Showcase: Textures in Web Design

Wdd Logo.
September 07, 2010

thumbnailTextured backgrounds in website design are common, especially in grunge designs. But they're used in a variety of other design styles, too.

Textures can add visual interest to an otherwise-minimalist design, or can add that extra bit of detail that really makes a design pop.

Paper textures are by far the most common, but other regularly-seen textures include stone, concrete, rust, and fabric. And they're not just used for backgrounds, either. Some sites incorporate textures into every aspect of their design, while others just use them for accents.

Below are more than thirty great website designs that make use of textures. Feel free to share your favorites, whether featured here or not, in the comments...

Kohette WebDesign

A stone-textured background is set apart with subtle coloring in the header. The texture repeats throughout the background.

kohette


Hugs for Monsters

Hugs for Monsters uses a bold stone texture throughout the background on their site. Incorporating it into the header adds a sense of cohesiveness to the site.

hugsformonsters


Forest Edge Music Festival

The Forest Edge Music Festival site is a striking and colorful grunge design, with multiple textures used throughout. A cardboard texture is the most prominent, though there are also more subtle paper textures.

forestedge


GO Mammoth

The grungy paper texture in the background here is echoed in other page elements, including the navigation menu. It adds visual interest to what would otherwise be very modern aesthetically.

gomammoth


Pigeon & Pigeonette

The heavy textures used here almost resemble a sponge-painted wall. Heavy use of textures like this should be done with caution so as not to overwhelm the content. Here it works because the content is very minimal.

pigeonandpigeonette


Benestar

The Benestar website uses a mix of paper, fabric, and wood textures, along with a variety of subtle patterns. It creates a very rich, multi-layered design.

benestar


Marie Catribs

Repeating similar textures across a site, as is done here with handmade paper textures in various colors. The hand-drawn elements further accent the paper texture.

mariecatribs


Crush + Lovely

Subtle textures like those used here can have a very rich effect on a minimalist site design. Mixing textures while maintaining a monochromatic color scheme enhances that effect.

crushlovely


Think. Do. Create.

Textures don't have to be used throughout a site to make an impact. Here, paper textures are just used in the header and sidebar, leaving the bulk of the background white.

thinkdocreate


Wearable Print

When subtle textures are combined with subtle patterns, the end result is refined and elegant, with that extra something that makes a design stand out.

wearableprint


Coastal Connection

A heavy paper texture, like the one used here, makes a big difference in the aesthetics of a site. Without the texture, this would be a very minimalist site.

coastalconnection


Sibling Rivalry

Another example of a grunge-style site that makes heavy use of paper textures.

siblingrivalry


What Katie Does

What Katie Does is another site that combines a subtle paper texture with a repeating pattern (both in the background and header). Other design elements echo the paper motif.

whatkatiedoes


The Hipstery

The Hipstery uses a paper-textured background behind their main content, as well as behind the background pattern. It adds to the vintage feel of the site.

thehipstery


Doublenaut

This background combines a pattern and a texture, in the form of what looks like weathered graph paper. It adds extra interest to a site that is otherwise very minimalist.

doublenaut


Digital Podge 2009

Another site that uses a paper texture for its background. Subtle but effective.

digitalpodge2009


Infinitum

A light, stone-textured background is subtle enough to be used directly behind text. Be careful using bolder textures in such a manner, though.

infinitum


TypeFaces

Another graph paper-textured background that's subtle enough to have type placed directly on top of it.

typefaces


Duchy of Cornwall Nursery

Using different shades of color on effectively the same background texture adds depth and interest to a design.

duchyofcornwallnursery


Questionable Characters

The concrete-textured background here adds a ton of visual interest and is a bit unexpected considering the rest of the site utilizes paper-themed elements.

questionablecharacters


Sky's Guide Service

Here's a site that utilizes a number of textures, including wood grain and paper. They've added elements like staples and water stains to further accentuate the textures.

skysguideservice


Bermon Painter

A slightly different ruled paper background, complete with water stains and weathering. It's subtle yet adds a lot of aesthetic value.

bermonpainter


Paul Bennett

Another site that uses a subtle paper texture for the background with text placed directly on top.

pmbennett


Matthew & Sara Are Getting Married

The textured wallpaper-style background here is something a bit different than is normally seen. It's sort of a combination of a texture and a pattern, and works brilliantly.

matthewnsara


The Waiting Room

Vintage-style sites gain a lot by using weathered, antique-looking paper for their background.

thewaitingroom


Christopher Calicott

Another textured background that also adds a bit of a pattern in the form of subtle squares. The transparency in the main content area further highlights the texture.

calicott


Design Development & the Pursuit of Happiness

Another fantastic example of a paper-textured background, this time with a more gray tone than many of those seen above.

thisisaaronslife


Amy Herndon Photography

The background here is a monochromatic canvas texture. It adds to the natural look of the site, and has a very organic feeling.

amyherndonphotography


Rhett Canipe

Rhett Canipe's site uses a variety of textures for a grunge look. Mixing watercolor effects with textures makes for a much richer design.

rhettcanipe


Fiore Designs

Fiore Designs incorporates a variety of textures: the background is a grungy linen and paper textures are used throughout the main design elements. It's a very visually interesting result that feels very elegant and exclusive.

fioredesigns


Every Time I Die

The bolder stone texture used throughout the Every Time I Die site adds to the overall grunge look. Stronger textures like this should be used with caution, as they can be overwhelming if not incorporated properly. Here, the bold colors and graphics compensate for it.

everytimeidie


Evan Stein's Internet Studio

A grungy, layered paper texture in the background here is another example of a strong texture. The simple color scheme here, though, keeps it from being overwhelming.

evanstein


InkByte

The InkByte site uses a stained paper texture for its background, which looks great without overwhelming the content.

inkbyte


Kathryn Thurman

A variety of paper and cardboard textures throughout the design of this site give a vintage and grungy feeling to the design.

kathrynthurman


Francesco Molezzi Design & Multimedia

Another subtle paper textured background, which makes the entire site appear more retro, despite the fact there's only one really retro-looking graphic on the page. Notice also that other textures are subtly incorporated, including a denim texture in the header and more paper in the top navigation.

francescomolezzi


Written exclusively for WDD by Cameron Chapman.

Have your own favorite website designs that use textures well, or maybe some tutorials that talk about good use of textures? Please share them in the comments below!

WDD Staff

WDD staff are proud to be able to bring you this daily blog about web design and development. If there's something you think we should be talking about let us know @DesignerDepot.

Read Next

20 Best New Websites, April 2024

Welcome to our sites of the month for April. With some websites, the details make all the difference, while in others,…

Exciting New Tools for Designers, April 2024

Welcome to our April tools collection. There are no practical jokes here, just practical gadgets, services, and apps to…

14 Top UX Tools for Designers in 2024

User Experience (UX) is one of the most important fields of design, so it should come as no surprise that there are a…

What Negative Effects Does a Bad Website Design Have On My Business?

Consumer expectations for a responsive, immersive, and visually appealing website experience have never been higher. In…

10+ Best Resources & Tools for Web Designers (2024 update)

Is searching for the best web design tools to suit your needs akin to having a recurring bad dream? Does each…

3 Essential Design Trends, April 2024

Ready to jump into some amazing new design ideas for Spring? Our roundup has everything from UX to color trends…

How to Plan Your First Successful Website

Planning a new website can be exciting and — if you’re anything like me — a little daunting. Whether you’re an…

15 Best New Fonts, March 2024

Welcome to March’s edition of our roundup of the best new fonts for designers. This month’s compilation includes…

LimeWire Developer APIs Herald a New Era of AI Integration

Generative AI is a fascinating technology. Far from the design killer some people feared, it is an empowering and…

20 Best New Websites, March 2024

Welcome to our pick of sites for March. This month’s collection tends towards the simple and clean, which goes to show…

Exciting New Tools for Designers, March 2024

The fast-paced world of design never stops turning, and staying ahead of the curve is essential for creatives. As…

Web Tech Trends to Watch in 2024 and Beyond

It hardly seems possible given the radical transformations we’ve seen over the last few decades, but the web design…