Old Paper Part 3
3rd edition — by Patrick McNeil — Mar. 28, 2007
The Design Element
Of all the styles I have covered I still think that the use of old paper in a design is perhaps the strongest way to break the techno feel of the internet. Sites such as
somehow make me forget I am on the internet, it has such a tangible hands on feel. Not to mention of course that it fits their product perfectly.
site is a rather brilliant usage of the element as well. So many connections can be made. The Almanac is a book, made of paper of course. Farming is gritty, and dirty. Farming has a classic, home grown, family appeal. Everything about the topic is supported by incorporating some aged paper into the design. Its truly beautiful to see such strong connections between the design and the topic of the site.
Other more subtle usages can be found as well. On the site of
we find a fairly new blog with a large paper background. The page is loaded up with content, which combined with the paper background, lends itself to a newspaper feel. Not a bad connotation for a blog if you think about it. The writing on the site appears pretty formal and in depth. So connecting itself with a real newspaper only serves to enhance the authority they appear to speak with. And at the same time, the little bit of splatter in the top left helps it avoid an overly corporate feel.
So as always, the message is really the same, think long and hard about what your design says about the people and topics it represents. It says so much more then we might think.
A great source for a few free paper images:
Rare Books &
a terrific source of nice paper images to work with, and you can get them
Mayang free paper textures
Folded paper Photoshop brushes (excellent)