What do you call this type of image in design term?



1 Answer 1


The closest formal term I know to something like this is a calligram which is

A word or piece of text in which the design and layout of the letters creates a visual image related to the meaning of the words themselves. -- Oxford definition

But most of the time calligrams use the text itself to create the shape of the larger word or image, not just lighting like in the image you provided. Using layout instead of solely text color makes more appealing and less thrown together.

There are also some similar terms like word mosaic, word cloud, text art (or portraits), or typography art (or portraits) that are close as well.

  • 3
    Calligram! What a beautiful word. Commented Aug 29, 2015 at 13:38
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    What the OP posted is just a simple mask.
    – Jongware
    Commented Aug 29, 2015 at 13:40
  • @Jongware I realize that Commented Aug 29, 2015 at 13:47
  • 1
    @Jongware It's ok even if it's a mask (I also only noticed after you mentioned it!), the OP certainly wanted the kind of answer Zach posted but might not have used the best example in his/her question. That is a very nice word indeed, good to know, thanks.
    – go-junta
    Commented Aug 29, 2015 at 14:31

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