Playing with Texture in Design
July 13, 2017

Playing with Texture in Design


Over the past few months, we’ve noticed our clients taking more interest in some really cool paper selections and production methods such as blind embossing, high gloss surfaces, foil stamping, spot varnish and luxuriously smooth matte paper. And it’s no surprise! When you really want a design to be upscale, texture or surface quality is arguably the most important element to consider.

The senses are what contribute to memory as well, and brand recognition is what we aim for.

The graphics you’ve had designed may be beautiful but without added texture, you’ve only taken advantage of one of your viewer’s five senses. The opportunity is there for your piece to tantalize the senses and be truly luxurious. The senses are what contribute to memory as well, and brand recognition is what we aim for. Your sense of smell is actually the strongest memory activator. A scent can figuratively take you back to another place and time, like grandma’s cookies or the scent of a cologne you haven’t sniffed in years. When you activate your sense of touch, memory is similarly stimulated, taking your mind back to comparable textures and experiences. This added sense of touch gives your viewer a layered experience. There are two types of texture that we use in design, real tactile texture and visual texture.

Real Texture

Real texture is a surface that you can experience with your hands. Think bumpy, smooth vellum, rough, fibrous or linen. The weight and surface quality of paper alone is crucial to communicating the value of your business. We all know the difference between the feeling of an ad printed on newsprint and a deluxe print on a heavy stock with an embossed logo. We’ve recently printed cotton debossed business cards that feel as stunning as they look. The effect of textured paper effects allowed us to keep the design minimal. That’s the absolute key to a high-end effect. Paper choices, printing methods and special finishing can boost your design to the next level.

Visual Texture

We still use texture to our advantage on screen or on the flattest of paper stock. Photos, lines, dots or even text itself can create the optical appearance of texture through the style of the graphics alone. A background image of a marble slab brings to mind the cool, smooth surface of actual marble. Imagine the difference between the feeling of a photograph of a wooden table, a shiny metal surface or a plush velvet. The options are endless. We’ve even used photos of actual paper to convey real texture on screen and in print. While not as impactful as “real texture”, this optical texture is often a much needed element in a design.

Whether a piece has a real tactile quality such as an embossed paper, or has a purely visual effect, texture is a subtle yet impactful way to add something extra special to your project.

For more information on special printing techniques and custom design, contact us today!