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How to Use Shape Backgrounds in Web Design?

Sara Humenyanszky
Sara Humenyanszky
May 4, 2023

It’s more essential than ever to create a website that stands out from the competition in this fast-paced digital world that we live in. Making use of unique shape backgrounds in your website design is one way to stand out. Your website’s background can be made aesthetically engaging and dynamic by implementing geometric and abstract shapes, which will draw in more visitors.

Do not worry if you are unfamiliar with shape backgrounds and are unsure of how to begin. With the help of Smart Slider’s unique features, you can design beautiful shape backgrounds for your website without knowing how to code.

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We’ll go over the fundamentals of using Smart Slider to make a shape background in this article, including ideas for picking the best shapes, detailed guides for adding and modifying shapes and backgrounds in Smart Slider, and recommendations for positioning and layering them to produce a pleasing design.

We’ll assist you through the progress of your shape and background design, we’ll also look at some of Smart Slider’s unique features, such as icon layers, shape dividers, and absolute layers.

Therefore, it doesn’t matter where you stand currently in your journey, you can be an experienced web designer or you can be completely new to all this, this article is for everyone who is interested in how to create beautiful shape backgrounds.

📚 Table of contents

Understanding Background Shapes
✏️ Getting Started with Smart Slider
🎓 Smart Slider for Advanced Shape Background Design
💻 Tips and Best Practices for Using Shapes in Web Design
🏗️ Enhancing Your Shape Background Design
💡 Conclusion

Understanding Background Shapes

Firstly, let’s define shape backgrounds and why graphic designers use them, before getting into the actual steps on how to create them in Smart Slider.

The phrase shape background in web design is a design feature that gives the background of a website more physic and texture. A range of shapes, including geometric shapes and abstract shapes, can be used creatively to create stunning patterns. They can be layered and organized in various ways to produce a visually appealing and dynamic design that grabs the audience’s attention.

So why do graphic designers use shapes in their web design? Well, there are several motives:

  • Shapes increase visual appeal. A background made entirely white might be dull and uninspiring. Your design can benefit from adding shapes to the background to help break up the monotony and create visual appeal.
  • Shapes can also add dimensions and depth. Your design can appear more dynamic and interesting if you layer shapes on top of each other to give it a sense of volume.
  • Shapes are perfect for supporting the identity of your brand. You may as well strengthen your brand’s messaging and make your entire design more united by making use of shapes that are consistent with your brand’s visual identity.

With these, we already covered the basics of shape backgrounds and their importance in web design, let’s go on to discuss how to create them using Smart Slider.

Getting Started with Smart Slider

Without any coding experience, you can simply design beautiful background shapes for your website with Smart Slider. Start by following these actions:

Set Up and Run Smart Slider

You must install and activate Smart Slider on your WordPress website if you haven’t previously. This can be done by finding Smart Slider in the Plugins section in your WordPress dashboard, then clicking the Install and Activate buttons.

Where to find Smart Slider in the Plugins section in your WordPress dashboard


Create a New Slider

After it has been activated, go to the Smart Slider section of your WordPress dashboard and select New Project. You can either use a template or start from scratch.

Create New Project in Smart Slider

Find Templates for Your Projects

Browsing the template library you can find many pre-made templates. Most of them make use of different shape backgrounds that you can add as a starting point for your own background design. Look through them and choose the ones that you like.

Page slider templates
Available templates in Smart Slider 3

Add Layers

After this, you can start adding the preferred shapes to your slider’s background. It’s simple, just click on the green “+” button, and from the layers tab select the layers you want to add then drag and drop it into your slide. So if you want to create shape backgrounds using different layers, you can do so with an Image layer, Icon layer, or even with a Highlighted Heading layer.

Set an Optimal Size and Position for Your Shapes

To do so, click on the layer, and in its settings panel you can find each setting under its content and style tab that you can use to make changes. You can also rotate, skew, flip, and so on to animate them.

Layer settings Content and Style tab

Add Extra Layers to Your Layout

Select the Layer tab and choose as many suitable layers as you want for your design, including Text layers, Video layers, and Button layers, the list goes on.

This is it, now you can create a minimal shape background in Smart Slider by simply following the actions above. For a more advanced background design follow along, and we’ll explore how Smart Slider’s unique features can take your game to the next level.

Smart Slider for Advanced Shape Background Design

Although it’s fairly simple to create a simple shape background in Smart Slider, there are a number of advanced features that can help you make even more striking designs.

Let’s check them out!

Shape Divider

Your website’s different parts can be divided using the Shape Divider feature of Smart Slider in an appealing shape design. This gives you the opportunity to hand your website a unique flow that helps you capture your visitors’ attention.

How to use shape dividers in Smart Slider?

  1. Install Smart Slider 3 Pro
  2. Go to the Slider settings → Animations tab
  3. Effects → Click on the Shape Divider
  4. Choose a top or bottom shape
  5. Customize it
  6. Publish your slider

What are some different types of shape dividers in web design?

  • Broken Grid Layout

Broken grid layout in the Real Estate template
Live Preview

  • Slider Blocks

Slider block layout in the Orion Page template
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  • Animated Divider

Animated divider in the Shape divider block template
Live Preview

  • A Separator Between Sections

A separator between sections in the Agency template
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  • Design Element

Design element in the Animal Shelter template
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Icon Layer

The Icon layer is yet another sophisticated element of Smart Slider. You can add an icon to your background design using this layer to give it more visual appeal with different shapes. Applying icons in your design is a great way to give it more context and increase user engagement.

Click the Layers button at the top of the Smart Slider editor and choose the Icon layer type to add an Icon layer to your design. There, you can select from a variety of icons, including 5 different libraries. Further settings allow you to change your icon’s size, location, and normal and hover color.

4 icon libraries on Smart Slider

Absolute Layers

You can add layers that are not restricted to the bounds of the slide, this is made easy by using Smart Slider’s Absolute Layers. Click the Layers button at the top of the Slide editor and choose the Absolute layer type to add an Absolute layer to your layout. Images, texts, and videos can all be added as different layers from that point on. In addition, Smart Slider also allows you to change the orientation, size, and position of your Absolute layers.

As a result, you may build patterns that seem to float above your background or layers by either moving on top of each other or overlapping them.

Absolute layers in Smart Slider

This gives your website a distinctive and lively appearance with rare background shapes that can even be geometric or abstract.

Besides, they are also useful if you want to create depth for your layers. One way to do this is by adding a color gradient to your shape background for a subtle effect.

Sports car template with color gradient background
Live Preview

Particle effect

Finally, you can make your website more memorable for your visitors by setting up a Particle Effect in Smart Slider. It is a unique technique not so commonly used in web design. It adds a big amount of tiny shapes to your background, which are continuously moving. What’s more, they can interact with each other when they get close enough, it can happen, for example, with a line that connects them.

Slide 1
Particle Effect

Particle effect or particle system is a technique in web design, that uses a large number of tiny objects.


Here’s a quick video guide on where to find it in Smart Slider:


In Smart Slider 3 you can choose from 9 different types of Particle Effects.

Here are some examples:

  • Banking App

Banking app template with Particle effect
Live Preview


  • Christmas Ornament Shop

Christmas ornament shop template with Particle effect
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  • Crypto Block

Crypto block template with Particle effect
Live Preview

These effects are pre-made by us, but they have minor configuration options. For instance, you can change the color or line color, even the speed, but you can’t change the shape of them.

However, if you need to use custom shapes, you can build your own effect and paste its code into the slider.

You can develop your shape background design and make a totally distinctive and captivating website by utilizing these sophisticated capabilities with your slider. We’ll look at some examples and best practices for how to use shapes in web design in the section that follows.

Tips and Best Practices for Using Shapes in Web Design

Let’s dive into some advice and best practices for using shapes in web design now that we’ve covered the fundamentals of making shape backgrounds and looked at some of Smart Slider’s more complex features.

Simple is Best

Keeping it basic is one of the most crucial things to have in mind while using shapes in web design. While advanced shapes can be visually stunning, they can also be intimidating to website visitors. Instead, concentrate on selecting shapes that are easy on the eyes so they can go well with the overall design and content of your website.

Simple Shapes Background template
Live Preview

Use Shapes to Guide the User’s Eye

Shapes can also be used to direct the user’s eye in web design. It is a fantastic advantage that comes with implementing them. You can utilize these benefits by creating an easy-to-navigate visual hierarchy, which shows your users the importance of each element on your website. Furthermore, placing each shape strategically draws the visitors’ eyes to the main content that you would like to primarily introduce.

Abstract Shapes Background

Don’t limit your design to the most basic shapes. While geometric shapes can be useful in many cases for your web design, there are a huge amount of unique shapes that are worth experimenting with. Exhibit your brand’s creativity with more aesthetic and original designs. Try implementing more abstract shapes into your background.

Abstract Shapes Background template
Live Preview

Have a Look at the Color and Contrast

It is important to take a look at the color and contrast of our background shapes. We should always keep in mind that our shape background design is always clear and readable to the user. To achieve this ensure that your shapes have enough contrast and only use those colors that suit the color strategy of the website.


  • Undiscovered Universe

Template with color contrast
Live Preview

  • Agency

Template with color contrast
Live Preview

Consistent Brand Image with Shapes

Last but not least, unify the image of your brand by presenting your company with the same background shapes and colors through all your marketing channels. Stay consistent with it and in the long run, it will help your brand catch the eye of potential users simply with its recognizable visuals.

Gibraltar template with consistent shapes
Live Preview

Now, you can also design abstract, geometric, and all kinds of shape backgrounds if you employ these steps in your design. Follow along for a few more tips in the next section.

Enhancing Your Shape Background Design


You can add as many animations to your shape backgrounds as you want. One way to achieve this result is to simply add it to the layers, which you can do in the Slide settings’ Animation tab. This offers a wide range of animation types, including fade, reveal, and move effects.

The Timeline lets you modify the delay and duration of each animation, which can help you with achieving your goal.

In addition to layer animations, you can also add different effects directly to your shape backgrounds. You can find each one under the Slider settings’ Animations tab.

Besides animation, there are other design elements that you can implement into your overall look, like images and text.

Highlighted Heading

A stunning way to integrate text into your shape background design is to add Highlighted Heading layers in Smart Slider. It’s important to note that if you make your background too stuffed, then balancing the hierarchy between the background and the foreground is essential.

Therefore, there shouldn’t be too many drowning overlays. But don’t worry these issues can be easily solved by Smart Slider’s Highlighted Heading layer. Placing highlights around and behind your headings will help with readability for your visitors.

Moreover, it offers many unique background shapes for your text as well. It gives you more freedom in your design, as this way you can easily add any text that is placed on top of your shape background.

Check out some of Smart Slider’s outstanding examples of this technique:

  • Organic Food

Organic food template with Highlighted Heading layer
Live Preview


  • Renovation

Renovation template with Highlighted Heading layer
Live Preview


  • Cooking Slider

Cooking slider template with Highlighted Heading layer
Live Preview

Try experimenting with different types of shapes, colors, and animations to create your own unique slider for your website. Build your own shape background design that gives your website more visibility with its unmatched shape design. As you can see, Smart Slider offers you endless possibilities to make this happen.


In this post, we looked at the various types of shape backgrounds used in web design and demonstrated how to make each one with Smart Slider. Moreover, we have discussed the fundamentals of making shape backgrounds as well as some of the more complex tools of Smart Slider that can help you create them.

Furthermore, we’ve also talked about various ideas and the best ways for using shapes in web design, such as keeping things straightforward, adding shapes to direct the user’s eye, and developing a unified brand identity.

It’s time to start exploring and making your own designs now that you have a firm understanding of shape backgrounds and how to make them with Smart Slider. Besides, using shapes in your design will help you produce a visually appealing and engaging website that stands out from the competition, whether you’re developing a new website or updating an old one.

All in all, why not start making your own shape backgrounds right away by using Smart Slider? It’s the ideal tool for anyone wishing to advance their web design thanks to its easy-to-use interface and impressive functionality.

It’s also worth your time to check our tutorial videos by which you can learn a lot.

Happy designing, and thanks for reading!

Sara Humenyanszky

About Author

Hey there! I’m Sara, and I’m part of Nextendweb’s team. When I’m not working, you can usually find me baking up a storm in the kitchen. I also love going outside for a run. Above all, spending quality time with my friends and family is what makes me the happiest.