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Now Trending: white text on photos


Now Trending: white text on photos

Liam Spradlin

For this installment of "Now Trending," we're going to take a look at another design technique I've been seeing more and more lately - white text over photographic content.

In some ways, this could be considered another product of flat design (like long shadows and ghost buttons), since - after all - photos are one flat layer. Designers can use them guilt free* since they are a singular layer with no gradients, glares, or sugar added!

There are many approaches to adding white text on top of photos - from floating headers to giant, central messages, to backing the text with a translucent box, to adding things like strokes or drop shadows to keep text visible. Of course the ideal situation is one in which the photo is conducive to white text without any alterations. If it isn't, you can use one of the above techniques, or augment the photo with a colored layer or blur. 

White text on photographic backgrounds is appealing because it lets users/viewers see big, rich imagery, while - in most cases - communicating useful or pertinent information about what they're looking at.

The only time white text on a photographic background can truly go wrong is if you have a photo that is extremely crowded, a font weight that is too thin, a typeface that gets lost easily, or if there's simply so much text that the relevance of the photo is lost.

In the end, this technique, like most others, is neither good nor bad - we will eventually grow bored with it, but while it's here, it's a good solution for those in search of a simple idea that looks decent as long as you pay attention to how it's implemented.

* ignoring load times