4 Ways to Use Images as a Background in your Design

Do you tire of using illustrative patterns as backgrounds in your designs, but not sure where to start with using an image instead?

With the array of photographs available on Canva, combined with fantastic filters – the versatility that the image offers is quickly making it the competing gladiator to vector backgrounds of yesteryear! Here we show you some of the awesome ways you can use images as a background in your design.

Design is about stretching your creative wings, so keep them moving by applying filters and original compositions to your designs!

01. Clever Clear Space

building_bones

Make your image work in your favor, move it around to establish a clear space to apply your text, also known as copy space. Using colors for your text that complement the features (like the milk) in your background image, will give your layout continuity.

To work your negative space a little further, make your image greyscale, and increase the brightness. Applying the same color to your text will give your design monochromatic unity.

02. Blurred Lines

nature_1

Apply blur to ensure your type will remain sharp and won’t get lost in the detail of the background.

Use content that is relevant – insert an image with appropriate features and colors to your designs. Tonal images will maintain more of their features once you’ve applied blur – note the veins of the leaves in this image offer a smooth but visible texture.

03. Transparent Trickery

modern_pink

One of the main benefits of a transparent image is the illusion of space. This increases contrast and makes your text stand out.

Create a layered background effect with the combination of block color, a neutral base, and a transparent image.

When your image is opaque it can lose some of its strength. To avoid this, bump up the contrast so that shapes and lines are still prominent within your design.

04. Optimum Overlay

kiwifruit_graphic

Vivid and sharp images (like the close-up Kiwi Fruit) can be beautiful additions to your designs. Keep the message clear by adding a shape behind your text.

An image that has been shot flat is easier for the eye to read as a background than an angled one. Finding the dominant colors in your image, and applying them to your shape and text will create aesthetic cohesion.

We hope these tips inspire you to use images, filters and cool cropping techniques to apply as backgrounds in your designs! Have questions? Let us know in the comments below. As always, we can’t wait to see what you create!

Poppie is passionate about helping people become better designers. As Canva’s Senior Graphic Designer, she’s responsible for many of Canva’s amazing graphics including the daily design tips on Canva’s social, runs educational webinars and workshops and recently authored a book – How to Create a Memorable Brand that Catches On. Got a design question? Ask her on Twitter @poppiepack.