Adding Texture: Setting the Foundation of Design

TEXTURE: In the visual arts, texture is the perceived surface quality of a work of art. It is an element of two-dimensional and three-dimensional designs and is distinguished by its perceived visual and physical properties. Use of texture, along with other elements of design, can convey a variety of messages and emotions.

Texture (Visual Arts) – Wikipedia

Simply put, texture could be all you need to take a simple design and give it a more professional look that engages your audience. This can be important when you have a design that you really need people to see and take note of. You know, like an announcement slide?

Of course, adding texture to any type of design can make a difference but for this article I’ll be using announcement slides as an example along side a few layer breakdowns in Photoshop.

Before we get started there are two important things to note here. First, there are MANY ways to add texture to a design but I’m going to give you three basic techniques to get you started. Second, the following slides definitely need added content to give them all the information your congregation will need. I wanted to focus mainly on the design instead of the content. If you need help with what to add to a slide, here’s a great article that outlines that in detail in point #6.

Texture Technique #1: Background Texture

Let’s start with a Facebook announcement slide. Here’s the before.

Screen Shot 2017-03-19 at 1.37.47 PM.png

This slide consists of simple text with the Facebook logo that I got here on a white background. It isn’t too busy which can be good thing. Often times slides are so cluttered that people are overwhelmed and likely disregard the announcement altogether. However, this slide lacks texture and by tastefully adding this element we can increase the visual interest of the slide.

So, let’s give it a try! Here’s the after.


We’ve added texture to the image without overpowering the content. Here’s what you’ll need for this slide:

Facebook “Find us on” image (FREE): LINK
Fracture Slate Texture (FREE): LINK

Here’s a look at how my layers are setup. From top to bottom I have the Facebook “Find us on” png, Fracture Slate texture, Gradient Fill, and the standard White Background.

Screen Shot 2017-03-19 at 1.20.47 PM.png

The only layer that I have made adjustments to is the Fracture Slate layer. Here’s a look at my Blending Mode and Opacity changes.

Screen Shot 2017-03-19 at 1.51.07 PM.png

As far as my Gradient Fill, here are the settings I used. I chose the Radial Style, set the Scale the 319%, check the “Reverse” box, and used two custom colors in my gradient that matched the Facebook logo. 

FB_gradient settings.jpg

That’s it! It’s nothing crazy but just a little color and texture can make a huge difference.

Texture Technique #2: Text and Added Element Texture

This next slide is going to use a combination of texture through the text and an added element to create a Baptism slide. You don’t have to do both techniques together, one or the other is fine, I just wanted to show you something that’s a step up in difficulty and appearance from the last slide.

Here’s the before.

Baptism Before.jpg

First of all, this slide isn’t necessarily “bad” it could just be a little better. Something I see a lot is the use of drop shadows behind text that isn’t easy to read. This can be done well but is often overused so let’s try something a little different.

Here’s the after.


We’ve used mixed text and added elements to give this slide more texture and also make the text easier to read. Here’s what you’ll need for this slide:

Underwater Photo (FREE): LINK
White Paint Stroke (FREE): LINK
The Flower City Font ($15): LINK
Walkway Font (FREE): LINK

Let me walk you through my layer setup for this project. From top to bottom I have my text layer, White Paint Stroke, Gradient Fill, Underwater Photo and the standard White Background.

Screen Shot 2017-03-19 at 2.20.42 PM.png

The standard White Background and Underwater Photo have not been adjusted at all so we’ll move up to the Gradient Fill. Here is how I had this layer setup. I chose the Reflected Style and the standard “Black, White” gradient. I didn’t change the Angle, Scale, or Colors whatsoever.  

Screen Shot 2017-03-19 at 2.28.29 PM.png

Now, what makes this layer really work in our favor is to change the Blending Mode. As you can see below, I set the Blending Mode to “Overlay” and the Opacity to “75%”.

Screen Shot 2017-03-19 at 2.26.21 PM.png

Next, we’ll move up to the White Paint Stroke layer. I made this image layer slightly larger to accommodate my text and I added a Color Overlay. Here’s a look at my Color Overlay Settings. I left the Blend Mode and Opacity alone and just changed the color to a nice blue that would compliment the image and make the text easier to read.

Screen Shot 2017-03-19 at 2.39.38 PM.png

Next, I change the Opacity of the White Paint Stroke layer to “50%”.

Screen Shot 2017-03-19 at 2.42.50 PM.png

Now for our top text layer. By using two different fonts and sizes this adds a new level of texture and visual interest. The text itself is white and I didn’t make any changes to the Blending Mode or the Opacity of this layer. 

Below are the settings for the top line of text. The font used is “The Flower City”, Text Size is “300 pt”, Leading is “240 pt” and the Tracking is set to “80”.

Screen Shot 2017-03-19 at 2.44.32 PM.png

Now on to the bottom line of text. The font is “Walkway SemiBold”, Text Size is “150 pt”, Leading is “163 pt” and the Tracking is set to “380”. By changing the text, size, and tracking, we’ve added a new element of diversity to the image which can also make it easier to read.

Screen Shot 2017-03-19 at 2.44.45 PM.png

I know this slide was a little more intricate but I think the added effort is worth it. Also, once you get familiar with different ways to add texture, you’ll find making all these adjustments is a quick and easy process. 

Texture Technique #3: Background Mask Texture

Okay, this next texture style has to be one of my favorites! Not only does it look awesome, but it’s extremely easy to execute. Let’s take a look at the before slide to announce a Community Garden Project.

CommunityProject Before.jpg

Again, this slide isn’t horrible. In fact, this could actually work but let’s take it up a notch, shall we? Here’s the after.


I love using layer masks because it’s an easy way to add more punch to your design. Also, you can do it in an non-destructive way which is really important for slides that have information that could change or need updating periodically.

Here’s what you’ll need for this project:

This photo of someone holding dirt (FREE): LINK
Bebas Font (FREE): LINK

First, let’s take a look at how my layers are positioned.

Screen Shot 2017-03-19 at 3.05.03 PM.png

As you can see, I have the text sandwiched between the image on two separate layers. Let me walk you through this really quick. I promise that once you get this down, you’ll be able to do it in less than five minutes. We’ll start by adding our text on top of our image with the following settings.

The top line is setup like this. Our font is “Bebas”, the Text Size is “300 pt”, Leading is “240 pt”, and our Tracking is set to “80”. The text color is set to white but in the end this doesn’t matter at all. It’ll make more sense once we add the mask but seriously, don’t worry about the text color.

Screen Shot 2017-03-19 at 3.05.55 PM.png

The bottom line of text has the following settings. Our text is “Bebas”, Text Size is “150 pt”, Leading is “215 pt” and Tracking is set to “300”. Again, the text color is white but it doesn’t matter.

Screen Shot 2017-03-19 at 3.06.08 PM.png

It should look like this.

Screen Shot 2017-03-19 at 3.18.34 PM.png

Now, change the image Opacity to “25%”. Your layers should look like this.

Screen Shot 2017-03-19 at 3.16.16 PM.png

And your image should look like this.

Screen Shot 2017-03-19 at 3.14.56 PM.png

Now we’re moving onto the magic! Select the image layer and hit “Command + J” on a Mac or “Control + J” on a PC. This will duplicate your image layer. Now, drag the duplicated layer so it is on top of the text layer. It’ll look like this.

Screen Shot 2017-03-19 at 3.26.09 PM.png

Next, make sure the top image layer is selected, change the Opacity to “100%”, and hit “Command + G” on a Mac or “Control + G” if you’re on a PC and it should add a little bent arrow to the left of your image. This will create a mask over the text and it will look like this in your Layers panel.

Screen Shot 2017-03-19 at 3.14.09 PM.png

Now you’re left with the final slide! It should look like this. 



I hope this article was helpful and it gave you some inspiration.Again, there are so many ways to add texture to a design and I encourage you to explore more techniques and styles. If you use any of these techniques let me know! I’d love to see how you used these tricks along with your own creativity to create some awesome designs!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s