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Add Visual Texture 3 Easy Steps

Rather than continually repeat these simple steps in every tutorial that uses this technique to apply texture, we’ll save everyone time and get this essential tip out of the way!

The use of textures in design are incredibly important in defining a surface.  While we can not create actual tactile textures in digital design, we can create the visual illustion of 3D texture.  This Tutorial aims to show you an easy way to do just that.

Step 1 – Find a Suitable Texture for your Design

Perhaps you have a photo that you’ve taken yourself, a texture you’ve designed, or maybe you’ve found a free texture to use online.  Whatever the case may be, you’ll need a texture to work with.

If you need help finding a texture, we’ve got a large collection of 99 Free Stock Textures which you’re welcome to browse through!

Once you find a texture, Copy > Paste it into a new layer in your design.  The texture layer should usually be on top of every other layer in your design (or at least the layers you want to apply the texture to).

Transform the Texture to fit your canvas.

Design Texture should be applied to in Photoshop

Step 2 – Desaturate

Desaturate your texture layer (Image > Adjustments > Desaturate).  We only want to apply the texture over our design, not the color from the texture.

Desaturate the Texture

Step 3 – Set to Overlay

Now, set this layer to Overlay.  This will screen (brighten) all of the shades brighter than 50% gray in your texture, while multiply (darken) any shades darker than 50% gray, thus giving the illusion of light passing over your design for a more tactile appearance!

Adjust the opacity of your texture layer to increase or decrease the intensity of the effect.

Texture Added in Photoshop

111 Comments

  1. Add point Subtract point
    indian wedding fashions (-1 Points) March 25, 2011 at 4:03 am

    i`m sorry i couldn`t follow your steps….

    i`m not good at following tutorials… but now i really need to do it…!!!!

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  2. Add point Subtract point

    Thanks but i didnt understand the last step … but good one!

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  3. Add point Subtract point

    nice but i dont understand the tutorial is too short.

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  4. Add point Subtract point
    โหลดเพลง mp3 ฟรี (1 Point) October 1, 2010 at 3:35 am

    thank for cool tutorial

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  5. Add point Subtract point
    comandonemo (0 Points) July 8, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    muy buena explicación , gracias

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  6. Add point Subtract point
    โหลดเพลง mp3 (1 Point) June 9, 2010 at 5:07 am

    wow Cool tip thank for sharing.

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  7. Add point Subtract point
    โหลดเพลง mp3 (1 Point) June 9, 2010 at 5:05 am

    Thank for tips.

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  8. Add point Subtract point
    Jill (0 Points) June 1, 2010 at 8:28 am

    Wow thank you! You have saved my skin, been trying to figure out how to do this for ages!

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  9. Add point Subtract point
    โหลดเพลงฟรี (1 Point) May 29, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    Thank for tips.

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  10. Add point Subtract point
    James McNulty (1 Point) May 5, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    TY this was really helpful, i’ve caught onto it really well =)

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  11. Add point Subtract point
    Master (1 Point) May 4, 2010 at 1:25 am

    wow coooooooooool…
    see below link find more professional photoshop tips and tutorials
    hope its useful!
    http://www.tutorials99.com

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  12. Add point Subtract point
    โหลดเพลง (1 Point) March 29, 2010 at 10:25 am

    Thank you for great tip. I think wonderful.

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  13. Add point Subtract point
    ดาวน์โหลดเพลง (1 Point) February 3, 2010 at 1:07 am

    wow Cool tip thank for sharing.143

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  14. Add point Subtract point
    เพลงใหม่ล่าสุด (1 Point) February 1, 2010 at 11:10 pm

    wow Cool tip thank for sharing.129

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  15. Add point Subtract point
    ฟังเพลงออนไลน์ (1 Point) February 1, 2010 at 1:14 am

    wow Cool tip thank for sharing.123

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  16. Add point Subtract point
    โหลดเพลงฟรี (1 Point) January 30, 2010 at 8:20 am

    thanks for sharing. So mush

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  17. Add point Subtract point
    Chotrul Web Design (1 Point) December 19, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    Very simple and very effective, as most of the best design ideas are! One thing to bear in mind for websites – that this will up the file size … but that may or may not be a consideration …

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  18. Add point Subtract point

    You know…if you don’t have a book…you should write one. As easy as this was…I’m leaving with the understanding of layer functions more than ever. Very few tuts will do a step by step with simple function explanations and become too wordy (like this!!) Thanks ;)

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  19. Add point Subtract point

    Hey thanks David ! I got it and it’s pretty handy !

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  20. Add point Subtract point

    OMFG, the desaturate and the textual drop shadow was the special sauce I needed. Thanks for the tip!

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  21. Add point Subtract point
    Photoshop (1 Point) September 22, 2009 at 6:03 am

    Cold and cool text. Easy tutorial

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  22. Add point Subtract point
    Armig Esfahani (1 Point) June 28, 2009 at 3:22 am

    easy nice and so useful! thanks…

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  23. Add point Subtract point

    Whats the name of the font you used to write Texture in three easy steps on first picture

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  24. Add point Subtract point
    nilay (1 Point) May 6, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    I’m sorry but this tutorial will not help me. I mean it’s complicated all step’s are not clear.

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  25. Add point Subtract point
    huwaw69 (1 Point) May 2, 2009 at 9:35 am

    this looks good, nice effect…

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  26. Add point Subtract point

    This is a reallllllly kewl tut…and this is eeezz to follow…thnx dAvid And ill use this effect on my website’s header

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  27. Add point Subtract point

    What font is that? I would like to know how to make that image befor the texture.

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  28. Add point Subtract point
    Css Templates (1 Point) October 13, 2008 at 5:51 am

    Thanks

    For this Example I really like this

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  29. Add point Subtract point

    Thanks folks :) Especially happy to see the proud Tutorians!

    @ Auguso – We do aim to provide tutorials FOR creating presentation materials, but none directly aimed at making better slides at this point. Definitely something I could talk about though.

    @ RUGRLN – Do you mean creating better color schemes? Or?

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  30. Add point Subtract point
    Cooper Shrieve (1 Point) August 4, 2008 at 3:23 pm

    I’m a tutorian!!! \o/ :D

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  31. Add point Subtract point
    Joe Donnelly (1 Point) August 1, 2008 at 2:04 pm

    I absolutely love your site
    the most helpful tutorials i’ve ever read and you’re seriously an amazing designer.
    thank you and well done!
    x

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  32. Add point Subtract point
    RUGRLN (1 Point) July 13, 2008 at 9:22 am

    I was wondering if you could do a tut on how to tweak colours of an image to match it’s surroundings maybe for the School of Ps, cuz I kinda suuck at it.

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    Auguso Roselli (1 Point) July 8, 2008 at 11:54 am

    Wow…Thnx alot for the tips, your tutorials are really amazing and easy to follow :)

    I would like to make a request though, I am building a presentation and I was looking for something that looked nice, blended, but that wouldn´t escape from the important part, wich is fitting text images and videos inside it!

    Any tutorials on that ?

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  34. Add point Subtract point
    Cooper Shrieve (1 Point) July 5, 2008 at 2:39 am

    That’sit?? Well duh!! but very effective

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  35. Add point Subtract point

    I found myself repeating these steps a lot in some of my other articles, so I thought it would be a good idea to just have an easy article to point people to for one easy technique.

    I may add others in the future ;)

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  36. Add point Subtract point
    antonwoods (1 Point) July 4, 2008 at 3:27 am

    Textures play a big part in design, without textures your designless to be quite honest and I think david put’s this tutorial across very well. Could have given a few more tutorials on how you can apply (different scenarious to the extent textures will be used and how they will be used effectively would have benefited this tutorial hugely instead of a one trick example) but apart from that it is very well explained and gives a good in-sight to why textures are important in design.

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  37. Add point Subtract point
    Drupal Museum (1 Point) July 2, 2008 at 8:39 pm

    Wow, so simple but priceless. I’m always trying to work textures into design and trying to tweak to color to match the scheme. Thanks for the post!

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  38. Add point Subtract point
    liam (1 Point) July 2, 2008 at 4:02 pm

    Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about! Love textured anything and this is such a great subtle effect.

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  39. Add point Subtract point
    CJ.H (1 Point) July 2, 2008 at 3:21 pm

    Ah I forgot about the fourm! I had no where to post them, so I didnt link or anything. I’ll definetly post them there as soon as I can upload them.

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  40. Add point Subtract point
    Jana (1 Point) July 2, 2008 at 2:57 pm

    “I know a lot of Tutorians (yes, I just gave us a name)”

    You have every right to do that, David ;) and it’s not that bad.

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  41. Add point Subtract point

    @ CJ.H – That sounds nice =) You should definitely consider posting some if you get the chance in the forums! I know a lot of Tutorians (yes, I just gave us a name) would appreciate the effort!

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  42. Add point Subtract point

    Quite a simple thing, but it was useful for me because textures never come out with the right effect for me. Desaturating makes them look nice. Plus I’m in Spain and there is endless opportunities for taking nice texture pictures there.

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