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Does it bug you when you’re applying a quote to a stock image (or maybe an image of your own) and the text doesn’t really stand out?
A bit like these….
Maybe you don’t quite know how to do it, or maybe you feel you lack that ‘creative bug’ and therefore don’t think you can create those beautiful graphics you see all over the ‘gram. Possibly you just think it’ll take too much time so it’s easier stick to whatever basic editing tips you’ve mastered by now?
Whatever the reason, I’m here to squash those doubts and share 4 super simple tips that will take less than 5 minute to do. These tips will take your quotes from ‘cannot-even-read-it’ to ‘yes – I totally relate to this!’
Because lets be honest – that’s the reaction you were going for, right?
These tips are super simple, and I promise it will make such a difference; not only to the look of your posts and pins – but also to the engagement you’ll get back from your audience (hello profile link action!).
I’ll show you how to apply the following effects using Canva – a super easy design tool to help you create gorgeous, professional looking graphics without the headaches and tantrums (plus they have a free plan!).
change the font
From the example in the image below, the font doesn’t really stand out – it’s too plain. It’s great for long form content as it’s no frills and easy to read. But to catch the eye of your scrolling readers? Not-so-much.
What happens when we update the font to something a little more…eye-catching?
Now that’s more likely to grab your readers attention!
I’d always recommend using a font from your branding palette. If you don’t have or want to use a font from your own branding, Canva has lots of interesting, fancy styles to choose from. You can even mix and match fonts for a really eye-catching design. Just try not to spend too much time choosing! (I’ve lost afternoons to this…)
Stick a box behind it
Notice how you can’t really see the quote on the picture below? Often with images that have a lot of ‘textured’ negative space, it creates a confusing background for text. It struggles to stand out, to the point that sometimes you can’t make it out at all.
If you’ve got a plain colour background, it’s as simple as changing the font colour to one that contrasts with the background (for example dark blue background > bright white text). But for the image example below, let’s see what happens when I stick a simple box behind it, and maybe update the font to something a little more interesting.
Big difference right?
Not only does the text stand out, but it also doesn’t take anything away from the image itself. This lets you use those images with a little more character and interest.
USE IMAGES WITH BLURRY BACKGROUNDS
Some images have quite a lot of the subject matter in focus; this means your text is going to struggle to stand out amongst the sharply focussed image. As you can see from this example.
Hard to read right? Now you can just use the first tip and stick a box behind your text. But lets see what happens when we pick another image, this time with a blurry background. Whilst we’re at it, let’s use the first tip and change up the fonts, separating the words over different lines to break it up a little.
Big difference right?!
Try choosing a stock image where the background is out of focus. This is called your depth of field. I won’t get too technical here, because you don’t really need to understand that when choosing a stock image. (However if you’re taking your own images; either choose ‘portrait’ mode on your smartphone, or choose a low aperture number on your DSLR camera.) Then play around with the font/s and line breaks to achieve something much more aesthetically pleasing.
(Oh and if you want to get 9 free stock images from the members library, just head here to take my Instagram quiz!)
OVERLAY THE IMAGE
Notice how the text struggles to stand out in the image below, due to the picture having such strong colours and tones? It doesn’t help that the text is pretty plain.
Lets see what happens when we add a dark overlay to the image, and use the previous tips to dress up the text a bit…
There we go! So much clearer and more eye-catching.
Sometimes the colours or patterns stand out too much and distract from your writing. Just adding a coloured box over the whole image and then fading the transparency a little can really bring out your text. You can do this with a dark coloured box (with light text) or a light coloured box (with dark text) for different results.
How to do all this in Canva
1: Create a new design either using one of their pre-done templates, or create your own size. As an example for an Instagram post, you would create a 1200 x 1200px square design.
2: Then upload and choose your desired stock image from your ‘Uploads’ area on the left hand side, and drag this image over the background. It should fill it with your image. You can lock this image using the little padlock in the top right corner, so you don’t accidentally move it.
3: Click on Elements (left hand side) and then Shapes, and choose the shape you desire. You can resize it to suit your intended look if needed. You can also change the colour and you can fade the transparency a little if you like.
4: Then click on the text tool and add your text. At this point you can change the colour of the text (to contrast with the background) and the font/s. (If you’ve got Canva Pro, you can upload any custom fonts that aren’t in your selection!) You can also add any line breaks in here, and change the font for each one. You can also spread the quote out over numerous text boxes, allowing you to play with colour, font and size for each line.
5: Arrange the text over the shape, which you can do by clicking the box around text and dragging it. You can also use the ‘Position’ button (top right when the text is selected) to bring forward or back – do this to make sure your text is on top of your shape.
6: With the shape box selected, hold down shift on your keypad and click the text to select them both. Link the text and shape together using the paperclip link button in the top right corner. You can now drag both items locked together to where you want them on the image.
7: If required for the image, add a box shape over the whole background and choose a colour. Position it behind your text, but in front of the image, and then reduce the transparency until you get the desired look you’re wanting.
Go ahead and try these tips next time you’re wanting to post a quote or message on your blog, social media, website or emails and see what a difference it makes!
Have you used any of these methods to help your words stand out? Share in the comments!