How To Add Texture & Dimension to Screen Printed Lettering

Text with gradient drop shadow distressed texture

Here are my top go-to techniques to add effects like, texture and dimension to screen printed design.

1. Shapes

One technique starts with drawing your own shapes. Use any shape you like. Once you choose your shapes, colorize them in different percentages of the same color to keep the number of colors down while still giving the illusion of multi-color design. Then, paste these shapes inside of your text by creating a clipping mask.

Halftone shapes for dimension
Halftone shapes for dimension.
Type with shape texture pasted inside
Type with shape texture pasted inside.

2. Graduations

You also can use graduations to create interest, but be sure to create them using spot colors. This gives the illusion that you are using more colors when you are actually blending two colors together to create a third.

3. Drop Shadows

Create a quick drop shadow to add dimension by duplicating your text layer then coloring the bottom layer black (or whatever color you want the shadow to be), then offsetting it slightly.

4. Distressed Bitmap Overlay

Another option to create texture is to add a distressed bitmap overlay to create a worn effect. This look is popular on shirts.

Distressed texture
Distressed texture.
Text with gradient drop shadow distressed texture
Text with gradient drop shadow distressed texture.

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