Patterns are among the most flexible design assets. They can be the star of the show or fit neatly into the background. As such, they can also range from minimal to complex.
And patterns are no longer limited to graphics. CSS offers a surprisingly powerful way to design them.
There are a few advantages to building patterns via CSS. Performance is a big factor, as there are no additional images to load. Second, these patterns can be further manipulated to include features such as animation and masking. What’s not to love?
We’ve put together a collection of unique patterns that were created with pure CSS. Keep reading to see what’s possible when you combine code and imagination!
You might also like our collection of CSS snippets for texture effects.
CSS-Only Wavy Pattern by Temani Afif
This fun pattern consists of a mere 14 lines of CSS. Radial gradients are combined with the
calc() function to create repeating shapes. It’s also worth noting that this pen’s creator, Temani Afif, is a prolific author of CSS patterns. There’s plenty more to explore.
Repeatable Pattern Design with CSS by Naresh
Here’s another example of how much can be accomplished with minimal code. Like many snippets in this collection, gradients are front and center. The pattern looks rather complex, but could easily work as a page background with a few tweaks.
Gradient CSS Pattern by Justyna J
This bright pattern is deceptively complex. Look closely and you’ll find polygons, gradients, and some clever opacity tricks. It’s the sort of background that would have required some serious Photoshop skills back in the day.
Pure CSS Blue Plaid Pattern by Ana Tudor
Plaid patterns are notoriously intricate. That makes this attractive snippet even more impressive. Notice how the various lines intersect to create a different effect. It’s so good that it could have been ripped directly from a flannel shirt.
CSS Frog Pattern by Kaylee Murray
This cute little frog popping up through the water is lighthearted. It would work beautifully on a website geared toward children. And not a single image was needed. There’s a lot of fun to be had with these coding techniques.
Animated H1 CSS Pattern by CurleyWebDev
A pattern doesn’t need to sit by itself. Its impact can be enhanced by using it in conjunction with another design element. This reptilian pattern, for instance, is the perfect complement to the animated text. It gives the entire presentation personality.
CSS Pattern Noise by Vijay
There’s a fun high-tech aesthetic to this pattern. Reminiscent of waveforms, it could serve as an attention-getting background for a hero area. The top and bottom fade effects might also allow it to work as a page footer.
Bold Pattern with CSS Grid by Christina Stephan
Here’s a pattern that’s big, bold, and sure to draw you in. It’s also a bit heavier on code than many of the examples here. It combines CSS Grid, gradients, and absolute positioning to put this snippet together. The result is a presentation that speaks just as loudly as any image.
Coding a Pattern of Success
Perhaps the most amazing aspect of the examples above is the amount of code required to produce them. It is, for the most part, a more efficient process than you might think. The details of these patterns belie the simplicity under the hood.
What’s more, you can fork these snippets and produce wildly different results. All it takes is a little experimentation. Try changing colors, angles, and sizing. The results could surprise you.