When you’re designing a website, the web background pattern you use can be the defining factor in your website’s appearance. We all remember those sites from the ‘90s that had the blocky 400 x 600 picture repeating over and over again — and we all remember how terrible those looked. That’s why finding a pattern that can integrate seamlessly into any website is important for all graphic designers. Seamless patterns look more professional. Thankfully, there are plenty of websites that offer a free seamless pattern generator.
ThePatternLibrary offers many brightly colored options for the designer who wants to add a festive vibe to their website. Additionally, this site shows each pattern in full-screen mode so you can see how the image naturally repeats itself. Designers send their own patterns to the website’s creators, so new images are constantly added. Just scroll down to see how the pattern appears on a full-width website.
I recently talked about creating palette colors using ColourLovers, but the site also offers numerous patterns. There is an option for creating patterns using pre-made templates you can easily customize to suit your preference. Check out trends to see how other designers use various patterns to bring their designs to life. If you still aren’t sure which pattern to use or how to use it, join in on any of the thousands of discussions going on in the community for feedback.
DinPattern offers a wide variety of patterns on its website. The patterns here have deeper, richer colors than some of the options on the previously mentioned websites. DinPattern offers its patterns in numerous formats — .jpeg, .png or .gif — so you can use the most convenient option for your site and design software. The patterns on the site are quite unique, some resembling wallpaper and others featuring complex geometric designs.
PatternCooler has thousands of pre-made patterns on its website for free use. The patterns are tagged with various descriptions, so if you’re looking for something with polka dots, clicking on that tag will take you to all the options with dots on the site. PatternCooler also offers an editing tool to customize its palettes. You can choose the colors you want to use, or you can select RandomCustom Palette to experiment with unique color palettes.
Although bright colors add festivity to a website, many clients prefer a subtler, more professional approach for their website design. SubtlePatterns hosts many patterns that are more subdued than other options on the Internet. The preview option is pretty cool, because instead of creating its own little window, the website switches its background to the pattern you select. This feature allows you to see it in actual use on a website and give you a good feel for how it looks. The patterns on this site work well with nearly any site, because they are neutral and have a soft, faded appearance.
BGPatterns allows you to create your own patterns in just a few simple steps. First step: Select the color scheme. Second step: Choose the texture/canvas type. Third step: Choose an image. Fourth step: Rotate the image as you see fit. That’s it! You can preview your pattern on the website and make any adjustments before downloading. This is a fun option and can take less than five minutes from start to finish.
Patternizer is a good option for the designer who wants seamless striped backgrounds, but wants to use CSS instead of an image. You can choose the size of the stripes, the number of them, the colors and the stripe orientation, as well as many more options. Then, you can download the code for the final product and use it on your website. The featured patterns gallery highlights patterns others made for use by anyone. This saves time if you see exactly what you want and don’t want to bother with the generator.
Patternico is a newer addition to this list, and has some strong features that make it a great tool for generating seamless patterns quickly. First of all, you can set any canvas size you’d like for your tiling background. Choose a background color or upload a background image, then search to add icons to your pattern. Edit their size, color and transparency and arrange them exactly how you’d like them, seeing the results tiled across the rest of the screen in real time. When you’re ready, click “export” to open a lossless PNG in another window, or click “create new” to start over.
Freepik offers more than 82,000 seamless pattern graphics. You can search by orientation, color and pattern type and sort by vector, photo or illustration. You’ll find unique designs, such as flamingoes and florals, as well as geometric images. One of the advantages of this site is the wide range of color choices to suit nearly any palette imaginable.
Click on any image and look at a larger version of it so you can see what it might look like in a design background. Once you click on a vector, you’ll also get a list of other similar choices “You May Also Like.” This allows you to add pops of color or choose something more subtle, but with the same personality as the original choice. The browsing options on the site are intuitive and user-friendly.
10. The Orange Box
Do you use Photoshop for most of your design needs? If so, there is a software you can download that lets you generate your own pattern designs. The Orange Box is free software that allows you to take any photograph and turn it into a seamless background. Snap a photo of a piece of wallpaper and pull out only those elements you most want for your design. The freeware is available for use with Photoshop CC+, CS6, CS5 and CS3.
When you can’t find the seamless background you want in any of the online collections, or you simply want something truly unique to your design, this is a good tool to have on hand.
Vecteezy offers both free and paid seamless patterns. It has some really unique styles, such as the free ones above, featuring succulent plants. In the Pro category, you’ll find backgrounds filled with woodland animals, fruit and abstract patterns. The site allows you to sort your choices by free images or paid ones, and also by pattern types, such as floral, nature or decorative. The images are created by Vecteezy’s design community. You can download many of them for free without a credit card.
If you want a fast, seamless pattern and you aren’t sure where to start, this site has a wide selection. You’re almost certain to find whatever type of design you need for free or a reasonable rate.
Gerstnerizer is a great online pattern generator if you only need black and white seamless pattern backgrounds. You can alternately choose a color palette by searching its wide selection. Draw lines or use preset shapes, such as a triangle or rectangle, to create a unique pattern. While it is a fairly simple tool, it is great for generating a quick, seamless background or for beginners.
The layout of the tool is a grid pattern, such as graphing paper. You simply start at one point and draw to the next. This also keeps everything nicely aligned.
Generate Seamless Patterns
If you want your site to have a unique look unlike any other site out there, you need to generate a unique background pattern. The key to creating a seamless one is to use the right tools and make sure the pattern repeats in a way that allows all elements to line up perfectly. Finding that seamless background maker is key. That symmetry is especially important if you’re using stripes or a pattern that connects across the page. Don’t worry. With a little practice, your tiled backgrounds will look just as beautiful as a full-width graphic.
About The Author
Eleanor Hecks is the Editor-in-Chief of Designerly Magazine, an online publication dedicated to providing in-depth content from the design and marketing industries. When she's not designing or writing code, you can find her re-reading the Harry Potter series, burning calories at a local Zumba class, or hanging out with her dogs, Bear and Lucy.