STEP 1: create a new blank document

STEP 2: title your document. (I often prefer to set my artboard to inches because I am more familiar with that dimension than pixels--but do whichever you prefer)

STEP 3: choose an image you would like to use.

STEP 4: drag the image you would like to use to your artboard.

STEP 5: resize your image. (If you had wanted to get the exact image dimensions, you could have dragged the image in before creating a new document--and it would have made a new document based on the dimensions of the image) Most of the time I am making a flyer or want my final product to have certain dimensions so I prefer to scale my image accordingly given that the resolution allows.

STEP 6: It’s ok if I scale greater than my artboard size so as to leave no white space. The part that is not included in the artboard just won’t be part of the final document.

STEP 7: While this isn’t always a crucial step, it’s always helpful to label your layers as you add them.

STEP 8: now you want to duplicate the layer ‘quad’. There are two ways to do this. One way is to go to the drop-down tab Layer and select duplicate layer. The other option is to use the shortcut Command + J (which copies the layer).

STEP 9: create a new layer

STEP 10: drag the new layer you just created between the two ‘quad’ layers.

STEP 11: keeping the new layer you just created selected, go to the drop-down Edit menu and select Fill. Under Use, select white. (this white fill won’t be noticeable yet because this layer is being covered by the ‘quad copy’.

STEP 12: reselect the layer labeled ‘quad copy’-- Now it’s time to insert the Text!

STEP 13: I’ve set my font to Ariel Black and my font size to 105 but you can do as you wish. (but remember it helps to use a font that is thicker otherwise it won’t be as noticeable at the end!)

STEP 14: set the foreground color to white. (the foreground color in this case will be the color of your text). One easy way to get white is to drag your cursor over to the right hand corner of the screen and an eyedropper tool will appear under the color tab and you can select white or black. -- just an exact way to get white or black. Or for white you can plug in (R:255, G:255, B:255). Either way works.

STEP 15: Start typing and center and move your text as desired.

STEP 16: After writing out your text, you can easily resize/scale your text to fit your image better using the free transform tool. Go to the edit drop-down menu and select free transform.


Here’s just an example of resizing the text to fit my image.

! ! !

I thought I would add the above screenshot because this pop-up window comes up a lot whenever you are altering or ‘transforming’ something. Just click apply and you’re good to go.

STEP 17: drag the text layer (in this case it says STANFORD UNIVERSITY) below the ‘quad copy layer’. The text will temporarily disappear. Don’t worry!

STEP 18: reselect the layer titled quad copy.

STEP 19: go to the Layer drop-down menu and click Create Clipping Mask. This will cut the image to fit the text.



^ Like this!



STEP 20: depending on what you are trying to do, you may want to stop at this point. However if you want, add a shadow will add emphasis to the text. To add a shadow, reselect the text layer.

STEP 21: while you still have the text layer selected, click the ‘fx’ icon and select drop shadow.

STEP 22: A pop-up window will appear and you can adjust the settings according to your preferences. If you have preview selected, you can see how different angles or levels of opacity will affect your text.




STEP 15: This time, I’ve chosen to only write STANFORD because I don’t want it to be too hard to read at the end! REPEAT STEPS 16-22 above.

STEP 23: select the eye icon next to the white layer (by toggling back and forth with this icon it makes the layer visible (when the eye icon is there) or invisible (when the eye icon is not there). By making this layer invisible the image of the quad below will reappear.

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