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The background is an important element of a design, even though it tends to fade away when it is doing its job properly. An effective background will make the other parts of your design stand out, while helping to build the right overall tone, so it is important to choose the right kind of background for your design.

1. Blank Background:
A simple white background can work well for many designs. It can help text and other elements to stand out, particularly when you are using bold fonts in black. A white background will tend to convey clarity and simplicity, and it can be made to look traditional or hi-tech, depending on what you place against the background.

2. Solid Colour:
Choosing a different colour for your background can shift the mood of the design. You should try to pick a colour that generates the right emotional associations and that helps the other elements of your design to stand out. There should be a good contrast and the text should be easily readable.

3. Colour Gradient:
Rather than a solid colour, it is possible to use a colour gradient so that the colour fades away or merges into a different colour. Gradients have gone out a fashion a bit for print designs at the moment, but everything in design comes in cycles and when used well they can be very effective.

4. Patterns and Textures:
Using a subtle pattern in the background can give your print materials a textured appearance, while a large scale pattern can look bold and modern. Patterned backgrounds can be a simple way to add depth and interest to a design.

5. Image:
Some designs can work well with a photo or illustration in the background. The right picture can enhance the other elements of the design, helping them to stand out. However, it is important to choose a picture that will still look good when overlaid with the rest of the design and that won’t distract from the other elements.