Creating a Watermark for Images Step by Step

Creating a Watermark for Images To Be Displayed Online

Creating a watermark for images, whether they’re your own photographs or artwork, is essential if you are planning to sell them, whether on your own website or a web 2.0 platform like iStock. The process is pretty straightforward and I can show you how I do this for my own artwork as well.

Why You Should Watermark Your Images

The procedure of creating a watermark for images; also known as “stamping” them as well, serves to protect your creative designs from possible misuse in the form of unwarranted downloading or use on another website without your permission. Popular platforms like Shutterstock encourage contributors to do this to protect the integrity of their work; the default company logo is applied to each picture individually. If someone with questionable intentions attempts to download one of them they will not succeed as long as the stamp remains intact.. Quite frankly, it’s your signature and seal of ownership.

If you’re a budding artist or shutterbug with your own website you can make your own watermark, which you can then apply to all your images shown on the web. Here’s how to get started:

Creating a Watermark For Images Using Open Platform Programs

There are a number of “open source” platforms you can use – one of them I really like for making logos, is iPiccy. The first thing you need to do is wherever you are prompted to go for creating a “new project” choose the dimensions – you can go by inches or pixels. Since most of my work is 8.5 by 11, I guess-timated that 10 inches in length would be good, since my blog name is what I am using. Resolution can be 72, 150 or 200 dpi; the higher the dpi the larger the resulting file size. You can also make a simple abstract image if it is more your style as opposed to your site name or your tagline.

⇒Most open source programs have all the image editing tools you’ll need, including text, shape tools, overlays, gradients, etc., plus they are totally free!

add watermark to picture

There are no “hard and fast” rules for creating watermarks, but a few important things apply: Choose a transparent background, use the opacity tool to give the design a transparent “see through” look so that it will show up on your finished work, but not be so obvious that it detracts from your work. How transparent you want it is up to you, above is my logo watermark I put together in iPiccy, to give you an idea of what it should look like.

When you have gotten your design exactly the way you want it, you’ll want to save it as a PNG file. PNG (Portable Network Graphics) are bitmap files, they support transparencies and are one of the most popular web graphic formats as they are scalable, but lossless, meaning that image quality will not be affected by editing.

Creating a Watermark in Photoshop

If you’re like me and you own a software program, this is good too. PNGs and bitmap formats are the bread and butter of Photoshop. Here is how I created mine using Photoshop Elements 7.0 which came with my Tooya Pro graphic drawing tablet as a package deal.

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, 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.

creating a watermark for images

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.

creating a watermark in photoshop

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..voila! Add watermark to picture 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.

watermarking photographs


So there you have it; watermarking photographs and artwork is a snap! Don’t take a chance on any of your hard work getting plagiarized or downloaded against your wishes.

About Jennifer

Hi all, I'm just a humble arts and crafts blogger who also enjoys aquariums, goofball comedies, and sushi. In addition to art I am also owned by 3 pampered cats.

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