1st edition — by Patrick McNeil — Jan. 20, 2006
The Design Element
The usage of distressed elements in design is nothing new, and perhaps the
golden age of textured web design has passed. All this really means is that
the gratuitous and meaningless usage of texture on web sites is no longer
accepted and that sites using it more deliberately will only do so more effectively.
Many sites use texture simply as a means to break up the computer generated
feel of straight lines, solid colors, and perfect gradients.
is a fine example of this. When the site needs a grass roots or urban feel,
texture can certainly save the day. Most extreme sports related sites make
fantastic use of this technique, as seen on the
site. The distressed, thrashed, and worn
look give the rebellious anti-corporate connotation of the extreme sport
Perhaps one of the strongest usages of texture is in the effort to show
expressiveness or creativity.
all put it to use for this purpose.
It certainly seems as though texture has been abused, but it is still a
powerful and expressive tool. Just as with any other design element, step
back and decide if it reinforces what you are trying to say. If the theme
fits, then run with it, well done sites using this element can be quite gorgeous.
Connotations of texture: Worn, used, free, expressive,
physical, tangible, artistic, creative, raw, hip, aged, historic, rough,
grass roots, urban, and rebellious.
Massive Texture Collections
Mayang Textures (1000's
of free high res textures)
Textures (registration and contribution required)
Small Texture Collections
The House Painter (free)
of what you should learn to do yourself, but very nice indeed)
That Wicked Worn
Look (tutorial series)
Mister Retro (Photoshop filters)
CSS based worn type tutorial
rubber stamp tutorial (Photoshop)