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The Importance of Lower Thirds

Lower Thirds are a combination of the text and some type of graphics that create context for the video. They have been a part of television and videos for decades and today they are an important part of social media.

These are five things to consider when creating Lower Thirds:

1. Good readability is absolutely crucial for a good user experience. Choose a readable font that goes well with the theme of the video. Try to relay your message with a short copy. The text size should be large enough to read without taking up too much space.

2. Define the structure of your Lower Third. Add shapes, lines, or your logo (if you plan to build a brand) to make your text more noticeable.

3. Stick to colours that won't distract from the video you're working on. If you’re working on a commercial or brand video, use colours that represent your brand.

4. Choose grid and guide options - Title/Action safe area.

Make sure that your Lower Thirds are always in the Title/Action safe area. These safe areas are 80% of the screen for title safe areas and 90% for action safe areas.

5. Animate your Lower Third. An intro and outro Lower Third animation are most common, as animation occurring in the mid-segment is potentially distracting. You can animate any of the elements — text, logo, shapes, etc. You want a lower graphic that will get your viewer's attention, but your design shouldn’t distract from the content.

Lower Thirds are usually arranged in tiers, or lines:

  1. One-tier lower third identifies a story that is being shown, or to show a presenter's name.

  2. Two-tier lower thirds identify a person on screen with a designation or place of residence below that.

  3. Three-tier lower thirds are with more information.

Lower Thirds are created using a video's alpha channel to make some parts of the graphic or text transparent.

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