Beautiful Uses of Texture In Web Design

Sometimes web design suffers from its inherently digital feel; it can be difficult to inject a sense of tactile, dimensional surfaces into a design that was entirely created by taps of the keys. But the illusion of those surfaces can be a great way to add interest and individuality to a design. One of the most effective ways to overcome this problem is to add texture. There is a large assortment of ways that this can be done, and some of the most successful and appealing techniques are highlighted here:


There are plenty of great resources for grunge textures, which can simply be multiplied over a plain background to get this popular effect, like on the site Bangers Austin.


For a look that’s a little more refined than grunge, create a light stippling effect with a custom paintbrush, as seen on the Leaders, The Conference site.


There are a lot of ways you can go with adding a pattern to the background of your site, whether it’s large-scale and graphic or small and delicate. You can make really intricate patterns using photos, or for simpler patterns, you can search through pattern libraries or create your own from a symbol or brush.


Maryland Craft Beer‘s website is a great example of a larger, bolder pattern used in the background.


Andrew Norell‘s site is a great example of a smaller, more sublet background pattern.


The texture of old paper combined with an overlay of vintage engravings makes this website’s background particularly compelling.


Many vector illustrations can look a little too flat and simple unless you add texture, drop shadows, or other effects. This website combines the two methods along with a few subtle gradients to create a satisfyingly tactile feeling.


Another interesting way to use texture is to create an illusion of depth and reality, making elements of your website look like they’re interacting with a background of real material, such as wood grain or cardboard.


This website uses a wood background to create the illusion of depth and subtle texture.


This site uses a cardboard texture to create an overlapping illusion of depth.


Another great way to add unexpected depth is to use photography in the background. Although there are a lot of beautiful sites that use unaltered images, adding a layer of texture over a photograph is unique way to mix things up a little, like Freckles and Handsome’s did with this background photo.

Although these examples show that there are a lot of directions you can take textural effects, it’s important to be aware of the moment when a design moves from being interesting to cluttered or overbearing. Texture should be used in manageable doses, which often means restricting it to either the background or the foreground of a site, or toning it down significantly if it’s being used in both. With this guideline in mind, consider adding texture to your next design that needs just a little something to be taken up a notch.

What is your favorite Texture style? Any awesome Texture packs we should know about? Let us know in the comments below! Thanks for reading!

If you like this, You'll love These.

About the Author

Luke Clum

Luke Clum

Luke Clum is a Seattle based designer, photographer and outdoorsman. If he’s not geeking out about typography, you’ll most likely find him climbing something in the mountains. Follow him on Twitter @lukeclum

4 Responses to “Beautiful Uses of Texture In Web Design”

  1. zavera

    I love using textures in my designs, in both graphic and web design projects. I feel that textures give more personality and emotion to the works.


Leave a Reply