In traditional art, a collage is a two-dimensional form of artwork created by attaching often seemingly unrelated objects to a surface to create a new piece of artwork. The collage could be pieces of paper, photographs, feathers, fabric, bits of pottery, pages torn from books or magazines, string, yarn, nuts and bolts, bottle caps -- almost anything that can be held in place with strong glue.
Digital collage is similar to (and the terms are often used interchangeably) a photomontage or montage, a composition composed of only photos or fragments of photos combined to make a single, unified image. Vision boards inspiration boards or mood boards are often created as a collage of fonts, color swatches, paper samples, and magazine clippings. Traditional and digital scrapbook pages are typically a collage of patterns and photos.
Digital Collage ExamplesTake a look at examples of collages, some created specifically for incorporating into desktop publishing layouts.
- Photo Composites Gallery from About.com Graphics Software
- Photo Collage of Mug Shots is a way to make newsletter headshots more interesting.
- Photo Collage for a Book Jacket is a submission to one of our About.com Desktop Publishing makeover projects.
- Graphics Challenge: Collage Submissions from the About.com Graphics Software Forum
- 22 Awesome Collage Works at abduzeedo.com
- 35+ Beautiful Examples of Creative Collage for Your Inspiration at 1stwebdesigner.com
- Typography Collage Posters by Claire Altomari
Digital Collage TutorialsLearn how to create a collage in your software or just get inspired with these ideas. Explore techniques that will come in handy when creating a collage.
- Learn to Create Collage Typography from gomediazine
- Photoshop Montage and Collage - Merge and Combine Photos from About.com Graphics Software
- Create a Cool Vintage Collage Design in Photoshop from psd tuts+
- Ways to Crop Photos for Different Effects - Get more mileage from a single photo used alone or in a collage.
- Using Embedded Clipping Paths - Get rid of all or some of the background for more interesting shapes in your collage.
- How to Combine a Color and Black & White Image - Coloring only a portion of an image can make it pop out and it can look as if you've created a collage from a color and B&W photo.
- Build a Better Drop Shadow - Properly layering drop shadows can lend a look of realism to your digitally layered photo collage.
Software for Creating a CollageYou can create digital collage artwork in any general purpose graphics software or with specialty software that offers special features for arranging and merging images into a photographic collage or layout. In addition to desktop software, there are smartphone apps for taking your camera phone photos and making them into a collage that you can send to your contacts or post to social media sites such as Facebook.
- Photo Editors for Windows
- Photo Editors for Mac
- Masking & Compositing Software & Plugins
- Scrapbooking Software for Windows
- Scrapbooking Software for Mac
- Diptic for Quick and Simple Collage Layouts (iPhone/iPod touch/iPad app)
- Picture Collage Maker Pro
Traditional Collage Definitions and TutorialsExplore definitions for and examples of collage in traditional arts from other About.com sites.
- Painting Guide Marion Boddy-Evans differentiates collage from assemblage, a 3D artwork and answers the question "Isn't Collage Just Playing with Glue and Pictures?"
- Art History Contributing Writer Beth Gersh-Nesic gives the history of collage and photocollage.
- Family Crafts Guide Sherri Osborn describes collage as a noun and a verb, has a tutorial on how to make a collage, and offers up a list of crafty collage ideas .