The Lost Art of Combining Text and Image
- How fonts can affect how your message is perceived
- How to choose the right image to combine with text
- How to use hierarchy and scale to create meaning in your design
- How to create balance in your designs
- What is white space and why use it
- How to use contrast in your designs
- How to use frames and shapes
A picture says a thousand words.
A picture combined with text is even more powerful.
In this lesson, we'll explore how to design with
words and images to create powerful messages.
The relationship between text and image can change a message.
When combining them, the overall design
needs to be greater than the sum of its parts.
Think about it as a message communicated four ways.
What the text says? What the font implies?
What the image is communicating? And how they're compiled.
Together, they send an overall message to the audience.
For instance, imagine we were designing a book cover
for a novel called "The Collector",
if we set the text in a light classic Serif font, you might imagine
that the book is about someone who collects antiques.
We might guess it's a romance if we only saw the font on the cover.
What if we change the font to a bold, futuristic Sans Serif
without seeing anything else?
What would you expect the book to be about?
Now, it's probably not about a romantic, antique collector, is it?
And all we've changed is the font.
By adding an image, we add another communication point.
Don't just copy exactly what the text and fonts are saying.
That's boring and repetitive.
Add an image that will spark intrigue
and ignite the audience's curiosity.
What about if we put a lock on the cover?
Suddenly, we have a murder mystery just by adding one image.
What other images could we add that would imply very different outcomes?
Composition refers to the arrangement of elements in a design,
the space between them, and the ways they interact.
Simple rearrangement allows different messages to evolve.
Always consider what's the message you want to send
and what's the most powerful way to convey it.
Let's look at some design techniques to help.
Hierarchy is about designing the composition to visually signal the importance of elements.
So make more important elements bigger and bolder
than less important elements,
which might be smaller and fainter.
Scale is often used to communicate hierarchy
by drawing attention toward and away from certain elements
thus signifying their importance to the communication.
Look at these examples and where the importance is being placed.
Balance is important in many regards.
And combining text and image is no exception.
First, we have symmetrical balance.
This balances text and image by reflecting elements from left to right
or top to bottom allowing you to draw attention to all areas equally.
A more common type is asymmetrical balance creating balance.
Without symmetry, think of each element as having a weight to it.
Smaller objects weigh less than larger objects
and heavily textured elements weigh more than flatly colored elements.
Balance these weighted elements out until you reach equilibrium.
Don't think of it as empty space. This implies that it should be full of
something that it's not doing its job, but this is not the case.
White space, when used strategically, can help boost your design's clarity
by balancing out the more complicated parts
of your composition with space helping your design to breathe.
Ask yourself if each element of your design is a 100% necessary.
Do you need all of that text? Do you need 3 different images?
By subtracting the unnecessary bits and pieces of your design,
you can create a more direct design that makes the most of white space.
Contrast is an incredibly useful tool for both highlighting and hiding certain elements.
By upping the contrast or using a high contrast feature color,
you can help text stand out and draw attention.
Likewise, by lowering the contrast, you can make text fade into the image.
Contrast is great when you want to place text over an image
especially when the image is busy and has a lot going on.
Look at how these examples work where the text
remains readable despite the background image.
Frames and shapes create distinction between text and image
useful to make the text more readable if contrast isn't enough.
In this example, a transparent rectangle enables the white text
to be more readable while the image is still visible below.
It's an easy and effective way to provide separation between the image and text.
There are a lot of things to consider when putting together text and image at first.
It might take you some effort and time moving things around,
resizing elements and then moving them around.
Again, but keep it at that combine text and image send a powerful message.