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Design

10 Amazing Backgrounds Every Graphic Designer Should Own

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Backgrounds are the unspoken heroes of graphic design—adding texture, interest and detail to layouts, they’ll be the hardest-working images in your collection.

We’ve tracked down ten essential backgrounds that every designer should have to hand, from simple grunge styles to complex star-laden nebulas.

Looking for a wider selection of background styles? Browse a huge range of cool texture images over on Envato Market and Envato Elements.

Read on to discover the background textures that should play an everyday part in your design process...

1. The Concrete Background

Looking to give your designs an instant cool edge? Concrete textures can look grungy and distressed, or minimal and urban—take your pick from this selection of concrete backgrounds to find the perfect partner for your designs.

Gritty Concrete Textures
Gritty Concrete Textures

Concrete is an on-trend material across the board right now—in interior and product design, as well as graphics—so it makes a great addition to designs that need to look contemporary and aspirational.

Gritty Concrete Textures
Gritty Concrete Textures

Designing a website for a new retail brand? Putting together a promo flyer for a design event? Consider integrating a concrete texture* into your artwork, and make your media seem on-trend in an instant.

Check out this vector background pack for example. This pack comes with 40 background textures featuring concrete, stone, and so much more. Add some grit to your designs with a few simple clicks.

40 Vector Background Textures
40 Vector Background Textures

*Top Tip: Concrete can appear cold in the wrong context—warm up your design by pairing the texture with a warmer metallic tone, like copper.

2. The Space Background

We’ve all wanted to be an astronaut at some point in our childhood (or, indeed, adulthood), but you can bring a touch of celestial wonder to your designs without leaving Earth.

Scenic space backgrounds might not be the plainest of backgrounds, but they are surprisingly versatile. They look fantastic layered behind poster artwork, and can help to create a completely immersive online experience when placed as a background skin on a homepage.

space nebula
Space Nebula Backgrounds

Space backgrounds have a distinctive psychological effect on the viewer—they can inspire feelings of adventure, risk-taking and intellectualism (perfect for science media or business pitch documents), but they are also incredibly calming. To boot, they are also breathtakingly beautiful, and require only simple typography in the foreground to make them shine. 

Check out this selection of space backgrounds, which has a huge range of different color tones to suit any project. Add them to your posters or websites for a sublime space effect.

Space Backgrounds
Space Backgrounds

3. The Grunge Background

Grunge backgrounds will never go out of style—they always give a cool, informal edge to designs. Look for peeled paint textures, faded edges, and deep, murky color schemes. 

Grunge backgrounds look great because they contain so much texture and visual interest. They are versatile too—try layering them under photos and setting the opacity to Multiply to bring through some of that interesting texture and give your images an aged, vintage-style effect.

grunge
Grunge Texture Backgrounds

Try adding a grunge background to a festival flyer, a gig poster or a magazine cover to add depth and interest. These unique grunge backgrounds will also look fantastic placed in games and apps, bringing a more immersive quality to digital designs.

Enjoy a premium selection of 12 painted backgrounds featuring beautiful colors and more. Created with a variety of tools, this set has high resolution backgrounds you'll definitely want to add to your collection.

Painted Grunge Backgrounds
Painted Grunge Backgrounds

4. The Polygon Background

Polygons might not seem like the most exciting building block for a background, but the final effect is incredibly versatile and professional-looking.

Polygon textures have a tech-forward style that would suit corporate designs, like reports, business websites or expo displays. They are a great way to add polished texture quickly, which is a great timesaver for corporate pitches. They also have a very modern, even futuristic quality that helps businesses to look forward-thinking and ‘with the times’.

polygon
Polygon Backgrounds

If you’re looking to add texture to apps, polygon designs are perfectly suited for the job—they’re stylish without being obtrusive, and they balance flat and 3D styles to keep your designs looking on-trend.

polygon
Polygon Backgrounds

You can adapt polygon textures easily to different color schemes too—take a look at the beautiful selection of colors in this polygon backgrounds package. This pack contains 10 noisy polygon backgrounds with incredible colors and textures. Use the abstract shapes to complement your next project.

Polygon Backgrounds
Polygon Backgrounds

5. The Blackboard Background

blackboard
Blackboard Backgrounds

Blackboard backgrounds will be a real workhorse for your design projects. Set behind typography, they’re great for emphasizing points in sales pitches, on educational materials, or on motivational posters or flyers.

Team a blackboard texture with a handwritten or, even better, chalkboard typeface for the ultimate back-to-school pairing. This will work just as well on college lecture slides as it will for advertising early Fall sales with a back-to-school theme.

Blackboard backgrounds don’t need to be black either! Liven up a conventional blackboard texture with chalky, muted shades, as in this blackboard image collection.

blackboard
Blackboard Backgrounds

Or dress up your designs with blackboard backgrounds in different gray shades. This pack contains nine blackboard backgrounds at 300 dpi. Make any clean design pop with these incredible graphics.

Blackboard Patterns and backgrounds
Blackboard Patterns and backgrounds

6. The Watercolor Background

Want to add a painterly, artistic touch to your designs? Watercolor backgrounds are perfect for bringing an organic, hand-done style to your work, without ever needing to pick up a paintbrush.

Colorful Watercolor Backgrounds
Colorful Watercolor Backgrounds

Watercolor textures aren’t just suited to advertising art sales—because they represent something that is hand-crafted, they are perfectly suited to branding and packaging for organic products or independent businesses. Try integrating them into cosmetics or jewellery box designs to add a home-made, beautiful touch.

Colorful Watercolor Backgrounds
Colorful Watercolor Backgrounds

Watercolor textures can bring a very different character to your layouts when set in different colorways. In this watercolor texture collection, a clear turquoise blue has a summer holiday vibe (great for hotel flyers or websites); a bright red gives has a bold graffiti feel, and an olive green, navy blue and black blend (pictured) has a natural style, which would also swing towards a grungy look if darkened.

This pack contains 10 high quality backgrounds with gorgeous colors. Use it to add beautiful texture to your posters or stationery.

Handmade Watercolor Backgrounds
Handmade Watercolor Backgrounds

7. The Bokeh Background

Bokeh backgrounds are made up of abstract light pixels to create a camera-like effect. They can add an ethereal, dreamy quality to your designs. 

bokeh
Abstract Light Bokeh Background

Suited to all sorts of media, bokeh textures are great for softening layouts, helping to add a beautiful, soft-focus style to websites, magazines, book covers—you name it. Bokeh backgrounds have an innately feminine style, which makes them perfect for fashion catalogues, wedding stationery, or for simply showcasing beautiful photos or typography.

Keep a collection of bokeh backgrounds on hand for when a client wants to tone down a design or make it appear more soft and calming. This glorious pack features 10 high resolution images perfect for any website or app.

Colorful Blurred Bokeh Backgrounds
Colorful Blurred Bokeh Backgrounds

8. The Paper Background

I personally use a paper background in most of my design projects, and am building quite the collection as a result. Paper images add subtle texture to posters, flyers, stationery, and web pages. 

paper
Worn Paper Backgrounds

For vintage-inspired and flat-style designs, a paper background is indispensable—see your designs magically transform from crisp and contemporary to suitably aged in an instant. 

Even if you’re intending to print your items on paper or card, adding a ‘fake’ paper background will only add to the tactile feel of your finished item. It’s also a great trick for making a printed item feel more luxurious if your budget won’t stretch to printing on expensive, textured paper.

paper
Worn Paper Backgrounds

This collection of wrinkled backgtounds includes an interesting wrinkled texture that will add a cool grunge element to your designs. Enjoy 10 high quality images all at 3000x2000 pixels to make the most of your designs. Download this set today!

Wrinkled Paper Backgrounds
Wrinkled Paper Backgrounds

9. The Brick Background

Bricks are a great texture to have to hand, ideal for showcasing framed images against, or sitting behind graffiti-style typography.

brick
Brick Backgrounds Pack

Brick backgrounds provide enough interest to be the main visual feature of a layout, while remaining uniform enough to allow text to stand out. They can have a worn, grungy look, or a clean, red-brick style, making them suitable for a range of projects and styles.

brick
Brick Backgrounds Pack

This broad range of brick textures has styles to suit every taste, from clean burnt terracotta to aged-looking maroon. Download 20 different textures for the perfect brick background for your designs. Also included is a quick vignette layer for a dramatic effect.

Brick Wall Textures and Backgrounds
Brick Wall Textures and Backgrounds

10. The White Background

Without a doubt the most versatile of all the backgrounds in your collection, a basic range of white textures will become a firm favorite for using in your design projects.

Even though white backgrounds lack color and an out-there design, they are flexible and provide an instant solution for adding that much sought-after professional look. Set behind graphics, typography and even other textures on posters, stationery, websites, cards and covers, they give an instant ‘texture-boost’.

white
White Backgrounds Bundle

This collection of white abstract textures contains 10 hi-res backgrounds, with bokeh and glittery effects. Add some sparkle to your work by trying this suite today. Watch it quickly become the most used backgrounds in your collection.

White Abstract Backgrounds
White Abstract Backgrounds

Your Ultimate Background Collection

Backgrounds are the backbone of any great design layout, adding subtle texture, interest and color while allowing stronger elements to shine. This collection of 10 essential backgrounds will see you through any design project, whatever the theme and whoever the client...

  1. The concrete background
  2. The space background
  3. The grunge background
  4. The polygon background
  5. The blackboard background
  6. The watercolor background
  7. The bokeh background
  8. The paper background
  9. The brick background
  10. And don’t forget...the white background

With this unbeatable team of textures to hand, I hope you’ll find your future design projects look just that bit more professional and striking.

If you’re still on the hunt for an elusive background, be sure to swing by Envato Market and Envato Elements and check out the huge range of great-value textures there.

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