Texture in Graphic Design: The Ultimate Guide

Graphic design enthusiasts will tell you that there are 7 fundamental visual elements that come together to form a graphic design. They include shape, color, line, typography, form, space, and texture. For a project to be complete, the designer usually has to incorporate almost all these elements into the piece. By balancing and arranging them artistically on a layout, they ultimately achieve a richer, fuller design. But out of all them, there is one underrated element that plays a critical role in the finished design—texture.

While it might be easy to understand what shape and color do, texture needs a little further elaboration. In essence, you might say that it is the feature that affects the overall look and feel of the design. But what is it really?

In this guide, we shall focus solely on texture as an element of graphic design. We shall address its importance in the whole process and see how you can enhance your designs using texture with CorelDRAW software.

What is texture in graphic design?

The general definition of texture in graphic design is the surface quality in a work of art. In simpler terms, the texture is the visual tone of a design. It influences how graphic designs feel and look. Texture can apply to physical surfaces as well. However, the difference here is that texture in graphic design cannot be felt physically.

Instead, it is implied by how the design is styled. By layering rich graphics upon each other, you can create visual textures that mimic the actual texture.

There are two primary forms of texture used in graphics design; actual and implied textures.

Actual textures

Actual textures are also called physical textures. They refer to the real tactile properties of the design. Actual texture is useful for designing stuff like wedding invitation cards, business cards, and brochures where concerns such as paper thickness and quality or surface smoothness and letter embossing have to be addressed.

Implied textures

Also known as image texture, implied textures are generated from a combination of geometric or organic shapes and colors to bring the feeling of texture to a graphic design. Implied textures can be complex or simple depending on the layers of lines, shapes, and text used. Implied textures can be separated into three different textures:

  • Environmental – These are textures generated from the environment. They can include rocks, stars in the sky, sand, among other environmental objects.
  • Man-made – The texture is anything that was designed by human hands. Artificial textures can include clothes, illustrations, or even paintings.
  • Biological – Biological textures can be anything from fur, skin, animal prints to feathers. They are sourced from biological components, mostly animal-related.

How to use texture to enhance your designs

Texture in graphics design is meant to create illusions by altering the feel and look of an image. Using texture correctly, a graphic designer can create compelling designs by adding an extra layer of meaning to a graphic design.

Before deciding on a texture for your design, you need to have a clear idea of what you need to design, resources that you can turn into textures, and software like CorelDRAW to work on the design.

Basically, when adding texture, you want to create something that will catch someone's eye without being too over the top. Go with your artistic instincts as well. The goal is to achieve something that brings out your idea while invoking an emotional response to the viewer.

Using actual texture to bring organic life to graphic designs

Using natural elements in your graphic designs infuses the image with life, beauty, warmth, and vividness. Actual texture imagery is inspired by anything in the world. This can be anything from a small feather to the canopy of a rainforest.

It is important to remember that the key to creating stunning images using actual texture is setting a contrast between the textured background and the striking foreground.

Using implied texture to create experimental graphic designs

The implied texture consists of human-fabricated images and a wide array of imagery with surrealistic patterns. Using modern graphic design software like CorelDRAW, the designer can incorporate a wide range of implied textures. The only limitation is your imagination. Contrast still plays a critical role in creating gorgeous textures for the background and foreground.


The texture is a vital element in visuals, and when used by the correct designer, it adds a layer of detail to the graphic design. To achieve texture-enhanced graphic designs, you need powerful graphic design software capable of handling different layers of texture. Tools capable of adjusting contrast between the different layers and blending the foreground and background images.

CorelDRAW is graphic design software equipped with different tools that help you create implied textures and work with actual textures. Visit the CorelDRAW website for more information.

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