Using lower thirds in Premiere can add crucial context to your videos. But there’s a plethora of creative lower thirds to choose from out there. It’s all too easy to get overwhelmed.
Don’t worry. As with any part of video producing, just focus on what’s right for your project. And keep in mind some tried-and-true principles of creating lower thirds in Premiere to stay on track.
FREE Download: 3 Lower Thirds Templates for Premiere Pro CC
Go to the next level with these 3 professional grade lower third templates for Premiere Pro. While designed for 4K footage, these lower thirds can easily be downscaled.
The "Minimal" Lower Third
Clean, clear, and unobtrusive. The perfect go-to for any type of video footage.
The "Top List" Lower Third
Ideal for any videos that do a "ranking" or "countdown".
The "Edge" Lower Third
A more dynamic lower third that still covers the basics.
Download your FREE lower thirds pack for Premiere Pro (.mogrt) below.
Prepare to be inspired by the great examples we found. And, because we’re so darn nice, we also designed a free lower thirds template just for you. So download and get started on those titles right away.
How to use lower thirds in Premiere
A lower third graphic is a text graphic that adds additional context to a video. They can relay just about anything. Names, roles, locations, and even Twitter handles are fair game in lower third design.
But be strict on usage. Use them only to fill in the gaps where visuals and sound bites don’t tell the story well enough.
Usually lower thirds are on the bottom third of your frame (on either left or right). But this isn’t set in stone. It all depends on where your subject is in the frame.
Make your titles highly readable and out of your subject’s way. Try put them on the side with less important visuals in your frame.
Additionally, make sure your lower thirds in Premiere are in the “safe area” of the frame.
Keep your lower thirds in Premiere within the “safe area” margins in your source viewer
Designing lower third graphics
The best lower thirds examples are both useful and brief. Your lower thirds After Effects or Premiere components (shapes, motion design and typography) should all be lightweight. And the information should be just enough to add context to the visuals.
Keep the themes and tone of your project in mind. Think about how your lower third graphics can evoke the project at large.
The text in this “The Toys That Made Us” lower third recalls the vintage Kenner Toys brand
If you’re working with a brand, ask for feedback to better match their style. If not, think about choices that compliment your subject.
Or just make them minimal to stay out of the way.
As a general rule of thumb, your lower thirds should be on screen long enough for viewers to read each word twice.
Choosing colors for lower third graphics
As with all elements of title graphics, color should attract your viewer to the information. But it should never distract.
Make simplicity your guiding principle. Stay away from too many colors. Solid, intentional colors usually sell the information best.
Keep titles black or white and limit to one solid color accent -- if you use color at all.
White font with a blue accent shape makes for a nice lower third, “Banking on Bitcoin” (2016)
Finding the right typography for lower third graphics
Selecting the typography for your lower third graphics should be a delicate process. Again, it should evoke the tone and content of your video.
The creative lower thirds in “Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine” evoke early Apple Computers
If you’re making a documentary, choose a good sans serif font. This will give you many standard yet striking options.
Choosing a font size for lower third graphics
Your font size depends on the information you need to present. In news lower thirds, the headline graphics are often big, bold and attention-grabbing.
News lower thirds employ big, bold font sizes for headlines.
Usually documentaries are more subtle. But they can use different font sizes to differentiate the information presented. For example, different font sizes can separate a person’s name and title.
Different font sizes denote a subject’s name and role in “Lady Gaga: Five Foot Two”
But try to gauge what the audience needs to know. If you’ve got a celebrity who is a household name, you might not need any more context than name. A one-line layout might suffice here.
Consider the intended medium too. Smaller font sizes might work for TVs and web. But you might want to consider a bigger font if you’re targeting mobile.
Vevo Footnotes videos employ a large caption format
Using shapes in lower third graphics
Use shapes in your lower third graphics to separate your text from the background. Squares are the most effective choice here, especially in news graphics.
News graphics often use blocks in their lower third graphics.
But news lower thirds aren’t too subtle. Documentaries should use them in more understated ways.
Of course, this isn’t always necessary. Sometimes all you need is the text if the typography and size are good. But if you add shapes, consider a template to save time.
Animating your lower third graphics
Smooth, clean animations draw your viewer’s eye to your lower third graphics in a natural way. Find them in documentaries, web videos and even news graphics.
In line with good motion design principles, keep your animation as simple as possible. Keep your keyframes smooth and brief. Generally one or two seconds tops is good.
Using free lower thirds templates
There are plenty of Premiere Pro lower thirds templates out there. You can find lower thirds in Premiere too, in the Essential Graphics Panel. Open the Essential Graphics panel, click “Browse”, and search away.
Take advantage of templates and save tons of time. Even if you can’t find free lower thirds templates, the paid downloads are usually pretty affordable.
Premiere lower third templates come as different file types. Remember that lower third PSD files are Adobe-specific. Lower thirds in PNG or other non-vector formats will not have animation built in and might lose quality when scaling.
After you find and download your lower thirds in Premiere, simply import them into the project file. Customize as you need and you’re done.
Once you get your lower thirds into Premiere, just drag, drop and customize.
As goes with all creative choices in video, let your project dictate your visual elements. Your choice of lower thirds should evoke your project’s look and feel.
And when in doubt, simpler is better. Some of the most striking lower third graphic examples are bare, but emphasize the important visuals.
After you create lower thirds in Premiere that you love, remember to save them as Motion Graphics Templates. Reuse your Premiere lower third templates to save some serious time.
Now it’s time to get those title graphics underway. Check out our free lower thirds template to get cruising. And, as always, let us know if there are any more examples to add to our list!
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