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How do I preserve legibility when overlaying text on images?


Question

I have lots of creative images that I want to use, except when I put text over them it makes the text really hard to read. Other than a drop shadow, is there another way to make it more clear?

2011/12/31
1
10
12/31/2011 8:33:00 PM

Yes. Do one or more of these:

  • Use larger text
  • Use a bolder or simpler typeface
  • Use a spot colour, varnish, foil or clear laminate for the text
  • Increase the tonal contrast:
    • If your text is black, make it rich black and/or slightly lighten the darkest areas of the image
    • If your text is reversed out (white paper), slightly darken the lightest areas of the image, make sure they are not also pure white
  • Blur the image, recrop or rescale it to reduce the amount of competing detail (for example, you'll have issues if there are lots of repeating elements the same size as text stems)
  • Convert the background to greyscale, use coloured text
  • Colourise the background (monotone or duotone) and use black or reversed-out text
  • If none of these work, or aren't practical, find another layout that separates the text from the image.
2011/11/16
13
11/16/2011 4:14:00 PM