Do you need seasonal, standout creative that leaves a lasting impression? Ad agency bigwigs and book publishers often rely on floral typography when they need bold, organic imagery—but with our straightforward tutorial, you too can add this advertising “secret weapon” to your arsenal.
Floral typography describes the design technique of layering text and floral images to create a multidimensional effect. Yet, the name can be a little misleading since we’re not talking about text made from flowers; the text just lives amongst the flora and fauna. The trend has even expanded beyond florals to include other foliage as well as abstract designs.
Businesses have latched onto the trend, and many spring design campaigns make use of floral typography. The technique varies widely from design to design, so businesses can easily diversify their materials. Small businesses need not cringe in fear; floral typography is pretty simple to replicate, and stock images make the entire process even smoother.
Anyone can master the floral typography trend with a little practice. Armed with this tutorial and stock images, small businesses can easily keep up with the big guns without breaking the bank.
To get started, check out our hand-curated gallery of stock floral images from the GraphicStock library.
Step 1. Create New Photoshop Canvas
Create a new canvas in Photoshop and paste your floral image onto the canvas (we used this stock bouquet photo). Resize as needed by clicking Command/Ctrl + T.
(For clarity, we named the layer with the flower image “Floral Layer.”)
Step 2. Duplicate Layer
Right click on the Floral Layer and select Duplicate Layer. In this example, we named the new layer “Floral Layer copy.”
Step 3. Add Layer Mask
Select the new layer and click the Add Vector Mask icon at the bottom of the Layers panel.
Step 4. Invert Layer Mask
Select the layer mask (not just the layer) and click Command/Ctrl + i to invert the layer mask. The layer mask icon will turn from white to black.
Step 5. Draw a Rectangle
This step is optional, but framing your text can add a nice touch to the design.
Select the Rectangle Tool and draw a new rectangle. Use the Properties panel to adjust the fill and line colors, as well as the line thickness.
Step 6. Move Layer and Adjust Opacity
Select your rectangle layer in the Layers panel on the right and move the rectangle between the “Floral Layer” and “Floral Layer copy”.
With the rectangle layer still selected, lower the opacity so that you can see both the rectangle and the flowers underneath it.
Step 7. Paint
Make sure that your foreground color is set to white and your background color is set to black. To adjust these colors, simply click on their respective boxes and select the desired color.
Select the layer mask and then click the paintbrush tool. Begin painting over the areas of the rectangle that you want to erase. If you erase too much, simply hit the X on your keyboard and paint over the area you want to correct. Hit the X again to switch back.*
The hardest part is deciding which flowers should cover the rectangle. Try to pick flowers that are in the foreground (as opposed to the fuzzier flowers in the back). This will help add dimension to your design.
(*The X command switches the foreground and background colors. You paint with white to erase and black to correct.)
Step 8. Add Text
It’s actually more efficient to add the text when you create the rectangle, but the order doesn’t really matter. Just make sure that, when you do create the text layer(s), you place them between the “Floral Layer” and “Floral Layer copy” just like we did with the rectangle layer.
Again, adjust the opacity on the text layers so that you can see both the text and the flowers beneath.
Repeat Step 7
Use the paintbrush to erase/repaint pieces of text to make it look like the text and flowers are overlapping. This is a little trickier than the rectangle because you don’t want entirely cover any of the letters. Try to find where the letters overlap with stems and the edges of petals.
Once you are done painting, your image is complete!
There you have it! You’ll be a floral typography pro in no time. It just goes to show that with a little practice, and some stock photos, your small business can have a big impact—and while you’re at it, incorporate some Spring sunshine with these stunning floral stock photos.