I am not a professional graphic designer, but I love design. I love logos, color schemes, the balance of positive and negative space, I love all that stuff.
I have always dabbled in making logos and graphics for shirts and such, but I was never the kind of guy to dive into illustrator and really devote my time and energy to it.
I just didn’t have the time because I was concentrating so much more on photography and video. Luckily all of those things share the same compositional rules in many aspects. Desktop backgrounds can be a photograph or a graphic, but in my opinion, they have to have function beyond the beauty they have.
Design wise, there is one thing that I really love to have control of though and like to make. A functional and solid desktop background.
Characteristics of a Good Desktop Background
- It’s simple.
- It can inspire you.
- It makes you feel better when you hop on your computer.
- It motivates you to do something awesome.
- It allows you to easily read icon names on your desktop
- High Resolution – No one likes to see your image repeated or zoomed in so far that the pixels are distinguishable.
For me its a good combination of function with cosmetics. I want to have the space to drop stuff on my desktop if I need to and be able to easily find it. A photograph, image or illustration can be too busy if it has lots of sporadic change in shadows, highlights, and colors.
I have found that solid colors and gradients tend to be the most functional. Usually imagery with lots of space that does not contain the subject is a great way to go. You want the image to impact you without important parts of the image bing covered up.
Functional Desktop Background
This desktop background, designed by James White, has a great balance of color, inspiration, and space for folders, files and shortcuts on the sides. It’s also great for your eyes since it is not extremely bright to look at. White backgrounds can be too much for your eyes sometimes, especially at night or when you wake up in the morning.
Dysfunctional Desktop Background
This example is horrible. I am kind of getting sick by looking at it. I know this is common sense, but when your dad has his desktop image looking like this, I hope that you will soon have an intervention with him. Save him from this madness. I am not a fan of tiling and there are few to no cases where it ends up looking good and not causing you to feel nauseous.
My Latest Desktop Backgrounds
I have found these photographs that I have recently taken to be a perfect blend of inspiration, functionality, and emotion to get me in the mood to do great work. I want to share them with all of you! These are great when I have them both on when using dual monitors.
You can download high resolution versions of them for your personal use by clicking on the images!
What have your favorite desktop backgrounds been?