The third element is texture, which gives the design piece a look or feel, or a surface. Think about the different textures that we encounter everyday. Texture can help you create a particular mood for a layout or be used in individual shapes.

Texture can be used in your layout to add dimension and richness. There are two types of texture. The first, tactile texture, can be felt. For example, think about the different pieces of paper you have handled. The second, visual texture, is used to create the illusion of texture on a printed piece. Wallpaper is a good example of visual texture. Blocks of type can be used as texture by alternating the patterns of light and dark that are created by the shapes of the letterforms as well the spaces between them.

A pattern is type of visual texture. When an image or line of type is repeated many times, the patterns of lights and darks add dimension to a surface. Wrapping paper is a good example of pattern. Patterns can make excellent backgrounds and borders in layouts.

To use texture in your piece:

  • Use an image and relate it to its background.
  • Use a paper stock that will enhance the piece’s a mood or personality.
  • Create contrast for interest.
  • Fool the eye by using type as image to achieve a wrapping paper effect.
  • Use appropriate imagery to provoke a particular emotion.
  • Create a feeling of richness and depth.
  • Add liveliness and activity.
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