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Old 05-09-2006, 10:39 AM   #1
marlene's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,419
Default Making type stand out on a photo background

I produce a monthly magazine that has a color photo on the cover (a different photo every month). It's nearly full-page size, and is always of a landscape (exterior or interior). Lots of leaves, trees, flowers, rocks, etc.

The photos are almost always very busy -- lots of different colors, light and dark areas. The client recently decided to add a couple of blocks of type to the cover (on top of the photo). The type size ranges from 13.5 pt to 36 pt. It's Interstate bold, so at least it's got some heft. But very month we have a huge problem finding a type color that stands out against the busy background.

White type isn't readable where it overlaps light areas of the photo, black type isn't readable where it overlaps dark areas, various colors of type aren't readable where they overlap certain colored sections. Etc. We aren't restricted as to type color.

I can (and do) use a small drop shadow (in Quark), which usually helps -- somewhat. They do not want the type in a solid-colored box, or even in a semi-transparent box.

They seem to think that other designers could make this work. They've given me samples of other magazines that use type on top of photos on their covers, but every sample uses a photo that includes enough "solid" areas to place the type without having it overlap a busy area.

Any suggestions? Every month I have to create proofs of the cover in a dozen different colors, since they don't take my word for it when I tell them certain colors are not going to be readable.


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