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Back to Backgrounds

04 Apr 2003

Repeating background images used to be an immediate sign of design naivete. Right about 1997 there was an epidemic of tiled fractal backgrounds, animated horizontal rules, and the plunk-plunk-plunk of bad midi audio.

Understandably, many designers approached this new medium with a sense of awe and wonder, followed quickly with a giddy sense of the possibilities. The result, of course, was an exploitation of technology for technology’s sake. Thankfully, the times have changed. Examples of browser-feature abuse are the exception, rather than the norm. In fact, the simple tiled background image is making something of a comeback in well-designed sites.

Have a look at What do I Know?, a site created by designer Todd Dominey. Compare that to Matt Haughey’s A Whole Lotta Nothing. See how they both use subtle repetition of background patterns to create a sort of frame around the site?

Want to try it yourself? You can find dozens of these patterns at Travis Beckham’s squidfingers site. ​

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