Texture is one of the unsung heroes of graphic design. It is one of those elements that can really enhance the overall appeal of a design yet often goes unnoticed by the untrained eye. Texture is useful in many ways to create a variety of moods. Are you in a vintage kick like I have been for a while? If you have a logo or t-shirt design that looks too clean, adding dirt and scratch marks is an effective way to “old-school” your look. Need to add a tad of sophistication to your look? Placing a subtle linen or denim texture can often provide the class that is required.
There are many ways to produce the textures that you add to your design. There are several sites that have texture brush sets that you can download and use in photoshop. There are equivalent vector sets to use in Illustrator. Photography is another solution. You can take your own pictures of splattered paint or cement walls to create your own custom photoshop brush or vector texture. Like anything, texture can be overdone. It is often best to use texture to supplement or enhance a design rather than making it the main focus.