1st edition — by Patrick McNeil — Jan. 6, 2006
The Design Element
Got Wood? Generally the use of wood on the web seems to be more for aesthetic
purposes, or is there something more to it than that? Perhaps it is the
desire to disconnect from the technical nature of a web site, and associate
more with earthly comfortable things. What ever the reason, one thing is
for sure, you will want to work over that fine photo of wood you will be
using. A bit of photoshop magic will transform your image into something
that fits your site beautifully. Every sample below appears to have had some
Perhaps the most important thing to consider when using wood in your layout
is the connotations or atmosphere created by the type of wood you choose
to use. For example the iso50.com site
feels warm and comfortable like an old basement with wood paneling. This
is actually really appropriate considering some of the work he
produces with its vintage flowing stripes. The use of driftwood on the Driftlab site
certainly contributes to the designer western feel the layout has.
It has a rustic feel to it, yet it remains clear that the firm is top rate,
one leaves with the feeling that they know how to create beautiful work and
are probably great fun to work with. Designkonig and
the other hand use wood in a wonderfully modern way, as though the site was
a highly polished piece of furniture. This high class atmosphere contrasts
the down to earth feel of the BSSP and
So my earlier statement that the use of wood seems to be mostly for
aesthetics is perhaps completely wrong. Through careful usage and consideration
this design element can greatly enhance the feel a site is meant to have
and can in fact speak volumes about the entity the site is representing.
The wood background used for this page came from here.
The following layers were placed over the original image.
- A deep red/brown color was added over the top of it set to Soft Light.
- A slight desaturation layer.
- A curves layer masked to make the left edge far darker.
- Then of course the DMD logo on top of that which was adjusted using layer
styles to make it appear burnt in.
- The whole thing was flattened and made to repeat using the offset filter.
Connotations of wood: Rustic, rough, worn, used, old, warm, comforting,
steady, conservative, earthy, natural, nature, down-to-earth, wholesomeness,
simplicity, friendliness, dependability, health, and honesty.
Textures - Flat Wood (free)
Textures - Manufactured Wooden Items (free)
The House Painter (free)
wood patterns (free)