Using textures in websites
In real life, textures give our senses very important information about a particular object. Texture appeals to our sense of touch and gives us an impression of how an object “feels”. For example, imagine how different a piece of rough wood feels to our fingers than a smooth glass surface.
In web design, it is the same thing. Using texture on a web page takes the viewer to the next level, giving him or her an additional dimension and an interesting way to interact with the design.
Textures can be applied in many ways: lines, shapes, volume, depth and pattern.
Lines are one of the most common elements of graphic design. They can be used to separate or frame objects. When using lines as textures, there are different effects that can be achieved. For example, horizontal lines give a design a more balanced feel while diagonal lines make the design more dynamic.
Using shapes can also affect the way one understands the design. A geometric shape is often more serious than a free-form shape which can give a sense of playfulness depending on the way it is used. Sharp edges look riskier and smooth edges look safer.
Volume and depth add another dimension to the web page. The ways to achieve this are to use light and shadows, and perspective and proportion.
Patterns can be used to make a surface look, among other things, natural, synthetic, modern or aged. Depending on the “feel” a web designer wants for the web page, he or she can chose to use a grainy, old paper texture or a wooden texture to create a more natural look.
With the modern tools we have to build websites nowadays, there are literally infinite ways to change the way a user perceives and interacts with the design.
A good website to find free textures is http://www.cgtextures.com/.