has been illustrating as long as she could hold a pencil. Her professional career was sparked when she was teaching African history at UC Berkeley and realized there were just not enough pictures in all the books, so she changed course to pursue her dreams. After obtaining a degree in Illustration from California College of the Arts, Ariana has gone on to illustrate for textbooks, magazines and websites, including genetics company 23andMe, where she is the creator of a critically-aclaimed series of educational animated videos.

Kelly Whalen


Kelly is a San Francisco-based documentary filmmaker. Kelly's most recent documentary, Tulia, Texas, about a miscarriage of a justice in a small town, premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival and was broadcast nationally on PBS. She produced and photographed Rising from Ruin, MSNBC's television special about hurricane recovery in New Orleans, and co-produced Not In Our Town: When Hate Happens Here, a PBS documentary about communities responding to hate crimes and speech. Her other work has appeared on TechTV and the Independent Film Channel. Kelly received a Master's in Journalism from U.C. Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism.

Matt Glaser

Interactive Architecture & Development

Matt is the founder of Squonk Studios, a San Francisco-based virtual agency focused on bringing superlative talent to creative projects of all sizes, using transparent methods, open-source technologies and award-winning aesthetics to elevate their clients' visibility in any medium. Matt has worked on campaigns for Toyota/Scion, Cisco and the Discovery Channel, and has consulted and developed web projects for local institutions including Heath Ceramics and KQED. He's worked extensively with national non-profits such as the Kaiser Family Foundation and, most recently, built ScholarMatch.org from the ground up for Dave Eggers and 826 National.

Chapter Three

Drupal Development

Chapter Three was founded in 2006 by Zack Rosen, Josh Koenig, and Matt Cheney, three friends with a shared interest in social change, mutual expertise in open-source technology, and a strong belief in the wealth of networks. Among them, the trio have founded or co-founded some of the key projects in Drupal's short but notable history – DeanSpace (Howard Dean's historic 2004 Internet-centric presidential campaign), CivicSpace (the first technology company based on Drupal), Music for America, and the Drupal Dojo. In true San Francisco style, in their spare time, they also run a company that makes custom-designed fixed-gear bicycles.

San Francisco

Flax Media, Inc.
PO Box 7775 #75811
San Francisco, CA 94120

tel 415.992.5211
fax 866.775.5656


Flax Media, Ltd.
PO Box 1318
New Zealand

tel 03.669.0116