Backgrounds, Digi Papers, Seamless Patterns

Hello! What is the difference between backgrounds, digital papers, and seamless patterns? Would you share examples of what you’ve used them for, please? I have collected quite a few over the years and would love to start using them. I’m not a scrapbooker, but that’s on the list of “to dos.” :smiley:

Thank you!

Hi, I create these and mainly call my sets backgrounds.

Background images don’t have to be seamless, but sometimes they are. They’re decorative images you can use as digital background images (but they can have other applications and can be printed if they’re high enough resolution). I’m more inclined to call them backgrounds if they’re the sort of images you can use as backdrops or put text or other images in front of, but they can be images of their own accord. Some people use the term textures interchangeably with backgrounds and others prefer to reserve it for more textured images.

Digital papers are pretty much the same thing, so you could use the terms interchangeably. When I sell items as digital papers, I usually have more emphasis on them for printing/crafting purposes, but they don’t really differ from backgrounds because I create them all at a print resolution (at least 300PPI/300DPI).

With seamless images, it means you can tile them and the edges meet up, so you can use them for purposes like web site backgrounds or on products for sale (where you’d tile them to fill a larger area than the image itself). Not all seamless images are patterns, and not all patterns are seamless. Usually seamless patterns are created in a way that they can be tiled, and both the pattern itself and the background behind the pattern meets up, so you can tile them horizontally and vertically.

Note: That’s my interpretation so it might not be ‘textbook’.

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A pattern is typically on a transparent background to overlay on top of other things. A paper typically is not transparent and serves and the bottom layer for your design. A seamless pattern is a background or paper that can be repeated as tiles to seamlessly connect and fill as big of an area as you want.

That said I frequently see items using any of these names interchangeably, and often using all three. Items can also fit in multiple categories.
I use mine both as backgrounds for the whole piece or as an overlay for a specific item or layer. Here are some examples of some notebook covers I recently did using a pattern. The patterns were in black and I used a clipping mask in photoshop to restrict them to just the cover of the notebook.

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Great explanation! Thank you, @Emily_S1. Love the notebook covers.

Thank you, @Tamara_S!

Well backgrounds and digital papers aren’t necessarily set up to repeat (work seamlessly. and are often just low resolution images in the RGB colorspace, which is fine for the internet, but not so great for process/four color printing. Seamless designs mean that when copies of the same/original image is set beside, above or below the original you can’t see where the edges (seams) are between the repeats of the image. That typically means that you will have part of an image, or images on an edge, and the balance of that object on the opposing edge so that they align perfectly when the copies are aligned.
I hope that made sense