As time moves on you tend to expect the styles and trends to move with them. In most cases, this is true. But a core list of trends in the world of graphic design and art have managed to hold on consistently. These lead to plenty of tools to help keep them alive, most made by talented artists and designers, and some by official companies that recognize the popularity surrounding a style.
There is no better example of this than wood designs, which have been created and adapted again and again for use in Photoshop. Perhaps it is because of the natural feel to the look, or just that it has a long tradition of use. Maybe it has to do with the surge of popularity in manipulations that can benefit. Whatever the reason, there are a huge number of wood design tools you can get for free.
While it isn’t easy to isolate the best from so much choice, here are 10 that are some of the highest quality you will find for free.
This site put together a list of 10 different textures. The textures are very well done and great for use in backgrounds or more targeted artistic works if you don’t mind adapting them for use. What’s impressive is that they managed to link to a selection that represented the 10 most basic designs used for wood tools. They are all very attractive, as well. You should be able to get to the source by clicking the link under each picture.
Flickr user DesignReviver is well known for creating functional sets to use in Photoshop and other editing software programs. In this one, there are four different wood textures and colors, including one interesting one in black and white. That is not something you usually see, and it would be great for more specialized projects.
Another post that put together a great list of tools, this one has plenty of distressed wood designs linked. There are even some that have the nails and bolts visible in the wood itself, giving it a more realistic and grungy look. Some are also chipping, which is always a gorgeous effect, while some are new looking and polished.
If you are looking for a grunge texture, this one is perfect. It has utilized a number of tones to make a beautiful, distressed wood tool. Most of the grains are dark or black, with some burnt umber to give it more depth.
Sometimes too much detail just isn’t what you need, especially for a textile pattern or background image. This one is a simple fence pattern of vertical slats of wood, with a greyish tone. There is plenty of texture, but it lacks the colorful grains of other wood tools.
DeviantArt member LostAndTaken created six different wood textures that match common patterns for a great set of royalty-free stock images. He manages to get a great mix together, including one that shows the rings of the wood, and others with visible nails. One also has a knot in the wood for a bit more personality.
Brusheezy user Jackob came up with this great set of wood textures in a four pack. Instead of the usual slats, he has things like stick bundles and firewood.
If you want to learn to make your own wood panel, this is a great, easy to follow tutorial that will show you how to do it. The result is a richly colored, beautiful and realistic wood panel that would make a great background and tool. But you could adapt it for slightly different looks.
A cute little typographic font, this tutorial teaches you how to make a joined text that looks like attached wood slats on moving joints. Going through the instructions, you might be surprised to see how easy it is to create a realistic effect.
One of the best tutorials I have seen on wood effects, this one shows you how to make a wood panel with burnt font into the center. The end result is very attractive and realistic, and while it is a bit more complicated than the others, it is still easy to follow for any beginner.
What are your favorite wood tools for Photoshop? Let us know in the comments.
Image Credit: 1.