Get This Look! Layer Text and Images for a Dreamy Effect

Get This Look! Layer Text and Images for a Dreamy Effect
February 9, 2017 Tanya Friedland

Imagine this: A dramatic cityscape punctuated by block letters that spell its name. However, instead of lying flat on top of the image like a smothering sheet, these letters are woven into the towers and skyscrapers, adding a feeling of dimension, movement, and anticipation. It’s bold! It’s cinematic! And it’s totally doable in PicMonkey!

Some eagle-eyed readers might note that we covered this layered-text-and-images trend already in our 2017 round-up, but we’re so. in. love. with this look that we knew it needed its own moment in the spotlight.

layer text and images, Layer, Text, Images, Design, Photo Editing, PicMonkey

This layered look makes for stunning visual advertisements (take note, Instamarketers!) since it’s an eye-catching way to deliver a message. Take this sports ad, for example. It’s action-packed and the text underscores the sense of movement in the photo.

To get the look:

1. Open the image you want to textify in PicMonkey.

Text, Images, Tutorial, PicMonkey, Photo Editing, Design2. Position your text and overlays exactly where you want them to appear on your image.

3. Adjust the color, size, and anything else you might want to change. (Once we move past this step your text and overlays will be flattened, and you won’t be able to edit them anymore.)

4. Go to the Basic Edits tab and click Canvas Color. Your image will disappear.

Layer, Text, Images, PicMonkey, Photo Editing, Graphic Design

5. Check the Transparent canvas box and click Apply.

Layers palette, Text, Images, Layer, PicMonkey, Photo Editing, Design

6. Open the Layers palette and click the Flatten image button.

Hub, PicMonkey, Layering, Text, Image, Photo Editing, Design, PicMonkey

7. Save your file to your computer as a .png file or add it to Hub.

8. Open your original image again.

Your own overlays, PicMonkey, Layer, Text, Photo, Photo Editing, Design

9. Go to the Overlays tab and click Add your own to get the .png file from your computer, or click the caret next to Add your own to open it from Hub.

PicMonkey, Text, Image, Layering, Photo Editing, Design

10. Pull the corner handles until they align with the edge of your image to get your text into position.

Text, Overlay, Photo, Layer, Photo Editing, Design, PicMonkey

11. Click the Eraser button on the Overlay palette and erase where you want your original image to appear on top of your text. This is what’s gonna give the appearance of depth.

Layer, Text, Images, Photo Editing, Design, Overlay, PicMonkey

12. If you accidentally take something off that you didn’t mean to, click the paintbrush and zoom in to paint it back on.

13. When you’re done, save that texty masterpiece!

Check out the images below for even more layering inspiration:

Go graphic

Graphic, Overlay, PicMonkey, Text, Image, Layering, Photo Editing, Design

Layering also looks beautiful even if you don’t start with an image. Just look at these dreamy Vintage Blossom overlays!

To get a graphic look, organize your overlays on a canvas and flatten them to the background once you’re happy with how they look. Repeat the steps above to get your text and additional overlays in place.

Change your perspective

Cityscape, Layer, Text, Images, PicMonkey, Photo Editing, Design

Take a new perspective by altering how your image is oriented, like we did with these cityscapes. The words are still displayed in a way that’s easy to read and the funky photo orientation puts the focus on them.

Tell a story

Quote, Nature, Photo Editing, Design, Layering text and images, PicMonkey

Make an idea pop or a quote come to life by placing it directly into an environment, like we did with this man and his mountains.

Be playful

Fashion, Layering Text and Images, PicMonkey, Photo Editing, Design

We can’t underscore enough how a-frickin-mazing this looks with fashion shots. Something about how angular people become when they’re modeling just adds to how dynamic the text looks.

When your photo has people in it, you need to use a little more ingenuity to figure out what text placement is gonna look best. Think outside the lines and come up with something fun and unique!


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Tanya Friedland
Tanya is a copywriter at PicMonkey, a company that has greatly improved her life by allowing her to Zombify her friends and Santa-ify her enemies. A native Seattleite, she dreams of one day being a contestant on The Price Is Right.