Textures employed in design are visual textures. They mean to imitate the features of a surface perceived by the touch. Through a particular outlay of objects and a particular way of illuminating them we may create diverse textures that our brain automatically relates to tactile perceptions. In so doing, the designer may use them to give a real effect to whatever the receptor observes. Like the remaining design elements, textures transmit something and its appropriate use may bring about huge benefits.
Bumpy and solid: bumpy textures are related with strength, power and durability. When applied to elements of a corporate identity the company will be vested with these traits. For instance, a company that produces refrigerators may be pretty interested in applying this texture to its design. This application will convey a message like the one already mentioned. However, this is not an express message, rather, it evades conscious perception and targets the subconscious directly. That is to say, the receptor will not realize that the company and its products are strong, powerful and durable through the observation of the design. His mind will rather register “strong, powerful, durable” by just looking at the design. This is , needless to say, far from being so precise: what is transmitted is an idea rather than a particular concept. What is followed is simply the trend of involuntary associations made by our brain.
Smooth and soft: this type of textures are linked to elegance, women and gentleness. Just as the previous texture relates to masculinity, this one is associated with feminity. By means of this texture one can aim at obtaining a position within a predominantly women’s market. Through the application of this effect to the surface of your designs you will gain much without having to invest a lot. In the fight between different advertising agencies in an attempt to place this or that company as leader in some aspect ( in this case elegance, feminity and gentleness) logical arguments are mostly applied in trying to persuade consumers. The application of the texture in your designs goes beyond formal logic, flowing through public perception and memory with the idea: “your company = elegance, feminity and gentleness”. This type of mental obsession is far more memorable than the previous one. Besides, there is, often, no actual difference between companies with respect to these matters. Consequently, given the absence of an actual difference, why resorting to arguments bound to reality when we may touch the direct perception of consumers without wasting time in explanations?
Three-dimensional or transparent: are related to what is new, to technology and progress. This visual texture targets youths, and it gives the impression that the object in two dimensions has actual volume. Companies that produce software or computer parts may benefit from the application of this effect in their designs.
Textures acquire greater power if they are associated with other elements functioning in the same manner, operating on the subconscious. Their staunchest allies are shapes and colors. We will deal with them in the following sections.
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