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 Create. 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 with our intuitive Create tool.
Step 1: Set Up Canvas Size
When you first open up Create, there will be a default image and canvas size—2000 x 2000 px. Let’s change the size to a custom dimension at 1000 x 1000 pixels.
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.
To start, find the Shapes tab and select a hexagon shape.
To get the background transparent, simply highlight the background layer, click Change color, then find the Transparent box and check it.
To resize your shape, click on it and drag the blue corners closer or wider. Keep your shape aligned horizontally and vertically with the red alignment lines.
To get an outlined look, revisit the Shapes tab and find the Outline section. Click the thin hexagon to add to canvas. At first, it’ll be invisible.
Once the image is on the canvas, simply click Change colors, select the black circle, and switch to white. From here, drag the shape to the inner edges of the black hexagon.
Step 3: Insert Badge Text
Head over to the Text tool to customize your message. You can play with multiple fonts or text layouts within Create. 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 Lora and Great Vibes 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.
For more on font pairing tips, check out this tutorial next:
If you’d like to adjust the letter spacing, click the arrow “T” from the top toolbar and adjust. We decreased the line height a bit to make the letters closer together.
Positioning and font size for your text will inform visual hierarchy in your design.
Insert a simple line from the Graphics tab to break up the headlines and subheadlines for improved readability. If you need to duplicate a layer of text or graphic, simply right-click > Duplicate layer and drag to position.
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 # 85 from the list—this rustic palette:
There are several ways to apply color within Create: hex codes, solids, gradients, and the Eyedropper Tool. With hex codes, you just need to enter the six-digit code into the box under the Change color option.
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 Create. Simply download these elements and bring them into the program with the Images tab.
To introduce subtle textures to my vintage badge, I will be using Distressed Texture_03.png from the Transparent PNG folder.
After the adjustments are made, you’ll notice that the texture extends past the badge. As with any addition, simply drag-and-drop the element to the canvas.
Your Badge Is Ready to Download!
Click on the red Download button at the top of the program, select your file type, then Download again. 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.
License this cover image mockup via Roman Samborskyi, Master1305, Studio Romantic, and Inez Jestine.