Collages use diverse imagery and styles to produce a beautiful image layout.
They’re often related to scrapbooks but they also find a lot of purpose in different spheres of web and print design. And while moodboards and home-made albums are made by hand, the majority of today’s collages can be created with design softwares, like Canva.
Current trends in collage design has lead to the creation of new better tools for building compelling image compositions. This article will guide you though a series of print & digital collage types, classified into 10 main groups.
Editorial Design – Create Visual Compositions With The Reader in Mind
Magazine editorial design is all about creating pages with appealing layout which offer high readability and grab the readers’ attention through great imagery without making compromises on the importance of text.
01. Mix in Textures
Dash Magazine’s glamorous cover design stays on top of the trend wave via creative image arrangement. The designer Ashkan Honarvar has creatively put collage design into use by mixing artificial texture elements with a model photo to create a fashionable artwork.
02. Create an Out-of-the-Box Grid Design
Presenting a more modern look, this editorial design by Pam & Jenny is an example of creative grid design put into action.
While the design is clearly based on a grid system, it presents an out-of-the-box approach that implements elements overlapping on other elements while staying in a consistent grid. This style grabs readers attention by playing with image positioning.
03. Mix Subdued Images With Bold Typography
Although it’s a website design, this project for the art noveau building, Fleischmarkt, perfectly presents how a modern layout can be adapted to create visually compelling websites with an editorial feel.
The creative image arrangement and beautiful typography in this brilliant project can be easily recreated with the right set of tools. Go for a grid-based design and play with text size and positioning to create a striking design, like this one.
04. Create Contrast With an Accent Color
Colorful and memorable, the design of F5 magazine presents a wonderful example of how modern-day digital collages can be used in editorial design to create a beautiful layout with high readability and level of reader engagement.
The black-and-white photgraphy combined with the red accent elements creates an eye-catching design that attracts viewers to the imagery.
05. Combine Different Grid Systems
While technically not an editorial piece, Chase Matt’s design certainly looks like one. His fascinating resume makes a perfect example of how editorial style can be infused in other design branches. The resume contains a cleverly arranged set of images.
At first, they seem to be placed on random locations on the page, yet, they actually follow an invisible grid which gives the layout a clean look and high readability. The images perfectly pair up with a sleek font and use white space to create an accent on the main elements in the design.
Newsletter Design – Showcase Products With a Compelling Image Layout
Being one of the primary ways for product and content advertisement, newsletters need to present images in an attention-grabbing layout that reveals the best sides of the products.
The following five designs will give you a better idea on how you can arrange images on your newsletter designs to ensure your readers’ interest.
06. Use Top-Down Photography
This newsletter design for Loeffler Randall presents a trendy product showcase which implements top-down photography and grid-based arrangement. The white space in this design acts as a natural contrast between each product and gives place for a glam title that grabs the viewers’ attention.
07. Assign Separate Sections for Each Image
Align images in each quadrant to create a visual comparison between each one of them. This collage style by BHLDN is perfect for seasonal trends showcasing, like the one in this newsletter, or for the arrangement of service benefits and offer key points in business design.
08. Present Product Images in a Perspective View
The Karen Walker sunglasses collection is brilliantly showcased through pattern-styled image arrangement. This minimalist collage presents a perspective view of the products on a reflective white surface where even the text has taken the proper angular position in the virtual three-dimensional space of the products display.
09. Arrange Images According to the “Z” Rule
The use of diverse image sizing and hand-drawn elements in this newsletter’s collage design draws the viewer’s attention towards the main call-to-action sections.
Accoding to the “Z” rule, readers scan and read content with eye-movement that closely resembles the shape of the letter “Z”. The Banana Republic newsletter puts that rule into use and perfectly illustrates how minimalism can be creatively implemented into modern newsletter design.
10. Use an Alternate Text & Photo Arrangement
Net-a-Porter has nailed it with a visually compelling newsletter design that cleverly uses digital collages to make a beautiful product showcase for their e-mail advertisement. In this example, the alternate text and photo arrangement is used to separate different sections and accentuate each subtitle.
Brochure Design – Spark Viewers’ Interest With These Layout Ideas
The main goal of brochure design is to provide valuable information without making compromises on the design’s quality. Here’s how these five brochure designs deliver high readability and spark reades’ interest with great image arrangement.
11. Create an Abstract Image Layout
The quaint collage-styled design of the Silo Theatre brochure is nothing short of brilliant. The subtle background color and abstract image composition, combined with striking typography in a grid-based arrangemend create a striking brochure design that grabs viewers’ attention.
The rhythmic arrangent of performance-related body parts persent a set of actions referencing Silo Theater’s uncompromising and risk-taking performances.
12. Use Images for Storytelling
Created for Australia’s 500th accredited Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), this fascinating brochure design aims to raise awareness about inequality for indigenous Australians. The design puts storytelling on a whole new level and celebrates the country’s indigenous culture via creative image arrangement that accentuates various indigenous artworks.
13. Use Geometry in Your Collages
This mesmerizing brochure by Aleix Artigal, an inspiring graphic designer based in Barcelona, aims at guiding tourists through the world’s largest Art Nouveau Site.
The brochure provokes viewers thought with a gorgeously styled digital collage. The geometric image layout reveals only a small section of each of the images, which sparks the readers’ curiosity and makes them tantalizingly curious about whole story behind the Art Nouveau Site.
14. Use the Brochure Folds as a Guiding Grid System
The Open Helsinki brochure design is one great example of simplistic collage art used to display various imagery that goes along with a guiding information for tourists. The text and photo arrangement is perfectly harmonized with the brochure folding and creates a compelling design.
15. Create a Symmetrical Sequence of Images
Each side of this brochure tells a different story to the viewers through creative image arrangement and color use. Recreate the style by building a symmetrical sequence of photos and solid shapes.
Album Cover Design – Illustrate Musical Harmony With Graphic Imagery
CD cover design aims at reflecting music’s atmosphere and transferring it into the visual world. Here’s how these five album cover designs use various image arrangement styles to illustrate the music through visuallity.
16. Make a Mixture of Textured Images
Created by the Oslo-based designer Anna Katrin Karlsson, this impressive CD cover design combines different textures and contrasting images to create an attention-grabbing abstract pattern. This colorful background perfectly offsets the minimalist title, displayed in a white box in the center of the cover design.
17. Create a Broken Mirror-Styled Collage
This vintage-styled album cover for Tegan and Sara can be easily recreated with Canva’s various image frame shapes. Use a guiding photo in the background and overlay it with cropped out variations which play with image size, sharpness or even show the same item shot in a different angle.
18. Play With Image Arrangement Patterns
Another stylish minimalist album cover that can be quickly built with the help of Canva’s available templates. Play around with shape patterns and use an abstract form for greater impact.
19. Use Bold Colors and Abstract Elements
Studio Pilote has managed to nail a hipster, vintage look with the use of bold coloring and abstract shapes. When combined with a matching and equally contrasting image, this eye-candy digital collage can easily grab buyers’ attention.
20. Combine Bold Patterns and Minimalist Fonts
The way the different colors and patterns contrast with the main image builds a striking album cover design that is meant to be on the top-selling list. Akatre Studio has certainly outdone most of the leaders in the album cover design branch with a combination of excellent sans serif typography and clever image composition.
Scrapbook Design – Build Your Visionboard With a Captivating Photo Collage
Have you ever wished to create your very own vision board? Scrapbooks and moodboards are a great way to display ideas, dreams and memories and with the help of Canva, you can easily create a vision board of your own while following the advice below.
21. Give Your Collage a Vintage Appearance
A gorgeous digital collage that quickly grabs viewers’ attention with contrasting image choice and clever layout. Lisa Hedge design is an example of how diverse imagery with similar color scheme can be combined ideally into a beautiful collage.
22. Add Hand-Drawn Elements & Fonts
This bold poster design for the Female Artist Festival perfectly presents traditional scrapbook style put into modern-day design. The imperfectly-cut photo is overlayed with different hand-drawn elements that build a compelling digital collage with an abstract feel.
23. Use Various Filters for Your Photos
A real-life example of scrapbook design that inspires with a creative photo arrangement and text placement. This collage design is both easy-to-recreate and absolutely gorgeous. Various photo filters can be used for a better scrapbook effect.
24. Use Handwriting for a Personable Collage Design
The Notes on Fashion Week is one of the most beautiful digital scrapbooks that can be found on the internet.
Work of Garance Dore, this digital collage combines hand-drawn imagery, photos and writing in a perfect concord that gives each element enough spacing while not separating it from the whole concept.
25. Create a Nature-Infused Collage Design
Another gorgeous digital scrapbook created by Kellyn Walker. This digital collage uses images with different saturation and elegantly combines them with floral elements to create a fabulous vintage design.
Mixed Media – Build Creative 3-Dimentional Collages
The mixed media collages are a representation of digital collages that transfers all elements of the design into the real world.
This type of collages implement the use of mixed media and recreate the designer’s ideas with the use of tactile textures, light and positioning, yet, they’re often created on the basis of digital collages.
26. Overlay Various Gradients
This Brighton-based designer has created an examplary collection of 3-dimentional collages for his solo exhibition in the local Ink-d Gallery. His distinctive artwork implements the use of cut-out paper layers in different gradients which create an immersive 3D collage.
27. Transfer Your 2D Elements Into the 3D World
Work of the talented Canadian designer Susy Oliveira, these giant photo sculpures are an example of how two-dimentional elements can be combined to create three-dimentional figures.
28. Mix Graphic Design With 3D Collages
Eiko Ojala’s is an Estonian designer and illustrator who managed to graphic design with 3d collage techniques into the creation of a beautiful set of unique three-dimentional collages.
The collages are made of various shapes with matching solid colors which make them look like flat 2D graphic even though they’re made out of paper.
29. Layer Images to Create a 3D Effect
The British artist Kerry Miller uses recycled old books to create stunning 3D collages. By layering different cut-out images, she has managed to create a 3D effect and utilized various illustrations to create a glimpse into the past that embraces and celebrates vintage artwork.
30. Combine Various Objects & Elements
Jason Mecier is famous as the artist who creates celebrity portraits from trash.
For the above example he used disposed household products to recreate faces and images with high precision and attention to detail. While his artwork is mostly related to the 3D design, the same effect can be achieved in the creation of digital collages with the use of isolated images of different products.
Poster Design – Make a Statement With a Powerful Photo Combination
Posters are usually informational graphics that present events and ideas through visual content. These five poster design examples will give you a better idea on how to use image arrangement when creating a visually appealing poster design.
31. Implement Contrasting Textures Into Your Designs
The Beato Bigote poster instantly grabs viewer’s attention with its bold and contrasting color choice.
The collage combines images with different texture and shape to draw a female figure that gorgeously stands in the center of the design. The spaced title creates a better accent of the background while maintaining high readability.
32. Use Image Frames With Abstract Shapes
The Heizoose project by Hirofumi Abe, a Germany, and Japan-based designer, presents a beautiful digital collage used as a poster design. The wavy shapes and fresh colors help the slogan naturally stand out.
33. Mix Different Designs to Create a Single Image
Tristan Eaton’s brilliant collage designs should not be missed my anyone who’s interested in modern collage creation. His artwork combines typography, texture, photography and clip art to create striking vintage-styled collages.
34. Split Your Image Into Two Contrasting Sections
The Day-By-Day project poster goes for a fresh Summer look with a bold color palette and good image choice that creates a contrast between fashion and nature. This modern collage is a beautiful example of how digital graphic manipulation and current trends have affected today’s collage design.
35. Build a Minimalist Image Composition
With an industrial look and a clean choice of images and colors, this poster showcases a minimalist representation of new-age collage design. The use of grids and clean product imagery, combined with a sleek typography choice, aids for the creation of minimal-styled designs, like this one.
Web Design – Build a Stunning Web Page Design With Grid & Mosaic Image Arrangement
Grid and mosaic content arrangement have been known as leading layout styles in contemporary web design. These five beautiful examples of website content layout will give you a better understanding on how the grid system adds value to your web design.
36. Create a Metro-Style Design
Adapting web design to a specific grid is a common practice in modern web page creation. Yet, Pavel Valek’s exceptional design goes beyond the simple grid system.
By using clean product images and photography with high contrast and perfect quality, the designer managed to create a web page design that stands out with an impressive layout.
37. Use Mosaic Image Arrangement
This sleek web page design presents a gorgeous example of how mosaic image arrangement can be an excellent base for image-focused websites.
38. Mix Photos With Bold Fonts in a Sleek Grid Layout
Bold typography and high-resolution images arranged in a sleek grid are what makes this design stand out from the others. Set up your images in a similar position and pick a font that makes a statement to create a similar web page design with a digital collage element.
39. Create a Collage of Different Image Groups
While this page may seem chaotic and cluttered at first, it actually attracts viewers’ attention through smart image choice. Each line represents a sequence of project images that together create a unique digital collage.
40. Place a Color Overlay & Clean Typography on Your Images
Images with high resolution and color overlay can be used as an accenting background for text when the collage design does not allow any additional space for the website copy.
Advertisement Design – Set Up a Memorable Campaign With a Creative Image Composition
Grab your audience’s interest and increse the click-through rate of your online advertisements by following the advice from this five great ad designs.
41. Place a Centralized Call-to-Action Button Surrounded by Various Product Images
This design ideally accents on the main product and draws viewers’ attention to the call-to-action with centralized positioning and frames. Use a solid background and a good product photo in different perspectives or types to create a similar advertisement design.
42. Make a Combination of Different Textures & Colors
Bold color choice and variable patterns make this ad design stand out with a beautiful background. While this design might be a bit overwhelming, thanks to the sufficient amount of white spacing, the call-to-action is clearly visible.
43. Use a Colorful Image Composition in the Background
This advertisement design uses the background as a frame for the main deal. Some elements are cut out in the white box to create a feeling of depth and accent on the text.
44. Use Floral Motives in Your Digital Collages
This glamorous promo ad design uses floral images with a vintage style to create an accent on the sale offer in the center. The solid background and the calligraphy font play a leading role in the creation of an ad design with a traditional look.
45. Create Movement With a Circular Image Arrangement
In this minimalist ad design for World Cup-inspired sneakers, the circular image arrangement, and the smart color choice help for the creation of a unique and appealing design that goes out of the box of the usual minimalist look.
Book & Editorial Design – Inspire Curiosity With a Compelling Digital Collage
Create a balance between text and imagery in your book design with these lovely image layout ideas.
46. Create a Digital Collage With an Artisan Feel
Snask’s book cover and editorial design present a brilliant example of how creatively combined images with a matching color scheme can be the foundation for a striking appearance. The minimalist image arrangement and hand-crafted elements create an artisan feel while the typography and colors keep the current design trends.
47. Arrange Your Images Into Different Shapes
The rhombus-styled image compositions in La Vittoria Book perfectly match the project’s quirky, minimalist design. Randomize your image arrangement and use different shapes to produce a similar layout design.
48. Give Your Images a Solid Color Overlay
With a simple color overlay and an abstract element arrangement, this design quickly catches the eye, transforming into a popular choice for lots of print design branches.
If you’re not sure how to combine your images and colors, you can quickly create a similar design with the use of Canva‘s gorgeous templates.
49. Mix Photos & Gradients
The gorgeous book cover of Circa 1986 uses a beautiful combination of images and colors to represent the book’s main idea. Overlay color gradients and high-quality photography and use a bold font to create a similar book cover design.
50. Combine Photography & Hand-drawn Elements
The book cover of Design Brooklyn combines two photos which follow the diagonal line of the cover design and create a unique split background.
Split your design with a diagonal line and use two contrasting images that allow the placement of an easily readable title to create a book cover design like the one of Design Brooklyn.
Final Step: Put Your Collage Design Ideas Into Action
Creating a compelling design strongly depends on the layout. With the use of Canva’s gorgeous templates and by following the examples of the 50 inspiring layout designs listed above, you’ll be able to quickly create a gorgeous project in every sector of the print and web design.
I’d love to see some of your lovely layout designs created with Canva so feel free to share them in the comments below.