Today, I’m going to show how to place an image into text using InDesign. This is an easy trick that will give your layouts a design forward appeal and it looks super professional!
So, what we’re going to do is to transform your typography into picture frames.
This effect is often used in high-end publications to add impact to the headline, while showcasing an image in an eye-catching way. It’s a great technique to add drama to your design.
To watch a video version of this tutorial, please visit Dina’s Desktop YouTube Channel.
Let’s do this!
Our first step is to set up a magazine spread.
- We’ll start by opening InDesign.
- Let’s choose Create New>Document from the start menu.
- Let’s keep intent set to Print, with the number of pages increased to 3, and facing pages checked.
- In the page size drop down, we’ll set up a new custom page size as US Magazine. Set the width to 213 mm and the height to 276.5 mm. Click Add, then OK, and we return to the document window.
- Further down, let’s adjust the margins. Here, we’ll unlink the chain icon and set the Top Margin to 14 mm, Bottom to 18 mm, Inside to 14 mm and Outside to 12 mm.
- Now to set the Bleed, select More Options. We can set the value to 3 mm on all sides except the Inside Bleed, we should set that to 0 mm. Unlink the chain icon here to change the Inside Bleed.
- Click OK.
Our second step is to choose the right typeface. We’ll do this step in two parts.
- Now it’s important to choose the right typeface for this effect. We need to consider the font’s weight, shape and simplicity. The breakdown is like this:
- The Weight of a typeface is about the thickness. We’ll need sufficient space to reveal the image below. So, Display and Slab fonts will work well for this purpose.
- The design and shape of the text will be amplified because we are going to enlarge it significantly for this effect. So, here we will want to use something attractive, perhaps with elegant serifs or italics, even.
- We also want to use a typeface that has clean edges and is completely filled. Sketchy brush strokes and outlined text can get a bit messy.
- I’m going to work with this lovely script font called “Bready”, which answers all of our considerations. This font can be downloaded for free from many font sites if you would like to use it to follow along. I found it at http://www.1001freefonts.com/bready.font
Our third step is to make a picture frame from the text. We’ll do this step in three parts.
- Let’s return to our InDesign document, and click onto Page 2.
- We’ll select the Type Tool (T) from the Tools panel and drag to create a large text frame that extends across the entire page, from the left margin to the right margin.
- Type a letter into into the frame, and set the Font to Bready Regular, with the Size at 692 pt. I’m using the letter “F” for my example.
- We will leave the text color set to the default [Black] for now.
- Select the text frame using the Selection Tool, click on the Type drop down menu, and select Create Outlines. The text frame will change slightly; the text characters have now been converted into a vector shape.
- With the text outlines still selected, we’ll now click on File> Place.
- Now here we will experiment with filling our text with images. We’ll want a photo that’s going to provide enough contrast depending if we’re setting the text on a light or dark background.
- I’ve experimented with an image of some lovely Fall foliage, before finally deciding on a beautiful mountain scene.
- We can adjust the size of the image inside the text by double-clicking to select the image directly, and then hold Shift and drag one of the corners to resize it as necessary. To fit as much of the image as possible in the text, we can click the Fill Frame Proportionally button from the workspace control panel.
- One last touch to ensure that no color bleeds through on the edges of the letters, we will want to set the Fill of the shape to [None], Window > Color > Swatches.
And that is all there is to it! A very easy way to add a touch of visual drama to your typography layouts!
Use this simple technique to build up dynamic, professional-standard design layouts, just like the example magazine spread below.
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