Using textures in web design

What is the simplest, correct, and sometimes the only possible way to create the illusion of a relief of this or that element (object) in web design (as well as in 2D in general, and naturally 3D)? That’s right – use a texture! As a versatile “material”, textures are widely used in web design and are the subject of endless experimentation. Textures on sites can be found as simple, which only emphasizes certain elements of the project, and much more complex implementation. Inspired by this publication, I propose to consider several options for using textures:

“Subtle” use of texture

If you want to diversify a simple plain or gradient background – add a “light” texture that will not catch the eye and contrast sharply, but at the same time, complicate and refine the background. It will also allow you to highlight certain objects a little, attracting the user’s attention to them.

An example of using texture in this vein is the LogoGalas website. The site uses different variations of blue, both for the background and for the fonts, there is a dark background strip with a menu and search on top, the rest of the page is lighter.

Notice the subtle texture at the top of the site (where the logo and top navigation are). An excellent example of skillful work with textures! This helps make the transition between background shades more noticeable and “interesting”.

Another example is the W + K Studio site. Here the texture is used along with the gradient effect for the background.

texture on background

Moreover, in this case, the “light” and very simple texture adds depth and “richness” to this very gradient background.

Texture as “brute force”

In contrast to the “subtle” delicate textures that subtly add detail, sometimes bright contrasting textures work well, setting the basic tone and mood of the composition. The most common use of these textures in web design is to emphasize headings or add contrast between different columns of content on a website. It is necessary to be careful enough with “heavy” textures, as they can distract the user from filling the page and draw all the attention to themselves, which is not good.

A striking example of the second use of textures is the Church on the Rock site, where “strong” textures are used quite widely.

many textures in design

In fact, the entire design (especially in its upper part) of Church on the Rock is “mixed” with contrasting textures and their interaction: separate areas of the site are highlighted with different textures, when scrolling down the usual monochrome background is used.

No less revealing is the design of the Narfstuff website, where the background texture is the brightest spot. At the top of the site header, many different elements and techniques of web design are used, while textures highlight certain areas of the page.

texture on the site

On normal or infinite scrolling down, the texture passes through a smooth blur to white – a good trick to change the rich header to a completely “minimalistic continuation” at the bottom of the web page.

In general, if we talk about texture in web design, then this is a very interesting and useful element, with its help you can achieve very remarkable results. Personally, I really like to add different kinds of textures for blogs, as it helps the template to look more capacious, effective and highlights the main content of the site. By the way, I advise you to take a look at the article about original background generators – you will find a couple of useful online services with which you can create beautiful textures for the background of a web page. In general, using textures you can achieve very different results. Ultimately, everything is determined by the goal you are pursuing, and there is always a suitable texture!

PS On the Blogger’s Cheat Sheet you can find an article on how to set a background for a website in html and many other publications about design, layout to help novice users.
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Author: Clark Douglas

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