Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Fading Out Background Image in Pages

20 aug 07

Fading out the background image is a simple trick to make superimposed text or graphics stand out better. I notice it is not frequently used or mentioned by Pages users.

It is often difficult to find a photo suitable for superimposing text and other images. Colours are not contrasting enough, or part of the text disappears merging with the background. So it is simply too much hassle when the job could be simply done by putting text into solid colour boxes separate from the picture.

Which is a shame because if you succeed in making the background image work it immediately makes your page look so much classier.

I have been working with the same professional photographer and the same graphic designer for over a year now. So by now they know what I want and prepare visual material for me bearing in mind the textual requirements of the page. Where they know I would be putting my text they take care to have uncluttered and evenly coloured background - sand, blue water, grey-white sky or dark foliage. Studio backgrounds don't work as nicely, they reduce the naturalness of the composition.

Still it may be quite a struggle at times. And that's where 'fading' out helps.

I was designing a full page composite advertisement for my magazine where dozens of different logos and slogans had to be fitted around the central image.

I sent the main photo to the back under Arrange menu and played with it adjusting Opacity in the Object Inspector. At 85% the background image was faded but clearly visible and the logos and text on top of it stood out better.

I recommend this simple trick to all Pages users - it gives results as good as in Illustrator or Photoshop, but is far easier to master.

Addendum: read more tips and see illustrations in this later post.


  1. Cool I will attempt one and post it on my Free page.

    Free iWorkTemplate Pages Stationery

    Google Search:
    iWork Template | Free PAGES desktop stationery downloads

  2. Thanks, I enjoy your site and admire your projects. You probably saw my post about the Parrot template:


    and there is a link to you in the side bar.

    Best wishes, A.


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