Layer Photos: Create High-End Designs in Minutes

Layer Photos: Create High-End Designs in Minutes
June 27, 2018 Sheree Whiteley

*Note: This tutorial shows how to make gradients in New PicMonkey—sign up to get access. We have tons of tutorials on using Old PicMonkey, if you want to keep using the old site.

Once upon a time, text-and-image combos consisted of words plopped on top of photos or colorful backgrounds. Then savvy content creators discovered new, artful ways of putting text on photos, and social media was never the same.

You’ve likely seen this new take on images with text: the photo subject and the letters are intertwined, resulting in a 3D-esque feel. This layered look is high-end, eye-catching, and ridiculously easy to make in PicMonkey. Learn how to DIY it here, then turn out scroll-stopping social posts, advertisements, covers, thumbnails—whatever you need—in minutes.

Here’s how to layer your text on a photo:

  1. Open your image
  2. Add text to your photo
  3. Erase parts of the text for a 3D effect

1. Open your image

A picture of carrots open in the PicMonkey editor.

To kick your design off, click the Create button on the left-hand side of the PicMonkey homepage and choose your photo’s location (Hub, your computer, or Facebook).

2. Layer text on your photo

Putting text on photos in PicMonkey, using an ampersand and a photo of carrots.

Head to the Text tab (Tt icon) and choose a font from our collection. When you find one you wanna try, click Add text above the font list and type your words into the text box that appears. You can adjust the size and color with the options on the Text palette that pops up when you add text. If you’re not so sure about the font you chose, highlight your text and click different fonts until you find one you like.

Pro tip: To keep your text from looking askew or off-center, use our alignment tools! Click the Alignment button (second from the left in the bottom toolbar) and create a grid to guide your text placement.

3. Erase for a 3D effect

Part of an ampersand being erased in PicMonkey to create a 3D text on photo look.

Now for the extra fun part! Click your text box, then click Erase on the Text palette. Use the sliders to adjust your brush size, hardness, and strength, then erase bits of the letters to give the appearance of your image being on top of your words. This is how you create that intertwined layer photo with an almost-3D feel.

Zoom in on your image while you’re erasing to make sure you get it juuuust right. And if you erase too much, click the paintbrush icon on the Text palette and paint it back.

When your visually arresting text-and-image combo is ready to go, click the down arrow icon in the top toolbar to export it to your computer.

Pro tip: Wanna break free of the confines of your computer? You’ll find a phone-and-tablet-friendly text erase tool in the PicMonkey mobile app! Download the app to layer text on the go, and log into your account to take your projects from picmonkey.com to the mobile app and back again.

Layer photo and text inspo

Now that you know how to get this look (surprisingly easy, right?), check out these layered text-and-image combos and get your creative wheels turning.

A text on photo design featuring a ballet dancer.

A text on photo design featuring a woman boxing.

The layered text-and-image technique underscores the sense of movement in action shots beautifully. Try it out with your #fitspo images and you’re sure to end up with something wow-worthy.

A text on photo design featuring a woman's face and the words "style and fashion".

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, as seen in this blog cover example.

A text on photo design featuring the Olympic Mountains.

Make an idea pop or a quote come to life by placing it directly into an environment, like we did with this landscape shot. Text is especially eye-catching when embedded in natural features like mountain ranges.

Not loving your word choice after you’ve erased text? PicMonkey remembers which parts of letters you’ve erased, so you can type something new and the parts you’ve erased will remain in-tact—no need to erase twice!

 

What are you waiting for? Get layering.

Make something

Sheree Whiteley
Sheree is a PicMonkey copywriter, lover of laughs, and 21st century bon vivant. When she’s not quilling clever articles, you might find her grilling a veggie medley, checking out a local band, or trying a new Seattle hot spot.