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Smashing Textures Contest


Take a shot, send us the image and win a Canon Digital Rebel camera. In web design textures are needed in background-images and header graphics. Graphic designers use textures to transport some concrete aspects of real-life into the digital presentation. Textures are also used to create an atmosphere which fits to the main topic or idea of the site.

Such textures are usually extracted from photos. In fact, everybody can create them — apart from a camera no special devices or tools are necessary. You just need to find a texture and you make a shot of it. And here is where our readers come in. With this contest we want to encourage you to go out, take a camera with you, shot textures and send them to us.

What are we looking for? Link

We are looking for original, manually taken shots of textures. This contest is all about creativity. So take your camera, go out and shoot. Basically, almost everything can be a texture. Of course, walls, paper, ceramics, textile, wood, fabrics, metal, sand, plastic, wallpaper, stone and million of other motifs. Abstract or concrete, beautiful and strange — it’s completely up to you.

A good texture doesn’t have to be clean — on contrary, some beautiful textures can be found there where nobody actually looks at. Besides, some texture convey their beauty once you closely observe them. Just be curious and take a closer look around you. You may want to have a look at this article to get some more ideas: Where can I find textures and background images?

Clean fabric textures can be found everywhere — this shot is taken by Lucy Nieto

Water drops build a nice, irregular texture

Texture Screenshot
This is glass fibre from a boat. Photo: Flickr

“Natural” texture photographed in a wood

Texture made out of bricks in a wall

A knot texture

Texture Screenshot
Stone Texture from Ben Cloward

Texture Screenshot
This one is from a burned down hut

Stones texture which can be found in many sidewalks…

…or buildings.

Sand texture photographed by Kydroon

Wallpaper texture

Vintage fabric found by Stephanie Cake

Contest Details Link

So what is required to participate? And which rules should you consider before sending us your textures?

Is there a reward?
Yes. The camera presented below can be yours. One of participants of Smashing Texture contest will win the Canon Digital Rebel XT 8MP Digital SLR Camera with EF-S 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 Lens. The winner will be determined randomly.


Send us your textures until the 21st of May 2008. The winner will be announced few days after the deadline.


  • PNG or JPG
  • The size of textures is not that important, however they should have at least the width of 1000px.
  • All images should be packed in one single .zip-archive; the archive should have a specific file name, particularly your name – e.g.
  • Every participant can send at most 5 textures (pls send only 1, we’ve got so many entries…). Text-files with copyright information, your URL, country and a brief description of your texture should be placed in the .zip-file as well. Please don’t include any advertisement in the archives.

Copyright, labels, watermarks
Copyright information, water marks and URLs are usual for wallpapers, but they would disturb the texture. After all, designers should be able to work with textures after they are presented. Therefore please avoid everything which isn’t really a part of a texture. The participants should own the copyright for the textures they are sending. Textures should be photographed, therefore they shouldn’t be already available somewhere in the Web.

Winner announcement
All interesting textures will be presented as screenshots here, on Smashing Magazine and offered for free download to Smashing Magazine readers. The name and URL of participants will be presented, of course. If there will be enough participants, textures will be sorted and categorized.

Where should the textures be sent to?
The contest ist closed now.

Get creative, folks!

Smashing Book #5

Hold on tiger! Thank you for reading the article. Did you know that we also publish printed books and run friendly conferences – crafted for pros like you? For example, Smashing Book 5, packed with smart responsive design patterns and techniques.

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Sven is the co-founder and former CEO of Smashing Magazine. He's now writing at his Conterest Blog, where he focuses on blogs, content strategy and publishing — all in German.

  1. 1

    Interesting contest. Textures are very limited as they only have one specific theme.

    Looking forward to the winner basically and see on what basis you judge as I couldn’t judge textures to be honest. Looking at the above examples, every one of those would be a winner for me as they come from totally different backgrounds and all have some beauty aspect.

  2. 2

    Vitaly Friedman & Sven Lennartz

    May 9, 2008 5:32 am

    @Dennis: there will be no “best” texture if that’s what you mean. There is just no way to somehow rank textures. You are absolutely right. Probably what you mean is the winner of the camera – a “winner” will be chosen randomly.

  3. 3

    @dennis … textures are not limiting at all …
    that.s the beauty of textures .not only are they EVERYWHERE, but you can use them for EVERYTHING … so not sure why you think textures have only one theme …

    good luck if you plan on entering .

  4. 4

    David Dashifen Kees

    May 9, 2008 5:44 am

    I must admit to being reasonably mystified by textures in general. Coming from a programming background rather than an artistic one, I’ve never really understood what they’re for, when to apply them, and in general, the stock textures with Fireworks, for example, are reasonably simplistic. I look forward to these contest results and, hopefully, learning more about textures between now and then.

  5. 5

    Rogerio Caetano

    May 9, 2008 5:46 am

    The contest is it allowed to foreigners? Or only US-residents?

  6. 6

    Solaris Von Gäzebo

    May 9, 2008 5:47 am

    How Exciting….!

    Having a hard time choosing the good ones to send.


  7. 7

    Vitaly Friedman & Sven Lennartz

    May 9, 2008 5:49 am

    @Rogerio Caetano: it is allowed for everybody.

  8. 8

    So when sending in more than one texture, each texture should be zipped separately….Does this mean that each zip contains exactly one image, or that each zip can contain more images of the same texture (eg different angles, etc) (my understanding is that each zip contains 1 image, but I just want to be sure :) )?

  9. 9

    Vitaly Friedman & Sven Lennartz

    May 9, 2008 5:56 am

    @Sylvia: each .zip-archive can contain several images of the same texture.

  10. 10

    Great Post….

  11. 11

    Benedict Aluan

    May 9, 2008 6:24 am

    Exciting contest! :-)

  12. 12

    Great contest! Two quick questions: 1) In the text file, you ask for copyright information. Do you have a preference to what to put in here? Creative Commons, etc? 2) I went out and took some pictures just for this contest … Then, I read that we should zip more than pic of the textures. Is just one picutre okay, or does there need to be more than one?

  13. 13

    Vitaly Friedman & Sven Lennartz

    May 9, 2008 7:12 am

    @Nicholas: 1) the pictures should be avaiable for download, deviations, free and commercial projects. So you may write nothing or just some information about the person who has actually shot the texture. 2) You can zip more than one picture, but you don’t have to. One picture is OK.

  14. 14

    hey! Why you use use Canon camera image in post?

    i hate Canon (I love nikon), and i think You should use canon or nikon image.. it;s provocation!

    Please, it’s detail, but important for me.

    I like smashing magazine, and don’t want stop.

  15. 15

    Vitaly Friedman & Sven Lennartz

    May 9, 2008 7:22 am

    @nbb: can you be more specific? What do you mean?

  16. 16

    So the winner will be randomly determined? So, you’re saying that it’s basically pulling a name out of a hat?

  17. 17

    I’m with you, nikon are waaay better (it’s preference really)…

    but read the prize…. it explains why…

  18. 18

    Thanks for this beatiful textures!

  19. 19

    I am so excited seeing this fabulous contest by SM… I am also participating ‘Only for that fantastic gift’ …

  20. 20

    I’m getting to work!

  21. 21

    Now then, as for camera preferences.
    I work with Canon and like the camera.
    I don’t hate Nikon or any other brand. I just prefer Canon.
    It is a matter of choice.
    The Camera is a tool. So no matter what brand I prefer, it is still a tool !
    So please…this is a great contest no matter what.

  22. 22

    shannon palmer

    May 9, 2008 9:59 am

    this will be fun! i give away free textures on my blog all the time (along with tutorials on creating your own), so I’m looking foward to participating.

  23. 23

    armando fontes

    May 9, 2008 10:18 am

    Some expecific subject for submition?

  24. 24

    great contest, maybe ’cause i’ve shot the perfect picture for this contest one month ago :>
    already submitted it gladfully :)

  25. 25

    Question: by “texture” you mean a tile-able image? (to be used with background-repeat: repeat)?

  26. 26

    I’ve just mailed mine. Great idea.

  27. 27

    It seems to be great thing

  28. 28

    Wow, very nice. I will definetly try and enter something.

  29. 29

    @nbb it is not imperative to use a canon, the canon camera in the picture is the prize

  30. 30

    Mike different from the other one

    May 10, 2008 1:52 am

    @gGus – I see no reason textures should have to be tileable. The images can fade out, or be used for specific-side headers.


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