How to Make a Watermark — Watermarking your photos in Photoshop

Posting images that you took or created on the internet can pose some problems to a photographer or an artist. The internet is rampant with people who have no qualms of stealing your photos and claiming it as their own, or using them for unintended purposes. That’s why many artists on the net turn to placing watermarks on their work. Watermarking your images digitally can help lessen the instances of stealing your images or images that you’ve purchased online. Best of all, it’s quite easy!

TIP: Take time to think of where you place your watermarks. Usually, watermarks deter the viewers from fully appreciating the image. However, subtle and well-placed watermarking can add to the experience.

 

What can you use to watermark?

Images. You can watermark photos using an image of your logo. I suggest getting digital copies of your logo in all black, all white, and full color. To make your watermarks look better, I would suggest having your logo on a transparent background. This means getting your logo in .PNG, .PDF or .GIF format or manually deleting the unnecessary white spaces with the Pen Tool or Magic Wand Tool.

How to make a watermark: Helperade logo

Helperade logos on a transparent background.

Text. If you don’t have a logo or simply don’t want to use it, you can also use the Text Tool in Photoshop to create watermarks. While many like using small and simple fonts so as not to distract from the photo, others style their text so it looks more attractive.

I strongly advise against putting just a giant copyright © symbol on the image. It would be much better if you put your website address or your name instead. That way, if someone does use your image elsewhere, people will know who created the image/photo.

 

How to make a watermark

Image Watermark

  1. Open your image in Photoshop. File>Open or [Press Ctrl+O]
  2. Save your image as _Image-name_-Watermarked. File>Save As…
  3. Open the logo you want to use as a watermark in Photoshop. File>Open or [Press Ctrl+O]
  4. In the window of your logo, Select all and copy the logo. Select>All then Edit>Copy or [Press Ctrl+A] then [Press Ctrl+C]
  5. Move to the window with your image, then paste the logo on it. Edit>Paste or [Press Ctrl+V]
  6. Select the Move Tool. [Press V]Photoshop: Move Tool
  7. Click on your logo, then drag it to where you want to place it on your photo.
  8. Set the Opacity/Blend Mode on the Layers Window [Press F7].* Photoshop: Blend Mode & Opacity
  9. Save. File>Save or [Press Ctrl+S]

Text Watermark

  1. Open your image in Photoshop. File>Open or [Press Ctrl+O]
  2. Save your image as _Image-name_-Watermarked. File>Save As…
  3. Select the Type Tool in Photoshop [Press T]Photoshop Type Tool
  4. Select a font and font size. Photoshop: Select A Font
  5. While still on the Type Tool, Click once where you want the text to start. Do not drag.
  6. Type in your name, alias, or URL.
  7. Set the Opacity/Blend Mode on the Layers Window [Press F7]. *Photoshop: Blend Mode & Opacity
  8. Save. File>Save or [Press Ctrl+S]

 

* I normally keep it on Normal Blend Mode and lessen the opacity when I want to make it less visible. If I want to make it less conspicuous and blend more with the image, I use Soft Light. To see the difference in effect between the two, scroll down to the end of the article.

 

Types of Watermarks

How to Make a Watermark: Unwatermarked Image

Unwatermarked Image

Once you’ve figured out how you want your watermark to look and know how the basics of how to make a watermark, there are many different ways to apply it.

The image on the right is the sample we will use of an unwatermarked image. In this section, we will show you a few of the different types of watermarks you can apply on the image. Of course, these are only suggestions. You can place watermarks anywhere you want in an image or photo.

 

Simple Text

Probably the least visible and easiest to make of all the watermarks. The simple text can be placed anywhere visible on the photograph (but it’s usually on the bottom right). It often states the artist/photographer’s name and/or their website. It allows the viewer to fully appreciate the image with the minimum amount of fuss and distractions. Even if it’s sneakily placed, it’s the easiest to edit out or crop out of the photo.

How to make a watermark: Simple Text

Simple Text on the bottom right

How to make a watermark: Simple Text, Sneaky

Simple Text placed closer to the subject and on an object, makes it more difficult to edit out

 

Opaque Bottom Right

This watermark is most often seen on gaming websites, especially on their screenshots or on artwork/stills given by the developer of the game. This allows them to highlight the game’s visual aspect, as well as the fuctionality and style of the game design. It’s not very obtrusive and it prominently displays the site’s logo and/or website–which brings it more traffic. The downside is that when used on artwork and images, it’s usually one of the most easily edited out.

How to make a watermark: The Opaque Bottom Right

The Opaque Bottom Right using a Helperade logo

 

Wall of Watermarks

This type of watermarking is usually popular with celebrity gossip sites because many pay quite a bit for their photos. This type of watermarking is probably the most effective. It covers the most amount of pixels and it’s quite difficult/tedious to remove. The downside is that it’s one of the most distracting to the viewer.

Making this involves duplicating (or copy and pasting) the watermark over and over again until you cover the whole picture.

How to make a watermark: The Wall of Watermarks

The Wall of Watermarks

 

Artistic Approach

Usually employed by non-professional photographers. Sometimes, along with putting the URL of their website, they add quotes, lines, or lyrics that are relevant to their photograph. It’s a little distracting, but unlike the Wall of Watermarks, it’s not as annoying.

How to make a watermark: The Artistic Approach

The Artistic Approach. L:Off-Subject. R:On-Subject, Lowered Opacity.

 

Thank you for reading! I hope my tutorial on how to watermark your photos has helped you :)

Remember: This is tutorial only contains suggestions on how to make your watermark to help you start out. There are million and one ways to create your watermarks–don’t be afraid to experiment!

With practice, you can come up with a method that’s more efficient with the way you work and a style that suits you better.

 

Extra: Comparison Photos for Normal, Lowered Opacity vs. Soft Light

How to make a watermark: The Wall of Watermarks, Soft Light

Soft Light

How to make a watermark: The Wall of Watermarks
Normal, Lowered Opacity
How to Make A Watermark: Normal, Lowered Opacity vs. Soft Light
L: Soft Light / R: Normal, Lowered Opacity

 

 

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