Great design helps your business stand out, builds your brand consistency, and captures your audience’s attention, amongst other benefits. Background images offer great design benefits wherever they appear, but there’s lots to consider when it comes to including them in your design.

The use of background images allows you to layer on more design elements like text, quotes, a bold call-to-action, or another image, without taking up more space while providing creative appeal.

In this piece, I’ll take you through important points you need to consider before popping that background image into your design, and some tips to make them stand out.

  1. Questions to Ask Before Using Background Images in Your Designs
  2. Considerations for Using Background Images
    1. Emails
    2. Landing Pages
    3. Static Display Ad
    4. Facebook Ads
  3. Text on Background Images – Best Practices

Questions to Ask Before Using Background Images in Your Designs

Before using that background image in your design, you should ask yourself the following:

  • Is it readable?

Readability is vital in any design. If your design is unreadable, it puts your audience off reading your message. When using background images with other design elements like text, ensure the result is readable.

  • Is it accessible?

Search engines and accessibility tools can’t read your images without alternate image descriptions. If you’re using a background image as part of your design on a landing page, for example, make sure that you have a concise alternate description that captures what the image is about.

Being on-brand consistently in the content you put out is important. If the background image you want to use does not align with the look and feel of your brand, it is best to opt for another design element instead.

  • Does it align with the medium?

When creating background images, be sure to consider the medium you’ll be using the end design on. A background image will look better in some mediums than in others. For example, a background image with text may be fantastic for socials or a static display ad, but not so great for a webpage.

Considerations for Using Background Images

There are a few things to consider when using background images in emails, landing pages, etc. Let’s take a look at some of them.

  1. Emails

Yes, the right background image design can transform your emails, and that is why background images in email design have become a trend. However, some marketers are still hesitant about including them in email newsletters and campaigns. The reason? Some email clients cannot read nor render background images.

Instead of using an image, you could use a solid color background and still achieve the same wow effect.

  1. Landing Pages

The three key elements that make great landing pages are the copy, the visuals, and the call to action. The right images will help you pull in the attention of your visitors, getting more eyes on your CTA. However, proceed with caution when using background images.

You should consider readability as background images can make text difficult to read if not properly designed. It is also important to consider whether the image scales to different sizes and dimensions if your landing page is a responsive one.

  1. Static Display Ad

Background images in static ads are great for directing your audience’s attention to the core element of the design – what you want them to focus on. This can either be your call-to-action, logo, or quote.

Static ads are great mediums for background images because you have control over the text and placement of buttons. However, don’t get carried away by filling it with too much text or design elements. This could leave you with a crowded message, and confuses your audience instead of guiding them to what you want them to focus on.

  1. Facebook Ads

There’s so much content on Facebook, so you want your ad to capture the attention of your audience. Your copy should be on point, but a great design will help to stop your audience from scrolling away from your content.

Bold background images along with legible text and font will get the job done. Just like with static ads, do not fill your background image with too much text and keep the focus on the core elements you want to draw attention to.

Text on Background Images – Best Practices

Use the following best practices to get the most out of background images with text overlays.

  • Ensure that the background image aligns well with your brand, and is appropriate for the intended medium.
  • Take contrast into consideration, so you do not end up with unreadable text. Ensure the text colors work well with all the colors in your background image.
  • If you have a busy background image, use drop shadows or outer glow to create a pop effect for the text content.
  • Employ bold and large-sized fonts to improve readability.
  • Use a gradient or fade to display text elegantly, and consider whether to include it at the sides, bottom, or top.
  • Create whitespace around your text content to reduce busyness and focus on the content.

Background images can be a great asset to the bold and stunning designs that you create for your business. Avoid pitfalls and get the most out of your designs by employing best practices for all of your different mediums. By keeping these tips in mind, you can get the very best results from your marketing campaigns which include background images.