How to Use Photo Shapes to Maximize Your Graphic Design

Summary: This blog will show you a step-by-step guide on how to use photo shapes. You'll learn basic shapes and letter shapes, and use them to level up your graphic design.

how to use photo shapes to maximize your graphic design

In advertising, people often use pictures of real people and settings, and the reason why is that the feelings they convey are more likely to resonate and achieve more palpable results. So how to enrich your designs more with real photos is very important. You can use all manner of shapes to do it. Today we’re gonna focus on how to use photo shapes to maximize your graphic design. In a few short minutes, you can quickly grasp professional design skills that enhance your design. Let’s start!

1. Pictures + Basic Photo Shapes

The first tip is to combine pictures and basic shapes simply and elegantly. With white space, pictures are placed horizontally or vertically, an old classic. It’s a design that is familiar, and that we’re comfortable with, but many, especially in this age of creativity and multitude, can get real boring real fast.

I will say, when you need to display a lot of information or pictures, like say for a house or office interior, activities at an event, or pieces of clothing, it’s hard to beat a template that many people inherently understand without too much fuss.

1. Real estate poster design template

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2. Back to school sales poster template

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So maybe you can change it up and overlap the images, just like this:

3. Polaroid Instagram post template

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4. Social Media Influencers blog image template

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This picture within a picture is like a window. It’s quite simple: a picture and a rectangle acting as a picture frame. To make it stand out, you can blur the background image to reduce any chance the audience won’t become distracted and allows them to focus on the current picture’s content. This design is perfect for highlighting what you want the audience to notice, and you can use it to create promotional posters and allow new products to stand out.

Step by Step Tutorial:

How to create an attractive poster like the one above, here we will talk you the detailed steps and you will know it is so easy to do.

1. Open and go to Design to create a project.

fotor photo editing and design tool

Click Photo to Start Your Design

Add your photo to the project. Choose the image on the canvas and then you will see the toolbar appearing at the top of the canvas. Then click on Adjust and go to Blur.

Here we choose the Circular tool to blur the image. Adjust the blur intensity buy moving the slider,and click on Apply, then return to the design page. Then you’ve got your image.

use fotor tilt shift tool to blur the girl poster
  • The next key step is to add a photo shape to attract the audience’s focus on the center part. Click Sticker Tab on the left menu, and click to open Image Shape lab, choose a rectangular frame, or any shape you like, and set it around the photo.

• Drag and drop the picture to the rectangle photo shape. If you want it to look more beautiful, the person could be adjusted to blend the one in the background, just looking like the illustration on the right side.

drag the broder of the girl image
  • Finally, add the text you need to the poster.
add text to the girl sale poster

A different way to display images to pile up all the same photos in a certain angle, so the design will have a nesting-doll-effect like an image below.

11. nesting-doll-effect photo

2. Pictures + Letter Shapes

Combining Pictures with Letter Shapes

This second design concept is to combines pictures with letters, which is similar to the first one, but it’s unique enough that you can create some truly amazing designs with a simple letter or words.

Step by Step Tutorial:

  • Open the Sticker tab and search for ‘letter shape’. Then you can find all the letters you want and stick them into the image.
add a v letter to the girl image
  • Drag and drop the image to the v photo shape. Also, you should stretch the image to the same width of the image on the canvas.
drag the girl image to the v letter shape

To seamlessly stitch everything together, you can double click the image in the image shape, and lower its transparency so that you can move it around until two image can be overlaid completely. Then adjust the transparency back to what it was.

adjust the transparency of the v letter shape
  • Add the effects you want to the image and complete an avant-garde poster.
add text to the girl poster

The letter photo shapes are quite expressive, and you can add other text and adjust the layout to make it even more eye-catching.

19.Sales poster template

Try to create your poster on right now

In the example below, the original graphics are filled with hand-drawn lines. A blue background was added to help the text stand out and get the audience’s attention.

21. super sale poster template

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In the next example, If you want each letter to be a unique style or color, you can use this letter photo shapes separately, like the first two ‘sale’ photo shape. Instead, if you’d like to display an image through different photo shapes, you can place a large enough image directly on the background, and then combine the hollowed-out letter elements. Like the third ‘SALE’. The effect can really make an impact when done right.

20. letter photo shape

Add a Sense of Art to the Design Layout

The letters can also be combined with images and vector graphics to imbue them with artistic beauty. This aesthetic lets them break free of their humble beginnings, and you can maximize their appeal by enlarging them and catching your audience’s attention. The creative designs can be adapted for artistic event posters, concerts, music festivals, caricature posters, and zoom in on the details.

22.letter photo shapes

Try to create your poster on right now


Shapes are one of the fundamental building blocks of almost anything. They give boundaries to art, help us recognize unknown objects, and are a key part of our visual logic. The techniques above show you how images can help connect a design or concept with an audience by helping to direct their attention or inform it.

In general, these tips can inspire you with different combinations of pictures and graphics. As long as you identify the theme and purpose behind your design and grasp its direction, you’ll be able to garner attention. Stunning effects make your effects more realistic, so never forget to try the weird, the unique, the out there, because you never know which one will be exactly what you didn’t know what you were looking for.