Unlimited PS Actions, graphics, videos & courses! Unlimited asset downloads! From $16.50/m
Advertisement
  1. Design & Illustration
  2. Adobe Illustrator

How to Make Grain & Noise Textures in Illustrator

Read Time: 19 mins
Final product imageFinal product imageFinal product image
What You'll Be Creating

In the following tutorial, you will learn how to make a grainy texture in Illustrator as you create this sand text effect.

You will learn how to add noise in Illustrator using a bunch of effects along with some basic blending techniques and a dissolve gradient. Once your grain noise texture is complete, you will learn how to edit text in Illustrator and how to easily stylize it using an Opacity mask and the Appearance panel.

If you don't have the time to learn how to add a noise texture in Illustrator, you can always try Envato Elements, where you will find a massive collection of grain noise textures to choose from. This pack of grain noise textures is just one of the many examples.

grain noise texturegrain noise texturegrain noise texture

Looking for a video tutorial instead? Then don't forget to visit the Envato Tuts+ YouTube channel. There you'll find hundreds of top free video tutorials, like this new video on how to add a grain effect in Illustrator to make a cool summer text effect:

What You'll Learn in This Faded Text Illustrator Tutorial

  • How to add a noise texture in Illustrator
  • How to make a grainy texture in Illustrator
  • How to create faded text in Illustrator
  • How to edit text in Illustrator
  • How to create a dissolve gradient in Illustrator
  • How to create a summer text effect

What You'll Need

You will need to download the following font to complete this summer text effect:

1. How to Create a New Document and Set Up a Grid

Hit Control-N to create a new document. Select Pixels from the Units drop-down menu, set the Width to 850 px and the Height to 400 px, and then click that Advanced Options button. Select RGB for the Color Mode and set the Raster Effects to Medium (150 ppi), and then click the Create button.

Enable the Grid (View > Show Grid or Control-") and Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid or Shift-Control-"). You will need a grid every 10 px, so simply go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid, enter 10 in the Gridline every box and 1 in the Subdivisions box. Try not to get discouraged by all that grid—it will make your work easier, and keep in mind that you can easily enable or disable it using the Control-" keyboard shortcut.

You can learn more about Illustrator's grid system in this short tutorial from Andrei Stefan: Understanding Adobe Illustrator's Grid System.

You should also open the Info panel (Window > Info) for a live preview of the size and position of your shapes. Don't forget to set the unit of measurement to pixels from Edit > Preferences > Units. All these options will significantly increase your work speed. Now that you're set, let's learn how to make grainy textures in Illustrator.

new documentnew documentnew document

2. How to Create the Sand Shapes

Step 1

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) from your toolbar and focus on the color settings. Select the stroke and remove the color, and then double-click the fill and set it to R=248 G=233 B=194.

Move to your artboard and either click and drag or click on it to create a 970 x 500 px shape. Keep it selected and focus on the control panel. Make sure that the Alignment is set to Artboard and then click the Horizontal Align Center and Vertical Align Center buttons to easily move your rectangle to the center of the artboard.

rectangle backgroundrectangle backgroundrectangle background

Click again on your artboard to create a 970 x 50 px shape, fill it with R=198 G=142 B=91, and use the Selection Tool (V) to place it exactly as shown in the second image. The grid and Snap to Grid will come in handy.

rectangle smallrectangle smallrectangle small

Step 2

Select both rectangles and go to Object > Blend > Blend Options. Select Specified Steps and set it to 8, click OK, and then you can press Alt-Control-B to quickly create a blend, as shown in the second image. Alternatively, you can use the Blend Tool (W) and click on your two rectangles to create the same blend.

rectangles blend toolrectangles blend toolrectangles blend tool

Step 3

Make sure that your blend is still selected and go to Object > Expand Appearance, and then Object > Expand. Keep both boxes checked, and click OK to separate all the shapes that make up your blend. Also, press Shift-Control-G to Ungroup the resulting group of shapes.

expand blendexpand blendexpand blend

Step 4

Select your bottom rectangle, focus on the Appearance panel (Window > Appearance), and select the fill to make sure that the effect you're about to add will be applied solely to that fill, not the entire shape. Go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Set the Radius to 2 px and click OK.

Now you need to select the rest of the rectangles one by one. Always remember to select the fill and apply the same Gaussian Blur effect. You won't need to go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur; just go to Effect > Apply Gaussian Blur or press Shift-Control-E.

gaussian blurgaussian blurgaussian blur

Step 5

Select all your rectangles and focus on the Appearance panel. Select the stroke and set the color to black (R=0 G=0 B=0), and then click that Stroke text to open the Stroke fly-out panel. Increase the Weight to 10 pt and don't forget to select Width Profile 1 from the bottom dropdown menu.

Move to the Opacity text and click on it to open the Transparency panel. Lower the Opacity to 80% and change the Blending Mode to Overlay, and then go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Set the Radius to 30 px, click OK, and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Just drag the Move-Vertical slider to 15 px, which will move your stroke 15 px down, and then click OK.

stroke gaussian blurstroke gaussian blurstroke gaussian blur

Step 6

Reselect your rectangles one by one, focus on the Appearance panel and make sure that the existing stroke is still selected, and then click the Duplicate Selected Item button to add a copy of the selected stroke. Once you've performed this move for each and every rectangle, select all your rectangles and return to the Appearance panel.

duplicate strokeduplicate strokeduplicate stroke

Keep the top stroke selected and move to the Gradient panel (Window > Gradient). Click the Linear Gradient button to apply a linear gradient, make sure that the Angle is set to 0 degrees, and then move to the gradient sliders. Select the right one, set the color to white (R=255 G=255 B=255) and lower its Opacity to 0%, and then select the left one and make sure that the color is set to white.

Return to the Appearance panel to lower the Weight of this stroke to 5 pt, and then open the existing Gaussian Blur effect. Set the Radius to 20 px, click OK, and then open the Transform effect. Drag the Move-Vertical slider to -10 px to move your selected stroke 10 px up, and then click OK.

stroke gradientstroke gradientstroke gradient

Step 7

Make sure that all your shapes are still selected, and keep focusing on the Appearance panel. Click that Path section to be sure that the effect you're about to add will affect the entire path, not just the fill or stroke, and then go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Zig Zag. Enter the settings shown below and click OK.

zig zagzig zagzig zag

Step 8

Select one by one the four rectangles highlighted in the following images and apply the Warp effects shown below (Effect > Warp > Flag).

warp flagwarp flagwarp flag

3. How to Add a Grain Effect in Illustrator

Step 1

Reselect the Rectangle Tool (M) and use it to create an 870 x 420 px shape. Fill it with black, and don't forget to center it using the same Horizontal Align Center and Vertical Align Center buttons from the control panel.

Keep this shape selected and focus on the Appearance panel. Select the fill to lower its Opacity to 50% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light, and then go to Effect > Artistic > Film Grain. Enter the settings shown below and click OK.

film grainfilm grainfilm grain

Step 2

Make sure that your front rectangle is still selected, and keep focusing on the Appearance panel. Use that Add New Fill button to easily add a second fill and select it.

Set the color to R=60 G=36 B=21, lower its Opacity to 25% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light, and then go to Effect > Artistic > Sponge. Enter the settings shown below and click OK.

sponge effectsponge effectsponge effect

Step 3

Make sure that your front rectangle is still selected, add a third fill, and let's see how you can create a dissolve gradient in Illustrator.

Select it and apply the linear gradient shown below. Keep in mind that the yellow zeros from the Gradient panel stand for Opacity percentage, while the blue numbers stand for Location percentage. Simply click on the gradient bar to add the three extra gradient sliders. When you're done creating the gradient, remember to set the Angle to 25 degrees.

illustrator dissolve gradientillustrator dissolve gradientillustrator dissolve gradient

Step 4

Make sure that your front rectangle is still selected, and keep focusing on the top fill from the Appearance panel.

Change its Blending Mode to Soft Light and go to Effect > Sketch > Reticulation. Enter the settings shown below and click OK, and then go to Effect > Brush Strokes > Angled Strokes. Enter the attributes shown in the following image and click OK.

filters blendfilters blendfilters blend

4. How to Create a Sand Text Effect

Step 1

Select all the shapes created so far and press Control-G to Group them. Keep this group selected and go to Object > Transform > Rotate. Set the Angle to 180 degrees and click that Copy button to quickly create a horizontally flipped copy of your group.

rotate group copyrotate group copyrotate group copy

Step 2

Pick the Type Tool (T) and focus on the control panel or the Character panel (Window > Type > Character) to set the settings for the text that you're about to add.

character panelcharacter panelcharacter panel

Select the Wonder Boys font and set the size to 190 pt, and then click on your artboard to type in "SUMMER". Press the Escape key when you're done to easily switch to the Selection Tool (V). Return to the control panel and use those Horizontal Align Center and Vertical Align Center buttons again to move your text to the center of the artboard.

Change its color to white and press Control-C to copy it because you'll need several copies of this text in the next steps.

white textwhite textwhite text

Step 3

Pick the Selection Tool (V) and hold down the Shift key to select your white text along with that flipped group. Move to the Transparency panel (Window > Transparency) and just click the Make Mask button.

opacity maskopacity maskopacity mask

5. How to Add Noise in Illustrator Using Brushes

Step 1

Pick the Ellipse Tool (L), use it to create a 10 px circle, and fill it with black.

Select it, open the Brushes panel (Window > Brushes), and click the New Brush button. Check the Scatter Brush box and click OK to open the Scatter Brush Options window. Enter all the settings shown in the following image, and don't forget to set the Colorization Method to Tints, which will allow you to recolor this brush once it’s applied. When you're done, click OK to add the brush to the Brushes panel.

circle scatter brushcircle scatter brushcircle scatter brush

Step 2

Press Control-F to add a copy of that white text in its original spot. Select it, focus on the Swatches panel (Window > Swatches), and click that [None] swatch to remove the text color.

Move to the Appearance panel and click the Add New Fill button to add a new fill for your text. Select it and set the color to R=198 G=142 B=91.

text browntext browntext brown

Step 3

Right-click the text you added in the previous step and go to Arrange > Send Backward (Control-[). This will move your text behind that masked group. Feel free to have a look at the Layers panel (Window > Layers) to better understand the order of your design elements.

Having this text still selected, move to the Appearance panel to select the fill and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the settings shown below and click OK to apply the effect.

text drop shadowtext drop shadowtext drop shadow

Step 4

Make sure that your text stays selected, and keep focusing on the Appearance panel. Select the existing fill and duplicate it using the Duplicate Selected Item button. Focus on the new fill and click the existing Drop Shadow effect. Adjust it as shown in the following image, and then click OK.

text drop shadowtext drop shadowtext drop shadow

Step 5

Make sure that your text is still selected, and keep focusing on the Appearance panel. Again, duplicate the top fill, focus on the new one, open the existing Drop Shadow effect, and then adjust the settings as shown below.

text drop shadowtext drop shadowtext drop shadow

Step 6

Make sure that your text is still selected, and keep focusing on the Appearance panel. Once again, duplicate the top fill, focus on the new one, open the existing Drop Shadow effect, and then adjust the settings as shown in the following image.

text drop shadow lighttext drop shadow lighttext drop shadow light

Step 7

Make sure that your text is still selected, and keep focusing on the Appearance panel. Duplicate the top fill, focus on the new one, open the existing Drop Shadow effect, and then replace the current settings with the ones shown in the following image.

text drop shadow lighttext drop shadow lighttext drop shadow light

Step 8

Make sure that your text is still selected, and keep focusing on the Appearance panel. One last time, duplicate the top fill, focus on the new one, open the existing Drop Shadow effect, and then adjust the settings as shown below.

text drop shadow lighttext drop shadow lighttext drop shadow light

Step 9

Make sure that your text is still selected and keep focusing on the Appearance panel. Select the stroke and drag it to the bottom of the panel.

Apply your scatter brush from the Brushes panel and set its color to R=220 G=182 B=137, and then lower its Opacity to 25% and change the Blending Mode to Multiply.

text scatter brushtext scatter brushtext scatter brush

6. How to Create Faded Text in Illustrator

Step 1

Focus on the Brushes panel, open the fly-out menu, and go to Open Brush Library > Bristle Brush > Bristle Brush Library. This will open a new panel with some built-in bristle brushes. Click the Mop and Fan brushes to easily add them to the Brushes panel, and then you can close the Bristle Brush Library panel.

brush librarybrush librarybrush library

Press Control-F again to add one more copy of that white text. Select it, and first of all click that [None] swatch to remove the existing text color.

Move to the Appearance panel and click the Add New Stroke button to add a stroke for your text. Select it, and start by applying that Fan bristle brush from the Brushes panel. Set the color to R=237 G=213 B=171, increase the Weight to 2 pt, and don't forget to lower the Opacity to 15%.

bristle brushbristle brushbristle brush

Step 2

Make sure that your front text is still selected, keep focusing on the Appearance panel, and add a second stroke using that same Add New Stroke button.

Select this new stroke. This time, apply that Fan bristle brush, set its color to R=255 G=242 B=191, and lower its Opacity to 30%.

text bristle brushtext bristle brushtext bristle brush

Step 3

Make sure that your front text is still selected, keep focusing on the Appearance panel, and add a new stroke.

Select it and increase the Weight to 6 pt, lower its Opacity to 80%, apply the linear gradient shown below, and then go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Set the Radius to 4 px and click OK.

stroke gradient blurstroke gradient blurstroke gradient blur

Step 4

Make sure that your front text is still selected, keep focusing on the Appearance panel, and let's add one more stroke.

Select it, set the color to R=220 G=182 B=137, lower the Weight to 0.25 pt, lower its Opacity to 75%, change the Blending Mode to Overlay, and then go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Set the Offset to -12 px and click OK, and then go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Roughen. Enter the settings shown below and click OK.

stroke roughen offsetstroke roughen offsetstroke roughen offset

7. How to Add the Waves

Step 1

Return to your group of shapes and use the Direct Selection Tool (A) to select just the rectangle highlighted in the following image.

Focus on the Appearance panel, select the fill, replace the color with R=126 G=218 B=223, and then open the existing Gaussian Blur effect and increase the Radius to 4 px.

wave bluewave bluewave blue

Step 2

Make sure that your blue rectangle stays selected and keep focusing on the Appearance panel.

Add another two strokes on top of the existing ones. Apply your scatter brush to both of these strokes and set the colors to R=126 G=218 B=223. Select just the bottom one and decrease its Weight to 0.5 pt, and then select the top one and lower its Opacity to 50%.

wave strokeswave strokeswave strokes

Step 3

Make sure that your blue rectangle stays selected and keep focusing on the Appearance panel. Add a new stroke on top of the existing ones and select it.

Set the color to R=126 G=218 B=223 and increase the Weight to 5 pt, and then go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Zig Zag. Enter the settings shown below and click OK, and then go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Set the Radius to 3 px and click OK.

wave stroke blurwave stroke blurwave stroke blur

Step 4

Make sure that your blue rectangle stays selected and keep focusing on the Appearance panel.

Add another two strokes on top of the existing ones. Again, apply your scatter brush for both of these strokes and set the colors to white. Select just the bottom one, lower its Opacity to 30%, and go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Set the Offset to 8 px and click OK. Move to the top one, lower its Opacity to 40%, decrease the Weight to 0.5 pt, and then go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Set the Offset to 6 px and click OK.

wave scatter brushwave scatter brushwave scatter brush

Step 5

Make sure that your blue rectangle stays selected and keep focusing on the Appearance panel. Add a new fill, drag it to the bottom of the panel, and select it.

Set the color to white and go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Set the Radius to 4 px and click OK, and then go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Enter the settings shown below and click OK.

wave foam fillwave foam fillwave foam fill

Step 6

Make sure that your blue rectangle stays selected and keep focusing on the Appearance panel. Add one last stroke and drag it to the bottom of the panel, above that white fill.

Select this stroke, set the color to white, increase the Weight to 5 pt, and then go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Set the Offset to 8 px and click OK, and then go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Roughen. Enter the settings shown below and click OK, and then go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Set the Radius to 5 px and click OK.

wave foam strokewave foam strokewave foam stroke

Step 7

Use again the Direct Selection Tool (A) to select the front rectangle from your group and focus on the Appearance panel.

Replace the fill color with R=83 G=177 B=203 and then increase the Radius of the applied Gaussian Blur effect to 4 px.

wave frontwave frontwave front

Step 8

Add a new stroke on top of the existing ones and select it. Set the color to R=83 G=177 B=203, increase the Weight to 5 pt, and then go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Zig Zag. Enter the settings shown below and click OK, and then go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Set the Radius to 5 px and click OK.

wave front strokewave front strokewave front stroke

Step 9

Add one last stroke on top of the existing ones and select it. Apply your scatter brush, set the color to white, decrease the Weight to 0.5 pt, and don't forget to lower the Opacity to 40%.

wave front scatter brushwave front scatter brushwave front scatter brush

Congratulations! You're Done!

Here is how your summer text effect should look. I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial and can apply these techniques in your future projects.

Feel free to edit the text in Illustrator and make it your own. You can find some great sources of inspiration at Envato Elements, with interesting solutions to create more vector noise effects.

Check out this tutorial if you're also interested in learning how to create a sand text effect in Photoshop:

summer text effectsummer text effectsummer text effect

Popular Illustrator Texture Effects From Envato Elements

Envato Elements is an excellent resource for Illustrator texture effects. Here's a short list of some of the most popular vector noise effects that you can find.

Seamless Noise Vector Patterns (AI, EPS, JPG, PNG)

Here's an impressive pack of noise vector patterns that should be part of your toolkit.

noise vector patternnoise vector patternnoise vector pattern

Vector Grain Noise Textures (EPS, PNG)

Using one of these vector textures, you'll be able to add grain effects in Illustrator with a simple click. Try it out!

vector grain noise texturesvector grain noise texturesvector grain noise textures

Summer Text Effect (JPG, PNG, Ai, Ps)

Add a bit of color to your design using this colorful summer text effect. The text is fully editable, which means that all you have to do is double-click it and type in your text.

summer text effectsummer text effectsummer text effect

Noise Vector Textures (JPG)

Here's another smooth and sleek set of noise vector textures that you can use to decorate your designs and make them stand out.

noise vector texturesnoise vector texturesnoise vector textures

Abstract Noise Vector Backgrounds (EPS, PNG)

This pack comes with five abstract noise vector backgrounds which can be used as backgrounds or for branding materials, presentations, posters, and more.

abstract noise vectorabstract noise vectorabstract noise vector
Advertisement
Did you find this post useful?
One subscription.
Unlimited Downloads.
Get unlimited downloads