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The Start of a Pattern?

13 Mar 2003 by

Do the recent redesign of Matt’s a.whole, relaunch of Dooce, and the always tight What Do I Know signal the return of the tiled background image? Thankfully, these are elegant and interesting — in a tasteful patterned material sort of way. Are backgrounds back?

24 comments so far (Post a Comment)

16 Mar 2003 | kristoff said...

Did they ever leave?

16 Mar 2003 | Paul said...

It's like being on the Commodore 64 all over again.

16 Mar 2003 | pk said...

If used in a subtle fashion, they do add a nice texture and element of depth.

16 Mar 2003 | scottmt said...

all people are about is pattern recognition , really.

16 Mar 2003 | Didier said...

Don't forget I find them rather elegant if used to put the emphasis on the content and add a certain style. A background will always remain a "back"-ground and that's the way it should be. It's all about the visual impact. Abuse it and you get a horrid result.

16 Mar 2003 | ~bc said...

Currently in fashion. These examples are done exceedingly well. Will it go out of style? I'm sure, but I think they're pretty cool as of now... I guess what I'm saying is "is it a trend?" Yes, "is that a bad thing, like [blink] tags?" No.

16 Mar 2003 | Original Jim said...

The Squidfinger tiles are beautiful.

I'm with Kristoff, did tiles ever leave, or have they just got noticably better?

16 Mar 2003 | Drew said...

They're gonna explode once K10k finishes up their pattern download/exchange portion of their website.

I think they're cute.

I think we need to bring back tacky tiled wallpaper in the home, too.

16 Mar 2003 | birdman said...

Check the "Textures" by Japanese designer Igarashi Susumu - circa 1998-1999.

16 Mar 2003 | smoothj said...

The discrete background has been floating around for a while. Perhaps the question should be more accurately framed "Are webloggers, bored out of their minds by the mediocrity of their lives, going to adopt patterned backgrounds as the next stylistic bandwagon to jump on?"

And the answer is yes.

16 Mar 2003 | kev said...

smoothj: heh. thats funny.

as far as im concerned, you can thank Surfstation for the return of backgrounds. Theirs arent so subtle but nice all the same, i think.

16 Mar 2003 | f5 said...

Smoothj–here here. I think something to note about this “trend” spotted with Dooce and a.whole is that their previous designs consisted (visually) of unique, asymmetrical layouts. Both just converted to CSS, and both ended up with the 'vertical rectangle' content box. Hence GIF patterns to occupy the large, empty borders.

17 Mar 2003 | fajalar said...

Mostly, I find these backgrounds annoying. But then I spend all day designing Web apps, and bg's on those tend to be visually disturbing.

On a general design note: I wish we weren't constrained by all the boxes. The first box is my cube (woo!), then my monitor, then Windows desktop, browser window, content area (within the borders of the browser window), then the actual content box (like the one on this page that is actually a box within a box), then the box I am typing in.

I am so tired of 4 sides. I want to see (non-image) content in triangles, circles!

Tear down the walls! Okay, off to the usability lab with me.

17 Mar 2003 | Darrel said...

as far as im concerned, you can thank Surfstation

Laurie De Martino has made a name for herself in the print world via the use of obscene amounts of tiled patterns these past few years.

Regardless, this is just too serious of a topic for me to fully construct an opinion on a Monday morn.

17 Mar 2003 | brian said...

i think the tiles are great, i myself have started to become bored with the simplicity that was brought about by the trend towards "minimalism" or "htmlminimalism"

its too bad CSS/XHTML design is soooooooooo finicky, because the possibilities for non-square layouts are there, just hard to provide for uniform display across browsers with it.

17 Mar 2003 | kristoff said...

Another pattern resource for you all:

17 Mar 2003 | Jesper said...

Go patterns! Wooo!

17 Mar 2003 | Hopper said...

All these patterns look like Casino carpet. Curious.

18 Mar 2003 | Toby said...

Get out of my head, Hopper. I knew some of these patterns reminded me of something, but I couldn't tell what. Too funny. It was either that or my father's tie collection.

See, this is why I come here, although my design days are (almost) behind me. I would like tiled backgrounds to come back, but I like them to add something to the site other than distract from the text. These examples are good, but I want to see where people could expand with the idea.

18 Mar 2003 | matt said...

These are great!

Does anyone know of a good mac utility for making tiled images like this? Not to generate them I mean, but something that automatically tiles the image as you're working on it.

19 Mar 2003 | alisha said...

I still like this old website:
nice wallpaper - excellent flash.

08 Apr 2003 | Matt said...

Well the big difference is that you never have the backgrounds behind the actual text, which is what really gave backgrounds a bad name last time around.

20 Nov 2003 | auto rates insurance said...

back with a vengeance

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