Design

Five Best Wallpaper Sites

Personalising your desktop starts with customising your wallpaper. Finding wallpapers for your desktop isn’t difficult, but everyone has an opinion about which sites offer the best selection of wallpapers for high-resolution displays, multiple for screens, or with the best imagery. Here are five of the best wallpaper resources, based on your nominations.

Photo by William Hook.

Wallbase

The first time we looked at your favourite wallpaper sites, WallBase didn’t exist. Now that it does, it has rapidly become one of the web’s most popular sources for wallpapers. The site has a huge database of images, allows you to search by keyword, colour or popular tag, filter for just high resolution images, see similar wallpapers to ones you like, or just browse around. You can also screen for different types of images (including work-safe images), and even your preferred aspect ratio. Sign up for an account and you have the ability to set all of these filters to your own preferences and save them for future use. You can also subscribe to other users’ uploads and save a list of favourite wallpapers that you can download later.

InterfaceLift

InterfaceLift has a long and storied reputation as a great destination for wallpapers that can match any resolution, any aspect ratio, and even offer wallpapers for multi-monitor setups. Where many other wallpaper sites aggregate lots of wallpapers of all different types, InterfaceLift’s strength is in its rich database of great photos, photo information for each wallpaper, and gorgeous natural scenery and vistas that you can use even on your office PC. InterfaceLift also sports mobile wallpapers with varying resolutions, and gives you the ability to filter to see any or all of them. You can also snag the Backdrops app for iOS to bring InterfaceLift’s catalogue to your iPhone or iPad.

SimpleDesktops

If nature photos, fancy graphics, movie stills, or fantasy 3D vistas aren’t your cup of tea, SimpleDesktops is the site for you. The site specialises in single-color wallpapers or desktops with simple graphics and patterns that are designed to give your desktop some visual interest without distracting you from your work. The database isn’t as large as some rivals, but the wallpapers on offer are elegant and still fun to browse. Each wallpaper is credited with the designer behind it, and you can submit your own to the site’s curated list. If you’re a fan of minimal desktops, SimpleDesktops is heaven.

DeviantArt

DeviantArt’s strength is in its community and the talented artists that call the site home. DeviantArt has wallpapers and images for all interests. DeviantArt isn’t primarily a wallpaper site, acting as a host to the portfolios of thousands of different artists. Wallpapers and desktop images are just one type of art you can find there, and you’ll find them in abundance. Once you hit the wallpaper category, there are plenty to choose from and image categories you can filter against. Register for a free account at DeviantArt and you can follow artists who post work you enjoy, save wallpapers to download later, and leave comments.

Digital Blasphemy

If you’re old enough, you might remember Digital Blasphemy as one of the first places you could download 3D, computer-generated artistic wallpapers of strange alien worlds and space-scapes, mysterious ruins and lost civilations, and of course, the iconic glowing mushrooms. The site is still alive and kicking with gorgeous new art posted regularly. There’s a wealth of CG art available and a long, deep back catalogue of images going back for years, all the work of one talented artist. Many of the site’s wallpapers are free, but if you sign up for a membership (starting at $US20/yr) you get access to the newest wallpapers as they’re posted, dual-monitor wallpapers, rendered background scenes for your PS3, Chrome and Firefox themes, and lots of other high-resolution and mobile wallpapers that aren’t available to free users.

Honourable mentions this week go out to The Paper Wall, another great new wallpaper site that allows you to search by category, type, and resolution. Google Images is also a popular choice for seeking out images on specific topics.

Have something to say about the top five that we didn’t mention? Have an awesome wallpaper to share? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


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