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Giving Backgrounds Texture

Make Some Noise

There is a neat little trick that most good web designers know and love, and it has to do with background textures and noise. I remember when I first started designing for the web, I would never use textures in my designs and was always left feeling like something was missing. A textured background, even when it’s very subtile, will give your site much more depth and feeling than a plan flat color or gradient. This quick example will use some simple noise to give a gradient background some extra depth. So let’s get started!

First Example – A Noisy Gradient

Step 1 – Create a New Document

Create a new web document that is 1200px by 1000px.

Step 2 – Choose a Nice Gradient Background

For this example I decided to do a nice bright-dark green gradient. Make sure it’s linear to make it easier to slice into HTML/CSS afterwards.


Step 3 – Add the Noise Layer

Next, add a new layer on top of your background layer. This will be our noise layer. Fill it in with total black and then go up to Filter > Noise > Add Noise. Use roughly the same settings that I use below:


You should end up with a really really noisy background.

Step 4 – Blending and Opacity

Next we need to change the blending mode and opacity to make our noise layer more palatable. First set the blending of the noise layer to Overlay. Next you need to bring the opacity down to somewhere between 1% and 20%, depending on how much noise you want. In my Example I used  5% opacity.

Your final background should end up looking something like this:

Green Background with Noise

Click to See Full Size

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