While background patterns used to be extremely popular in the early years of the Internet ─ the websites were written in HTML 3.2 and Cascading Style Sheets didn’t exist yet ─ nowadays they are somewhat out of style. The background patterns presented here stem from that period: they originated between 1997 and 1999. Huge quantities of different types of paper and cardboard, a good scanner and Photoshop 5.0 were the tools of choice back then. The pattern sizes are all 96×96 pixels and optimized to place the lowest demand on memory space.

In the preview to the right you see different-colored texts against the selected background. If you want to use the background pattern or color globally for this website, then click on the link “Adopt this background”. The background chosen will be saved on a cookie and restored the next time the website is called up.

If you are using Microsoft's Internet Explorer, the preview has always a white background. Explorer can't handle transparent colors. Please use any other browser (Chrome, Firefox, Opera or Safari).

Traditional Japanese patterns (templates and names by Aki Asuwa)

Paper, paper and more paper

Canvas, wallpaper, cardboard and Japanese Washi paper

Structured paper


The background patterns are compiled here in a Zip file for downloading:

The patterns are published under the terms of the Creative Commons 3.0 Lizenz. They may be freely used for private and commercial purposes. However, their reproduction in catalogues is permitted solely when indication of the author or a link to this website is made.