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50 Must-Have Photoshop Brushes

Having a good collection of Photoshop brushes is essential for any designer. There is certainly no shortage of Photoshop brushes on the Web these days. The problem with Photoshop brushes isn’t in finding brushes, but in finding quality brushes. Below you’ll find a collection of quality brushes that every designer should find handy.

These 50 Photoshop brush sets are ones I find myself using over and over in a variety of projects. This collection is the result of years’ worth of downloads, trials and experiments. I hope this list helps you find some new Photoshop brushes that improve your collection.

Paint Splatters Link

Paint splatters are an essential set of Photoshop brushes to have. Lord knows there are plenty of them out there, but they are not all created equal. I have a good number of splatter brushes in my arsenal, but these are the ones I find myself calling upon the most for a variety of effects.

Splashes of Paint1






Photoshop Brushes Set 17


Photoshop Brushes Set 29


Photoshop Brushes Set 311


Lucidity Brushes13


Gradiant Splats15


Go Media Brushes17


Massive Splatter Pack19


Brush Strokes Link

These types of Photoshop brushes are great to have on hand because they can achieve a variety of effects. They can do anything from helping you finish off an edge to grunging of a photo, and endless amount of other tasks. Brush stroke brushes are a commodity in Photoshop. These are some of my favorites.

Simple Smudges21


20 Painted Brushes


Watercolor Brushes I23


Watercolor Brushes II25


Messy Spraypaint27


Grungy Watercolor Brushes29


Hi-Res Water Color Brushes 231


Hi-Res Watercolor Brushes33






Textures Link

While actual texture photos come in handy for adding textures to your work, sometimes a Photoshop brush comes in more handy. For those times, you may want to look into some of the texture brushes I have picked out below. They are great for adding a touch of texture to your latest grunge design.

Fabric Textures Hi-Res39


Texture Brushes Set 241


Paint Peel Pack


Wood Photoshop Brushes


52 Texture Brushes43


Hi-Res Dirt Brush Set45


Grunge Brushes Moved47


Borders and Edges Link

While not as multi-purpose as the stroke brushes, these edges and border are nonetheless valuable. I probably have more border and edge brushes in my collection than any other type of Photoshop brush. A good border or edge brush pack can make all the difference in your design. Many of these brushes come in super-large sizes to give you quality results.

Torn Edges49


Torn Edges 251


Sachet Edges53


Torn Paper Brushes55


Dirty Grunge Brush Set 157


Grunge Grit Borders59


More Borders61


Hand-Drawn Elements Link

Ok, so these are only really essential if you are trying to create that hand-drawn effect in your design. That said, these are some essential Photoshop brushes that will help you create a design with a hand-drawn look. Most, if not all, of these Photoshop brushes were made from real drawings. You can’t get much more “hand-drawn” than that.

Hand-Drawn Ornaments63


Handwriting Brushes65


Flower Brushes Drawn


Handmade Doodles67


Big Swirly Ornaments69


Old Markers71


Sketchy Circles73


Crayon Stars75


Handmade Doodles77


Smashing Magazine’s Photoshop Brushes Link

Splatter and Watercolour Brushes For Photoshop79


67 Health and Beauty Brushes81


Grunge Photoshop Brushes Set83



Footnotes Link

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SmashingConf Barcelona 2016

Hold on, Tiger! Thank you for reading the article. Did you know that we also publish printed books and run friendly conferences – crafted for pros like you? Like SmashingConf Barcelona, on October 25–26, with smart design patterns and front-end techniques.

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  1. 1

    good stuuf!

  2. 2

    sweet stuff!

  3. 3

    good! thankyou

  4. 4

    Oh, another “best of…” article. It is sad that SM turned into this fast-&-not-necessarily-creative blog :-/

  5. 5

    All these brushes are certainly useful and convenient, but I’m a bit skeptical about the doodle brushes. They’re nice for sure, but isn’t it far better to draw and scan your own? It doesn’t take that long.

  6. 6

    Great ones! thank you.

  7. 7

    I was waiting patiently for a post like this on Smashing Mag. Great!

  8. 8

    Great collection. And thanks for including one of my brush packs in the list!

  9. 9

    Franz Jeitz |fudgegraphics

    November 10, 2008 3:33 pm

    wow this is a great list. some are new to me. thanks for including 3 my brush sets! you’re smashing!

  10. 10

    Vitaly Friedman & Sven Lennartz

    November 10, 2008 3:44 pm

    @leszek: you see, we have a really large audience. We try to do our best to offer something useful and/or interesting for as many readers as possible. And we are pretty sure that such posts are quite useful for designers and graphic artists. Are we wrong?

  11. 11

    Great selection of brushes — thanks much! Don’t listen to the haters — posts like this are definitely helpful.



  12. 12

    Awesome post! Some really, really cool brushes here. I like how yall broke it down into categories for easy browsin. Congrats to all featured! Great post!

  13. 13

    Great post and as a designer it’s definitely useful. For those of us in fashion design some must have brushes to add; standard denim, a distressed finish for over logo & screen tees, a translucent ribbed effect!

  14. 14

    @Vitaly Friedman & Sven Lennartz
    You’re far from wrong. I just started new study, Digital communication. And things like this always help me out big time.
    Just stepped into the whole internet thing, but already hooked to Smashing Magazine!

  15. 15

    Francis Belisle

    November 10, 2008 4:31 pm

    @Vitaly Friedman & Sven Lennartz

    i totally agree with your comment. Smashing still a reference for graphic designer.

  16. 16

    @ leszek – it amuses me when I see comments from people like you. You obviously see yourself as so far above everyone else in terms of your creativity. As my mum used to say, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

    If it’s so sad for you, then why don’t you leave this site, and go somewhere you are amongst other people with such high opinions of themselves.

    I’ve been running my own successful design agency for the last 7 years, and this site continues to be a fantastic resource for beginners and professionals alike.

    Vitaly and Sven, keep up the good work!

  17. 17

    good brushes! yahoo!

  18. 18

    im also beginner here. for leszek “get out of here” I’d says. if u so creative why dont u make for ur own..huh

    ps: nice collection.

  19. 19

    @ Vitaly and Sven,
    What makes Smashing Magazine unique is the depth and usefulness of lists. Tons of blogs post lists, but very few put as much practicality and usefulness into the lists. Smashing’s list posts certainly stand out to me as they always go way beyond everyone else. As someone who’s written a few similar posts for Smashing I know that I always feel I have a lot to live up to with these posts because of the standard that has been set.

  20. 20

    Nice Collection…


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