Design Focus

Friday Focus 07/16/10: The Many Faces of Paper

The many different textures, colors, and treatments for paper allow infinite possibilities for their use in websites. Not one of these designs look remotely alike, and that keeps things very interesting. Happy Friday Focus!

Designs of the Week


Great idea to do a slideshow that spans the whole background. Looks much less artificial that way.

Helmy Bern

Everything looks impressively blended in: the logo, Facebook icon, drop-down navigation menu, and tabbed navigation.

Thomas Lickes

Needs refining, but looks pleasant.


Love the navigation background as a torn section of the paper, and you can see the brown wallpaper pattern peeking through.

Andreas Hinkel - Celtic Football Club

Excellent hover effects and that overall “big” and “scrapbook” feel.


Love the glowing flame on the logo and the large navigation. I just have some issues with the text padding in the inner pages.

Marie Catrib's

Delightful, delightful details. Love the custom borders most of all.

Toby Powell

I like the way the borders and section headers blend into the paper, like faded newsprint.


There are tons of paper textures, but few bother to design with corrugated paper. Especially this way, with the cutouts, layers, and shadows.

Literary Bohemian

A visual and literary feast!

The Last Letter

I think it’s great that the video thumbnails have frames that echo the overall look, and the video player interface almost disappears from view.

Kalendarium tytoniu ze szczególnym uwzględnieniem tabaki

The page title isn’t so prominent, and there are no visual cues for the navigation in the header, but all the collages look fascinating, if a little overpowering.

Signature Attractions

Some alignment problems here and there, plus the map background image is a little distracting (could be lighter or darker), but good call on the drop down menus.

Levi Lodge

I really like the styled translation/localization flags! And pretty much every detail on this site—everything falls into place nicely.

Lendl Allen V. Trazo

The detail on this design is great, although the font choices for the headers are a bit tired. Not pictured but the animated thing going on in the footer isn’t as refined as the graphics above, looks awkward.

Occasions by Elizabeth

The shadow is a little too heavy, but the tabbed slideshow looks amazing, perfectly blended! Using the red wax seal effect for the social media icons is a good idea too.

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  1. By Jarkko Sibenberg posted on July 20, 2010 at 8:28 am
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    The idea behind Bern is great, but closer inspection reveals a bit too compressed graphics. It’s a shame because the thick cardboard effect would look nice. Some of the sites have nice paper textures, but their digital looking fonts just don’t blend in at all. The font works nicely in the last one for example even if it has quite heavy textures, but in some of the others it just looks wrong.

    Many of those look great. One of my favorites in the list is Toby Powell’s subtle and seamless paper background.

  2. By Victoria Blount posted on July 20, 2010 at 1:23 pm
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    I like the effect of using the textured paper backgrounds, the examples that are most effective have a retro vibe, and have blended the font styles and layout of the website to blend into the background setting.

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