Every now and again I’ll get a client who already knows exactly how they want their website to look. Now, some times this can be quite nice as it makes the design process quite a bit easier on my end, other times it can be a bit frustrating as their idea is either something that doesn’t quite translate well to the web or was a trend circa a decade ago.
I recently found myself in a meeting with a client asking to have his background be wood paneling. It made sense being that he was a contractor who dealt in using fine and exotic woods, but it was an idea that made me think of websites from a few years back. I did a little digging around and decided that even if this was a trend a while back, it doesn’t mean that it can’t still be done or won’t look good. So, let’s take a site of ten of the better looking wood textured sites that I came across.
The Potato has a nice wooden textured background is a nice compliment to the old, rustic paper looking texture featured as the background of the main content. All in all I thought this was a pretty clever layout for a news site, good use of icons and a nice color palette. The boards used as the background image tile together nicely to give a nice, seamless look.
Merchand de Trucs has worked a bit of magic on their website and cleverly added a subtle touch of wood texture to their design. They avoid the need to make the wooden texture tile vertically by simply adding a gradient and making it fade to black. Another example of a nice, dark, color palette as well.
Cottonseed Oil Tour is another great example of a site with a natural wood textured background. It also offers a brighter colored design than some of the other wood textured sites. The Cottonseed Oil Tour also does a good job of incorporating green colored wood texture as the background to their main content header.
Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners offer a refreshing and unique approach to websites with wood textured backgrounds. Rather than tiling images to create a sort of fence-like look, they stuck with just the texture of the wood grain to give the background the appearance of a sheet of plywood rather than row of 2×4’s. It’s also a brighter colored texture that keeps the overall site a lot brighter.
Cellar Thief is a classic example of a fence style wood panel textured website. The wood texture provides a nice contrast, and is a good balance of bright and dark, but the wood panels don’t tile vertically. That doesn’t stop me from liking the site, I think it’s a great looking site and I like how they subtly used the wooden texture to incorporate the theme of wine barrels in to the site.
Copper Basin Construction is another great example of a site that combines wood texture with old paper texture. I like the balance of the wooden texture in this site, it’s not overbearing and has just enough to spruce up the page and give the viewer a receptive first impression when the first visit.
Galluzzo Communications is a creative agency that took the wood texture and old paper theme and added metal in to the mix. The result is a very cool design and another perfect example of a site with wood texture not going overboard with it.
Juan Diego Velasco has a rather fun site. He uses the wooden texture in his site to work with his overall theme. But perhaps best of all is the fact that his wood textured, fence-like pattern really is a fence. It also looks like an office I wouldn’t mind as my own.
Delicious-Monster is another great example of a site that injects just a little bit of the wooden texture to add character to the site. They rely on a solid color background, rather than filling your entire screen with wooden texture. It’s a nice touch and works well with the earthy tones that decorate the rest of the site.
Brand Neuesense utilizes the wood texture to add a little life to their background, rather than relying on a solid color. This particular texture tiles nicely, both vertically and horizontally, and is also has a nice balance of bright and dark browns.
Though using wood textures was the new hot thing a year or two ago, it doesn’t mean that it can no longer be used. I think that when it’s used properly wood paneling can still make for an attractive site. And why shy away from it when your clients business is a cabinet maker, contractor, door installer, or any number of other trades where wood plays a large part.
About the author: with over ten years in the freelance web design and writing fields, Scott Stanton has had his finger on the beating pulse of the industry’s hottest design trends and bends for the past decade. Scott regularly writes for Wix.com the free website builder. Follow him on Twitter @TheScottStanton.
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