Photoshop Tips: Textures, Patterns, and Gradients

Some of the greatest features in Photoshop are the text, object, and image effects such as Textures, Patterns, Gradients, and Styles. 

Styles are those amazing special effects that you see rolling across the screen on movie titles and popping off book covers, posters, and billboards. They are made from textures and gradients, in addition to text, shapes, photos, illustrations, and other objects, plus loads of colors and special effects. Styles make text and objects beautiful, chilling, outrageous, fantastic, and even scary.

Check out these book covers I created for several published authors. You can do this, too. Let’s dive in and create some awesome textures, patterns, and gradients.

01 book covers with ps patterns gradients textures styleseffectsJD Sartain

Book covers with PS Patterns, Gradients, Textures, Styles, and effects

Setting up your document

First, let’s open a file, add some text, and then address each feature individually.

1. Open Photoshop and create a new file (File > New). Confirm your settings for Inches, Width, Height, and Orientation from the Preset Details panel.

Tip: Always start with a high-resolution image (minimum 300 pixels per inch) regardless of the final product. You can always reduce file size without degrading image quality; you cannot enlarge it.

2. Choose the Type tool and enter a line of text.

Tip: In the world of design and typography, type characters are called typefaces. The various attributes (bold, italic, narrow, etc.) included in the typeface package are called fonts. For future reference, enter the typeface, font, size, and color before you create your text box. It’s easier and saves time.

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