How To: Put a Texture on a Poster
Putting a texture on a poster isn't as difficult as it may seem. Just check out these five easy tips.

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Your poster is almost ready, but you feel it lacks that special something. The problem is you don’t know what that special something is. Adding a texture is a quick way to improve your poster without taking anything away from the rest of your graphics.

If you want to know more, read on. These tips are very easy to follow and will help you to make the most of a texture, from how to choose it to how to blend it with your other images.

To choose the best texture for your project, you need to know what kind of effect you are after.

Do you want the texture to add depth or a certain quality to your poster? Do you want it to enhance certain features of your graphics, or do you want it to be a primary feature on its own? Do you want the texture to serve as a backdrop, or do you want to blend it with the rest of the poster?

A few examples are paper, card or film textures, which are great to recreate a tangible feel. Brush strokes or other crafty textures can simulate artistic techniques.

Light textures can be used to create a magical, romantic look. Regular or geometric textures can be used as patterns to fill the poster without making it look too crowded.

How to Put a Texture on a Poster 1

Once you have your texture, you need to adjust it to your poster’s document.

If you are using a tile image file, you can turn it into a pattern and fill a new layer over your base image. If you are not using a tile texture, drag or copy the image over your base and use the transform tools to adjust its size and placement to fit your poster’s document.

Choose images with a size that is adequate for your purpose. Enlarging the original texture too much may result in poor image quality. For the best results, never enlarge your texture more than about 25 percent of its original size.

How to Put a Texture on a Poster 2

When the texture is just right for your document, you can use it as a background by either moving its layer to the back or by creating layer masks to apply the texture just where you need it.

If you are using masks, don’t delete portions of the texture with the Eraser tool. Instead, use black and white colored brushes over the mask – black conceals and white reveals.

How to Put a Texture on a Poster 3

If you want the texture to mix with your poster’s graphics as if they were a single image, bring it forward by placing its layer on top of all the others and then change its blend mode.

Depending on your images, you will need to apply different blend modes to really make the texture an integral part of the poster. Some of the blend modes that usually work best are Multiply, Screen, Overlay and Soft Light.

Try each one of them to determine which one is the most appropriate for your project. Adjust the opacity to fine tune your final effect.

How to Put a Texture on a Poster 4

After you are satisfied with the overall look of your poster, you can copy all the layers and paste them as a new single layer to keep editing.

Adding new effects on the merged layer will create an even more cohesive look and will ensure your texture will really blend in. You can apply colored filters, vignettes, light effects and so on.

Just try and experiment. However, always save a layered file in case you want to apply changes later.

How to Put a Texture on a Poster 5

Like most things in the design world, applying textures can seem complicated at first. Even if you are just starting out, you can achieve great results and make a poster that really stands out by combining your graphics with textured images.

Take your time and learn by trial and error what works and what doesn’t. The longer you work with textures, the more skilled you will become at using them.

Edited in Photoshop CS5. Featured photo source:

About the Author
Kristi Maddox is a master of graphic design, on-site design and ordering, and is the go-to for template and design tool usage.
Kristi and the team order print jobs from every major printer to test quality, value, customer service, and more. See their reviews here:


  1. neat idea. maybe some felt or something would be cool on one.

    • Kenny Austin
      Kevin Austin (

      Getting into 3D land there! If a normal, texturized background needs to be taken to the next level, something along those lines would be awesome!