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8 Great Tips for Using Typography or Text in Photography

A creative still life of many broken eggshells and a persons hands holding a note reading

Once you first hear of including textual content in images, you may consider an overused cliche from the early 2000s. We’re right here to point out that’s not the case. The trick is to make use of textual content creatively. 

I all the time take pleasure in photographs that want me good morning, spelling it with bacon and eggs. Or providing me another chew of a cake with letters constructed from chocolate.

Typography photographs are unique and crowd pleasing. They appear nice on social media. 

Let’s see how one can add textual content to your pictures in a artistic and delightful method.

Why Add Textual content within the First Place 

The best way typography works in your picture strongly is determined by the rationale you added it within the first place.

Do you need to say one thing and make your message as loud and clear as it may be? Or do you need to create a small Easter egg for particularly eager spectators to note and luxuriate in?

 I consider that there are two foremost methods to make use of textual content in images:

  • as an inventive element, which provides to the environment,
  • as a message, and a number one hero of a picture.

Inventive element is necessary to your story however doesn’t take up the complete picture.

It could possibly be a handwritten textual content in an open pocket book, a memo left on a monitor, or a title on a guide cowl.

On this picture, I used crumpled paper balls to point the messiness of an actual office. And I wrote some literary tropes and parts of a basic Hero’s Journey on stickers and items of paper.

I don’t anticipate my viewer to learn these notes intently. In the event that they do although, they may discover one thing plausible and genuine.

A creative writer themed still life featuring a typewriter, crumpled paper, a hand holding a match and text in photography

Right here textual content works principally as a pleasant atmospheric contact

If the textual content is a hero of your picture, there’s no method to ignore it. Within the picture under, the textual content is the primary purpose the photograph was created within the first place.

It takes up a lot of the area and virtually is the mannequin whose portrait you’re making an attempt to create.

A creative still life using food typography made from coffee beans spelling 'put the kettle on' - examples of typography

Textual content is certainly the lead actor on this picture

There may be some center floor instances too. However more often than not it relies upon solely on how a lot time you need a viewer to spend on the textual content.

A creative still life image featuring paper, blueprints, cookies and stationary - examples of using text in photography

On this picture, the textual content doesn’t take up a lot area, however nonetheless performs an necessary position within the narrative

Make Particulars Correct to Add Realism to Your Photographs

Typically viewers don’t even discover your rigorously written guide titles or scattered artist’s notes.

However for each viewer who doesn’t take note of particulars, there’s ten who will level out that your ebook titles are misplaced or your witch’s spell is gibberish.

A creative image of a person painting a map of a world - examples of using text in photography

I don’t anticipate the viewer to truly learn the toponyms of this island, but when they do, they gained’t discover random nonsense

I typically see this in pictures by Russian photographers who’re making an attempt to shoot one thing significant however depend on classic props to hold their story, not on a well-thought concept.

They use newspapers with trendy titles or a pile of previous letters with names and addresses that don’t make sense on this time interval.

Issues like that aren’t simply noticeable, however they create the sensation that one thing is off. So watch out to not put irrelevant textual content within the body.

Create Props You Can Reuse

If the recurring theme in your pictures is writing, fill a few pages with notes on story construction or engaged on a personality.

I shoot loads of magical scenes, so I’ve a textual content I placed on each scroll that’s barely out of focus however nonetheless could possibly be readable. It’s a quote on the security of conducting magic experiments, so it really works in each state of affairs.

A magical still life set up - examples of using text in photography

The title Salamander Scroll is clearly readable, however the textual content under is hidden behind a pen. The place you to learn it, it will nonetheless make sense although.

Embrace Typography That Matches the Theme of Your Shoot

The simplest option to embrace typography in your pictures is utilizing conventional instruments like pencils, pens, ink or paint. It really works particularly properly with textual content as a element.

Add stickers, a memo observe or a tag with a significant inscription onto your major topic. It might be an tackle on an envelope, a title of a guide, a scroll with the primary phrases of a spell or a fast observe on scrap paper.

For instance, I made some journey stickers for considered one of my photographs within the Countless Ebook collection. I wanted them to point that this isn’t only a suitcase, however an area traveller’s suitcase.

Every sticker has an astronomy theme, like Wormhole Journey or Moon Journey Int.

An overhead shot of a person opening an old suitcase covered with stickers - examples of using text in photography

I printed these stickers within the nearest print store. It was low cost and fast.

It’s also possible to create your personal e-book titles. Print guide covers in the event you’re going for a extra skilled and tidy look. Or merely wrap your ebook in colored paper and write a title by hand. 

If handwriting is just not your forte, use your favorite textual content editor like Phrase or Pages and print it out.

An overhead close up of a person sitting on a carpet of autumn leaves, reading a book called 'Leaf hunter guidebook' - examples of using text in photography

Working with a mannequin was truly more durable than designing a guide cowl

My favourite instance is writing labels for magical potions. I considered potions I personally may have, invented names for them, like No Worries Combination and Damaged Coronary heart Remedy.

Then I picked out the weather that could possibly be components of these potions. Or a minimum of related with them thematically.

After that, I reduce out craft paper labels and easily wrote down the potion’s names with a pen. It’s a simple setup for artistic images you possibly can recreate at residence.

A still life diptych of magical potions - examples of using text in photography

The labels I made for potions in Enchanted Tea collection

A still life triptych of magical potions - examples of using text in photography

Combine Chalkboard Writing With Actual Objects

Chalkboard in nonetheless life images is invaluable. The mixture of a flat drawing and actual objects can rework abnormal objects into one thing thrilling with a few chalk strains.

A creative flat lay featuring stationary, coffee cups and notebooks - examples of using text in photography
Chalk can also be helpful as a typography software. Point out a protected solution to journey via an asteroid belt of cookies. Want somebody Merry Christmas. Or clarify which device does what in your character’s office.

You’ll be able to organize a flat lay of a recipe and observe down all of the components in addition to describe the cooking course of.

Or perhaps want somebody good morning with a served breakfast and a chalk inscription.

A creative flat lay of cookies on black background - examples of using text in photography

That is how a drawing incorporating chalk appears like…

A creative Christmas still life - examples of using text in photography

…and that is lettering on a chalkboard including background element to this Christmas photograph.

Hold the Chalk Piece Moist

I choose chalk markers as a result of they supply a thinner and extra correct line. In case you solely have common chalk, maintain it moist. Drawing with moist chalk is far simpler.

The strains will look a bit pale at first, however allow them to dry.

Create Typography Out of On a regular basis Objects

Discovering objects that correspond to letters may be troublesome, however it’s all the time enjoyable. The letter O is the simplest and the obvious one. Symbolize it with a donut, an orange, a vinyl document or a tennis ball.

Different letters are rather more enjoyable! Bend an old style ruler two occasions to get N. Take a spiral of lemon peel for S.

And make a lowercase a with a espresso cup stain paired with a Pocky chocolate stick.

A still life diptych of creative food typography - examples of using text in photography

Bonus factors for locating objects that belong to the theme of your photoshoot. It will look unusual in case you make letters concurrently out of meals and, say, carpenter’s instruments.

Decide your theme first and search for letter-like objects inside it. For instance, you can also make the phrases Drink me from potions, little bottles, keys and different references to Alice in Wonderland.

A creative food typography shot made with cookies and coffee - examples of using text in photography

You’ll be able to typically modify your objects in order that they higher match the letters. You possibly can minimize your cookies in half, mix them with waffles and use chocolate sauce to attract further strains.

Type Letters With Unfavourable Area

In case you have a variety of tiny objects, attempt utilizing destructive area to type your letters. You’ll want to mark the sides of the letters first.

Draw them in your background with a bit of chalk or a pencil making thick strains which are straightforward to erase. 

A creative still life flat lay with typography - examples of using text in photography

After that, you can begin to put out the gadgets across the template. To make Attempt More durable I gathered all of the props associated to inventive work I used to be capable of finding: coloured pencils, sketchbooks, brushes, paints, materials for patchwork and stamps for scrapbooking.

You need to use quite a lot of objects for an image like that. Say, get some nuts, bolts, and screws from the storage. Or disassemble the flower bouquet and use the buds, stems, and petals.

Or perhaps you have got an plentiful assortment of threads, coils, and buttons?

Materials for making a creative flat lay - colored pencils, sketchbooks, brushes, paints, fabrics for patchwork and stamps for scrapbooking

Place your objects on the sides of the letters, forming an overview. It might be nice if you’ll find gadgets that mimic the form of letters. For instance, curved tubes of paint for the arc within the R or half a leaf for the opening within the D.

After you full the essential define, fill the remaining area with smaller objects. Giant elements of the background shall be seen solely beneath the letters.

Erase letter markings and take a shot!

Use a Paper Template to Create Letters

This manner is nice for individuals like me, who don’t have lovely handwriting and would moderately work with an present sort. Select typeface with daring, simply recognisable letters. Keep away from skinny serifs and delicate strains.

Print the textual content you need to use and minimize it from a sheet of paper with a format knife. Right here’s your template!

Now you want one thing free-flowing and powder-like. Flour, sugar, sprinkles, confetti, cocoa powder, spices, tiny petals, sand, rice, tea leaves, little buttons, something you’ll be able to scatter.

Fill the inside counter of your letters and punctiliously take away the template with tweezers. Add further gadgets of your typography flat lay and take a shot!

Sugar is ideal for typography pictures

Or it can save you the paper letters and scatter powder round them. That method the internal contour of the letters can be empty, like within the image under.

A creative still life using food typography made from tortilla chips and spices - examples of typography

You possibly can reduce out a template for the powder too, just like the flame on this picture.

A creative still life with a writer theme - examples of typography

You possibly can even use pencil sharpenings.

I really like this trick due to its versatility. You need to use a variety of supplies to make letters. That’s appropriate not just for meals typography however for quite a lot of nonetheless life photoshoot experiments.

See, for instance, the way it works with soil on this gardening themed nonetheless life.

A creative still life grid with a flower theme - examples of typography


A creative still life shot with a flower theme - examples of typography

The most effective factor about utilizing templates is the chance to work with liquids. Connect your template to a background with double-sided tape to stop it from curling due to moisture. Fill it with honey, jam, syrup, sauce, chocolate or ketchup utilizing a small syringe or a tough brush.

Floor pressure and the sides of the template will maintain the liquid in place and stop it from spilling.

A creative still life using food typography on a sky blue background - examples of typography

Typography experiments with peanut and caramel syrups

Create Typography With Baked Items for Artistic Meals Images

In the event you really feel like making letters is numerous work, nicely, you’re proper. However cutters and molds could make it quite a bit simpler. Let’s take a look at what they will do.

A creative still life using food typography - examples of typography

Alphabetical cookie cutters could be a blessing whenever you need to attempt your hand at meals typography. To start with, use them to bake cookies or gingerbread.

Plan what you need to say and minimize a number of variations of every letter in case one thing goes fallacious.

A diptych showing the set up for a creative still life using food typography - examples of typography

Second, use them for chopping letters out of different tender supplies. Marshmallows are an ideal instance. Drop marshmallow letters in cocoa making a message in a cup.

Or mix them with levitation and drops of chocolate. Consider different meals gentle sufficient to be minimize by cookie cutters and be happy to experiment.

A creative GIF featuring marshmallow typography - examples of using text in photography

Marshmallow typography in a single GIF

Final however not least, use cookie cutters to make ornamental pie crust. Earlier than you set the ultimate layer of dough in your pie and depart it within the oven, add dough letters as you often do with decorations like stripes or leaves.

A creative still life diptych featuring typography made from ice - examples of using text in photography

There’s additionally loads of alphabet silicone molds. Use them to make letters out of ice, chocolate, caramel and even ice-cream.

Most typography pictures are flat lay photographs. However molds present quantity, so you’ve extra room to experiment.

A creative still life using food typography made from coffee beans spelling 'coffee' - examples of typography

Let your pictures actually say one thing. Experiment with templates, cutters, and molds to seek out your personal approach in actual typography images.

A observe from Josh, ExpertPhotography’s Photographer-In-Chief:

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Dina Belenko

There’s one phrase I all the time use to introduce myself, it describes me exactly: “My identify is Dina and I inform animate tales about inanimate objects”. I am an individual with little paper cities, sugar cubes, moon from polymer clay, doll’s miniatures, damaged cups, handmade Rube Goldberg machine, repainted puzzles, wire timber, cardboard dragons and spilled espresso. And with a photograph digital camera. That is fairly primarily me.

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