Is gold a color or a material?
A digital screen can produce 16.8 million colors, but sometimes it’s not enough and you need to create something more specific or of higher value. That’s when metallic textures like gold metal texture, gold rose, silver and bronze are handy. It depends on the context and what look & feel you’re going for that dictates which are most suitable.
Golden color can’t really be said that it’s a flat “color”. It’s more of an material as it has additional effects like reflection, refraction and other optical effects that aren’t really possible to imitate on a digital screen. That’s why we use skeuomorphism to mimic the real world counterpart. These can be anything from metal texture, leather, paper texture, leopard pattern to anything like rose gold texture of foils. This way we can also mimic some print techniques.
When to use or apply gold texture
Gold has its own attributes and it communicates success, achievement, triumph, luxury, history, prosperity, quality, prestige, value, elegance and even extravagance. So if your freelance graphic designer or a visual identity needs to express any of these emotions, you can use gold foil effects.
Industries that this can work are can be:
- fashion, hi-end luxury goods and accessories (watches, phone cases, jewellery, perfumes and cosmetics,…),
- food industry (dark chocolate, truffle, virgin olive oil brands or restaurants),
- drink industry (coffee, wine or craft beer products as well as gin, whiskey and brandy)
- luxury car or boat industry,
- entrepreneur and marketing niches or hi level services.
Anything that needs that premium look & feel and has a higher price range and value then other products or services.
There are many uses you can make it work, either as a seamless gold texture background, gold glitter texture or a gold overlay on a font. We’ll be showing you how to use some of these Photoshop techniques in some of tutorials below.
Let’s start with some inspiration to see what’s possible, then you can download some free high quality textures and we’ll show you how to use them in Photoshop and Illustrator.
Gold texture inspiration
Gold used in branding and visual identities
Gold used in packaging design
Gold used in motion videos
Download free gold textures
The internet is full of design resources you can use to quick start your project or try things out. Textures can be either free or paid but the difference in quality is huge. High quality with bigger resolutions that can be used for print as well cost a few dollars, but you’re saving a ton of time and money doing these yourself.
You’d also need to consider that you get it right first few tries as well. That’s why buying textures or stock images has it’s own benefits. One if them that you get high resolution production ready HD images.
A good tip if you’re doing client work is to use the screenshots/low res images to test out the concept. Show it to the client, if he likes it and approves it, buy the image and use it to finish your design. You can always bill the cost to your client as well. For easier licensing, it may also be good that the client buys it for you.
For something unique, I’d still like to suggest you try and do it yourself, experimenting, getting dirty with the gold paint,… it’s all experience and a design process, not to mention it’s great to get out of the digital world for a bit. The end results will be unique and have an emotion tied to it that will connect your work more with your audience or client.
Gold Foil Texture
One of the basic gold textures you can use. It works nicely on bold and big text as well. It’s a great, clean and detailed texture with high impact. Can also work really well for making gold icons and graphics.
Free Gold Glitter Texture Background
Glitter with some use of a photography bokeh with some parts of the image out of focus. Great for overlaying text or making a cut out for various shapes.
Gold Metal Texture
A nice “hard” metallic texture. It’s a golden wall where you could overlay text or copy on. Imagine a golden wall with some nice quotes on it.
9 Free Gold Foil Texture
Nine really nice textures that each provide a different gold vibe. Green gold or bronze metal give a different feel then yellow gold. Think about the rose gold iPhones and how that color stands out more from its dark gray models.
Website also provides some examples on how to use them.
Gold foil texture photoshop
These are real photographs and not computer generated digital artworks. It can be a bit tricky to use, but if done right they will be real eye candy. Examples are shown on the page.
Rose Gold Brush Photoshop
Rose colors in combination with golden materials has become quite popular lately. It’s a more feminine material so it works better for more emotional projects like wedding invitations etc.
This is a nice collection of brushes so you can either illustrate or use as paint on techniques in Adobe Photoshop.
80 Rose Gold Texture Pack
A huge pack of 80 different textures and golden patterns. The golden marble texture ones are my favourites. The variety can be used to get exactly what your designs is aiming for and you can use it for variety of things, anything from birthday cards to business cards.
Watercolor Gold Texture
These are really dark golden photos, that can be used for some architectural designs or a fancy gallery style wall art. Overlay images or text on it and play with the “zoom” of them. Textures tend to give different results based on their scale so some experimentation would be great.
Free Metal Textures
These are images of brushed metal that can be used for something more rigid like a identity for a factory or something “cold” and “hard”. Silver has some similar attributes then gold but a lot of people prefer it. The context it can be used in can bring different results.
Gold marble texture pattern
Marble is again a material that has it’s own unique attributes. This pattern can be used for backs of business cards and may need just a monochromatic logo (white or black) on top of it to get striking visual effect.
Gold metallic texture
Special use case for this photo, a dark mysterious gold that looks like an inside of a cave. The shine on it is great and can be used for some interesting design concepts.
Free Liquid Gold Shapes
Liquid shapes are great to bring in some dynamics and motion to your design. As these images are PNG, they have a transparency so you can cut them out and put in different backgrounds.
Note: always read and respect the image licences and for what they can be used.