Review of Design Cuts’ Comprehensive Texture and Patterns Collection

Design Cuts have provided me with a copy of their latest bundle in exchange for this review.

The Comprehensive Texture and Patterns Collection is available for $29 (or around £27 including VAT) until 3pm UK time on Tuesday 6th June 2017. Once the bundle has expired, some of the items may become available in the Design Cuts Marketplace.

Design Cuts say: “This is our most varied and comprehensive textures and patterns bundle ever. Inside you can discover: rough vector textures, gold/glam textures, seamless paper textures, ombre paint, clean line patterns, watercolour textures, cardboard, felt, kraft, fabrics, colourful patterns, crayon patterns, subtle grungy textures, painted papers, vintage papers, natural backgrounds, modern clean backgrounds, space textures, geometric patterns, hand-drawn patterns, marble surfaces, ink textures and even 3D patterns.” Note that the preview graphics have been provided by the designers for presentational use only.

This really does seem to be a massive collection of all kinds of patterns. The majority include either jpg or png files, which can be processed by most photo editing software, but if there is a pattern you particularly like then you should check that it doesn’t require special software, such as Illustrator or Photoshop. Design Cuts specify software compatibility in the product descriptions.

As always when considering whether it’s worth purchasing a bundle, it’s important to think about whether you would really be likely to use more than one or two of the items.

This bundle would be very useful for a website designer but you do need to be aware of the terms of Design Cuts’ extended license.  They have told me: “You are also more than welcome to use your resources for web design, as long as you are providing your customer with a flattened end design, wherein they are unable to extract the resources or work with them in any way.” Also “you must combine resources with other original design work and not use them as the primary integrity / design element within a design.” and you can’t “redistribute, sublicense or share resources.”

I’ve featured a selection of the patterns that caught my eye but there are more in the bundle than the ones I’ve listed below.

Lots of Gold and Pink

If a pretty gold, pink and marble effect style appeals to you then you may be interested in the 50 Gold Marble & Glam Textures and 70 Vibrant Summer Patterns from Lara’s Wonderland.

These are all jpg files so they will work in many software packages, including free ones. You will find that most of these files are too large to upload to your website as they stand. The FAQ that is included says: “In case the project does not require the huge size of the textures, cropping a certain part out of the texture will always lead to better results than resizing the whole file.”

The items do seem to vary in size. The deluxe gold texture is 3000px square and takes up 31.1MB – far too large to use on a website!  I cropped it to a 300px square portion and saved as 174kb – a much more sensible size. This gold texture did not look good when it was resized, rather than cropped, however the rose gold veins marble did seem acceptable when resized. It appears to be very nearly seamless, although not quite perfect enough for there to be no joins.

I also successfully resized a couple of the vibrant summer patterns (one of which seemed better if I left it a little larger). Neither of these summer patterns are seamless – although the second one is so close that you could probably get away with tiling it. So, I think it’s a case of experimenting with the pattern you want to use to find out the best way of reducing its size to something manageable.

 

If these two sets of textures and patterns were the only ones you wanted then it would not be worth buying the entire Design Cuts bundle as you could buy them for less at full price. But I feel that there are other things included in the collection that you may also find useful. As soon as you add in one or two extra things, the deal becomes very good value. The following items contain other patterns that could fit in with this sort of style:

  • Eclectic Anthology – Painted Paper Textures Petal
  • Feather & Sage Design Co. – Modern Ink & More Pattern Collection
  • LuOtero – Cosmic Love
  • NKate – 29 Pastel Textured Backgrounds
  • Julia Dreams – Texturica

Here are just a few examples – one from each of the sets listed above:

Again, these are mainly very large files and would need to be resized to make them suitable for website use. These examples are not seamless so wouldn’t be ideal for the background of a website, but you could use sections of them in smaller areas.

If you like gold patterns then you are not restricted to the ones that are already coloured gold. Depending on the software you own, you may be able to apply gold textures to other patterns. One of my previous blog posts demonstrated one way to achieve this. But note that it will require editing software and a bit of knowledge, or the willingness to search online for a tutorial if you don’t have Paintshop Pro (the package I used in my example).

Here’s one of the gold textures from Lara’s Wonderland combined with seamless patterns from 7th Avenue Designs and Unio Creative Solutions (also both included in the bundle).

Watercolour and Painted

Several sets in the bundle contain patterns and textures with painted effects. These include:

  • Feather & Sage Design Co. – Modern Ink & More Pattern Collection
  • GraphicRain – Watercolor Ombre Bundle
  • Julia Dreams – Fantasies Watercolor Collection
  • LuOtero – Cosmic Love
  • NKate – Sea Painted Backgrounds
  • Pixel Buddha – Vibrant Watercolor Patterns

Here’s a resized example from each of the sets mentioned above.

As with the gold textures, if you have the right software, you could combine watercolour textures with some of the other patterns in the bundle to give you even more options.

Paper and Fabric

Paper and fabric textures can make good, simple backgrounds for elements on your website, or for banners and adverts. There are plenty of examples of this type of texture in the Design Cuts bundle. These textures do not appear to be seamless.

Zeppelin Graphics – 50 Paper Textures Set

Julia Dreams – Texturica Background Set

Kim Klassen – 2012 Collection

Unember – Texture Supply Vol. 1

Seamless or Not Seamless

Throughout this article, I’ve repeatedly commented on whether or not a pattern is seamless because this can be a useful property for patterns used in website design.

I’d guess that most people reading this are well aware of what I mean, but just in case, here’s a demonstration.

This linen texture from Julia Dreams is not seamless and it is very large. If I reduce it to a size where the scale of the pattern looks good and it is not so large that it will slow down the loading time of my site, then it will look odd when used as a tiled background pattern.

In this situation, I need to use a seamless pattern such as this one of Julia Dreams’ Pitter Patterns (which I have resized to be just 200px wide).

The ideal pattern for a website background image would be small enough not to slow down the loading time of your site and seamless so that no joins are visible when it is tiled.

The bundle contains lots of sets which include at least some seamless patterns.

  • Julia Dreams – Pitter Patterns
  • Julia Dreams – Fantasies Watercolor Collection
  • Unio Creative Solutions – Line Patterns
  • Wing’s Art and Design – Wax Crayon Patterns & Textures
  • FWStudio – 50 Concrete Textured Background Set 01  (only the bonus of 5 Seamless Textured Backgrounds)
  • 7th Avenue Designs – Mega Bundle Patterns and Textures
  • 7th Avenue Designs – Handmade Patterns and Textures
  • Pixel Buddha – Vibrant Watercolor Patterns
  • DesignerCandies – Onyx 3D Patterns for Photoshop

Here’s an example from each of the above:

Note: Unfortunately the jpg versions of the patterns from You and I Graphics do not appear to be seamless, so I have excluded them from the list above. I don’t have the software necessary to check the other versions.

Some of the non-seamless patterns in the bundle could possibly be used as background images, but they would have to be resized quite drastically to make them small enough for website use, and the quality may deteriorate too much.

You may be better off using cropped sections of the larger patterns as backgrounds for buttons, banners, panels, menu bars and footers, like this:

Applying a Texture to a Photograph

This method can be used to add interest to a photograph. Kim Klassen’s textures work well for this technique.

I had a quick play with this idea by adding a texture as a new layer to a couple of photos, reducing the opacity, setting the blend mode to ‘hard light’ and erasing areas of the texture where I wanted more detail to show through. Here are the before and after images.

 

Conclusion

This bundle includes a vast number of very varied patterns and textures that could be used in numerous ways.

It would be nice if some of the paper and fabric textures were seamless, but I don’t want to overstate the importance of seamless patterns. It seems that the trend in website design has moved away from overall background patterns towards full width sites with patterns used to highlight the different sections.

If you have a very specific requirement for a particular pattern and think one of the items from the bundle may meet this need, then make sure you read the description carefully to ensure that it has the features you need.

If you feel that you could make use of more than a couple of the sets included in the collection, then it’s a great deal!

1 thought on “Review of Design Cuts’ Comprehensive Texture and Patterns Collection

  1. Nicely done and helpful to understand what does or does not work for websites. I have been in the print world too long I fear.

    We had a lot of the same picks in this bundle, and I was surprised how much I liked the Unio Patterns – but the more I looked at them, the more I liked them.

    Thanks!
    Diana

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