A Little Text On Texture
A few years back, I was planning our backyard garden with my “green thumb” friend, Kathleen. Thankfully, she took the time to explain the importance of considering texture when selecting plants. Even though most of the shrubs would have leaves the various shades of green, their shapes and sizes were all different. When looking at a garden as a whole, these variations create a depth that can bring real drama into the scene.
Graphic design is like that too, utilizing a variety of textures to create the illusion of layers and depth. It really helps bring character, variety, and visual definition to the message we’re trying to get across. Think about a collage, with torn paper, tape, and layers of images. Instantly, you know that this is meant to convey something personal like a scrapbook. Adding texture with stripes or bold angles, can convey a feeling of elegance, evoking the 1920s art deco style.
When people talk about texture in design, they’re usually referring to a three-dimensional printed piece like a business card with an embossed logo or a beautifully printed letterpress notecard. These “touchable” effects are really helpful in conveying a mood or adding a new dimension to a presentation, but texture actually goes beyond the tactile realm.
A lot of the textures we incorporate into our design work are created without those special effects. For work that will appear online on a website or in a printed publication, we create texture by utilizing repeating patterns, overlapping various shapes, or applying contrasting colors that bring that added dimension to the piece.
We recently designed an album package for a rootsy, Americana-style singer/songwriter using grainy, vintage-looking photographs to evoke a retro, “gritty” vibe. It perfectly captured the artist’s music and communicated that feel to his waiting fan base.
The planet we live on isn’t flat (although there are still some that would argue otherwise!). And like that garden, our creative work reflects the ins, the outs, the ups and the downs of the life we live every day. A little extra texture? Bring it on!