Tools of the Trade #3: Subtle Patterns

Tools of the Trade

Tools of the Trade


I’m keeping this short and sweet today: Subtle Patterns is an amazing resource. When I’m designing a website and a solid colored background just won’t do, I head over to their site for something special. I love the sheer variety of simple, tasteful patterns.

The best part is that you can scroll to the footer and in the right corner, there’s a download for a Photoshop .pat file, which is a collection of all the patterns featured on the site, completely free!


If you’re new to using .pat files in Photoshop, here’s how to load and access them (keep in mind that this is one of many ways and there are TONS of tutorials out there):

a. In your Layers palette, click the effects button on the very bottom (second from right) and scroll down to Pattern Overlay.

b. When that dialogue pops up, you’ll see a large square swatch of the default pattern. Click the arrow to the right of that and your full palette of swatches will pop up.

c. Click the arrow on that palette and scroll down to Load Swatches.

That’s it! Have fun with all the awesome patterns!


Check out more Tools of the Trade posts here.

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