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For example, in this album cover:

enter image description here

Is the text "imposed" over the image? What is the right word for placing one layer of design on top of another?

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I think you call it 'placing text over an image' – DA01 Nov 23 '13 at 19:25
to superimpose text/type on an image – see dictionary:… – TehMacDawg Nov 24 '13 at 19:19
TehMacDawg, that is the word I was looking for, thank you. – meetalexjohnson Nov 25 '13 at 23:06
up vote 7 down vote accepted

This is overlay text. Text that covers the surface of the image is called overlay text. Because you can't see the parts of the image that are behind the white stroke of this font I would call it overlay :)

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Text over an image.

Text on a background.

As Jenna answered, "overlay text" perhaps - not a term I'd use, but I'd have an idea about what someone meant if I heard it. "Overlay" to me, always infers opacity to a degree. Not the same thing in my mind as "text over an image".

I don't think there's a "special" term for it.

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I know what you mean Scott, that's why my answer is so awkwardly worded :) Usually with overlay I would think of layers of video with differing opacity. But then the literal meaning of overlay is to 'cover the surface of' which is why I came to the conclusion that I did. It's not ideal but I think it works,I definitely wouldn't be opposed if we managed to find something a little less confusing :) – Jenna Nov 24 '13 at 22:30

Maybe the word you are looking for is “compositing: combine two or more images to make a single picture.” Your example is a composite of an image of text and an image of artwork.

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