8 Ways to Design with Type on a Photo


It also helps them to ensure that they have complete control over the entire lifecycle of their product content from creation through delivery to the post-purchase experience.

PIM and DAM streamline product content so your teams can easily create marketing collateral and post-purchase materials that enhance the buyer experience.

PIM and DAM provide more opportunities for you to drive revenue with product content. Read on to learn how!

Combining text and images on banner pages or marketing material can be a complicated feat but is totally do-able with the right tricks in your tool belt. In this post we tackle images that are complex and have a lot of contrast with some skilled typography. Here are 8 ways to maximize readability and make all of your type on image dreams come true.

1. Cutout The Background

If you have product photography you want to showcase, cutting out the background and adding a gradient can be a great option. Adding a subtle gradient in the background makes it easy to use typography that is bold or subtle and also compliments the image. In this example the text and gradient are shades of a grey-ish brown to bring some subtle color into the seemingly monochromatic image.

2. Creative Cropping

This original image featured more of the large white pill container along with the pills and dark background you see in this version. Because there was so much going on in the original, this image would be pretty difficult to use. By cropping the pill bottle most of the way out it was super easy to use white text and add a simple thick line to ground the text to the image.

3. Make the Text Part of the Image

Cutting out part of the letterforms to combine text with the image is a creative way to create visual interest and unite the text with the photography. This can be an especially great effect with product photography. One helpful trick for using this effect is using big and bold text. Condensed fonts are also a super great option because they allow you to make the text bigger and more impactful without them getting too wide.

4. Use a Color Overlay

Some images are super tricky, but can be tamed down with a bright and engaging color overlay. Color overlays work because they remove the white in photos therefore reducing the contrast. Using either large white or complimentary color for the text will help maximize contrast and readability. In this example the opacity of the tennis ball yellow is at 65% so that the image can be still clearly seen.

5. Using Shapes

Using interesting shapes with text layered on top is a good way to create interesting images and make sure the text doesn’t look like it is floating. In this greyscale image the red shape brings in some color into the previously somewhat boring image, and provides a lot of contrast for the text.

6. Selective Focus

Selective focus, or blurring, can be a really great trick for setting type. This effect is especially great because it highlights the shoes and bicycle and is a great background for both the white and green text. This can be achieved in photoshop using the blur tool or simply by choosing a photograph that is already blurred.

7. Blur and Darken the Image

Blurring and image and reducing the contrast works almost every time. Check out the difference between the original (bottom) picture, and the final version (top). The reflections and intense contrast would make it very difficult to introduce text into this photograph, but with some simple adjustments such as reducing the brightness, contrast, and adding Gaussian Blur in Photoshop, this image became totally usable.

8. Use the Grid

Using simple but interesting typography and aligning it with key parts of the photograph can be a great way to make a simple image look clean and crisp. As you can see, the middle of each E aligns with the horizon line, and creates a nice effect.