A lower third is a graphic overlay placed in the lower area of the screen that explains the name and function of a person or presents important information in a concise format.
Lower thirds and individuals
A lower third explaining the name and function of a person is usually displayed immediately after the person starts speaking for at least three seconds. The name, in a heavier font weight, is displayed above the function, which is displayed in a lower font weight. After identifying the person with a lower third once, it is not necessary to show the same lower third again for the rest of the movie.
Lower thirds and information
A lower third displaying important information appears directly with the spoken or visualized information in the moving image and remains for at least three seconds.
The style of a lower third depends on the style you chose for start and end frames and the color combination of these. That means, for example, if you decide to use start and end frames with organic cells, your lower thirds should have the same color and style as the organic cells. There are two options – vibrant or stringent – and both should be consistent in terms of the cell types. The vibrant version might be used for lighter topics and the stringent version for more conservative, serious topics.
We recommend using the provided files of cells in the resources section, but you can also create your own style with the templates you can find here. Please see the examples below for more information and inspiration on finding the right style.
The information displayed supports the image and the story, so you should never cover up important areas of the image. Depending on the frame, the lower third should appear at the lower left or right edge of the frame. Try to find balanced ratios between text and image and select the position according to the person or information in the image. When it contains information on people, the lower third should be positioned on the opposite side to the speaker. This means that when the speaker is on the left side of the frame, the lower third will appear on the bottom right edge, for example.
Layout and fonts
The content font for lower thirds is always Verdana. Never use the M-font in combination with lower thirds. The size of a lower third is determined by the length of the headline and subline. The headline or main information is set in Verdana Bold and the subline is set in Regular. The layout should be well balanced so please maintain sufficient space with the borders.
Start and end frames without cells
When producing a movie with start and end frames without cells, for example for serious content, there is no basis for choosing cell types for lower thirds. In this case, please decide independently what is best, but use a version that is suitable for the content, for example for serious content use lower thirds with a stringent style and don’t mix the cell types. Also continue to use the same color combinations.