How to Use Blurry Image Effect in Design

Blurry shots help you focus on a specific detail, like a logo, a headline, or a product you’re selling. In the article we will tell you where it is better to use this effect and how to create it.

What is bokeh effect
How bokeh is used in design
How to blur a photo

What is bokeh effect

The word “bokeh” is borrowed from the Japanese language, where it means “blur” or “haze”. This technique is applied to illustrations to make individual fragments out of focus. It has several advantages:

Attention management. Helps highlight important details that stay in focus.
Versatility. Suitable for any visual content and color scheme.
Multifunctionality. Allows you to turn a familiar photo into a non-standard one, placing accents in a new way.
Blur is distinguished by:

degree of filling of the illustration: selective (focus remains on one element) or full (when all the details are in the haze);
intensities: objects can be left easily recognizable or turned into indistinguishable spots;
position: front or back.

What else is important to know:

Bokeh should not be seen as a way to save a poor quality photo. To achieve the desired result, work only with pictures taken in high resolution with a good camera.
Retouching is not used for beauty: in each case, the technique solves a certain problem. First, answer the question of what you want to achieve with visual content, and only then retouch the photo.

How bokeh is used in design

Blurry illustrations are applied to almost all design elements necessary for promotion: website, advertising, social networks (photos for posts, profile covers, stories), printed products (business cards, calendars, booklets). Choose the methods that suit your needs.

Draw attention to a part of an image
First of all, the eye stops at the details that are in focus. Direct the user’s attention to the objects you want to emphasize and blur the rest. So it can be distinguished:

  • product;
  • a portrait (for example, a picture of a model demonstrating a product);
  • any detail that is important for promotion.

Source: Chandra Mudha Mahendra

Highlight text
Want to put a caption on your photo? Retouch the background and the text will become more noticeable. This will help:

Focus all attention on the content: in this case, the background should be blurred as much as possible, turning it into a colored spot.
Strengthen the message in the title: for example, when selling tours on the sea, you can apply blur to an image with beautiful landscapes. So it will gently complement the title.
bokeh text
Source: freepik
Strengthen your corporate identity
Bokeh photos can help cement colors, graphics, or other visual branding elements in consumers’ minds. For this:

Define your brand identity and express it visually with your logo, brand colors and fonts. The Logaster online generator will help with this: the service will create a corporate identity in a couple of clicks, based on the name and field of activity of the company.
Get your corporate identity right now!

A professional online generator will create dozens of suitable options, from which you just have to choose the best one

Enter brand name

Pay attention to the main visual symbol of the brand – the logo. You can blur the background around it or put in a blurry illustration that resonates with the logo idea.
Choose to blur illustrations with brand colors to support the message you want to get across.

Add dynamics
If you try to take a picture of a speeding car with a normal camera, you will end up with an out-of-focus shot with a “tail” behind the moving subject. Such an illusion can be created intentionally to enhance the dynamics. This is relevant for brands that want to be associated with speed and activity, for example, in the areas of:

  • transport;
  • sports;
  • active rest.
  • motion blur

Source: freepik
Set the mood
Adjust colors, lighting, and composition to give your design a specific mood or atmosphere. It depends on:

  • warm or cold colors predominate in the picture;
  • how sharpness is adjusted;
  • how many details in the photo;
  • which objects are in focus and in what part of the image they are located.