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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?

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note that many times, for print at least, the text is far more legible in the final product than on screen. Enhancement may not always be needed. –  horatio Nov 16 '11 at 16:26
What program are you working in, what size of text do you use, and what color mode do you have enabled (RBG, or CMYK)? –  Alexei Nov 16 '11 at 19:55
You could also add a contrasting border around the outside of each letter. In Fireworks for instance, convert the text to a path, and give each new "letter_as_shape" a stroke width and colour, rather than just a fill colour. –  Steve Nov 21 '11 at 18:00

4 Answers 4

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.
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In addition to e100 great answer, using shadows with blur on text may be a good trick.

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could you provide any screenshot to explain the idea, please? –  Ilan Apr 14 '14 at 21:13

you could try adding a shape behind the text but in front of the image and adjust the opacity level on the shape until you are happy with the image visibility and the text legibility.

hope this helps

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Thanks for your answer, and welcome to GDSE! –  Vincent Aug 19 '14 at 11:31

You can try

  1. adding a thin stroke to a text in bold typeface (or a thick one to a thin typeface) could do the trick...Note that you should choose the color of the stroke wisely to suit the overall design.
  2. using stroke-only for bold or even regular typefaces (with the inside of the typeface transparent to reveal the background image)
  3. cutting the text through a solid colored shape

With a Google search I found this image for you that incorporates some of the ideas I've listed. Though it is not easily evident but if you observe you'll see a thin outline around 'frankly'. A subtle addition like this could help make your text pop out

(It's not mine)

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Nice answer! Welcome to GDSE. If you have any questions, please refer to the help center, or ping one of us in chat once you have sufficient reputation (20). Enjoy the site! –  Vincent Aug 19 '14 at 15:50

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