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A Complete Guide to Texture in Graphic Design

In order to get attention from a client, a simple viewer, or a potential buyer, a website or other design work should have an attractive appearance. To do this, there are many tools in the virtual space, ranging from fonts to effects and textured backgrounds. The texture is a powerful force shaping the visual perception of future design as an Internet marketing tool. It’s these elements that make the pages realistic, and realism, in its turn, causes an emotional response and even stimulates action (buying a certain product, most often). This article will tell all about textures and explain how and where to use them to make a website more popular and saleable.

What’s Texture in Graphic Design?

In simple terms, a texture is a bitmap image superimposed on a model’s surface to give it color, coloring properties, or the illusion of relief. Usually, these are monochrome images that imitate any materials, including wood, paper, stone, and so on. Textures can also be seamless and are also applied to the background. They are used to completely change the appearance and perception of an image or design work. It just so happens that they, as a tool, have tremendous power and are able to create attractive designs that really attract the viewer's attention. The main thing is to use them correctly.

Paper and Artificial Textures

When designers take up complex tools, especially digital ones, in order to simulate the appearance and feeling of a natural texture and don’t take photographs as a basis, they create an artificial texture. Artificial textures are ordinary patterns with a three-dimensional element. They include fabrics, crumpled paper, and other surfaces that can unobtrusively create visual interest. Natural colors imitating real paper are very common here; it’s good to use beige or white texture backgrounds.

3-Dimensional Textures

The main thing here is the combination of transparency and opacity, causing a sense of depth. By creating entire three-dimensional universes, the designer automatically attracts viewers to his work, because in order to examine it a person needs to stop their gaze on a product. This design is perfect to use if you need to demonstrate the program or show the area. And the combination with bright purple and pink gradients or blue texture backgrounds will give the collage a futuristic look.

Typography as Texture

Artfully selected, light, refined textures combined with typography, give rise to amazing memorable works. Due to their sophistication, such solutions give minimalist designs a modern twist. There’s no need for excessive complexity: a simple union of texture and letters is enough for the design to be remembered by the viewer for a long time. A great combination is given by restrained colors and black texture backgrounds.

What are the main reasons for using texture background images in graphic design?

Designers like to use textures for a variety of reasons. The constructive decision on the expediency of using this element in the design is not made on the basis that the site’s texture looks nicer. For example, a bright picture has an emotional impact on the viewer, interests them, or even calls for some action.
Being a universal material, textures are widely used in web design and are the object of endless experiments. On the sites you can find both simple options that only emphasize certain elements of the project, and much more complex implementations. This opens up a lot of previously hidden opportunities for the designer, allowing them to use maximum inspiration! Let’s talk about the reasons for using textures in more detail below!

1. Creating a visual interest

Recently, pure colors were the main starting point in design. And although they still occupy a significant place in this industry, designers are increasingly resorting to the use of textures to increase visual interest in the site. This approach makes it possible to soften the design’s perception that is made in aggressive or difficult to perceive colors or on the contrary, to make the main color more lively, interesting (especially this applies to pastel, dull shades). For more effective work, it’s worth studying the tastes of the audience. If your subscribers begin to be more active after a few bright posts (with a yellow, green or red texture background, for example), then continue to develop the site in this direction.

2. Evoking an emotional response from the audience

Using any paid or free texture background images is an effective way to interact with the target audience. Since the drawings can be different, it’s possible to evoke different emotions.
Using the textures of natural materials, you can draw a parallel between associations with health and nature, your product, and so on.
The use of superimposing textures on photos, the effect of "aged" paper texture backgrounds makes the user feel reliable and creates a retro style, which is characterized by the creation of such an atmosphere that causes nostalgia among viewers. And nostalgia, provoked by dreams and a special love for the past, by the way, sells very well.

3. Formation of identity and brand awareness in the web space

Of course, every customer wants to get more from the website design than just information content. Realizing that personal associations and brand atmosphere are the key to successful influence on the user, designers often resort to the use of various kinds of non-standard elements. For conceptual design, the mood conveyed to the visitor through graphics also plays an important role. Texture in this regard is the optimal solution.

How to use texture in graphic design

It's one thing to find a texture that will look good, but tasteful implementation on your pages requires a little more effort. To create a web texture that attracts users, be sure to follow these four key recommendations:

  1. Don't overdo it!
  2. Make the text legible and understandable to the user.
  3. Match your intended feeling.
  4. Find a balance between image quality and loading time.

Also, don’t forget about the importance of quality. Again, this will require testing on your part — blurry textures and slow loading speeds distract from user interaction.


Despite the recent push for two-dimensional graphic design in recent years, web textures have taken their place due to their positive impact on user interaction, experience, and enjoyment. With the help of textures, you can control not only emotions, but also a person's attention, bringing him to the necessary action!