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Keeping your designs clean, subtle and elegant is one of the core principles of effective design, it is often hard to add depth and visual flare to your work without compromising the overall design.

With this in mind I decided to bring together a collection of 15+ super subtle background textures that are free to download and use in both your personal and commercial works – these textures are really subtle and are a great way to add a little extra background depth to your designs. Take a look and see what you think, I know I will use some in my future projects!

10 Dark Subtle Patterns (.PAT)

A set of 10 dark subtle patterns which come in really handy when looking to fill backgrounds. The download includes a .pat file and jpgs for quick use.

11 Light Subtle Patterns (.PAT)

A super-handy set of subtle patterns – great for giving backgrounds a little edge. The download includes the .pat file along with jpgs for quick and dirty use.

Free Pattern by Jeff Broderick

Jeff Broderick created and made free his favourite subtle pattern, go take a look and download it.

Subtle Light Tile Pattern Vol 1

Four light textured patterns ideal to create a subtle and original light web background for your next project.

Subtle Light Tile Pattern Vol 2

Four more light tile patterns from PixeDen, ideal for creating a subtle and original light web background for your next project.

Dark Fabric Patterns

16 dark fabric patterns for Photoshop, free for personal and commercial use.

Textures (.pat)

Free Textures

David Toran made some textured dribbble backgrounds, you can download them for free and use them everywhere you want.


There are quite a few grid patterns, but this one is a super tiny grid with some dust for good measure.

Translucent Fibres

Translucent Fibres, an ultra subtle and minimal pattern set.

Retina dust

Retina Dust is a pattern tailor made for use on Retina devices – high resolution and high quality.

Noise Lines

Lovely pattern with some good looking non-random-noise-lines.

Tiny Grid

A tiny and sharp grid pattern – I am sure can find a use for this on your next project.

35 Tiny Pixel Patterns

A massive resource, again all free to use – 35 high quality and super small pixel patterns.


A lovely and subtle corrugation pattern.

Posted by David Martin

David Martin is a WordPress developer & entrepreneur from the UK. He owns DesignWoop, CardDsgn and WhoDesignToday. Catch up with David on Twitter.