Squarespace Text Over Image: A Guide to Captivating Visuals

By Akim Perminov

Founder & Lead Designer

Creating a dynamic and visually appealing website often involves layering text over images. This design technique can guide visitors’ eyes to important information and enhance the overall aesthetic of the site. Squarespace, a widely-used website building platform, provides a user-friendly approach to achieving this overlay effect without necessitating extensive coding knowledge. Users can leverage built-in tools like Image Blocks and Cover Blocks to seamlessly integrate text with images, ensuring that their message stands out against the visual backdrop.

One of the key appeals of Squarespace is its emphasis on responsive design, which is crucial for maintaining a professional look across various devices. When adding text over images, it's important to consider how this will render on different screens. Squarespace's design interface allows for adjustments that ensure readability and visual integrity are preserved from desktop to mobile views. This caters to the needs of audiences regardless of how they access the website, making the platform an advantageous choice for creating sophisticated, responsive web designs.

Key Takeaways

  • Squarespace offers straightforward options for adding text over images.

  • Emphasizing responsive design ensures text remains legible on all devices.

  • Utilizing Squarespace's tools can enhance a website's visual appeal and functionality.

Understanding Squarespace Layers


When I design a website on Squarespace, understanding layers is crucial for creating an engaging visual hierarchy. Here's how to manipulate layers effectively within Squarespace platform.

Image Blocks

Image Blocks serve as the foundation layer in the Squarespace interface. In my experience, they are the starting point for adding visual interest to a page. I typically add an Image Block by selecting it from the menu and uploading the desired image. This is where I can set the stage for text overlays by ensuring the image is positioned and scaled correctly for the text I plan to add.

Text Blocks

Immediately following the setup of the Image Block, I insert Text Blocks to layer text over the image. I click the "Add Block" button and select "Text" from the menu to add a Text Block. Here, I can input my desired text, choosing from various fonts, sizes, and colors to make the overlay text stand out against the background image.

Stacking Order

The Stacking Order refers to how these blocks layer on top of one another. In Squarespace, it's important to know that elements are stacked in the order they are added. However, I can adjust this stacking order by dragging and dropping blocks in the editor to achieve the desired layout. If the text needs to be more prominent, I bring the Text Block forward, ensuring it's not overshadowed by other page elements.

Adding Text to Images in Squarespace

Adding text over images in Squarespace enhances the visual appeal and can deliver a powerful message. I'll guide you through the straightforward methods to place text on various types of images within your Squarespace site.

Inline Image Text

To insert text over an inline image, I use the Image Block. After adding the image, I click the 'Edit' button and select 'Design', then choose the 'Overlay' option to add my text. This method wraps text over the image and offers customization for font, color, and positioning.

Banner Image Text

For a banner image, the process is slightly different. On the page where the banner will reside, I access 'Page Settings' and then switch to the 'Media' tab. Here, I can upload my banner image. Text is added in the 'Page Header' section where I find the 'Edit' button, allowing me to type directly over the banner.

Gallery Image Text

When dealing with gallery images, I first make sure to utilize the 'Gallery Block'. I click the pencil icon to edit the block, add images, and then click an image to add a 'Caption'. This caption can become text over the image, and with custom CSS, it's possible to position it precisely where I need it. The adjustment options vary based on the gallery layout I choose.

My approach ensures the text is both aesthetically pleasing and functionally integrated with the images across the website.

Designing with Text Over Images

Placing text over images is an effective way to combine visual and textual content, enhancing the message I want to convey on my Squarespace website. Let's explore how to effectively customize font, manage color and contrast, and position text for optimal readability and aesthetic appeal.

Font Customization

When I choose a font for text overlays, it's important to ensure readability and brand alignment. Squarespace allows for font customization where I can select from a variety of fonts available in the platform or upload my own. I frequently consider the following points when selecting a font:

  • Font Size: Larger fonts are more readable on images.

  • Font Style: Bold or semi-bold fonts stand out against busy backgrounds.

  • Font Family: Sans-serif fonts usually offer better clarity over complex images.

By carefully selecting the font attributes, I can ensure that the text is not only readable but also complements the visual style of the website.

Color and Contrast

The key to making text legible over an image is achieving sufficient contrast between the text and background. High contrast colors help text stand out. I follow these practices:

  • Text Color: Choose a color that differs significantly from the main colors in the image.

  • Background Color: Sometimes, adding a semi-transparent background to the text can improve contrast without obscuring the image.

I achieve the best results by testing different color combinations or using a color overlay with reduced opacity to ensure the text remains the focal point.

Text Positioning

Proper text positioning can enhance the composition of the image and ensure the text serves its purpose effectively. In Squarespace, I fine-tune text positioning by guiding myself with these principles:

  • Alignment: Text should be aligned in a way that feels natural with the image composition.

  • Orientation: Horizontal text is standard, but sometimes rotating text can add dynamic interest.

  • Margins and Padding: Adequate space around text prevents it from blending into the image elements.

In my experience, the precise positioning of text can significantly elevate the overall design and effectiveness of the message on the image.

By focusing on these aspects, I can create visually appealing and clear messaging that resonates with viewers of my Squarespace website.

Responsive Design Considerations

When I integrate text over images in Squarespace, I ensure the design maintains its integrity across different devices. This involves careful planning around how elements adapt and scale.

Mobile View Adaptation

In a mobile view, screen real estate is precious. I make certain that text elements beside an image on a desktop layout adapt gracefully when viewed on smaller screens. For instance, according to the Squarespace Forum, text/image blocks designed to be beside each other on desktop should stack vertically on mobile to maintain readability and functionality.

Text Scaling

Proper text scaling is crucial for readability on various devices. Bold headline text might look stunning on a desktop but can overwhelm a smartphone screen if not scaled correctly. My strategy includes using relative units like vw (viewport width) for font sizing, ensuring that the text scales smoothly, rather than using fixed pixel sizes that might not translate well between devices.

Squarespace Tools for Text Overlay

In Squarespace, text overlay on images can enhance the visual appeal and convey important messages. I'll cover the essential tools provided by Squarespace to overlay text.

Image Editor

Squarespace's built-in Image Editor allows you to place text directly on images. The method is straightforward: after uploading your image to an Image Block, you can click on the “Edit” icon and then use the “Design” tab to overlay text, which becomes part of the image itself.

Content Blocks

The Content Blocks feature is another way to add text over your images in Squarespace. Primarily, you can use the Text Block to type your text over an image. This tool ensures that the text remains responsive and adapts to different screen sizes. Similarly, if you opt for a more dynamic approach, you can use the Cover Block which enables text overlay with additional styling options.

Custom CSS for Advanced Users

For those familiar with web development, Squarespace provides an option to use Custom CSS. With CSS, you can create custom styles for your text and image overlays, giving you full control over the look and feel of your site. You need to add the appropriate CSS code to the Custom CSS Editor under the Design menu, and it will apply your custom styling site-wide or on specific blocks.

SEO Implications of Text Over Images

When I create a website on Squarespace, understanding the SEO implications of text over images is crucial for optimizing my content's visibility. Search engines like Google strive to read and index text content, which influences how my site ranks in search results.

Why text over images matters for SEO:

  • Readability: I must ensure that text is easily readable by search engines when overlaid on an image. If the juxtaposition of text and background makes the text indiscernible to search engine crawlers, it might as well be invisible in terms of SEO.

  • Indexing: Search engines primarily index text, not images. Therefore, any important keywords or information conveyed in the image must be included in the text to be indexed properly.

Best Practices:

  1. Alt Text: I use alt text to describe the image, which helps search engines understand the context and content. It's beneficial for both SEO and accessibility.

  2. Avoid Text-as-Image: Whenever possible, I avoid saving text within the image. Instead, I use HTML and CSS to layer text over the image to ensure it's crawlable.

For businesses using Squarespace, optimizing image descriptions can be particularly effective for improving SEO, as suggested by Kili.io.

To recap, I consider the visibility of text to search engines just as important as the visual appeal to human visitors. It's not just about making a good impression on my audience, but also on the algorithms that determine my online presence.

Best Practices for Text Over Images

When I overlay text on images, my main goal is to maintain clarity and enhance user engagement. Here's how I achieve this.


  • Font Choice: I select a font that is easy to read against various backgrounds. Sans-serif fonts like Arial or Helvetica are often my go-to choices.

  • Contrast: I ensure there's high contrast between the text and the image. Applying a semi-transparent background behind text or using drop shadows can help the words stand out.


  • Alt Text: I always include alt text for images with overlay text to ensure screen readers can convey the message to users with visual impairments.

  • Text Size: I make sure that the text size is large enough to be legible on all devices.

Visual Hierarchy

  • Positioning: I place text in a way that complements the image without obscuring important elements. This often means positioning text in the least busy area of the image.

  • Hierarchy: I use font weight and size to establish a clear order of information, with the most important message being the most prominent.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

When working with text over images in Squarespace, the process can sometimes introduce issues. I'll address some common problems with practical solutions that can get your text overlays looking professional and working smoothly across devices.

Text Overlay Alignment

To achieve perfect alignment of text over images, I adjust the padding and use grid systems within Squarespace. Padding controls can often be found in the design settings of the image block. I ensure consistency across devices by previewing the alignment in Squarespace’s responsive design mode and making any necessary adjustments directly through the image block's custom CSS area.

Text Disappearing on Different Devices

When text disappears on different devices, it's typically a responsiveness issue. To tackle this, I check the font size and line heights to ensure they're not too large for smaller screens. I also review the section's settings and use the built-in responsive design features to make sure text remains visible across all devices.

Layering Problems

Layering involves stacking text properly over an image. I resolve layering problems by adjusting the z-index property of text and image blocks. A higher z-index means the element will be more to the front. I make sure that my text block has a higher z-index than the image for it to appear on top. Additionally, I confirm that there are no overlapping elements that could disrupt the text layer.

Frequently Asked Questions

In managing a Squarespace site, understanding how to effectively overlay text on images can enhance your site's visual appeal. I'll provide insights on optimizing text display over images, creating interactive hover effects, and best practices for design.

How do I overlay text on an image in Squarespace?

To overlay text on an image in Squarespace, you can use the Image Block, choosing "Poster," "Card," "Overlap," or "Collage" designs to naturally include text. For more control, custom CSS can be applied. Squarespace Forum offers discussions on various methods to achieve this according to your design preferences.

What size should my image block be for optimal overlay text display?

The size of your image block should be large enough to ensure readability of the overlay text while balancing with your overall design layout. Aim for an image width that spans the full column or grid for your selected content area, adjusting text size accordingly for clarity.

Can I create a hover effect to reveal text over an image on Squarespace?

Yes, creating a hover effect to reveal text over an image is possible by using custom CSS or JavaScript injections. This creates an interactive experience where text appears when a user hovers over the image. Guides for these techniques might be found on sites like Atmospheric Thinking.

How to add text over images in the Squarespace carousel?

To add text over images in a Squarespace carousel, use a Gallery Block and select the "Design" option. Choose formats that support text, like the "Slideshow" design, which allows you to add text in the description field that overlays the images.

What is the meaning of 'overlay' in the context of images and text on Squarespace?

In the context of Squarespace, 'overlay' refers to placing text over images so that both elements are viewable concurrently, with the text serving as an informative or decorative layer on top of the visual content.

What are the best practices for using text over images for website design on Squarespace?

Best practices for using text over images include ensuring sufficient contrast between the text and image for readability, maintaining a balanced composition, and avoiding overly busy backgrounds that can detract from the text. The goal is to achieve a user-friendly interface that complements your website's aesthetics. Website Builder Insider provides updated insights on these practices.

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Having trouble with making your website work? Upgrade your brand in 7 days with our agency-level Squarespace templates!