Headline images or “feature images” are very popular these days. They can accompany your blog post as much as your social network posts, tweets, and pins. In this tutorial we show you how to create a captivating headline images.
90 percent of all information transmitted to the brain is visual.
Humans process images 60,000 time faster than plain text. As such it follows that one of the biggest trends in social media is image based posts.
On Twitter, about 700 videos are shared each minute while on Facebook, photos are engaged with 2x than text updates. While texts posts can certainly be compelling, an image highlighting the main idea of a post really takes engagement to the next level.
So let’s show you how to create your very own captivating headline/featured images using Pixelmator.
The final image
Here is what you will be able to create by the end of the tutorial. It is a spring banner for a fake events management company (just some random inspiration I guess). We created it very simply using text blocks and clipping masks.
As we mentioned in Tip #29, finding the perfect background image can make or break your poster. It needs to be high quality, beautiful, and of course relevant to your content or theme. For this tutorial, we used Public Domain Archive, which provides some fantastic FREE images for us to use.
After a quick flick through the catalog, we choose this image. Pretty right, and it fits right in with our theme of a spring/summer/festival. There is also nice contrast in the image, and a lovely defocus effect that we will draw attention to the foreground. Also notice that as we move towards the edges the image naturally gets darker, this is also to our advantage in how we use this poster with text.
Next let’s create a new image in Pixelmator of size 1280x850px (roughly a poster size that would fit our image). You can adjust the size of your canvas to fit the exact dimension of your background image. Fill the background layer with a White colour using the paintbucket tool.
Drag and drop your chosen image onto the canvas and resize it as you need to (you shouldn’t have to if you created a canvas to fit the external image).
We aren’t going to do any post-processing on this image, it is perfect the way it is. The only thing we want to do is flip this image on the horizontal, so that the lightest part is on the left. Just select the image layer, and then under Edit menu, choose Flip Horizontal.
Now for the text elements. Drawing inspiration from a number of text based posters and media we see everyday, we quickly knocked together the below text for our fake events management company. Just remember to keep it simple, and let the text do the talking. The main elements are the logo itself, so make sure to get that right. To make it simple and consistent, we used only one font throughout – Helevetica Neue set to Condensed Bold, and colour Black. We just adjusted the size and rotation of the text to create all the elements of our design.
To make it easy, we just unchecked the image layer, so that we could align the text elements just the way we wanted it.
Almost there, let keep all the edges aligned, the text “occasions by design” doesn’t seem to fit the structure. Lets left align it and bring it up further. Keep playing with the size, rotation, and angles of your text until you are happy with everything.
Great, looks cleaner and now spot on. Now select all the text elements in the layers panel, right click, and then select Group Layers.
So that we keep our original design, duplicate the group of text elements you just created. Right click on the group, then select Duplicate. The duplicated layer will be slightly offset, so drag it back in line with the original text elements.
Now uncheck the box for the original group to hide it from view as we won’t use this any more; however it is there in case we need it.
Select the duplicated group, and right click, and now choose Merge Group. This will merge all the layers in the group, but also convert to merged layer into pixels for you.
Finally, ensure that the layer with the image is above the layer with the text elements, and the white background is below the layer with the text. Now the magical part, select the image layer, right click, and choose Create Clipping Mask. What this does is effectively creates a clipping mask of the bottom layer using the top layer i.e. the image is clipped by the text layer.
This give us a fantastic effect. If you are not able to see the text elements, select the image layer, and just move it around until you can see all the main features. In our case, we moved the image from right to left a little. This is so that the text on the far right is darker, and also the focus elements of the images are coming through the text.
Now if we export it for web, we choose JPEG at 95% quality (to keep the size down for web sharing), we get our final image, made with Pixelmator, and can be used as a featured image or to share using social media.
All you need to do is crop or resize the image to optimize it for your medium e.g. blog posts (depending on your theme), facebook timeline image, tweet, or pinterest pin.
Now just imagine if all your featured posts or images looked like this.