21 Ways to Design Quotation Graphics and Wow Your Readers

12 min readNov 1, 2021


“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Mahatma Gandhi

Quotes are a powerhouse of inspiration; capable of transforming lives. Reading them is a great start to a day. I love the way Forbes makes you read Quote of the Day before you read up on an article.

Quotes are just everywhere — on the Facebook and Instagram timeline, Pinterest, posters, T-shirts, and of course presentations. The way we see and read quotes is also changing. Thanks to image sharing websites like Instagram and Pinterest, we are treated to visually stunning Picture Quotes. A breathtaking image, a beautiful handwritten font, a stylish border, patterns… words of wisdom are being presented in a beautiful form. Quotes are no more just a food for our brain but a feast for our eyes too! Like this evergreen quote:

A stunning design ensures that not only are the words remembered but the complete design is imprinted in the mind.

Words deserve a good presentation. Even if you are presenting a client testimonial, it should be presented well. Someone is talking good about your business. It should look good too.

Do you wish to design stunning picture quotes for your presentation or social media? You don’t need to be a graphic designer to design Instagram-worthy quotes. We are sharing 21 ways to design a quote and spread the inspiration in ways more than one.

How to Design a Quote That’ll Go Viral on Social Media

Show the Author (Duh!)

Starting with the easiest and the quote style you are probably following — have the image of the author of the quote. If the author is a famous person, the image is a click away. However, take care of the dos and don’ts of using images in presentations while doing this.

Also read: 18 Awful Stock Photo Cliches and Their Awesome Alternatives

If the image has a transparent background, nothing better than that. You can keep the slide’s background color the way you want. Here’s a famous quote by Charlie Chaplin with a transparent image of the famous personality:

If the image has a solid background, then try that it should touch 3 corners of the slide rather than hang in the air. Like this quotation slide below:

You can always do something creative with an ordinary design and make something totally unique. One such hack is the split-image hack that creates an outstanding effect and raises the quality of your slides:

Highlight Important Words

Don’t just throw words on the document and think the quote graphic is ready. Read the quote twice and ask yourself — what is the most important word in that quote? Like in the Nelson Mandela quote that we had shared above, the word “dreamer” was highlighted with a bigger font and a different color. In Charlie Chaplin’s picture quote, we had changed the font style to lay stress on the last line.

Take this famous quote, “A smooth sea never made a skillful sailor.” Which word/words are important? Smooth, never, sailor. We felt the readers should stop at the word “never” and take notice of it. Hence, we increased its font size and changed the color too in the picture quote below:

Also notice how the smooth sky blue background adds meaning to the message while the icon of an anchor brings visual relief. An icon is not necessary but if you can easily find one, nothing better!

Maintain Perfect Symmetry

A very trending design layout is the perfect symmetry of the length of lines. The starting and ending point of each line is same which creates a very neat and professional look. One has to adjust the font sizes and character spacing to achieve this symmetry. Increase the font size of only those words that are the crux of the quote rather than doing it randomly.

Check out this design tip in action in the picture quote below — the words have been deliberately split to increase the font size of the key words. Character spacing has been increased in the alternate lines (small font) to adjust the symmetry.

PowerPoint offers 5 options under Character Spacing (Home tab)- Very Tight, Tight, Normal, Loose, Very Loose. You might have to choose the “Very Loose” option if the starting and ending point are still not equal. PowerPoint also allows you to choose the exact spacing to customize the character spacing as per your requirement. Click on More Spacing… option to customize the spacing. Check out how we customized the spacing in the first line of the quote below to create the perfect symmetry:

But many a times, some lines will be too small and increasing character spacing beyond a limit will look jarring. In that case, don’t increase spacing. Use a line to fill up the space. This is what we mean by using lines where character spacing is not possible:

Also read: How to Create an Impactful Mission Template [ + 12 Amazing Mission Slides For You]

Choose a Stunning Image

Social media is all about breathtaking images. Take Pinterest and Instagram for example. There are plenty of free image sites like Pixabay and Gratisography that host a fantastic image collection. It’s not necessary to have image of the author; you can use abstract images or breathtaking nature images to make the reader go wow.

Use Customized Fonts

Fonts play a big role in transforming the look of your design. Times New Roman, Arial and Calibri do not evoke any emotion in the audience, except for boredom. Why not make use of customized fonts when there is a whole library of free fonts that you can download from sites like dafont, fontspace and 1001fonts!

Whether you need a powerful non-serif font, a beautiful handwritten font, a playful font, eroded font or some other, there is a font for every occasion and thought. For instance, the quote “Business is a combination of war and sport” has two totally opposite forces- war and sport. Rather than use a simple font and make an average picture quote, use fonts that match the personality and create an amazing graphic that is worthy of sharing on Instagram:

P.S. If you are curious what fonts we used for war and sport, here they are- “Capture It” for war and “Beyond the Mountains” for sport. You can thank us later.

Image + Shape

Finding a good image is a challenge in itself. When that is overcome, another challenge crops up- where to place the quote? Even if the image has lots of empty space to place the content, it might appear illegible. Do this- add a shape behind the content to make the quote stand out. Neither the image is compromised with nor the text.

Here’s a picture quote with rectangular boxes to make the text stand out:

Alternatively, you can use the circular shape to highlight your content like we did in this quotation slide below:

Give Quote a Frame

Frames look sophisticated. Period. We only want to frame things of value. So, if you wish to make your quote look worthy of being put in an exhibition, then go for this design. It is aesthetic and minimalist.

Pattern Background

Pattern backgrounds add sophistication to any design. They are subtle- visible but not drawing attention to themselves. The pattern you choose helps establish the context of the message and creates interest. For example, for the quote “Femininity is part of your inner beauty”, how about choosing a polka dot pattern background, choose a warm, rich color and give the quote a beautiful frame! That’s what we did in the quote graphic below:

The above pattern background has not been stolen from the web. It is available in PowerPoint itself. Right click on the blank slide, click Format Background and choose the Pattern fill option. You’ll get plenty of pattern design options to choose from. If you want to design an exciting new pattern background yourself, then check out the article below:

7 Awesome Pattern Backgrounds For Your Slides And How To Create Them In PowerPoint

Use the Circular Shape

One can create amazing quote graphics without any image too. Use interesting shapes to add interest to the design. How about a simple circle! Look at the image quote below: the circle was given a thick dotted outline with opening and ending quotation marks breaking the perfect symmetry. Colors lend support to create a warm, rich effect:

Use the Hexagon Shape

Another shape that is readily available in PowerPoint. Just go to the Shapes menu under the Insert tab and select the Hexagon shape. Rotate the hexagon so that the pointed edge is facing upward. In the picture quote of Aristotle, we took two hexagons- one with a solid outline and another enclosed in the centre:

Use the Diamond Shape

The immaculate beauty of diamond carries rich symbolism. It is associated with clarity and wisdom and is hence a suitable design element for quotes with deeper meaning. Spiritual and philosophical quotes will get the advantage of the diamond symbol that is also associated with immortality and soul’s journey. We, therefore, felt it was perfect for Maya Angelou’s quote:

Also read: 15 Must-Have Free Business Fonts for Beautiful Designs

Use Thought Bubbles

Take inspiration you see from the designs around you. Here’s a design inspired by the movie “Fault In Our Stars”- the black and white thought bubbles on a sky blue canvas bring dreamy quality to the design. Thought bubbles are again easily available in PowerPoint. Go to the Shapes menu to take the shape and create interesting designs with it:

Use Dialog Box

You can also use the dialog box or the callout while designing a quote. Yes, this too is available in PowerPoint’s Shapes menu- rectangular as well as the circular callout. We used a circular one and to make the design look funky like the quote, we used the bright purple color for the dialog box and lemon green pattern background:

Create Rectangular Strips

Another way to highlight your powerful quote is to add rectangular strips behind it. Break the quotes into lines and put each line in a rectangular box. The words will appear to be etched into the canvas and serve as an important reminder for the readers.

Give a Historical Touch- Typewriter font + Texture Background

Give the classic quotes a classic touch and old-look feel. Achieve this effect by downloading a typewriter font and using an eroded, texture background. We used the font “Another Typewriter” and the “Recycled Paper” texture for the evergreen William Shakespeare quote:

You can find such textures from the web as well as in PowerPoint itself. Right click on the slide > Format Background > Picture or texture fill > Texture. Here are the texture options provided in PowerPoint:

Mirror the Personality of Words

Read the quote to find a creative design take. Can we design the quote based on the message of the quote? Take Rumi’s quote for example, “You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop.” Why not take a drop shape, fill it with the ocean’s blue color and put our quote inside the drop! That will be totally different and mirror the message or the personality of the quote.

Let’s try another one. William Shakespeare said, “The object of art is to give life a shape.” Let’s forget about the image, background and fonts! Let’s design words! Let’s give our quote a shape. Just by breaking the quote into lines and tilting each line, we created a triangular shape from quote. It makes the quote a little difficult to read but the readers won’t mind putting a little extra effort when they understand why you did it!

Use Real-Life Objects

Try finding real-life objects like furniture items, frames on walls, a whiteboard, a piece of paper lying on a desk to use for placing your quote. Of course these objects need to be blank so that you can fill it with your favorite quote.

Choose the object that is relevant to the quote. For instance, for the quote “Home is not a place, it’s a feeling”, we chose a pillow to place our quote on. Pillow adds warmth to the quote and evokes that longing for home. Design can lift up the words and add power to it. That’s the motto of picture quotes- to make a powerful impression on our senses and get imprinted on the mind and heart!

Notebook Paper

Add a personal touch to your design quote by writing it on a notebook paper. It gives the immediate, raw impression that the quote was very important to you and you quickly scribbled it on a piece of paper. It might also give the impression that the quote is so important that it should be folded and carried in your pocket or bag all the time. Although we are creating a design for online publishing, we can make use of this association to halt the reader and pay attention to the words.

Post-it Notes

Life-changing quotes need to be around us all the time so that we are constantly reminded to push ourselves. We buy motivational posters for our work desk or pin the post-it notes on board to remind us about our priorities. Leverage this association to design a graphic quote. Post-it notes are readily available on the internet.

Make a Card

Create a greeting card quote to bring a smile on your reader faces. You can find plenty of greeting card templates on the internet as well as image hosting websites. Put your quote inside the greeting frame. Don’t forget to use a hand-written font to complete the look.

Or a Postcard

With new design tools and technologies, new design trends like Flat Design are dominating the design industry. But where quotes are concerned, we should not follow any design trend blindedly. Quotes have to be presented in as personal style as possible. Hence, the old forms of communication should be brought to use while online designing as well.

Use postcards, for instance, as a reminder that we have not forgotten our history. It would create a nostalgic feeling amongst your readers even if they had never sent a postcard in their life. Moreover, it would stand out on a social networking site’s timeline amongst all other quotes!

There can definitely be more ways to design quotation graphics for social media or presentations. We hope these 21 ways will keep you busy for 3 weeks at least designing awesome picture quotes.

Which is your favorite design style? Which is your favorite quote? Tell us in the comments below.

Do you need professional PowerPoint Designers to help you nail your next presentation? Get in touch with our Presentation Design Agency.




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