Think Labs is an ongoing effort by Seven2 to provide research and educational opportunities in the web development and mobile field. To see what we’ve been cookin’ up, check out our blog postings.

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There are tons of good resources online for stock textures. For a truly unique,
uncanned look – create your own!

STEP 1 - Find a Texture
Look around and find something that you think would make a nice texture. Some ideas include old paper, a chunk of wood, fabric, JP’s new boot, etc. The more creative the better.

STEP 2 - Scan
Scan your texture in. The typical settings I use are: 300 dpi, RGB and .jpeg format.

STEP 3- Contrast
Open up your scanned image in Photoshop and follow these steps to create some good contrast for Illustrator to pick up:

  • Depending on how you’ll be using the image, you may want to turn your image into greyscale.
  • Adjust both the black and white levels to knock back the mid tones and simplify the texture. (find this setting in image > adjustment > levels)
  • Crop any unnecessary elements

STEP 4 – Live Trace Open up your image in illustrator. Follow these steps:

  • Live trace your image
  • Select the Lettering preset to knock out the background
  • Adjust the min area and threshold to add more or less detail (Found in top toolbar. 200 and 1px is a common setting I use)
  • Expand your image, and your done!