What is a “texture”? A texture is a repeating visual pattern. Textures are used in web design as decorative elements that add visual interest to the page. There are numerous free sources of textures that you can use in your browser-based applications, or on your website designs.
There are a lot of websites that host free textures. Some of these make you jump through hoops just to use a texture. But some websites make it super easy! Here are my favorite sites for free textures for web designers and artists.
Resources of Textures for Web Designers & Artists
1. Lost & Taken
Lost & Taken is a website that offers free textures and backgrounds for artists. The site is run by John Cudell, a graphic designer who has created several other sites with free resources.
Lost & taken has a lot of nice textures available, even though the design is not very fancy (see also: Design Bump). There are around 580 texture sets as of this writing, each with multiple textures. The site is easy to browse, and all the textures are arranged in categories and subcategories to make it easy to find what you’re looking for.
The main categories include backgrounds, brick, fabric and leather, materials, nature, paper, people and objects, tools and equipment, and wood. Some of the subcategories for Nature include grass, leaves, rock/stone/pebble/sand, clouds/sky/fog/haze, snow/ice/frost.
The main thing that separates Lost & Taken from other texture sites is the quality of the images. They are extremely high-resolution JPEGs; the size ranges from around 3000×2000 to 6000×4000 pixels (or larger). These photos would be great for print projects if they didn’t have watermarks that say, “Lost & Taken”.
Unsplash is a site made for mobile photography. Yet, these photos can be used for so much more than just wallpaper on your phone. There are some great textures and backgrounds to be found here!
Unsplash offers hi-res photos that are completely free to use in your projects. The only thing they ask is that you give the photographers credit if possible. Each photo has the photographer’s name listed below it, which makes it easy to do so.
The actual photo sizes are very large, which means that you can make them as big (or small) as you like without worrying about the resolution being poor.
I love Unsplash because these photos are not typical stock images. They are more authentic and natural-looking, which gives them a lot of uses in web design and beyond.
Rawpixel is a digital art site that offers freebies for graphic designers.
They offer various types of textures, like wood, paper, and fabric, which can be used in web design. They have a few categories on their website: textures, illustrations, vectors, and mockups.
You can use these resources both for your projects and commercial projects. And you don’t have to give credit when using them, but if you do so it’s appreciated.
Their website is clean and easy to navigate – you can search by tags or browse the files by categories.
In the right sidebar of their website, they feature some of the best products they have on sale on CreativeMarket.
Rawpixel.com is the largest collection of free photos, vectors, illustrations, icons, and PSD mockups. The platform offers a huge selection of high-resolution images and all of them are free to download. Rawpixel is useful for designers, bloggers, web developers, and everyone who needs to find good quality images for a website or presentation.
Stockvault is a website that provides photographers, artists, and designers with free photos for their creative projects.
The site offers a growing database of over 19,000+ high-quality stock photos, textures, and graphics, that you can use for both personal and commercial projects.
They provide the images under the Creative Commons License which requires you to credit the photos to their original authors. The link should be placed next to the image or somewhere on your site where they are visible. Users are expected not to use the images in pornographic, defamatory, or other unlawful manners.
Stockvault is a great resource not only for web designers but also for photographers who would like to promote their work by sharing their photos with others.
TextureKing is a texture resource site, featuring high-quality textures in various categories including wood, brick, metal, stone, water, and more. Textureking allows you to download free textures for use in 3D applications, graphic design, and much more.
Our new site has been designed to make it easier to find the perfect texture for your project. To get started we have hand-picked some of our best textures and put them into a selection of useful categories. We will be adding more categories over time so keep checking back regularly to see what’s new.
TextureKing provides the best free textures available on the net. We have thousands of free textures available on our site so please check back often for new releases.
Textures have become a crucial tool in designers’ arsenal of weapons, used to add realism and depth to their designs. Thanks to the internet, it’s easier than ever to find great textures that are perfect for your project but storing them can sometimes be challenging. In this article I have listed some resources I use often and trust, they have an amazing collection of quality stuff with various types of textures.