Smashing Texture Contest Results


Last week was really full of hard work for us. The response to Smashing Texture Contest1 was impressive and overwhelming. We have received over 740 e-mails from over 600 participants, resulting in far more than 2000 photos. The result, however, is not just literally zillion of textures, but truly brilliant textures you can use in your private and professional projects for free. Thanks to all participants — without Smashing readers this texture gallery wouldn’t be possible.

What came out of it?

A variety of interesting, exotic or creative textures from all around the globe. Wood, stone, metal, nature, ice, sand, fabric, paper, glass, fire, food and plastic textures. A large number of daily routine things observed from a completely new perspective.

This one is going to be big. Smashing Magazine’s readers have created a quite smashing texture gallery:

Some entries couldn’t be processed, for instance because no name was provided, no files have been attached or empty files have been sent. Entries without descriptions or files had pretty bad chances of getting published in the textures gallery.

What can you do with it?

You can use all textures we present in the gallery for both private and commercial projects for free, without any restrictions whatsoever. However, you are not allowed to offer these files for download; please respect the interestes of over 300 participants of our contest. Please also consider the license information attached to the .zip-archives you download from our server. When it comes to usage of textures, different photographers may have different opinions and intentions.

Since we have received numerous textures, it was just impossible to present all of them in one post. It would also be unfair to present only few of them. Therefore we have categorized all entries and sorted them in 12 categories. It took some time but the result is quite impressive.

Smashing texture photographer at work: photo by Lucia Vega Miranda

The file size of .zip-archives is between 1 and 15 Mb (depending on image resolution) which makes over 700 Mb space storage. This is also a reason why we have decided to not offer all textures in one single archive. It is very likely that due to huge amount of data and manual work some links contain errors — please inform us15 about them. And sorry for inconvenience.


Finally, probably the most important information. The winner of Canon Digital Rebel XT 8MP Digital SLR Camera with EF-S 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 Lens was determined randomly from all valid entries we’ve received. The winner is not related to Smashing Magazine in any way.

And the winner is… Linda Estes. Congratulatons, Linda! We should have already contacted you.

Editors’s Pick – 30 Brilliant Textures

Haris Ferizovic
Beach towels. This photo was taken last summer at Croatian coast in city of Orebic.


Daniel Hosie
This photograph is of a interesting wood pole in Frankenmuth Michigan.


Zilda Borges
Collage of torn paper.


Paul Weingartz
Light trails


Ljubica Rapaic
Macro of a dandelion. The shot was taken with Canon EOS 400D / Canon EF-S18-55mm.


Andronicus Riyono
A beautiful piece of Indonesian Batik.


Paulo Ordoveza
This is a closeup of a Barong Tagalog, the formal national costume of the Philippines. The barong is a thin, transparent overlayer made from a sheer mesh of pineapple-based fibers, embroidered with elegant designs, usually leafy plants and ethnic patterns. I wore this particular barong for my wedding, one year ago this June.


Istvan Vasil


When we went to a trip in coonoor, karnataka we visited a fancy store. The shot is an inside view of a lamp shade which was hanging there.


Tom Karels & Ryan Beals


Olivia Kjellander Hook


Michael Smith
The inside of an old Adidas sandal.


Ng Ay Hoon a.k.a Jas
This photo is took in my house’s garden. It is a table with chess board textures.


Kyle Gillen
Well, sometimes inspiration is just at your fingertips


Mariella Johns Smith
The palm of a hand.


Priscilla Louzada de Sena
Metal gate written by lots of young people.


Tiago Hillesheim
Roof of British Museum, in London.


Angelie Baral
Lights above an escalator in Paris


Photo of a young banana leaf taken in Martinique


Krissy Bertram
Picture of spiked punch, blue berries and strawberries


Bogdan Günther


Jim Ferguson
This image is of a rusted out tank at an abandoned mill.


Jenn Rodriguez
Rusty car on the beach at Fort Funson, San Francisco.


Angelie Baral
Detail of a redwood sawed section


Mihaela Stoica
Water in an aluminium pot.


Ljubica Rapaic
I was working on a design projects with some ink and watercolors, and I took photos of a glass with water in which I washed my brushes. The shot was taken with Canon EOS 400D / Canon EF-S18-55mm.


Jonas Ersland
A shocking-red container-ship.


Craig Sefton


Maria Davydenko
Dangar Island sandstone


Jamie Winder
Taken in Bangkok, Thailand with a 7.2MP Sony Cybershot. Depicts old oil cans, left in an alley.



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Co-Founder of Smashing Magazine. Former writer, web designer, freelancer and webworker. Sven is now writing Science Fiction Stories.


Note: Our rating-system has caused errors, so it's disabled at the moment. It will be back the moment the problem has been resolved. We're very sorry. Happy Holidays!

  1. 1
  2. 2

    What a remarkably inane first comment.

    Very nice textures though, thanks again for sharing!

  3. 3

    To echo the first comment, omg indeed. Some of these could be sold as stock, so I thank you for giving them up for the free.

  4. 4

    There’s so many amazing pictures here. Nice work, everyone!

  5. 5

    Great jobs on the pictures! It’s great to have some free photo’s to be used in my web projects!


  6. 6

    Very cool textures! I’m sure all these guys have a flickr account or something similar they should have placed a link with each texture.

  7. 7

    you guys should make more contests like this ^-^

  8. 8

    Truely a nice collection! Congratulations to smashingmagazine for reaching so many people!

  9. 9

    not won :(
    but nice collection, nice to see mine in there (but only 1 picture got a thumbnail, others still in the zip!) :)

  10. 10

    Is it just me or only the winner’s name is presented without the winning photo?

    anyways, amazing stuff!

  11. 11


    Congrats Winner. !

    When will Smashing Magazine Publish the Winning Textures into one page ?

  12. 12

    Where’s the winners’ pic?

    There’s some really nice pictures there! Congrats to the winner and the ones listed in the Editor’s Picks.

  13. 13

    Vitaly Friedman & Sven Lennartz

    May 27, 2008 7:11 am

    The winner was chosen randomly.

  14. 14

    Nice set of stock photos. I say stock photos because I can’t see most of these being used as “textures,” but nice none-the-less.

  15. 15

    A M A Z I N G

    Thanks to you all!

  16. 16

    Why is the winner’s pic not shown?

  17. 17

    Good to see that you are using the power of your thousands of loyal visitors for good. I think this has been a huge success and you should host similar contests more often as the attract a lot of top quality stuff.

  18. 18

    Lovely collection! Thanks for including mine in the Editor’s Picks :)

  19. 19

    wow man u rocked with so many useful picks

  20. 20

    Brilliant, lots of great textures.

  21. 21

    Tracy Cristal: AKA SpacyT

    May 27, 2008 9:19 am
  22. 22

    Tracy Cristal: AKA SpacyT

    May 27, 2008 9:22 am

    Honored to have been included under Stones, Wall, Brick !!!

  23. 23

    Hey that first pic is of the disco cow from the 2008 Cow Parade in San José, Costa Rica……….. awesome article as usual, warm wishes from paradise! :o)

  24. 24

    Can’t imagine why my textures are nowhere to be found. While the quality of them was really good enough to stand next to one of the category textures. :/

  25. 25

    Omg indeed, plenty of excellent textures there :o!
    Congrats to the winners!

    PS: Would it be possible to include all the downloads into a torrent download? :o

  26. 26

    Really a brilliant contest.
    Thanks for sharing!

  27. 27

    Wow! These images are amazing. Great job, dudes ;-)

  28. 28

    Congrats to Linda, this was a fun contest, bring on the rest…seriously though, please do more of the same.

  29. 29

    Wow, I’m speechless…

    Amazing photos and thanks for hosting this contest!

  30. 30

    This is truly awesome. :3

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    Thanks but I do not want the camera! DONATE is to write the last post :D

  32. 32

    Simply mind blowing… OMG indeed! :)

  33. 33

    Great work everyone!

    better luck for me next time though :P

  34. 34

    What??? ooh come on!……………..who wouldn’t want a camera like that!!…………….my camera……… at the edge of its life time!!!! i need one………..DONATE it to me!!!!!!!!!!!! hehehe ; – )

  35. 35

    I did not write that comment because I do want the camera! Why weren’t my entries posted?

  36. 36

    by the way…..excellent CONTEST!! great quality textures. Very inspiring, thanks for letting us designers and photographers be part of this great magazine!

  37. 37

    I was notified that I won the contest AND I am looking forward to the new camera. I did not say that I did not want it. When will it arrive? I can’t wait to have better equipment. Thank you for selecting me to win such a cool camera!

  38. 38

    I did not reject the prize or write that comment. I’m happy to be selected to win the camera. Thank you!

  39. 39

    Nice! How can we view the winner’s image? Real curious :)
    Any one here like the textured background on my site?

  40. 40

    Thanks, Smashing! My 1st time participating in a contest like this. It’s truly encouraging!

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    yea how come the winning photo was not shown?? talk about a big oversight….

  43. 43

    Lawrence Anderson

    May 27, 2008 6:18 pm

    Really great stuff guys. I really liked Mihaela Stoica’s pictures.

  44. 44

    Very thanks, SmashingMagazine! Great Contest! I´m very happy! Everybody won, design won, inspiration grew up! There´s no beautiful camera compared to those images!!

  45. 45

    Awesome results! I would have loved to enter and win that camera, but ironically I didn’t have a camera to take the picture of the texture with! lol!! Good job everyone who did enter though!!

  46. 46

    These are amazing! And free, too? Brilliant.

  47. 47

    Although this is all excellent work, there is a big difference between textures and patterns. what we have here is a mix of both very good textures and very good patterns. please know the difference.

  48. 48

    Great to see a photograph from my hometown Coonoor! Although I must point out that Coonoor is not in karnataka, it’s in Tamilnadu.

  49. 49

    Congrats Linda…..

  50. 50

    I wonder my friend aneeskA also got placed in the list..

    my wishes to all

    thank you

  51. 51

    smashing. luv it to the max.

  52. 52

    niiice … sleek…n…yeah…free….10x A LOT

  53. 53

    beautiful selection… I like the first one , beach towels :)
    good stuff Haris

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    sandie sørensen

    May 28, 2008 12:01 am

    Lovely collection. This page will end on my favorites-menu. :)
    You should have presented the winner as the first example, I think..

  55. 55

    superb photos, congratulations to all participants :)

  56. 56 frnd aneesKA also has got his pic here…great……..on a whole marvellous work….

  57. 57

    Smashing competition. Smashing results. Smashing resource. Smashing magazine!

  58. 58

    congratulations Linda!
    Hopefully we soon can see some contributions from you, made with your new camera.

    Thanks again to smashing for this great contest and for presenting my work.

    Berlin, Germany

  59. 59

    which one of those is the winner texture? Linda Estes’ texture

  60. 60

    Muchas Gracias!

  61. 61

    Smashing, wuaw!!…. thanks, perfect, excelent, cool, we expect the second part of this section.

  62. 62

    thanx for the appreciation ! please showcase the winner’s picture !

    — anees

  63. 63

    Amazing, great pictures!

  64. 64

    I’m delighted to have one of my photos in the “Editors’s Pick”, among such a lot of amazing pictures :-)
    Many thanks to the Smashing Magazine teem for making this beautiful collection possible !
    And congratulations Linda !
    — Toh

  65. 65

    Ben: “I say stock photos because I can’t see most of these being used as ‘textures’ but nice none-the-less.”

    kevin Bhookun: “Although this is all excellent work, there is a big difference between textures and patterns. what we have here is a mix of both very good textures and very good patterns. please know the difference.”

    I agree. This is a good resource but rather scattershot. I have written more detailed comments with three specific criticisms.

  66. 66

    Simply amazing! Congratulations to the winner, stunning image!

  67. 67

    txs!! grEAT!!!!!

  68. 68

    Go Indonesian Batik!

  69. 69

    I love batik.

  70. 70

    Thanks so much to Vitaly and Sven for the time they put into this contest–it was no small feat! Thanks, of course, also to all the photographers who have entered and shared their work; there’s some truly great stuff up here! Lastly, congratulations to Linda for winning “my” camera. ;-) This has been smashing!

  71. 71

    you can see hairs on the sandal shot

  72. 72

    I can’ t believe you let the full details in the files to download : email, details, name, etc.

    Damn, i wouldn’ t have let my personal email for contact if i knew that you would have put it all online :/

  73. 73

    I’m starting to learn photoshop. I am wondering, what can be done with these textures? what are their uses and what creative things can be accomplished with them?

    Sorry if that sounds like a bit of a simple question. Just wanting to learn


  74. 74

    Directed towards DL:

    As a media student working on a webproject I went by this article to see if I could find some inspiration and Jim Ferguson’s image of the rusted out tank got my inspirational juices flowing. What came of it was this site, which I will feature in my portfolio once I decide to start one up.

    Thank you Smashing Magazine and Jim Ferguson!

  75. 75

    suprised with batik.

  76. 76

    Hey,where’s Linda’s work ?I’d luv to see that :-)

  77. 77

    Thanks, these are great!!! Amazing work and thanks for sharing!

  78. 78

    Great Stuff!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  79. 79

    Alfonso de Tomás

    June 17, 2008 12:07 am

    Really cool!!!

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    Can you explain “only got a thumbnail, the rest are in zip”?

  81. 81

    How about letting the readers “critique” the remaining entries? This way we will learn for next time.

  82. 82

    not bad….

  83. 83

    hey 73. DL where r u come from?which country?

  84. 84

    Really cool these are great!!! Amazing work and thanks for sharing!

  85. 85

    does anyone answer these questions we ask?

  86. 86

    Odipo Brian Sospeter

    August 15, 2008 2:04 am

    Kudos guys

  87. 87

    Here’s a stupid question. What does one use a texture for?

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    An amazing post. Fantastic work everyone.

    @ Tammy: Textures can be used for a variety of things relating to design to create mood and or a theme. It really depends on what the goal of the designer is. Many digital artists may use textures as a base for their layout designs and carry through an idea off of that main concept. IE – Rust for a grunge look, flowers or grass for a nature theme, etc. CG and 3D artist use textures for mapping onto 3D objects and such. Photographers may experiment on various lighting situations and shot compositions. The list goes on… From a design standpoint, textures come in handy for so many uses I could not begin list them all here.

    Eric – – Texture Doodles

  91. 91

    nice… i always like this such pic… that’s awesome ..

  92. 92

    they are very good pictures. thanks

  93. 93

    mmm…. me confundi creo

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    Well, many so called textures are in fact images with a clear subject matter – but why should designers who take it as a starting point mind? More free textures here:

  96. 96

    COOL ! Thanx

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  98. 98

    tkx friend u the best in the world

  99. 99

    my name is duan

  100. 100

    wow!! i really can’t believe this is for free! awesome pics

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    May 7, 2010 6:11 am

    his is truly awesome

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    kazi nazrul islam

    January 17, 2013 2:28 pm

    great job, thanks for everything

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