Design 101 Series: Backgrounds & Free Graphics

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Lately I've been working on a lot of blog redesigns. I've searched far and wide for clean and modern backgrounds. They're hard to find! However, I recently stumbled upon this website. Jackpot! And the best part? They're free!
Tip #1: If you're wanting to customize the color or opacity of the pattern, they suggest following this tutorial.
Tip #2: In Blogger, when setting your background, make sure you select the top left alignment option and that you check the box titled "scroll with page," this will make it easier to read for viewers, especially if you have a busy background.
Tip #3: In general, you should try not to tile a background unless it is seamless. Often times when tiling, you can see the separation between the patterns or it doesn't match up correctly.

And of course, if you're looking to make your own background or just need some graphics for a project, both Brusheezy and Vecteezy have some great downloads (you'll need Adobe Photoshop & Illustrator to edit them). Not sure what I'm talking about? Brusheezy offers patterns and brushes to use in Photoshop/Illustrator, and Vecteezy offers vectors you can download and use or customize in Illustrator.
Tip #1: Vecteezy: Downloaded the file, open it as an Ai file or EPS. Use the direct selection tool (the "grey" cursor) to enable editing capabilities.
Tip #2: Brusheezy: Download the file, open Photoshop and select the brush tool. To load the brush, open up the brush selection box and click on the arrow in the top right hand corner. In the middle of the menu you will see "load brushes." Click and find the file. Once you've selected and opened that brush it will be located in the brush selection box for you to use.

Please note that these backgrounds and graphics are for personal use only (non-commercial). Always read the terms.


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