Looking to add some life to your headlines and body text? Use these 5 tricks for easy text manipulation in Shutterstock Editor to help your typography stand out and get noticed.
Cover image via Ivana Milic.
Using text over an image can create striking designs, but you don’t have to be a professional with the expensive subscription services to design software. Use these tips and tricks to make your type pop from the background and get the response you’re after with our easy-to-use design application Shutterstock Editor.
Get Started With the Text Tool in Shutterstock Editor
Head over to Shutterstock Editor, then hit the Get Started button.
To choose a background for your design, click the Search icon in the tool menu, or hit S on the keyboard. For this guide, I’ve selected an illustrated desert scene with a cactus. Try to visualize how you’ll want your typography to sit on the image, and look for images that have open space that can accommodate a headline.
Tip: Search for the keywords “copy space” to find images that have room for text.
Navigate to the Text tool in the tool menu, or hit A on the keyboard. Click “Add Headline” from the list. Increase the size and placement of the text box by using the handles on the corners. From the Font menu on the right-hand side of the screen you can choose a different font.
I’m using “Abril Fatface” here. It’s a contemporary serif font suitable for headlines. Try a few to see what works best with your design, adjusting the size, letter spacing, and line height, which are all controllable from the Font menu.
To change color of text, simply select the text box, and click on Fill Color in the Font menu on the right. There are a few ways to change the color: Select the color either from the presets, click “Custom” to use the Histogram, or click the eyedropper to sample a color from the background. I sampled the green in the cactus.
Now that you know how to use the Text tool in Shutterstock Editor, learn how to add interest to your text with these five tips and tricks.
1. Create a Headline with a Drop Shadow
Smart use of drop shadow can be effective enough that it’s the only text trick you need. Get creative by sampling colors from the image to let the headline stand out, without veering from the overall tone of the image. You can even use drop shadow with lighter colors – instead of a shadow it will create a glow.
To apply a Drop shadow, go to the Font menu, and with the text box selected click on Drop Shadow and choose a color. I chose an orangey-yellow to make it look searing hot like the desert floor.
Then I used the slider controls in the menu to crank up the Opacity. You can also move the shadow using the X and Y offset controls.
2. Add Hard-Outline Shadows for a Vintage Look
Select the headline and copy and paste it. Line up the duplicate over the original, then go to the Layer menu and select the icon for Send backward, or hit Command + [ on your keyboard. Use the arrow keys on your keyboard to move the duplicate layer down and just-to-the-left. Use a 1:1 ratio, so for each click of the down arrow, add one click to the left arrow.
Use the eyedropper tool to sample the background color for the Fill Color. This creates a gap between the shadow (the duplicate layer) and the headline (the original layer). Then select Drop shadow, change the Fill color to match the original layer, and slide the Blur all the way to 0.
You should see what looks like a hard, cast shadow with a gap, suggesting the headline is floating. You can adjust the X and Y slider or use the arrow keys to fine-tune the placement.
3. Use Vertical Text
There are two ways to approach vertical headlines. One way is to simply rotate your headline. Using the Rotate handle at the bottom of the Text box (you’ll see a circular arrow), drag the text box around until it’s vertical.
The second option for vertical headlines is to stack the letters in an old town-square style of signage.
To do this, simply hit Enter/Return after you type each letter. For each word, use a new text box. Add an extra step for better looking, thoughtful typography: After you type the headline text, click on Align Center in the Font menu to align each letter to the next. If you leave it left-aligned, it can look off-balance.
4. Adjust Details with Typography Controls
In the Font menu, you’ll find a few menus and sliders that give you control over typography. In addition to changing the typeface and size, you can control justification alignment (left, center, right, and force-justified), Line Height (aka Leading), and Letter Spacing.
In this example I changed the font to Gravitas One at 400 pt. size. Then I adjusted the line height and letter spacing to my liking. Learn more about line height and letter spacing here.
5. Mix Typefaces to Add Accents
Another way to liven up a headline is to use a different typeface on an access word. Here, I simply changed “Vacation” to the typeface Oleo Script and positioned it offset from the text above. Then I added the a hard-outline shadow (See Tip #2) to make it stand out from the background.
These are just a few simple ways to play with text in Shutterstock Editor. Try it for yourself to see what you can create.
Find more tips, tricks, and tutorials about typography in these articles.