Text and Images 101 – Workshop Recap

by on October 11, 2016 · 0 comments


Combining text and images is one of the most common and powerful design techniques for grabbing someones attention and conveying a message quickly. Free tools such as PicMonkey and Canva make adding text to images very quick and easy.

Just adding text to your image will not automatically make your design effective, let alone professional. Thankfully there are considerations and techniques that can be used to elevate your design to the next level.

What We Covered In Text and Images – Workshop:

In our follow-up workshop, we built on the concepts we learned in Text and Images 101. We created several workshop designs that demonstrated some of the techniques learned in the previous class. We used two free image editing tools, PicMonkey and Canva to combine our text and images easily. We also showed how to find royalty free images with Google Image search that can be modified for commercial use.

We specifically covered the following topics:

  • PicMonkey & Canva highlights
  • Finding a royalty free image you can modify
  • Adding text to an image without negative space
  • Adding text to an image with negative space
  • Text masking

Adding Text to an Image without Negative Space:

Sometimes you have an image you want to use, but you aren’t sure where to add the text. The subject matter might be busy, or doesn’t offer any negative space to add your text where it will be legible.

One solution to this problem, is to add a background shape for your text. The background shape provides an area where the text can be placed so that it is easily readable.


In our first workshop example, we took a photo of the University of Michigan Football Stadium and added our text. The text was very hard to read on the distracting image, so we added a semi-transparent background shape using Canva. By placing the text over the background shape, you are able to clearly read the text.

The color of the text and the background shape are colors directly pulled from the image itself, using a color picker. By re-using colors from the image, we create a more cohesive design. We also chose to use contrasting colors for the text (yellow) and the background shape (blue) to make the text really shine.

Adding Text to an Image with Negative Space:

Ideally, the image you use will have negative space where the text can be added. This prevents you from needing to take additional design steps to create readable text. Adding text to negative space also helps to make the final product feel seamless.


In this workshop example we took an image of popular Game of Thrones character Jon Snow standing in front of The Wall. The Wall provided us with a nice area of negative space to add our text. Using PicMonkey, we added the text “Winter is Coming” and adjusted the size and color of the typography for a dramatic effect.

Text Masking:

In our last workshop example project, we looked at the technique of text masking. Text masking refers to an image being placed inside the letters of your text. When used sparingly this technique can be used to grab attention and add some extra design flare.


For this design, we used PicMonkey to achieve the text masking effect. The words “Pure Michigan” have been masked with a beautiful image of the Michigan skyline taken by E2W Experts Group member Michael Murphy. By having the image only appear inside the letters, we have combined text and graphics in a new and interesting way.


Tutorials & Resources:
PicMonkey Tutorials
Canva Design School
Negative Space Images


Combining text and images to create professional and beautiful designs is quick and easy with all of the image editing tools available today. With the techniques and considerations learned in Text and Images 101, you can create designs that effectively communicate your message while setting yourself apart from your competition.

Gaining success as an internet freelancer can be difficult. Enjoy your journey by joining the Expand2Web Experts group and gain instant access to our library of previous classes by clicking here: https://www.expand2web.com/coaching-and-training/

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Don is an entrepreneur based in Silicon Valley. He founded Expand2Web and is the publisher of the Expand2Web Blog, and the GetFiveStars Customer Feedback and Reviews service.

Don has written 313 articles on Expand2Web

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