Clipping mask with text. Image as font. See-through text over your image. You’ve heard it described a zillion ways, but here at PicMonkey, we call ’em text masks. This awe-inspiring text look can be both polished and fun, and in PicMonkey it’s super easy to achieve. Follow along with these steps or check out our video tutorial and we’ll have you on your way to text masking mastery in no time.

1. Pick your background image

Note the image dimensions, or at least general size. You’ll want it to be roughly as large as your finished product, otherwise you may lose quality by stretching it. Need some inspo? Check out these free stock photo sites to find quality pics that’ll stretch your imagination.

2. Open a blank canvas

From the PicMonkey homepage, hover over Design and select Blank canvas. From there you can select one of our preset sizes. If you have specific dimensions in mind, make a custom canvas by clicking Custom size and typing in your pixel dimensions.

3. Make sure your canvas is white

Using a white background color allows you to isolate your background so it shows through black text. Whenever you open a blank canvas its default color is white, so this should be easy-caprese.

4. Add your text

To pick your text, click the Text icon (the “Tt” on the left side of the Editor). You can also add overlays (by clicking the butterfly icon), or anything else you want to be filled with your image. Just be sure that whatever you add is black. We’re going for lots of chunky text (like the Montserrat typeface) to create lots of space for the image to shine through.

5. Flatten your image

Click the Layers palette button in the bottom toolbar and then click the Flatten image button in the bottom left corner of the palette. This is the most important step. If you want more of your image to show through, you can use the Draw tool in the Effects tab to add some more black to your photo.

6. Open your image as an overlay

Go to the Overlays tab (the butterfly icon), and click Add your own. Your text will be hidden by the image until you adjust the blend mode (which we’ll cover in the next step).

7. Adjust the blend mode


Set your blend mode to Lighten or Add to finish off the look. You’ll find this option in the drop-down menu in your image’s Overlay palette.

BONUS TIP: If you want to use a black canvas instead of a white one, you can totally do that. Just make sure your text and shapes are white, and that you set the Blend mode to Darken. Try it with pictures of the stars!

Want even more text masking goodness? Check out our article on 3 Fresh Looks for Text Mask.

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