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Using textures in your layouts

Sunday, April 21st, 2013 by Servage

In the print era graphic designers had a free reign to use high quality textures with heavy files, but in web era such textures are unwise to use, in order to reduce the sizes in order to speed up downloading process, hence that improves the performance. Despite such restrictions visual designers in web development industries love to use textures in their designs, albeit judiciously.

Lust for texture is not sentimental alone but has some logical reasons so let’s deep dive in the sea of texture through this post. First of all we will see some advantages using texture in the website designing.


In a website when we use plain background, we hardly create an eye soothing effect as well as canít highlight important elements like logo, titles, headings and some usual UI elements that we can do with subtle textured background, all over the page or in the part of the page. Basically texture has a highly sought after property and that is to guide the eyes of the visitors toward the desired elements of the page.

Of course it is not compulsory to use texture in the background alone but we can get same effect using texture in the intended element against the plain background. In simple words, if we are using a plain logo of a company in textured background, we will get same results when we use textured logo in plain background.

Usage of texture is not restricted up to highlight a single element but we can apply that for a bunch of elements which are accumulated in a logical manner. If we want to separate a set of elements like main menu, heading elements and some top content we can assign them a textured background and rest of the elements in a different background made up of the geometrical shapes and with different plain background than that of the page background. This way we donít hurt the information architecture, instead we enhance its effectiveness on the website.


If you are a fan of theme designing and running a theme with one or two colors still you have option to leverage your design elements using the texture. You can separate your content placing them in a logical manner and differentiating them using texture background for each logical set of the content which can be separated with using a slightly light tint of the same color background. You can further enhance the effectiveness using different set of textures for each content area or a set. You can do all using a logical custom theme.


When we are designing a website with multiple aims the inclusion of brand augmentation is one of the factors for a business website in particular. In such cases use of texture in the logo or in the brand elements greatly easy our job. If you have used texture only in the brand elements it will immediately grab the eyes of the visitor and will make your brand memorable.

In short, there are plenty of advantages using texture in the web designing. We can get positive effects from the usage of texture only when we use it judiciously otherwise over usage of texture will intimidate the users and won’t solve our purposes so blind use of texture may hurt us in long run so it is better we don’t use the texture at all.

References & more reading

Free textures for your webprojects

The Whys And The Hows Of Textures In Web Design


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Categories: Tips & Tricks


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