A good amount of the LaBella Flora graphics I’ve been working on over the past few weeks have a certain distressed or aged look to them. If you’re not interested in spending a lot of time in Photoshop manually brushing a texture, there’s a quick and easy way to create good looking textures that can be scaled and re-colored in Illustrator.
Here’s how I created the distressed background you see in the Persnickety Clothing graphic above.
First, find a good quality image of a worn surface. Try image searching with words like ‘aged, texture, distressed, surface’. Be sure to pick an image with a high amount of contrast. For example, the image I selected is a light green surface with dark brown distress marks.
Open up your image in Photoshop and changed the image mode to grayscale (Image>Mode>Greyscale). If you want to alter the image at all, now’s the time. Feel free to add brush marks, erase parts of the image, anything you’d like to do to make the texture more unique.
When you feel like it’s ready, go back to Image>Mode and select Bitmap. A dialog box will pop up and you’ll want to set your options to 300 pixels/inch and 50% Threshold. Hit Okay and you’re almost done.
Finally, you’ll want to make sure you save this file as a TIFF (File>Save As>Format:TIFF). This will allow you to then place the file into Illustrator, adjust its color, and layer it into your design in progress.