They are everywhere – on websites, in magazines, and even adorn your bedroom wall. There is something about picture quotes that pulls you in, moves you and enthralls you.
Contrary to popular perception, this rich and attractive design pattern isn’t an invention of the digital age. You will find many a vintage ad that makes intelligence use of background image with text to gain consumer’s attention. And attract it does when enough thought and creativity has gone into it.
How do you create beautiful text-image designs when you know next-to-nothing about design?
Whilst designers have a natural sense of aesthetics, you can acquire this skill with a bit of knowledge and some practice.
Use this cheatsheet the next time you combine images with text for your slide decks.
1. Let color and Contrast be Your Guide
This principle is simple and straight forward. Use text that contrasts with your images. At a basic level; this means light background with dark text and the other way around. Complementary colors also provide similar effects. Use color, brightness and shadow filters to achieve different contrast levels. Your filter works when text is readable and background is muted.
2. Size and position matter
Why should colors get all the glory? Let your text size and its position do the talking. Readability matters to your presentation audience as much as a spellbinding image. Avoid the urge to add text to the center of every image. Place optimal sized text in an area with uniform color. For example, if the image has a nice blue sky, place the text there, or if it has a lot of white space in one area, utilize that for your text. Also, Increase text size in a larger image with a lot of activity.
3. Arouse the photographer in you
A generic stock photo can never capture the essence of your message in the way a specific image does. It should evoke the right emotion, complement key points, or relate to product or service. Choose an action image that portrays what you want to say.
4. Never underestimate Depth and Focus
That complex, busy or multicolored image seems perfect for a particular slide, but overshadows your words. Use overlays on the image or put text in a nice little box, banner, circle, or frame. For a smooth backdrop and easier-to-read text, blur the picture or use one with depth of field. Position contrast-colored sentences in out-of-focus areas.
5. Text placement – a deal breaker
The surefire way to mess up good image-text designs is to place text anywhere. Keep your sentence short and give it a good spot. Bring it to the foreground in a cluttered image. Your text shouldn’t hide the main action, face, product, or other display aspects of your image. If the person in the picture is looking at or doing something in a particular direction, place your text there. Your audience will follow the visual to its logical end.
Simpler text styles and specific photos combine well to provide unexpected results that resonate with your presentation audience. Don’t you agree?