How to Design a Watermark for Images Step by Step (With Multiple Platforms)
Creating a watermark for your images is super important! Anything in the form of an image, whether it is your own art or photography or other products that can be downloaded, needs to have your own personal branding on it.
The process is pretty straightforward. I watermark all my images here plus my Etsy shop listing images too! At first I thought you only needed to do this with bonafide artwork….not until last year did I start applying watermarks for all my images on this blog. (It took awhile to get caught up:)
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Why You Should Watermark Your Images?
Designing a watermark for your images; also known as “stamping” them, serves to protect your creative designs from possible misuse in the form of unwarranted downloading or use on another website without your permission.
Have you ever visited a stock photo website and seen what looked like the same logo on top of all the pictures? Yep, those are watermarks! You won’t be able to download any of them unless you take out the required membership.
Basically, someone can always attempt to download an image that they do not have permission to do so – but the stamp will remain in place. Your stamp or watermark is your brand and seal of ownership. You only need to design your watermark once as you can use it unlimited times to brand your work. Let’s get started!
How to Create a Watermark in Picmonkey
There are lots of different image design and editing platforms you can use; and Picmonkey is my favorite cloud-based one so you can follow along with me here! Go ahead and log into your Picmonkey account.
When prompted, choose the option to edit a new design, and select “Blank Canvas”
You’ll next be prompted to choose dimensions for your watermark design. How big or small you want it to be is entirely up to you. I went with a kind of long size about 400 (long) by 50 (wide) Don’t worry if it’s a little off as you can change the size later.
I made mine a little bit wider so I changed the width from 50 to 75. Be sure and click the “Keep Dimensions” option to turn it off as it maintains the aspect ratio – f you modify the dimensions of one side the other side will adjust accordingly. Your resulting blank background will be white. We want it to be transparent.
In the “Background color” panel, check “Transparency” . You should now see a checkerboard pattern.
Now you can start working on your design! Whether you want it to be your website name, your personal brand or trademark, I am simply using my site name using the Text tool. If you prefer to use a premade logo, you can simply upload the file it is in.
You can then adjust the design; use the handles on the sides and drag them to reposition them, or enlarge, shrink, etc., as desired.
Now comes the really fun part; you can modify the color, one thing I am doing is applying a gradient. You can find the Gradient tool under “Effects” on the left. It’s really cool and you can choose two colors to blend together and also adjust the lightness of it, direction, etc.
When you are satisfied with your design now’s the time to save it as a PNG file. Your changes are automatically saved which is cool, but you can also export it and save to the folder of your choice on your hard drive, thumb drive, etc.
Voila – you’ve got a beautiful watermark now that you can apply to all of your images simply by retrieving from the place you saved it to.
How to Create a Watermark in Photoshop Elements
If you’re like me and your preferred tool of choice is Photoshop or Photoshop Elements, this section should be of great assistance.. PNGs and bitmap formats are its bread and butter, and you want to have that file type, because it can easily be resized without image quality loss.
I own Photoshop Elements 7.0 due to the program being included as a bonus with my Tooya Pro graphic drawing tablet as a package deal. Open up the program and select “New Project” in the start menu.
1. Under “New Project” the dimension part is up to you; I used 1.5″ height by 10″ wide. Be sure to choose a transparent background as well.
2. There’s no wrong or right way to design your signature stamp – just use the tools you would normally use as in an open source platform. For mine I started with the Text tool, the “Ravie” font (I love that retro look!) and used a dark type color for visibility – it’ll be easier to get the layout part right before giving it a see-thru transparent look later.
3. With “Layer 0” selected (you should only have this one layer) choose the Magic Wand tool from the left palette and click anywhere on your design. When done correctly the “marching ants” should be surrounding the perimeter of your design, (but NOT the perimeter of the background layout)
4. From here you can choose different color options….Many people stick with white, but you can opt for a light shade of pretty much anything. Here I have applied a pastel gradient.
5. Adjust the opacity of the design by dragging the slider bar until you reach the desired level…the more you can see of the checkerboard background pattern, the lighter you’re going. I am using about 75%.
6. Save your finished design as a PNG file to your portal of choice, hard drive, thumb drive, or cloud storage, so it will be retrievable whenever you need it.
7. To add your watermark to your picture, you can do so using the “import” command – you can modify its size if you want or rotate it sideways. Always keep it close by your main picture files; if you have a big portfolio this will save you time.
Well, that’s pretty much how it’s done – you create your watermark once and apply it to each image by just a simple import or drag and drop, depending on whatever platform you’re working in. A great time-save right?
So there you have it; watermarking your photographs and artwork is a snap. Don’t take a chance on any of your hard work getting plagiarized or downloaded against your wishes!