You may have seen text images where the shape of the text has been filled by a photo or pattern. This is easy to achieve in Photoshop using clipping masks.
Today’s tutorial will show you how to add photos, patterns and textures to text. It will also show you how to quickly trim your file to the smallest size possible and save it as a png file.
CREATING UNIQUE IMAGES IN PHOTOSHOP
I know, it's hard to be unique online, isn't it? There are so many styles that once popular, are copied everywhere. It's not easy to create an eye-catching look for your own small business or blog images.
What I love about this simple clipping technique is, you really can make something a little different. There are so many variables to change, it would be difficult if not impossible for someone to copy your image exactly.
It's also a great time-saver. Set up a template for a Pinterest-friendly blog post image or a social media image, find a look you like that compliments your own business branding, and you can make shareable images in minutes.
WHERE DO YOU FIND RESOURCES TO USE?
If you want to use a photo, I would always say use your own first if you can. As you only show small snippets of the photo, you don't need to worry too much about having a perfect shot. In the video, I've used a lovely blossom shot but as you can see in the final version, you can't really tell if the photo was a good one or not. I just used it to get the colour and flowers.
If you don't have anything suitable, there are a wealth of stock photo sites online, both paid and free, where you can search for something suitable.
If you want to add patterns, textures or a foil effect, you will need to find digital resources. I have amassed a vast collection over the last few years! More than I care to admit to. The ones I've used in the video came from Design Cuts. They have a huge marketplace but also offer amazing deals. A great way to starting building your own collection.
This video will show you how to:
put patterned or textured paper, or a photo inside text; and
trim and save the text as a png file.
THE STEP BY STEP
PUTTING PATTERNED OR TEXTURED PAPER, OR A PHOTOGRAPH INSIDE TEXT
Select the Text Tool from the Tool Bar on the right and type the text you want.
On the newly-created text layer, select the text by double-clicking on the T icon.
Set the Font and Size from the Options Bar at the top of the screen. A wide font work best for patterns and photos. In the video, I’ve used Univers LT, weight 75 Black.
Open your Pattern document or your Photo.
With your Text Layer selected, open the Pattern/Photo Tab.
Click and drag your pattern/photo across to your text file.
Your pattern/photo should be in the layer above your text. Just click and drag the layers into the right order, if not.
Holding down the Alt or Options Key, hover the cursor between the text and pattern/photo layers.
When you see a small box with a down arrow appear, click to ‘clip’ the pattern/photo to the text.
With the Pattern/Photo Layer selected, move, resize or rotate to get the best effect.
If you need to Resize your pattern/photo layer, make sure you hold down the Shift Key to stop the pattern getting distorted. After resizing, hit the Checkmark on the Options Bar to commit your changes.
TRIMMING AND SAVING YOUR TEXT
With your Text Layer selected, go to Image-Trim on the Main Menu.
Select Top Left Pixel Colour.
Select Trim Away for Top, Bottom, Left and Right.
On your Layers Panel, turn off the eyeball for the Background Layer to reveal a transparent background (chequered effect).
Go to File-Export-Save for Web and save your file as a PNG.
CREATING A BLOG POST IMAGE
If you are using patterned/textured text over an image, for example for a blog post or social media image, you can create the whole thing in a single Photoshop file. Save this as a template to save time in the future.
Put your image on the bottom layer.
The text you want on the next layer.
On top of that, the pattern/photo you want to put inside the text
Clip the pattern/photo to the text in the same way.
Export as a JPEG, as you won’t need the transparency of a png.
You can see the layer order in the image below.
BEFORE & AFTER
So, quite an effect in a matter of minutes. As you can imagine, with so many variables to change - the words, the pattern or texture or photo, plus the colour of the underlying photo, clipped pattern or texture - this is a great way to make original images. Even if someone used exactly the same pattern/photo as you, its unlikely they will use it in exactly the same way on exactly the same text.
You could make an image purely of text and it would stand out. Using the template idea above also makes this a really quick way to make beautiful social media images or pull quotes when you are pushed for time.
GIVE IT A TRY
Why not create a simple Instagram, Twitter or Blog quote template in Photoshop? Follow the pattern of layers shown in the image above. Choose a look you like, then it's just a matter of popping in a new image and changing the words. File-Export-Save for Web and you're good to go!
Would you like a little more of an introduction to Photoshop first? Why not try a free, 5-day Photoshop for Beginners video course to get you familiar with the workspace and make your first blog image.