If you have to stare at something for 8 or more hours a day, why not make it something interesting? Sure there are tons of places to find wallpaper on the web … but a lot of them are hard to navigate and highly disorganized. Divided into five helpful categories, with introductory descriptions and sample screenshots, here are over twenty of the best collections, communities and other resources on the web for finding excellent desktop wallpaper.
User-Submitted Wallpaper Communities:
InterFaceLift has a really useful system for cross-tagging wallpapers by size, category and type. You can browse their selection by most viewed, highest rated, date posted as well as by monitor size and aspect ratio as well as double and even triple-monitor. All in all this is one of the best and most user-friendly wallpaper databases out there.
SocWall is another community dedicated specifically to “social wallpapering” – users sharing wallpaper by category and voting on one another’s submissions. Because it is a free-for-all submission-wise there is a wide (and somewhat weird) variety of content. However, it is highly searchable and organized relatively well by fairly detailed categories.
Flickr has almost 25,000 wallpaper uploads by Flickr users. Of course any collection like this is bound to be hard to sort through and filled with good and bad but it’s still worth bookmarking. You can also search Flick using this handy wallpaper search engine.
Wikipedia is a place we all know to look for various kinds of information … but wallpaper? Indeed, there is an ever-changing collection of featured desktop wallpapers contributed to the Wikipedia Commons.
DeviantArt isn’t dedicated to wallpaper per say but many of the works of art featured on the site would make (and have made) amazing wallpaper depending upon the restrictions set upon a particular piece within the community.
WebShots is yet another user-submitted image site stocked mainly with photographs but also the occasional Photoshopped or otherwise digitally created image.
Photographic and Conventionally Pleasing Wallpapers:
SocksOff‘s collection of wallpapers is primarily photographic or at least pseudo-photorealistic, full of rich colors that are in many cases absolutely stunning. Looking at these one could imagine finding a wallpaper for virtually any kind or color of computer that would blend perfectly with other elements on your screen as well.
Mike Swanson has collected a lot of his close-up-photograph wallpapers into one convenient location on his blog. The typical subject matter is floral or otherwise natural with a smattering of found objects thrown into the mix, usual shot from a few feet away.
Gran-Angular has some nice but somewhat generic photographic wallpapers. These are certainly nicer than standard stock images and higher resolution though overall they aren’t too far off the beaten path. Worth taking a look at for less-adventurous wallpaper-seekers out for something simple and nice.
Wallpaper Stock has some fairly atypical categories including “sexy” and “Christian” though is overall fairly tame and largely limited to photographic wallpaper of a relatively normal variety. Still, it is an interestingly eclectic mix with unusual organization.
Fantastic and Creatively Abstract Wallpapers:
Fantasy Art Design has a collection of wallpaper that would make Salvador Dali proud. The subjects range considerably but are typically surrealistic landscapes that place with light, color and physics with crisp and compelling details all around.
Vlad Studios deals mainly in simple but abstract wallpapers with a clear and focused theme or set of cartoonish and playful elements. These range from hearts and rainbows to somewhat more serious subjects but are largely light-hearted in nature.
Veer puts a decidedly retro twist on the art of desktop wallpaper. A lot of them are abstract and/or text-based and more hip and crisp than other wallpapers. The designs are conveniently available in various sizes, including ones suitable to the iPhone.
Pixel Girl Presents has wallpaper of virtually all kinds, submitted by users then approved by administrators, but the overall tone of the content is whimsical, fantastic and alternative rather than photorealistic, hence its inclusion in this category.
Mixed Wallpaper Collections and Designs:
Riccardo Iaconelli‘s blog features last year’s fifteen winners of the Oxygen wallpaper design contest. Because the designers are all different the results are, of course, quite varied. Some are abstract while others are nature-themed and all are quite nice.
E-Wallpapers hasn’t been updated for some time but was once an active blog dedicated to interesting wallpaper. Still, even their older archives contain some wallpapers you may discover is still a beautiful and artistic today as when they were created.
Specialty and Specific Niche Wallpapers:
Dual Screen Wallpapers features, as the name suggests, wallpaper specifically designed to be suited to wider and split screens. In some cases this means there is a natural break in the pattern somewhere toward the middle. These wallpapers are divided up into various categories including space, vehicles and abstract – something for everyone.
Zuneo has a great series of FireFox wallpapers. The theme is pretty limiting but if you love FireFox they are well worth checking out and range from simple to quite elegant and intricate. Want even more? DesktopNexus has another set.
Other Awesome Wallpaper Collections:
Smashing Magazine also composed a collection of wallpaper resources a while back and divided into five categories: typography, art, technology, photography and abstract themes. “Among other things we review calendar wallpapers, minimalistic wallpapers, wallpapers-illustrations and themes for Apple, Microsoft, Twitter and Google-fans.” But wait there’s more: here is another list from SmashingMagazine. Also, here’s an alphabetized list from Wallpaper Review to even more sites and many other artists whose works, with permission, make great desktop wallpaper!