1st edition — by Patrick McNeil — Mar. 10, 2006
The Design Element
Ah the lovely gradient. This is certainly a trend right now, gradient
backgrounds are all over. This is another one of those easily
abused trends, but as usual we will focus on the sites that implement
it in a smart way.
One thing all these sites share is a soft feel. They aren't
hard edged or rough. The ones with a gradient background mostly have
a misty or atmospheric feel to them. Giving them a sort of light emitting
quality. I would have initially thought that these gradients were just
an arbitrary decision, that there was no concept or big idea behind them.
But I think that many of these sites are going for a soft safe comfortable
feel and they have employed the strong usage of gradients to accomplish
I really believe the thing to remember here is that no element or technique
should be considered a quick or easy fix. Each element of a design should
be thought through and planned, and if gradients such as these accomplish
your goals then it is the way to go. The
site is a perfect example. The gradients on the site are subtle and soft
giving the site a warm feeling. In contrast the
site which uses the gradients to establish an elegant designer
This is certainly a simple element but it is good to see a bunch of
sites that put the same tool to use.
Adobe Illustrator gradient tutorial