Visual element of Graphic Design: Texture

Texture is the way the surface feels or is perceived to feel. Texture is used to create a visual tone and can influence the look and feel of a piece of graphic design work.

Texture is the way the surface feels or is perceived to feel. Texture is used to create a visual tone and can influence the look and feel of a piece of graphic design work.

Texture is used to attract or repel interest to an element depending on the pleasantness of the texture. Now in design there are two types of texture: Image texture, and Pattern texture.

two types of texture: Image texture, and Pattern texture
two types of texture: Image texture, and Pattern texture

Image texture

Image texture
Image texture

Image texture is generated from a combination of organic or geometric shapes and colour. Image texture can be simple or complex and generally appears random to create a particular look and feel Image texture tantalises the senses, the eye likes to look at image texture.

Image texture can be like the sense of smell and touch, you can't see anything in particular in it but overall it triggers feelings of emotions and sensations of touch. Now image texture can be:


  1. Environmental, Environmental texture can be wood, grain, sand, water, stone to the stars in the sky.
  2. Biological, Biological texture can be skin, fur, feathers and animal prints.
  3. Man-made, Man made texture can be paintings, illustrations, dies, cloths, papers, typography, photographic effects and soon.


Because of image textures abstract nature with the ability to trigger feelings, emotions and excite the senses. Image textures can be used to engage and add distinct visual tone to a piece of graphic design work.

Pattern texture

Pattern texture
Pattern texture

Pattern texture is again generated from organic or geometric shapes and colour though pattern texture is mostly manufactured. Patterns can be simple or complex but unlike image texture that generally appears random, patterns appear more structured.

Repeating a formation of shape and colour will result in a pattern texture. Repeating a logo in a formation will result in a pattern texture. Like image texture, pattern texture also tantalises the senses but in a different way.

Patterns trigger our visual senses rather than emotional senses. Perhaps because pattern is more structured and less abstract. Pattern is more about visual recognition due to the shapes that repeat themselves, because of this in design pattern texture is used and works well as decoration.

A good example of this is in branding. Pattern creates a very distinct look and feel. and because of it's repetitive nature a brand can use this visual design element as a way to decorate and make you remember their brand. Another example is gift wrapping paper.

Now have you ever asked yourself why is gift wrapping paper mostly patterns rather than just a single image and why do people spend so much money on it? One could conclude that the repetition of bright colours and images excite the visual senses.

Often a gift may lay in an environment for a while awaiting to be open such as under a Christmas tree. The decorative nature of gift-wrap serves as a prelude to the excitement of opening a gift. So the gift wrap could be considered as important as the gift itself.

Now some of the most iconic styles, eras of design design, fashion trends and social movements have been defined by their textures. Examples being bauhaus patterns, neoclassical patterns, art deco textures, psychedelic textures of the seventies, pop textures of the eighties and hip textures of the nineties.

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Dafi Deff Motion Graphics: Visual element of Graphic Design: Texture
Visual element of Graphic Design: Texture
Texture is the way the surface feels or is perceived to feel. Texture is used to create a visual tone and can influence the look and feel of a piece of graphic design work.
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