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Wallpaper stationery

Wallpaper that looks like stationery

7:57 pm on Oct 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I'm getting close to finishing my website, and I'm starting to focus on the appearance. Specifically the backgrounds on the various pages.

Almost the entire site is text. For example some pages have fiction stories on them. <p>Once upon a time, in the land of . . .</p> And what I'd like to do is have a background that looks like a piece of stationery to put the text on.

I've seen some made for Outlook and Outlook express, and I like the look of it (I won't need the movement or the music), and I'd like to find similar looks on pieces of wallpaper to use as backgrounds for the pages on my website. The trouble is, so far, I haven't been able to find any. Is there a special name for them? Does anyone know where I can find something like this?

6:35 am on Oct 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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You're looking for background tiles or textures. A search wil find you a lot sites. Many image editing applications have specific tools for creating them. A tile is special because it will match up end to end so you only need a very small image to reproduce it across the entire background.

You need to be careful how you do this, any background image used below text should be very subtle at the very most as it becomes distracting to the read and if used improperly make the text unreadable. It may look great but like many of the flash files people commonly use for headers its only cool the first time and becomes annoying afterwards.

8:14 am on Oct 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Use a small image that repeats (using CSS) otherwise your page loading times will suffer badly.
1:05 pm on Oct 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I must not have explained myself clearly. What I'm looking for is wallpaper that maybe has a design at the top, and maybe something down the left side, and a large blank area for the text. Stationery may be the wrong word. It's something like a business letterhead, only I want something that looks a little more personal. Another examnple is the stationery I've seen for Outlook and Outlook express (minus the movement and music). If you'll Google stationery for Outlook and Outlook express that will give you another example. Is there a way I can use the Outlook stationery as wallpaper?
2:34 am on Oct 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

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If you can use photoshop, my first choice would be to design the backgrounds yourself that way you can have complete control over the look and feel of each page.

If you don't know how to design and want to use ready-made backgrounds, I suggest doing a google search for backgrounds and then combining it with some CSS. If you search for Outlook stationary, you will only get results that are specifically for outlook (eml files) and those are not useful for the web. I am not sure if there is a way to decode or get into the folder where outlook saves the stationary image but even if there was, you probably won't be allowed to use those images on the web and could get in trouble.

That leaves your final option which is to use a free background image like some of the other guys suggested. You will probably NOT find backgrounds that have a design on the top, left side and empty white space for your text so you will have to improvise. You can either use left border backgrounds or you can use smaller images and have it repeat along the left side using CSS. By using smaller images and combining it with CSS, you would achieve the same look as using a full border image without the image size and heavy load time.

There may be some other options or tricks but without seeing the page or knowing how much experience you have, its hard to say what would work.

[edited by: tedster at 6:13 am (utc) on Oct. 12, 2008]


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