How to Watermark your Images

In the companion article to this tutorial on How Artists can Protect their Images Online I talked about a few different ways you can protect your online images from being stolen. Using methods such as Shrink-Wrapping your Images , Watermarking Your Images, and Slice and Dicing your Images.

In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how you can easily watermark your images in Photoshop or a similar graphics editing program with a simple text watermark like the ones below in less than two minutes.

How to Watermark your Images:

  1. Open your image in Photoshop or your favorite graphics editing program and immediately make a copy of of it. Do not work with the original!
  2. Close the original file and open the copied image.
  3. Select the type tool and click somewhere near the center of the image
  4. Choose a thick heavy font like “Arial Bold” or “Copperplate Gothic Bold”.  Set the Size to 48pt to 60pt depending upon the size of your image. Don’t worry, we’re going to soften it up a bit in a few minutes.
  5. Insert the © symbol by either clicking (Option-G with a Mac) or (Alt+0169 for Windows) followed by your name or studio name. Note: Instead of a text watermark, you can also use your studio logo as your watermark if your prefer
  6. Next highlight your text and select your color picker.  Now you are the artist so you can use whatever color your prefer for your watermark, but I generally use a light neutral gray which is (HSB 0-0-80 / RGB value 204-204-204 / or hex #CCCCCC) because it goes with everything and is easy to remember.
  7. Select your “move tool” to move the watermark to a central area of your image where it cannot be easily brushed or cloned out.
  8. Now select the “Layers” tab and change the “Opacity” to ~50% so the watermark is noticeable but not too intrusive.
  9. If you would like to make your words or logo “pop” a little more, you can highlight your text and select “Layer Styles” from your menu and choose any of the stylings such as “Simple Sharp Inner” which will bevel your text.
  10. Finally when you are happy with your results, click the “Save for Web” option in the file menu and you are done!

Some Additional Tips:

  • Never work with your originals–Always make copies and store the originals in a separate location.
  • Clearly label your watermarked images so that you don’t accidently send your watermarked copies off to a paying customer or to a printshop.
  • Feel free to play around with the font size, color, and opacity in order to get your watermark exactly the way you want it but it’s always a good idea to keep it as neutral as possible (see tip below)
  • Once you have your watermark how your like it, you’ll probably want to use the same one on all of your images in order to maintain and build your studio identity.
  • To make this even easier, you can save your watermark as a file and then simply drop it into your images whenever you are ready to watermark an image

You’re Done!

I hope that you found this tutorial on how to watermark your images in Photoshop helpful.  If you have any other questions, please let us know in the comment section below and we’ll do our best to answer them.  Also if you happen to know anyone who you think might benefit from this tutorial, please feel free to forward the link to them as well as bookmark this page on your favorite site.

Enjoy!

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