Web graphics. We all know em, we all love em, and we all use em. But have you ever wondered about the origins of some of these graphics? Where they come from, what their intended use is, stuff like that? Here I'd like to collect information and history on varying types of graphics in order to let people know exactly what kind of graphics they're collecting and how to use them properly!!
Also, something to keep in mind about this page is that I'm conducting this research because I don't have any experience with making or using these graphics during their heyday; either because I was too young then, didn't use the websites they originated on, or most likely both. The closest I have is using dA as a preteen/having a brother who used it and running into stamps organically that way, though I never made or used any myself at the time. I've discovered all of these types of graphics during this recent neocities boom and found out about most of them through tumblr. I am not an expert by any means, this page just exists to serve as an informational hub for both myself and others like me who want to know the origins of their favorite little graphics. If I got something wrong or am missing crucial info, don't be afraid to send me an ask or dm on tumblr with a correction!!! I'm still learning and I'd love to get sources on as much as possible.

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Web Graphics: Overview/Definition

So! To start off, web graphics are....pretty much any image on any website. Any decorative part of a website that's not made with pure text counts. Because of this broad definition, there's a lot of web graphics that can't be clearly defined or named, let alone impossible to track down the origins for. Some things are just too widespread to be tracked like that, and as a hobbyist I'm pressed for time enough as it is.

Note that every example graphic on this page has been made by me.

Here's a couple of examples that I think are important to mention for web graphics that can't really be tracked down:


Dividers are rectangular horizontal graphics that divide sections of a page. There's a lot of variation in how they look, ranging from simple skinny lines to elaborate chunky decorative banners. Personally I've mostly seen them on tumblr, but I assume anywhere that allows HTML or even just images to be interpolated with text will have them. It's a very easy way to create visual seperation between sections with a lot of text, which makes the page as a whole easier to read and process.
An example of a divider:


I bring up "pixels" because I've frankly seen this word used for many different things over the years. The most prominent definitions I've seen include small square sprites used for favicons, sprites of fictional characters that you put on your blog/site/page whether those be custom or ripped from games, or just pixel art in general. However, there are probably more definitions out there that I just haven't encountered. I feel the need to bring this up because the word is used for so many things you can't possibly narrow it down into one type of graphic. As such, I will not be including any examples because tracking down every single way this word has been used would take forever. [heart dividers ftom the links page]