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Good afternoon,

Recently in the company I work for we came up with the decision to have our own "standardized" wallpaper for the systems our users have (200+ computers) due to different needs/uses our systems have different monitors/resolutions. I've seen how windows desktops don't seem to be altered by these changes. I was wondering are these backgrounds actual images or vectors? How can I achieve a similar result? (Our graphics design guy left, so it's only programmers and IT as of now, so please try to explain it in a level a non-designer can understand)

If this is a dupe please point me to original question since I couldn't find any results myself. Thanks!

  • Dive into your computer settings and you will see what file is used. – usr2564301 Oct 1 '15 at 20:49
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    Just use a large enough image to cover all screen resolutions. – Zach Saucier Oct 2 '15 at 0:14
  • How would you manage ratios tho? @ZachSaucier Having a large image doesn't seem to solve the problem – Just Do It Oct 2 '15 at 17:59
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    The OS handles the different ratios depending on how the user settings are set up – Zach Saucier Oct 2 '15 at 18:01
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    You could have a background that's just the logo on a solid color background, and then different resolutions would simply have more or less white-space. You could also create an image, and then change your computer's resolution to test it using different settings and see if that works for you. – Hanna Oct 2 '15 at 18:57
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One wallpaper to rull them all...

1) Check visually if everyone is using a Widescreen monitor. If a lot of users are still using some oldie models this will be a 4:3 proportion. So you need at least 2 versions.

2) Make a small census of the specifications people are using right now. Right click on your background and press Screen resolution. Probably not everyone are using Full HD, some laptops use the same proportion but not at that high reslution.

I would start a wallpaper Full HD, 1920x1080 px, and crop it and resample it if I need a 4:3 image, lets say 1280x960 px.

3) Edited. There is a new player in town. 21:9 proportion called WQHD, This is an Ultra wide screen. Some samsing models are 3440x1440px.

4) When configuring it use the Adjust option so the wallpaper resamples to fit the resolution. If you think some computers deform it or make it a little blurry, do a version of that native resolution. But I think with the 2 options I mentioned you are ok.


Although there are a lot of phisical proportions, the final decision if you need to make all of them is if you have very noticable features. A human face, a perfect circle as the main design.

Here is a good reference of the screen resolutions and proportions. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Vector_Video_Standards2.svg (Note where the 16:9 and 4:3 proportions are positioned in relationship of the others, that is why I would use thoose two as a base)

Aditional note

Far more important than being picky on the screen resolution is that you have a great and functional background design. I can have a perfect fit background on my computer, but if it is ugly, stressfull, produce flickering, make my eyes stress, etc. It won't work.

If the design is great, and comfortable, well, I can live with a small strecching on it.

Our graphics design guy left

I would worry a bit on that. Hire a good designer to have a great image. Not everyone will love it but not everyone would hate it.

  • Makes a lot of sense, thank you! and will do! – Just Do It Oct 2 '15 at 20:04
  • The catch is that there are a lot more aspect ratios for desktop monitors than just 4:3 and 'wide screen'. Here's but a few: rapidtables.com/web/dev/screen-resolution-statistics.htm – DA01 Oct 2 '15 at 20:40
  • We have 5:4 , 3:4, and 16:9, thanks for the list. Now that we know the resolutions. Would I need 3 Images then @rafael? – Just Do It Oct 2 '15 at 20:49
  • @DA01 Yup that is why comented if you think some computers deform it. One of my monitors is 16:10 proportion, but a 16:9 proportion is just fine for a wallpaper... Well unless I use it vertically... now that is a wierd proportion Xo) – Rafael Oct 2 '15 at 20:50
  • @edrodriguez, in my opinion the 5:4 proportion is very simmilar to the 4:3 one. The final desicion depends on the design. Some features are more noticable than others when they are streched or squashed. I'll add that to my answer. But doing 3 versions instead of 2 is not a big deal, so its ok. – Rafael Oct 2 '15 at 20:54
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You can't solve this via graphic design. You have to solve it via propagating desktop wallpaper settings across desktops in the organization.

You then need to create an image large enough to cover all screens to your liking, then you need to set this as the background for each computer, then you need to set the desktop image settings to not stretch. What that specific setting will be called will depend on the operating system and version of said operating system.

FWIW, forcing desktop images on employee's computers is one of those little things that can add up to a lot of annoying things for your employees. From an IT policy standpoint, let user's pick their own desktop images. It ain't hurting anything.

  • It's cause of the company's 30th anniversary(Celebrating and what not). Normally users are allowed to use whichever wallpaper they desire. – Just Do It Oct 2 '15 at 20:02
  • Whatever the reason, it's still annoying for users to have their desktop changed. :) – DA01 Oct 2 '15 at 20:38
  • Well, I don't make the decisions so there's nothing I can do about it – Just Do It Oct 2 '15 at 20:45

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