easier than you think

In the early days, you had to exert a lot of effort to add text to a photograph.

Let’s take inter-titles in early films for example. Inter titles are frames with text on them to help explain the story or give extra information.

If we needed to add an inter title on a film, we had to either paint or print the text on a frame, film that piece of information, develop it and then add it the edit. If we had to change anything in that title card, we needed to repeat all the steps above.

Let’s take film credits for older films as another example, before we had computerized text input, we had to draw the credits on a piece of glass, then place the glass in front of the lens and film through the text riddled glass frame.

With the evolution of technology, the world of text on images expanded. We even gave that art a name, Graphics and Effects.

Many softwares were created to aid in that quest. Many masters were discovered in that art. It became its own industry. Posters, banners, Ads, visual effects, etc…

It used to be a pricey deal to have printed art or graphics. With the rise of the dot com era first, then the smartphone revolution, things changed on the graphics front.

At an age where a 3 minute video is too long, people needed an alternative. With article reading on the decline people needed to improvise. They needed to get the message across while still entertaining the masses. Images and texts returned to the top of the list of effective methods of mass communication.

If you do not have a visual social presence, people will not discover your physical presence. This is not good, for those who can’t create content.

Many people can not afford the fees of a graphic artist, so they end up with no social presence.

What if there is a way to solve that? I am not discouraging you to hire artists, I’m encouraging you to get the ball rolling until you have enough flow to hire real artists.

Right now, a smart phone is in the hands of almost everyone and Internet is technically everywhere. The first iPhone created, had more computing powers than the first rocket sent to the moon. That iPhone was released more than 13 years ago. Now a phone is no longer a device of communication. It is an extension of our existence. Anything you need to do or learn could be done on that device.

Let’s take text on image for example.

By simply downloading 2 apps and using them back to back, you can create beautiful graphics for your social pages or for any other purpose.

The two apps are:

  1. Pixabay
  2. Phonto
  • Pixabay is a free stock footage website powered by artists. All content on it is free or public domain. You can donate to artists if you chose to, it is recommended, not obligatory, to buy the artist a cup of coffee if you are being paid for the job you are doing.
  • On Pixabay you can simply type what you are looking for and the search engine will show you all the results that match your keywords. You can also chose the type of art you are looking for, video, illustration, photographs, etc… you can also choose size, color, etc…
  • Once you find the piece of art that you need, you download it from Pixabay straight onto your phone in the quality of your choice.
  • Now that you have the image, it’s time to add the text to it.

    When you open the Phonto app, you will get a blank page with 3 buttons on the bottom.

  • When you click on the camera icon at the bottom of the app, a list opens up
    1. Camera (if you want to take a picture then write on it)
      Photo Albums (if you want to load an image from your library)
      Plain Images (if you want simple backgrounds or colors)
      Projects (if you want to open a project you have previously saved)
      Restore previous state (if your phone dies or the software crashes, you can restore previous state)

    For our example we will load a picture from photo albums. It is a photo downloaded from Pixabay.

    Once you load the picture, it will just be in the grid space of the app. (See Below)

    If you touch the image with your finger a small pop up “Add Text” menu will show. Click on that

    Once you choose to add text a text menu will open. In that menu you can write your text and decide alignment.

    Once you click on the font button a new menu will appear with a list of fonts. Pick one that matches the style of your graphics.

    After you pick your font. The text will lay on top of the image somewhere in the middle.

    In order to rearrange the position of the text, you simply touch and drag until you find the most balanced spot then release.

    Now that you have your text and you like your position, it’s time to tweak it. If you touch your text once, a menu will pop up

    1. Text
    2. Font
    3. Style
    4. Size
    5. Tilt
    6. Move

    From this menu you can edit the text and font that we already worked on. Next, you will click on the style button in order to change the color, till it matches what you are looking for.

    Next, you want to change the size of the text to make it fit better. All you have to do is click on the size button in the menu.

    If a different idea presented itself, don’t be afraid to explore it. If you feel that now your text will look better somewhere else, move it.

    If you feel like the style needs to be different, to with that. You will not know what really works until you see it.

    If you feel like you need to change the text now, don’t hesitate. Go with the flow.

    To do that you will have to click the text button in the menu

    Once you do that, the text menu will open for you to edit your text.

    After you finish your text edits, click done and rearrange your text again till it looks great.

    Now you want to change the style again, that’s no problem. Just click on the text then click style.

    You can go ahead and change the text color to white and the background to black

    If you click on the 3 white dashes at the bottom a menu will open.

    If you click add image, you will be able to add another image to your file. That option is used to create a collage of pictures or to add your logo to your image.

    P.s. Phonto uses PNG format to export and import alpha channel files. (Phonto understands transparent backgrounds)

    After you pick the logo file from your library you click add.

    Now the logo is added to your image but it’s the wrong size and position. If you click on the logo, it will get highlighted and it’s drop menu will show.

    Once the size and position are fixed, you take a look at your image with a critical eye. Now, the logo needs to be titled a few degrees, so it can look a bit more like its part of the image. To do that you click on the tilt button in the menu

    The last thing to do is to make the logo a little more see through. To do that you click on the alpha button in the menu

    Decrease the alpha until it looks good to the eye and the design.

    Now look at it, does it look good?

    “That works for what I need… ” you say.

    Now you click the export button.

    When you click on that a menu opens with a lot of options. The main two options you will need are

    1. Save image as PNG (that will be the format you would use)
    2. Save project (that will save your project to be edited later)

    Here is the PNG file, this thing is done. Tomorrow you can post it first thing in the morning.

    The next day, the person you’re doing this for, which in this case is you, decided that

    “A flower a day keeps sadness away” is very on the nose.

    So You go back into Phonto and click the load button

    This time you select the Projects button

    That will open a menu with all your saved projects. You select the one you need to edit.

    The project will open up and all the elements will be exactly where you left them and they will be editable.

    All you have to do is click on the text for the menu to pop up and then click text. That way you can change the text and the alignment.

    Once you click done, the text will update in the image, you can save the image as PNG and there you have it.

    Now you try!

    Take advantage of the technology before it’s too far ahead you can never catch up.

    Merging art and technology is important. It’s easy, it’s fun and most importantly it’s productive.

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