A haiga composition consists of four elements: image, poem, frame and text. Most people put a significant amount of work into the image and haiku or tanka. But when I look over the haiga published in various venues, it strikes me that there is not nearly as much attention given to the design of the poem's text.
This essay is focused primarily on text design which includes choices about font type, size, color, tonality and placement. Text design will be explored in two image contexts: monochrome and color. Because I'm a photographer, photographs are mostly used as examples.
The purpose of this article is not to insist that there is one best way to place text on a haiga composition, but instead to raise awareness of the haiga creator's text design choices in designing a composition.
To simplify matters and keep the focus on text design, a particular style of framing of the images is used throughout this presentation. Clearly one of the many artistic aspects of haiga presentation has to do with how an image is framed. There are many creative variations and I've explored the issue of framing in an earlier issue of Haigaonline. In short, the framing style used in this presentation is not a statement about the best way to frame haiga.