Designing a Collage

It’s a new day and (year!) here on LTBL and we’re so glad to have you here today! Before we get started, I’d love to wish you an incredible year ahead on behalf of the LTBL team! We hope to make the blogging life easier for everyone who visits, as time flies by!

Today I’m going to walk you through a few tips to make a visually appealing collage! According to Wikipedia, “Collage is a technique of art creation, primarily used in the visual arts, but in music too, by which art results from an assemblage of different forms, thus creating a new whole.”

Along with my ideas, I’ll also be taking you through a basic designing process.

A quick disclaimer as always; I am a hobbyist writer and designer, not a professional. The ideas mentioned here are from my own experiences.

With that being said, let’s get on with it! Given below are two of my previous works, they are my logos for my writing blog and book blog and are examples of blended collages, i.e their borders are not too distinct and blend in with the other images. I went with a vintage but edgy theme here.

Today, I’m going to walk you through the creation of Paper Heart’s logo!

#1 Theme

The first step is to settle on a theme or a subject. This includes having a rough idea of what vibes you want your collage to give off, a colour palette and a general style among other things.

Here, I’m going to go for Paper Hearts as the title, a more or less neutral colour palette, and something that seems vintage. To start with I left the background white itself. For those of you using Canva, I’m using the ‘Blog Banner’ dimensions.

#2 Variety

The wonderful thing about collages is that they combine so many elements to present a simple, flawless, unified image. Each element should stand out but they should also blend in with the collage and not seem out of place. When covering a vast subject, say, Forest, one can use elements varying from animals, plants to construction companies since they all fall under the wider subject. What should be given considerable care is that while all elements stand out, none of them overshadow any of the others.

These are the elements that I chose to enforce the very literal theme of ‘paper’. The air mail and the one that looks like from a notebook, were to strengthen the vintage theme.

#3 Proportions

This applies to many types of graphics and not just collages. Here, proportions are a crucial aspect as they ultimately decide how the end product looks like. Make sure that the background element that is strongly related to your theme is given more screen space, the ones that you add for beauty are given ample space to be visible but not too much that they take attention off the main elements.

As you can see, I’ve made the notebook page slightly more prominent than the others.

I also added a heart to represent the ‘Hearts’ part of my title (shown below) and made it burgundy to compliment the background.

#4 Adding an overlay

Without an overlay.

Adding an overlay is very effective as it lays an obvious but fine layer between the background and the text. While the impact isn’t too evident, its absence does give the collage a shoddy look. An overlay has two purposes; one is to bring all the varied elements in the background under one umbrella and to provide a subtle backdrop for the text.

The overlay has been set to a transparency level of 30 here.
With an overlay. This helps the text stand out more.

An overlay is basically a translucent background that goes right behind the title. Here is a quick tutorial showing how to add one!


Pick a background or design one and then pick a solid colour rectangle. Notice that in the second picture, transparency is set to 100.

Next, set the transparency level you deem suitable. This usually varies with colours and apps but on Canva, a 10 or 15 for white usually works well. In the second photo, you can see the difference between the parts with and without an overlay.

Finally, extend your overlay to cover the whole background and add your text!

#5 Laying Emphasis

Now, the true success of a collage is when the viewer is drawn towards it and get a vague understanding of what the subject means. This is where the text comes in. So, writing a title that looks and sounds dull ruins the idea of a collage. So, first, decide on what you want your collage to say, the words should be short, concise, catchy and attractive. Secondly, focus on a font type that complements the theme and the background. And finally add a subheading (‘Lost In Realms’ in this case), decide whether you want to make something bold, add italics etc. Adjust the size of the text and make sure the proportions are right.

Once the numerous background elements have been sized as required, take care to do the same for the text. Make it big that it is what captures the viewer’s eye but not too big that the background looks cramped. Position it in the exact middle or wherever you’d prefer to have it.

Here are a few examples of other common types of collages:

#1 A collage consisting of images with defined borders – Bordered Collage

This type of collages are usually done based on a specific theme. Their main purpose is to project a mood or just for aesthetics. Given below is an example of a fall collage.

Image source: Pinterest

#2 A collage in a specific shape – Shape Collage

These are mainly collages aimed at getting a point across but they can be made for decoration purposes too. So, for say a theme of Environment, the collage could be made in the shape of a tree or a water drop. Given below is a rectangular collage with distinct cat in it.

Image source: Pinterest

#3 A collage spelling a word or words – Word Collage

Image source: Collagehut

That was all for this short tutorial. Have you designed collages before? What are your thoughts on them?

Thank you for reading!!

D is a teen blogger @ Random Specific Thoughts who loves reading, drawing and anything Science. She adores poetry and enjoys writing essays and creative non-fiction as well!

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