Putting Images Inside Text With GIMPshop

Having big, broad text made up of a photo or multiple photos can make for a really striking visual effect. Before getting into the step-by-step of this GIMPshop tutorial, there are a couple of pointers that will make sure this project is worthwhile.

First, make sure that the text you use is thick enough to convey the photo behind it; a really thin, light font will barely show the photo inside of it.

Additionally, make sure there is a strong contrast between the photo contents and the background on which the letters sit. If you’re working with a white background, use dark photos, or at least outline the text, otherwise, the edges of the text will be very poorly defined. For this tutorial, we are using a white backdrop with black lettering, which is appropriate for darker photos.

Now, without further ado, let’s get some images inside your text!

  • Open a new, blank canvas by opening GIMPshop and pressing Ctrl+N. A pop-up will appear, asking you to set up the canvas size, and you can choose your document size or just hit OK for the default.

  • Find a photo online or on your computer, rick click on the image, and select Copy Image. Return to your GIMPshop canvas and either right click and select Paste, or just hit Ctrl+V. To add more images, press Ctrl+L to create a new layer, and go through the same copy-and-paste process for each photo layer.

  • Arrange your images as you see fit. Click on the Move tool, which looks like four arrows in your Toolbox, and then click on any of the images and drag them to move them. The freedom to move each image individually is why you create an individual layer for each image.

  • Create a new layer to add your text to. Once you’ve created the layer, click the button that looks like a capital A, and this will drop down the text options box, where you can select font and size. Again, a big, thick font will allow your photo more visibility. Put in whatever text you want into the Text Editor box.

  • Move your text wherever you want using the Move tool.

  • Create another layer by pressing Ctrl+L, and in the Layers box, place it below your text, but above the photos. In the “New Layer” dialog box, set the fill type to white. This should make just the text, not the photos, visible.

  • In the Layers manager window, right click on the text layer, and choose Text to Selection. Then hide the layer by clicking the eye icon to the left of the layer name. The text will disappear, leaving just an outline, which is exactly what you want.

  • In the Layers manager window, select the pure white layer, and press Delete. When you do this, you should see the images underneath the text. What you’ve done is essentially made stencil cuts in your pure white layer.

    From here, it’s a lot of trial and error to make sure that the entire area underneath your text is completely covered. You may need to add more image layers to add other pictures below the text. Whatever you do, make sure that your text layer is always on the very top, and you’ll be good to go.

  • If you want to define your letters a little bit better, you can add a drop shadow to create the illusion of space between the forefront of the image and the photos. To do this, select the pure white layer, and select Filters > Light and Shadow > Drop Shadow. A pop-up will appear where you can adjust the depth and angle of the shadows. Edit the value to your liking, and make sure “allow resizing” is not selected.