Photo Typography Fun

I love playing with typography and I am really fascinated with seeing photos in the words. A while back I saw a few designer templates of photos with words, and thought it would be fun to do this myself.  This is great for layout pages for holidays, or even card design to make something special for a Birthday or Anniversary.

This is fairly simple and can be done simply with any graphic program. I will be using PS CC for the post here.  We are going to do this with shapes and a nice block font. I am using Bebas Neue which you can get for free at or Font Squirrel.

Choose your photo you want to use for your page and decide on your word or phrase. (I took this photo today after our snow storm and will use this in my page.)



For this I will be using the word TODAY as I want to show what is happening around me today. You can use 2018 if you want to do a New Year page, or maybe the word LOVE for Valentine’s Day or SISTERS, BROTHERS, FAMILY… the list is endless.

Open a brand new workspace with a white background.

Using the rectangle Marquee tool , Custom Shape tool,  or the Rectangle Tool draw a rectangle on a new layer with a gray (hex code 7b7a7a)  fill color. (Custom Shape tool and Rectangle tool automatically add on a new layer.)

Make this as large as you want, but allow for some margin around the rectangle.


Using the text tool, choose your font and set the font at a large size.  [My workspace is 600X600 and so the font size I am using is 150.]

There is no worry about what size you set it at, as we can always use the transform tool to scale and make the font size fit for you.

Using Bebas Neue font at size 150 I am typing the word TODAY. [Font color is the same gray color (hex code 7b7a7a) as the rectangle.]



Using the Move tool (ctrl/option V), Move the word layer up to the rectangle so they touch and overlay a little. Make sure the width of the letters matches the width of the rectangle. If it doesn’t use the transform tool (Edit>Transform>Scale) to fit it to size.



Once you have moved the text layer where you want it, and it is the correct size, select the rectangle and the word layers in the layer palette. Right click with your mouse in the layer palette and select “Merge Down” from the drop down menu, so that the 2 layers are merged into one.



Now using your photo, place the photo above the rectangle/word art layer and clip it to the rectangle word blank using the clipping mask.  (Alt + Ctrl + G on PC or Opt +Cmd+G on Mac)



Using the move tool (Ctrl/Cmd+ V) place your photo where you want it so that it fits both the rectangle and the word.

Once it is how you want it, select the check mark in the toolbar to apply.

Now you can add shadows, inner shadows and elements to decorate your page. (I added a simple shadow… Linear Burn, 45 degrees, Opacity 75%, Distance 2, Size 5)



Here is my page after decorating with supplies from the Winter Magic Collaboration.



This is another page I made similar in concept, and I just clipped the photos to the alpha and used an inner shadow to make it look like a cut-out. (Credits: PRD Designs – limitless kit found at



Here is another idea that I found on Pinterest that also was reflected on Ali Edwards Blog. You can also use the photo with a quote:



As you can see, the uses are endless. I do hope you liked this fun and simple Photo Typography tutorial. Until next time!

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  • Yobeth Puckett January 15, 2018   Reply →

    Great tutorial, Christa! I love this type layout and like you said the possibilities are endless.

    • Christa File January 15, 2018   Reply →

      Thank you Yobeth!!

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