Adobe Photoshop has completely redefined the word “brush” as we know it.
Though the program comes preloaded with an assortment of different brush tools designed to simulate regular art utensils, the Photoshop brushes you download elsewhere don’t have to act as “brushes” at all—and they rarely do. Stamps, clipart, textures, illustrations, vectors, photographs—anything can become a Photoshop brush. In fact, the image above was composed almost entirely from Photoshop brushes.
This makes brushes some of the most important tools for a print designer to have on hand, as they can be used for an infinite number of design purposes. That’s why we’ve compiled the best Photoshop brushes and brush roundups on the web.
Abstract Photoshop brushes are extremely versatile. You’ll find yourself using them as textures, backgrounds and extra pizzazz. They’re great for giving your design a little more visual interest without overshadowing the main focus.
Though it’s usually used for editing photos, Photoshop can be a powerful illustration program when paired with the right artistic brushes. From watercolors to pencils and ink pens, this collection of art brushes turns all of your favorite traditional art mediums into easy-to-use digital tools.
Never underestimate the power of cute—there’s a reason that videos of cute animals and babies amass millions of hits. These cute Photoshop brushes tug at the audience’s heartstrings and make your print designs warm and friendly.
Fantasy Brushes (No longer available)
Glamorize your print designs with ornate ornaments, floral flourishes and charming curlicues from this collection of elegant Photoshop brushes. These brushes help you set the tone of your print designs by elevating the brand and message with an air of sophistication.
Life can get a little grungy every now and then. Things become weathered, decayed and destroyed over time-but from that decomposition, designers can find texture, shadows, color and beauty. These grunge brushes show what happens when print designs stop being polite and start getting real.
Light is one of the key components of art and design-whether it’s the delicate sparkle of a bokeh light or the raging intensity of the sun, light has the power to give your design drama and passion. We dug up this roundup of light effect brushes for Photoshop so that you’d have all the tools you need to let the light shine in on your designs.
Captivating the beauty of the natural world in your print design is a tried and true method of connecting emotionally with your audience. From the smell of flowers to the shade of a tree, you’ll find everything you love about Mother Earth in this roundup of nature brushes.
After a certain amount of time has passed, the design fads of yesterday once again become trendy due to their retro appeal. Our vintage brushes for Photoshop help give your print designs that old-school cool from any point in history-spanning the Victorian Era all the way up to the 80’s and 90’s.
11 Sketchy Retro Photoshop Brushes (No longer available)
There’s practically an unlimited number of amazing Photoshop brushes out there, so we found a ton of them that didn’t easily fit into a broad category. Take a gander at this potpourri of totally unique, highly useful Photoshop brushes.
Element and Special Effect Brushes
These element and special effect brushes give you the power and excitement of a summer blockbuster movie. Whether you want your print designs to burn, explode or freeze, there’s a brush to suit your needs.
Household Item Brushes
The do-it-yourself crafty look is hot right now-and so are these quirky Photoshop brushes made from household items. Add them to your print design for a touch of homemade personality.
Sign and Symbol Brushes
Signs and symbols can be used to convey ideas without a huge paragraph of text, often serving both aesthetic and functional purposes. Use them to decorate your design or as a quick and easy way to get your point across.
Skin and Hair Brushes
Retouching photographs of people can eat up a lot of your design time, which is why these skin and hair brushes are a must-have. They provide you with an easy way to cut your retouching time in half.
Whether you’re creating print designs for an industrial or technology-based client or you just want to give your design a futuristic look, these tech brushes fill a much-needed gap in your designer toolkit.
Completely Unique Brushes
There are so many great brush designers out there coming up with so many creative ideas that a lot of them just wouldn’t fit into any kind of category at all. These are the Photoshop brushes that follow the beat of their own drum-the free spirits that defy categorization.
Fingerprints (No longer available)
Did we forget to include your favorite Photoshop brush? Do you make your own brushes and want to share your work with other designers? Give us a shout out in the comments!