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What is a Lower Third? Definition and Design Strategies

What is a Lower Third? Definition and Design Strategies

lower third tv

You must have seen plenty of lower thirds in shows, movies, and commercials without even realizing it. A Lower Third is a powerful tool to convey critical information like the name of an interviewee, their job title, and affiliation.

It not only adds a professional touch but also serves as a branding element. When designing a Lower Third, it’s essential to use appropriate fonts and colors that fit the tone of the video and reflect the brand’s personality. A well-designed one can enhance the viewer’s experience and increase their engagement with the content. Want to learn more about the lower third and how it can change the quality of your video? Read on!

What is the Lower Third?

Let’s start with the definition. Basically, the lower third is the on-screen graphic you notice at the bottom of the video frame. It contains details about the content you are watching. At times, it’s used for branding purposes too.

At times, they can be distracting. So, the key is to strike a balance between visibility and subtlety so as not to distract the viewer from the main content. But how to do that? Well, there are plenty of strategies that can help you out, but before we talk about them, let’s elaborate on everything the lower third entails first.

Lower Thirds are definitely an essential component of video production and broadcasting. They serve to add context and information to a presentation without taking away from the main content.

So, when should you use them? They’re particularly useful in documentary-style programs or interviews where keeping track of individuals can get confusing. However, it’s crucial that the Lower Third design is on-brand with the tone and visual aesthetic of the production.

All of the elements should work together to add value to the visuals without distracting from the main content – striking this balance is key to creating effective Lower Thirds.

When to Use Them

If you are working on a video for the first time, naturally, you would want your audience to take you seriously. Credibility is important, and lower thirds can help you with that.

You can use lower thirds to form a connection with your audience. They can present a visual to your viewers, which will ensure that they see or hear your message more quickly.

You can also use them to add extra information to the video. Or you can use them for background.

Elements and Strategies

By now, you are pretty familiar with the concept. So it’s time to move on to actually using it in your videos. What are the elements that you have to consider? And how can you ensure that each component serves the purpose perfectly and does not overpower your content? This is the secret we are about to unravel.


Naturally, you have to figure out the font of your lower third content. This is where you need to be cautious. The font style should be according to the tone of your video. Of course, it should be readable, but you have to make it less distracting too. Additionally, keep the content short and concise. Lengthy texts will never work with lower thirds.

Shapes and Logos

If the video is for a brand or organization, you will probably have style guides that you have to follow. There isn’t much you will be able to do with the logo. However, while using the shapes, you can select ones that highlight the logo and typography.


This is among the most crucial aspects of lower thirds. Unfortunately, this is also where most people falter. It’s easy to get carried away while using an array of colors. The result? The message of your lower third gets lost.

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So here’s what you should keep in mind. Do not use excessive colors. And the ones you do use shouldn’t be distracting. It’s best to go with the color scheme of your logo and limit yourself to a couple of colors.

Furthermore, when you select a particular color, ensure that it complements the background of your video well. Of course, it should attract attention, but at the same time, the content shouldn’t lose its limelight.

You can also use contrasting colors between the typography and background elements. This will help your text content stand out. Finally, always make it a point to use colors that go well together.

Size and Position

Keep in mind that the text or graphic you want to include in your video does not always have to be in the lower third. You can alter the size and position as per your preference. But it’s highly recommended to consider symmetry during this. Make sure that your text does not block something that the viewer might want to see.


It can be tricky to decide when you should include further animation in your video. Of course, you have to keep it subtle, but this does not imply that animations are a complete no. You can definitely use animations for texts, logos, or words if they don’t serve as a distraction to your content.

Tips to Make Effective and Attractive Lower Thirds

Remember, you want the lower thirds to look great on the screen. Unfortunately, it’s easier said than done. However, there are some tips that can make the process smoother for you. Take a look at them,

  • Keep the content of your lower thirds concise and to the point
  • Keep the font consistent in all lower thirds
  • Avoid using too big or too small text.
  • Go creative with the colors, shapes, and other design elements, and make your lower third interesting while keeping it subtle.
  • Simplicity works best with lower thirds. Don’t try to cram too much information in it or get carried away with its design.

If you use lower thirds smarty, they can definitely elevate the quality of your video and make them more professional looking. All you have to do is understand how to capture your audience’s interest without taking too much away from the main message.

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