Layer Text on Photos: Create High-End Designs

Once upon a time, text-and-image combos consisted of words plopped on top of photos or colorful backgrounds. Then savvy content creators discovered new, artful ways of layering text on photos, and social media was never the same.

You’ve likely seen this new take on images with text: the photo subject and the letters are intertwined, resulting in a 3D-esque feel. This layered look is high-end, eye-catching, and ridiculously easy to make in PicMonkey. Learn how to DIY it here, then turn out scroll-stopping social posts, advertisements, covers, thumbnails—whatever you need—in minutes.

How to layer images and text in three steps:

  1. Open your image.

  2. Add text to your photo.

  3. Erase parts of the text for a 3D effect.

Part I: Open your image

To kick your design off, click Create New at the top, left-hand side of the PicMonkey homepage and choose your photo’s location (Hub, your computer, etc).

Part II: Add text to your photo

  1. Click the Text tab.

  2. Click Add text.

  3. Choose a font from the Text palette.

  4. Type your content into the text box that appears.

You can adjust the size and color with the options on the Text palette that pops up when you add text. If you’re not so sure about the font you chose, highlight your text and click different fonts until you find one you like.

Pro tip: To keep your text from looking askew or off-center, use our alignment tools! Click the Alignment button (second from the left in the bottom toolbar) and create a grid to guide your text placement.

Part III: Erase partially to create depth

Now for the extra fun part! You can create that intertwined text on photos with an almost-3D feel:

  1. Click your text box.

  2. Click Erase on the Text palette.

  3. Use the sliders to adjust your brush size, hardness, and strength.

  4. Erase bits of the letters to give the appearance of your image being on top of your words.

Zoom in on your image while you’re erasing to make sure you get it juuuust right. And if you erase too much, click the paintbrush icon on the Text palette and paint it back.

You work automatically saves to Hub, so when you’re ready to publish your image just find it in Hub, and export to your computer.

Pro tip: Wanna break free of the confines of your computer? You’ll find a phone-and-tablet-friendly text erase tool in the PicMonkey mobile app! Download the app to layer text on the go, and log into your account to take your projects from to the mobile app and back again.

Layer image and text inspo

Now that you know how to layer text on photos (surprisingly easy, right?), check out these layered text-and-image combos and get your creative wheels turning.

The layered text-and-image technique underscores the sense of movement in action shots beautifully. Try it out with your #fitspo images and you’re sure to end up with something wow-worthy.

When your photo has people in it, you need to use a little more ingenuity to figure out what text placement is gonna look best. Think outside the lines and come up with something fun and unique, as seen in this blog cover example.

Make an idea pop or a quote come to life by placing it directly into an environment, like we did with this landscape shot. Text is especially eye-catching when embedded in natural features like mountain ranges.

Not loving your word choice after you’ve erased text? PicMonkey remembers which parts of letters you’ve erased, so you can type something new and the parts you’ve erased will remain intact — no need to erase twice!

What are you waiting for? Get layering.

Sheree is a PicMonkey copywriter, lover of laughs, and 21st century bon vivant. When she’s not quilling clever articles, you might find her grilling a veggie medley, checking out a local band, or trying a new Seattle hot spot.