How to choose a good Background for your Blog #2

{Read in Italian...}
how to choose a good background for your blog 2
Back to talk about the background of our blog!
I'm so sorry, I know that I'm late, but do you remember what we talked about in the previous post? We saw which pros and cons we have by choosing either a solid color or a pattern. Today we'll see what to do and, more important, what NOT to do, depending on your choice.

“I love minimalism, so I choose a solid color. What should I avoid?”

DO NOT USE 'RGB' COLORS
Many years ago there were several restrictions about web safe colors, those that any browser would recognize: that's why websites from the Ninties had those bright, annoying colors, because at the time those hues were OK for most of the monitors!
Designers didn't have the possibility to choose freely like today. Now be grateful for the powerful means we got today and try to use them at their best! Nobody could ever find really pleasant these colors:
how to choose a good background for your blog 2
They're too bright, they cause eye distress, but, more importantly, they look "old". So, try to avoid them at any cost! Look, for instance, how these colors are more suitable for a background:
how to choose a good background for your blog 2
Of course, you can choose more vivid hues if your blog topics require it (maybe because you're a manly man)... but never choose those hues, never!
Keep this rule in mind not just for backgrounds: you shouldn't use RGB colors at all in your design, especially for your text.

“Meh, solid colors are boring! I want a nice pattern: what should I avoid?”

Previously we said that we should avoid distracting patterns and to have them right under your content. We also said that your file shouldn't be heavy, or your background may load after everything else. Let's see what else not to do.

DO NOT USE COPYRIGHTED IMAGES WITHOUT PERMISSION
This one is clear, right?! Not everything on Google is there so we can take it for free and use it without asking, or paying. Maybe someone created that image for work and we must respect that.
Obviously, if we create by ourselves our images or we have someone who makes them for us we're 100% safe, also gifting our blog with something unique. If this is not possible, always check the terms, respecting them. If we intend to use content that is not for free, just pay for it, without cheating.

DO NOT USE REPEATING PICTURES
This mistake is quite common for "non-professional" websites, and it isn't elegant really.
how to choose a good background for your blog 2
This background is far from being pretty...
If you want to show your pictures, why not making a nice gallery instead? Noone will appreciate your picture if it is just a destracting, poor background...
Or, you can make an image take the whole browser window, without repeating itself. Next time we'll see how!

DO NOT USE AN ELEMENT THAT, REPEATING, DOESN'T FORM A GOOD PATTERN
I'll try to explain this with a couple of examples. Take for instance these simple polka dots (not very pretty, but good to understand). When we use this little image as a background on our blog template, it will repeat itself horizontally and vertically, until it covers the whole browser window area (this is usually automatic, unless you edited your CSS).
To give our eye the illusion of continuity, anyway, this image must be cut properly!
how to choose a good background for your blog 2
If our pattern element has a tiny border (even the tiniest), this will repeat itself as well, forming rows and columns of squares. This doesn't look so good...
how to choose a good background for your blog 2
Another mistake we can commonly see with patterned backgrounds is the use of an element whose borders just "won't fit". This image may look OK, but the dots on the border repeat too closely when we form the pattern. So what?
how to choose a good background for your blog 2
Cutting by half the dots on the border, the resulting pattern will be correct!
This is just an example, but I hope that the logic beyond this is clear enough. What ends on the right must form a coherent element with what starts on the left; same thing for top and bottom.
These problems we've seen might look less evident if you're using a small device or a low resolution, but anyone with a big sized monitor will notice them, so pay attention! Sometimes the solution is easy to apply, sometimes it is less evident and you'll need to try and try again to fix your pattern.
Sometimes it is just impossible to fix because the starting element can't work as a pattern, so change it!

That's all for today. We've seen that:
  • if we choose a solid color, we should avoid 'RGB' colors (too bright and tied to old Web);
  • if we choose a pattern, don't have a picture that repeats without forming a seamless pattern;
  • always respect copyrights!

More:
1. General rules.
3. How to use a full-sized image as background.
4. Implementation.

Do you like polka-dotted backgrounds? You can find some of them created by me here.

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