I’ve received a few questions recently about how I create the letterpress style texturing that appears on pretty much every retro/vintage design I make. Today’s tutorial will show you a quick and easy way to give your logos and typography that ink stamp style effect that originated from the old letterpress style printing technique.

Letterpress texture effect

Letterpress printing is an old printing method that transfers ink from a press onto paper, essentially like a rubber stamp. As we all know from playing with rubber and potato stamps as kids this kind of basic printing technique can result in some cool texturing, especially if areas of the printing surface lacks ink. Originally this would be seen as a mistake or flaw in the print, but nowadays we actively seek to fake this kind of texturing to give our artwork an aged and nostalgic appearance.

Letterpress Texture Effect in Photoshop

I’m going to be using one of my freely downloadable hipster logos as the base of this tutorial. Download this design and 5 other customizable retro/vintage logos & emblems.

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24 Comments

  1. I am new at this and feel a little lost. The step at which I am to “paste in any kind of texture file” is throwing me off. I don’t see how this is possible.
    can anyone offer any guidance?

    Thank you

  2. Alternatively instead of doing the CMD+A, CMD+C, ALT+click, CMD+V + click elsewhere…
    you could also CMD+click the channel of your choice (within the channels pane) then click the add layer mask icon (within the layers pane)

  3. Great article. I can create more creative vintage work through following your way. But I want to know that How can I did this type of vintage through using Illustrator.

  4. I have been using the pathfinder “minus front” forever… Thank you for sharing the opacity layer mask option.. cannot believe it took me this long to use that.

  5. This is the easiest tutorial with the best result that I’ve seen. My only problem–when I inverted the mask, my artwork just went back to solid black. Thoughts?

  6. If only he made a step by step video instead. these instructions are not clear at all!

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