Textures, whether digital or analog, are a must-have for every designer. In this roundup, we’ve compiled a total of 161 free textures and elements to use in your next project.
Finding free and high quality textures online is no easy feat. Many of them are scattered across the web, meaning you’ll spend too much time endlessly searching for the right textures.
To make your texture selection process more straightforward, we’ve put together 161 free textures that designers can use for a multitude of applications, from social graphics to logo design. This roundup consists of everything from luxurious marble textures to gritty and grungy zine textures.
What Are Textures?
Textures add visual interest in a design by providing a tactile feel to an otherwise flat graphic. Ranging from subtle and speckled to gritty and destructive, textures are a great way to incorporate visual interest to any piece. Graphic designers typically use textures to add character to solid shapes, photographs, backgrounds, and more.
Notice the transformation of using paper and distressed textures above; the added textures make the design feel more worn-in and retro, a step above its solid vector version. Textures act like the cherry on top of any design, often tying in all of the elements with an impeccable finish.
How to Download Free Textures
Linked below are 161 free textures, ranging from paper to linocut. To arrive at your download, simply click on the links that correspond to each texture section. Each link will direct you to the page where the download button exists.
Scroll down to the section denoted “How to Download” and click on the button to start the ZIP file download. Once the ZIP file finishes downloading, click on the popup file to expand and unpackage its contents. There you’ll find the file folders, coupon, and license documents. Depending on the type of texture, you’ll find folders labeled differently. Simply click on the folders to arrive at the right textures for your next project.
12 Free Paper Textures
Paper textures are an absolute must-have in every designer’s texture toolkit. They can be incorporated into any composition to instantly add realism and depth. Paper overlays can range from subtle to extreme, and can be applied either to the background itself or to individual shapes and paths.
Vector image via svekloid.
This free paper texture pack features twelve crumpled, ripped, and smooth paper variations that you can use to elevate your compositions. In the download, you’ll get access to twelve JPG and four PNG files.
A sample of the paper textures available in the free download.
The beauty of these paper textures lies in their versatility. Utilize the blend modes in Illustrator, Photoshop, or InDesign to create a crumpled overlay across the design, or use the ripped paper variations as a clipping mask to give solid vector shapes a shredded edge.
Downloading this free paper pack is straightforward; just click on the button below. Then, double-click the ZIP file to unpackage its contents and you’ll see the paper textures in the PNG and JPG folders.
50 Free Distressed Textures
Do you have instances where you need to incorporate a hint of grunge to shapes, backgrounds, or typography? This pack of fifty free distressed textures is the perfect way to elevate any design compositions in any editing software program. Each texture is also one-of-a-kind and handmade, created in-house by experimenting with India ink and acrylic paint.
Mountain image via Sloth Astronaut. Textures used from 50 Free Distressed Textures Pack.
20 Free Photoshop Grunge Brushes
While the term brushes may remind you of paint brushes, used to transfer any wet media to paper, Photoshop brushes incorporate much more than that. The versatility of these brushes constitutes this tool as a go-to for any designer — beginner to advanced.
The beauty of these Photoshop brushes is that they’re versatile and buildable. The more stamps and strokes you make, the more texture you’ll have. Layer multiple brushes to create a one-of-a-kind texture, or adjust the brush size and opacity to modify how the brush is being applied. Incorporate these Photoshop brushes into any design application, such as social media designs, photographs, typography layouts, or logo designs.
Cassette image via Prostock-studio. Grunge Brushes used from 20 Free Photoshop Grunge Brushes Pack.
35 Free Zine Textures
With collages and digital zines making a comeback in 2019, we’ve introduced these thirty-five free zine textures to add that on-trend dirt and damage to any design composition. Inspired by photographs of concrete, distressed wood, and more, these textures are the perfect way to bring in a destructive appearance to the simplest of designs.
Even if your design is not explicitly a zine, you can use these images in a multitude of applications: social posts, web layouts, print art, and more. Any time your composition warrants a splash of grit and grunge, these textures are the way to go.
Photo via Tatiana Chekryzhova. Textures sampled from the 35 Free Zine Textures Pack.
The preferred way to utilize these unique texture files is to work with blend modes, clipping masks, and layers. While these textures are optimized for any raster editing software, the best application to use them is in Photoshop. You can also easily vectorize these files and incorporate them as a vector path in Illustrator.
13 Free Marble Textures
Sometimes, all your design needs is a hint of luxury. The ripples and swirls of color in marble add a touch of classic opulence to any area, with no exception to graphic design. While marble textures don’t work in every application, they can certainly be used in a large range of compositions; designers of all disciplines have incorporated marble textures to backgrounds, packaging, business cards, and even web layouts.
These handmade marble textures incorporate swirls of bright color to create visually intriguing design backgrounds and textures. Each background is one-of-a-kind, made by mixing various nail polishes together on top of water.
Each marble design was created by hand, then digitized into JPG, PNG, and EPS files. The raster files can be used in practically any raster editing program, while the vector files are best left to Illustrator.
31 Free Linocut Textures & Elements
Although digital design is taking the spotlight, more and more designers are returning to analog methods of creating illustrations and textures. Block printing—especially linocut—is becoming a go-to because of its versatility, striking textures, and organic results.
We created this pack of thirty-one free block print shapes and textures to bring a hint of linocut to your digital designs. Each element is one-of-a-kind and handmade, created in-house by carving out linoleum and stamping onto paper.
Each linocut element in the free download comes in an EPS, BMP, or PNG file. These elements can be used in a range of design softwares, including raster and vector. Use them as a minimal decor piece, as an accent to a logo design, or as a unique background layout.
Interested in more free design elements? Check out these below:
Cover image via Diego Schtutman.
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