Here's a thought - one way to make your text or graphic faded is to use a lighter shade of it.
For example, if you want your black text or graphic to look faded black, use a charcoal shade.
Check out the concept of grayscale, as well as tints and shades, which, BTW, applies to colors as well as B&W.
I'm a graphic designer - I picked this up in college.
A technique which can be used if you have graphic software which does layers, such as PSP, Photoshop, Illustrator, etc. is to put a fill layer on top of your text or graphic, then adjust that layer's transparency. You could add texture to that layer as well if you wished.
Experiment, you'll come up with all kinds of good ideas I'm sure.
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