If you’re designing a new website or looking for a cool twitter background, coming up with an interesting pattern is essential for adding some eyecandy to your page. If you can’t create that patterns yourself, there are lots of great resources available online for downloading patterns for free that you can use for commercial or non-commercial use.
We’ve compiled a list of websites where you can find pretty much any kind of pattern, search by colour, by theme, or simply browse through the images until you find what you want.
DinPattern is updated every few days with new patterns. Images are available in .gif format, and are free to use in commercial or non-commercial websites, but permission is required to use the patterns in any printed materials.
SquidFingers has a small collection of patterns available in .gif format. They are free to download and use, but a credit link back to the site is always appreciated.
K10K has almost 1000 pixellated patterns available for download. Browse the patterns by the most recent patterns, by popularity or randomly. If you design your own patterns, you can also submit them to be featured on the site.
BG Patterns is a popular resource for designing your own pattern. Choose the background colour, the image and its placement, and download it as a .jpg. BG Patterns sets itself apart because you have more control over the pattern’s appearance, rather than download a ready made pattern.
The Tile Machine gallery is powered by its users, and has thousands of pixellated patterns available for download. Browse through the huge collection or search by artist.
Ava7patterns can be browsed by colour or the shapes used. Alternatively, you can also browse the most downloaded, most commented or top rated patterns. The patterns are free to use, and a credit link is not required but appreciated.
The Design Inspiration
The Design Inspiration aggregates hundreds of patterns from other websites, available for free download. There is no easy way to search of browse the patterns, but the quality of the patterns more than makes up for this.
Pattern8 has a small but gorgeous collection of patterns available for free download. Browse the collection by colour, search for a specific term, or by the highest rated patterns.
FBrushes is a resource for more than just patterns, with sections featuring brushes and textures as well. The collection is small and are downloaded in sets ranging from 7 to 54 patterns.
Background Labs’ patterns can be browsed by colour, category or by tags. They also have a section of interesting twitter backgrounds.
Fractured Sanity is a good resource for patterns, fonts, textures and brushes. The patterns are free to use and alter, but cannot be used commercially without prior permission. The collection can only be browsed by colour.
Portfelia has a small but impressive collection of patterns available for download. Use of the patterns must be credited, and they can only be used for non-commercial projects.
Adobe Photoshop Patterns
The Adobe website has over 200 sets of patterns and textures to choose from. You can browse them by most recent, most popular or highest rated.
Pixel Decor has a fabulous collection of retro patterns available for free download. The patterns can only be used in non commercial websites. Browse the patterns by style and log in with the provided username and password to download the files.
Patterns of Change
Patterns of Change allows you to use their patterns for free provided that you include a credit link, and if they are used in any commercial websites, you have to make donations to the charity, Action Against Hunger. The high quality patterns can be browsed by colour or shape.
Pattern Head is set up as a blog, offering free pattern sets for download. The patterns are varied from geometric to grunge to floral. Browse by tag, or search for the patterns of your choice.
DeviantArt is another great resource for patterns, but you have to check each contributors conditions for their free use. The patterns can be browsed most recent or most popular.
If you’re just looking for a quick and easy way to create a Twitter background, you could also use the free service provided by Themeleon.
Where do you get your free patterns? Let us know in the comments.
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