Best Texture Effects for Photoshop & Illustrator

From everyday materials to art effects, get a feel for how to add textures to your digital design.

Portrait for Marie Gardiner By Marie Gardiner
Posted 13 Aug 2020
Best texture effects Photoshop

What Are Texture Effects?

Texture effects are surfaces of materials we find visually interesting or pleasing, replicated to be used in artwork or design. They could be materials like rope or bricks or they could be traditional art effects like paint roller effects or grungy inks and sprays. Whatever the format, texture effects help to create something almost tactile and balance out the often ‘too-clean’ impressions we can be left with when working with digital art.

Why Use Texture Effects?

At its most basic, adding a texture effect can make your design more interesting, but used purposefully and with a lot of thought, textures can transform artwork into something deeper and more meaningful. You might want to use a background texture to add visual appeal; a texture that evokes a particular emotional response; or simply something that will effectively contrast with the other elements of your design, like typography.

Background textures for Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator are really popular graphic project inclusions. They can be used to add a vintage twist to a photograph or to make a design appear grungier or more distressed. You could think of background textures as a sort of flexible filter.

How to Create a Texture Effect

It’s really easy to add a great texture effect to your art or graphic design work. You can try making your own textures by photographing surfaces, or creating traditional, physical artwork like rolling paint or sponging inks, and then scan the results by digitizing them. If you’re looking for a quicker solution, there’s plenty of choice for pre-made textures in the form of Photoshop overlays, brushes, and patterns over on Envato Elements.

Top 10 Texture Effects 2020

10. 12 Texture Spray Photoshop Brushes by M-e-f

Experiment with spray paint shapes and textures with this pack of textured Photoshop brushes. Created with real paint on paper and then scanned, the effect is authentic and would be a great addition to any creative project.

9. 30 Seamless Paper Textures by sparklestock

Create background textures for scrapbooking, web design, graphic design projects and much more with this pack of 30 seamless paper effects, including recycled paper, washi, and cardboard.

8. Subtlecraft – Textures and Brushes by guerillacraft

This is a huge pack of textures and brushes – 50 of each! These subtle textures are great for achieving a trendy vintage look for your designs. The textures come as vectors (.EPS format) so you can use them in Photoshop and Illustrator.

7. Light Print Texture Illustrator Brushes by JRChild

A pack of stunning, carefully captured textures from genuine printed ink. Find joy in the imperfection of print noise, from light texture to full coverage. Brushes include random marks and scuffs, halftone, and clustered noise.

6. 24 Distressed Texture Brushes by GraphicMonkee

This set of texture brushes for Photoshop has been carefully hand-crafted for high-quality results. There are 24 large format brushes designed to give your digital art a ‘distressed’ feel.

5. Vector Grunge Textures by Digital_infusion

Add grunge and dirt to your designs with these authentic textures taken from photographs of real surfaces. There are 29 texture effects included in both AI and PNG format, both of which have transparent backgrounds with the texture under a clipping mask, for easy use.

4. Vintage Grit Textures by ghostlypixels

From subtle grit to heavier textures, this pack has everything you need to help you add background texture to your design. There are 10 full-page options as well as two bonus textures included. There’s a PDF with the download so that you can see a preview of the effects easily without loading up each image.

3. 100 Snow Overlays by M-e-f

Combine or filter this bumper pack of 100 snow textures to create new designs every time. The snow effects are high resolution JPEG images, so you just need to pop them over your image and set your blending mode to screen to see instant results.

2. Old Iron Textures x10 Vol 2 by SmartDesigns_eu

Add interest to your designs with this set of 10 iron textures. Available as JPEGS, you can use these background textures across any software, including Photoshop and Illustrator.

1. Polygon Geometric Collection by codetoform

Use geometric shapes to create new and interesting background textures with the Polygon Geometric Collection. Each texture is in vector format, meaning you can scale them as needed without any loss of quality.

Texture effects look great and are fun to play with. Envato Elements includes a wide range of texture options – whether you’re looking for a simple JPEG to overlay onto an image, or something more in depth like seamless pattern files and brushes for your favorite software. Everything on the site is included in a monthly subscription, so you can experiment!

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Like the feature image used in this article? It was created by our Design team using items from guerillacraft and sparklestock on Envato Elements.