5 Tips To Make Text Look Better In Premiere Pro


Hi Guys! Jordan with Motion Array and, today we’re talking about TEXT!  We’re going to go over 5 helpful tips to make your text look better in your next video.  So let’s just dive right into it!

How To Make Text Look Better In Premiere Pro

The following text has been transcribed for optimal reading

And THAT is already an example of the first rule.  You need CONTRAST for people to even be able to read your text to begin with!   Here the green of motion array stands out against the white of the background. But if changed the color of the text to even just a yellow color, ooooooh, that starts to get really hard to read.  So if you’re having trouble getting your text to be readable in the first place let me give you some suggestions to help it stand out.

Choose a text color and position within the frame so that whatever it’s up against let’s it stand out.  Dark on light, positioned in an area where over the whole duration of the text it can be read easily. It sounds simple and like it’s not even worth going over, but it’s a mistake that even shows it’s face in multimillion dollar films.  Not naming any names...

Another simple fix is to blur the background with a simple gaussian blur.  This way the text is standing out more easily by the nature that it’s the only thing in focus. 

But a more stylized versions of this effect is to give a wash to footage with a particular color, leaving the text a neutral color (like white) to stand out.  To do this simply add a solid color to your project manager by right clicking and selecting new color matte. Choose the color that you’d like and then place it over your footage, but under your text.  This will create just a solid color as a background for your text, but from here you can play around with dropping the opacity of the color matte, as well as changing the blending mode under opacity in the effect controls panel to test out a variety of interesting looks that can help your text to stand out while still having whatever is going on in the background partially visible.  You can even incorporate this color layer to animate in if you want the footage to remain normal and then simply change to make the text pop only when the text is actually present.

If you’re not confident, don’t mix fonts (all in three different fonts).  A general rule of thumb in typography basics is to not use more than 3 different fonts.  But it’s very possible to use no more than 3, and still make them look gross. So what’s the solution?  If you don’t know how to mix fonts, stick to one and build from there. It’s actually not that difficult to achieve variation while only using one font.   By simply changing characteristics like size, font style, or even parameters like boldness and spacing, you can get really nice titles and subtitles, call out titles, or really anything that your video calls for, and you can make it look really stylish, and more importantly, consistent.

Placement.  that doesn’t look really nice does it?  Let’s just move that to the center. Ah, nice. When should you center text? when should it be a lower third?  When do you have it off to the side? And how do you make that decision in the first place?

With text, size and location will typically dictate the importance of whatever is being displayed.  So something big and dead centered? It’s really important. Like Titles for example. It was helpful for you to see the title of the new section.   But a lower third for example is placed on the lower third and is smaller than our title was because, well, the name of the person and their description isn’t as important as actually seeing them.  The person takes priority over their information. Which is another great thing to specify, be careful placing text over top of subjects or objects in your shot. If you do that, you’re essentially covering them up, which if it’s not really important what’s going on in that shot, then cool.  But if what’s happening is important, make sure it’s able to be seen.

But if you’re moving your text out of the way of something, make sure it’s not going all the way to the edge of frame.  A great idea when working with text is to turn on safe margins by going to your program monitor, clicking on the wrench icon, and selecting safe margins. Here you can see an outline of placements where you should really consider keeping your text inside of.  These margins ensure that no matter what device or situation your video is being viewed in, chances are your text isn’t going to be cut off at the edges. This used to be the standard for older TV’s to have your text within the inner box, called title safe. It helped to ensure that your text would appear properly on screen.  But for our modern times just having it within the second box, called action safe, is a pretty safe bet. And what I’ve also noticed is that the corner of the action safe box is a really nice-feeling spot to hold your lower thirds. Go figure?

But last thing.  if you want you text to be shown, but you’ve also got an important object in your footage that also needs to be show, that’s when you can get creative integrating your text into the scene by masking out the object to make it look like the text is actually behind it.  We actually did a tutorial all on masking and rotoscoping that can really help you with this process, and it’s this one here, check it out if you want to learn more about that topic.

Keep it short and simple.  People want to watch your video, not read it.   Pretty simple. Hopefully you’ve noticed that our titles in this sample have been nice and short, many times just one word.  But if you’ve got a complicated line that you need to present on screen you can still always find a way to widdle it down.  Capture the core of whatever you’re saying in as few words as possible.

The only exception to this is Kinetic typography because it’s movement is visually stimulating and makes it a part of the visual experience.  So yeah, keep it short.

Always know the tone of your video.  What I mean is, make sure that your text supports the tone of the video that you’re creating.  To best describe this, it’s easier to show it when your tone of your text and video are clashing...hard.

If you’re making a serious corporate video about a manufacturing plant, bright comic sans is NOT a good fit.  Neither is Impact. Or Papyrus.

For this video, we want a professional font. Nothing zany, nothing flashy. Calm cool and collected.  And because our video is showing important products being built, we want to emphasize with our text that this company belongs in the modern age.  With some modern font. A good rule of thumb for making your text feel modern is to choose a sans serif font. That is, a font without those little notches and flares on the end.

On the other hand, if you’re making a video all about a woodworker who creates custom acoustic guitars, talkin’ about how things sounded better back in the good ol’ days, a serif font might serve you well.

The bottom line though is don’t be hasty with these decisions, test out a bunch of fonts, styles, and applications, and see what feels best.  Knowing that it’s easier to mess up by going to crazy rather than being calm, cool, and methodical.

And hey, did you know that most of our titles in this video were actually from the Motion Array Marketplace?  I mean, why wouldn’t we use them, this is a motion array video, and they’re right there, just take em’ and-

But in all seriousness, it’s a lot easier to make your text look great when you’re starting with a great template!   I’ve linked down below to some of my favourites:

and I’ve also linked to all of the awesome titles in our FREE section if that catches your fancy as well!

I hope you found this video helpful. If you did, as always we’ve got lots of other tutorials ready to view for free here at  Please give us a thumbs up and if you’d like to see more tutorials, we’ve got lots of other Premiere Pro TutorialsAfter Effects tutorials, and filmmaking tutorials for you to check out!

Thanks for watching and see you in the next video.

174933 Files & Counting!

9007 files added in the last 30 days!

Join now, and get instant access to all of our files.

View pricing Join Free