Textures give your designs an elevated, professionally designed look. This quick tutorial teaches you how to apply transparent overlays to a design without using expensive design software.
Subtle textures are used in professional design to enhance or transform simple geometric designs. The right texture adds a sense of realness to an otherwise flat designs. The good news is, you don’t need design know-how or expensive design software to find and apply textures to your own designs. We created a pack of 50 completely free distressed textures, and they’re ready to be used in any free design program, like Shutterstock Editor. These textures have a distressed look to help you add that vintage or faded style to your designs – a popular look in modern design.
Follow this simple guide to learn how to apply transparent PNG textures to a vintage badge design in our free Shutterstock Editor program.
Step 1: Set Up Canvas Size
When you first open up Shutterstock Editor, there will be a default image and canvas size. Let’s change the size to a custom dimension at 1000 x 1000 pixels.
Head over to the Canvas Size tab on the right hand side of the program, then hit the lock icon to unlock ratios. Type out your custom values in the Width and Height dialog boxes, then press Enter.
Step 2: Draw Badge Shape
When designing a stand-alone badge, it’s best to eliminate all background elements; this ensures your badge can be layered over multicolored backgrounds or images.
In the Background panel, drag the Opacity slider to 0%. You will see a checkerboard pattern show up in the background, indicating transparency.
Badges come in all shapes and sizes; in this tutorial, we will design a hexagonal vintage badge. Navigate to the Shapes (H) tool and click on the hexagon to bring the shape to your canvas.
Resize your shape with the blue corners and hold down the Option key to keep the polygon centered on the canvas. Keep your shape aligned horizontally and vertically with the Alignment panel.
Draw out a hexagonal outline with the Shapes (H) tool for a unique vintage look. Set your outline to 36 points with the Stroke panel.
Step 3: Insert Badge Text
Head over to the Text (A) tool to bring in headlines and subheadlines to the canvas. Think short phrases, like “Premium Quality Since 2016,” which work well for simple badges; stick to a few words to avoid overpowering the design.
Fonts like Playball and Maven Pro pair well for an effortless design. When coupling fonts together, focus on contrasting styles, such as sans serif and script. When used sparingly, script fonts add emphasis and act as a focal point in your design.
I added subheadlines at the top and bottom of the main phrase to supplement and fill out the hexagonal silhouette. These subheadlines are smaller in size, in comparison to the level-one text, to provide visual hierarchy in the badge. Insert a simple line from the Shapes (H) tab to break up the headlines and subheadlines for improved readability.
Step 4: Apply Color Palette
When applied, color palettes can quickly transform the tone of your design. Bright vibrant hues create excitement, while more subdued tones hint at a vintage appeal.
Not sure where to begin? Take a look at these 101 color combinations to inspire your designs. I chose number 85 from the list – this rustic palette:
There are several ways to apply color within the Shutterstock Editor application: hex codes, presets, custom histogram, and the eyedropper. With hex codes, you just need to enter the six-digit code into the Web Color dialog box within the Custom tab in the Fill Color panel. This gives you the exact hue seen in the color palettes, without the hassle of having to drag your cursor across the histogram.
For my badge, I’m going to take Palm Green (#2C413C) and Hampton (#E5D1AC) and apply those as the background and outlines. I sampled a pale yellow hue on the color histogram to allow the typography to contrast against the dark green background.
Step 5: Attach Transparent Texture
Textures add an organic distressed element to geometric designs. These elements of visual interest elevate your designs without overpowering its tone and message.
For this tutorial, I am using elements from this free distressed texture bundle. This texture pack features transparent PNGs, ready for drag-and-drop use in Shutterstock Editor. Simply download these elements and bring them into the program with the My Content (M) panel.
To introduce subtle textures to my vintage badge, I will be using Distressed Texture_03.png from the Transparent PNG folder.
Bring the Brightness up to 100% to transform the texture from black to white, then bring the Temperature down to -100 to introduce yellow tones into the texture.
After the adjustments are made, you’ll notice that the texture extends past the badge. Let’s crop it down to fit within the badge shape. Click on your texture, then select the Shape Crop feature above the Advanced Tools panel. Select the hexagonal shape crop to fit the shape of your badge.
Adjust the size of your crop by clicking and dragging the corners inwards; the grids will help guide and indicate the perimeter of your shape crop. When finished with the crop, select Apply Crop to go back to the canvas. Hit Reset to revert back to the original texture image.
Your Badge is Ready to Download!
Click on the red Download button at the top of the program, then save as a PNG at 72 DPI. PNG files support transparency and are best used when designing icons and badges.
Ta-da! You have designed a fun textured badge in just five steps to add character to your online or print marketing designs.
Make the most of what Shutterstock Editor has to offer with these informative tips and tutorials: