What is a watermark and why is it important?
Watermarking is the method of superimposing a text, a logo, or both on an image file. It is an essential process concerning both copyright protection and the marketing of your photographs. Here you’ll learn why watermarking images are crucial for your photographs and explore how to add effective watermarks to your photos.
Although watermarking is typically digital nowadays, the word “watermarking” actually dates back centuries. Before, a watermarking would only be visible when the papers were held up to the light or when they were wet, and the watermarking process was done while the paper was still wet—thus the term we now use.
What is Watermarking Used For?
There are two primary reasons why you may need to watermark a photograph. Firstly, watermarking helps you protect the copyright of your photographs and makes sure that the photos cannot be altered or reused without your consent. Hence, your clients and potential clients could still take a sneak peek of your work before paying for it without the risk of the photos getting stolen.
Meanwhile, watermarking could also be used as a marketing strategy. Just like how a painter would mark their masterpiece with a signature, effective watermarks can help to expand your reach, get in front of potential clients, and boost brand awareness. So, whenever your work is shared, on Instagram for instance, your name and brand are always affixed to it.
Nonetheless, a digital watermarking could serve as a stamp to tell the status of an image, with words like “COPY,” “VOID,” or “SAMPLE.” This guarantees that important photographs are never mishandled, thus helping you keep your photos organized and labeled accordingly.
Where Do You Find Watermarks?
It is possible that you encounter watermarks on photos much more often than you realize. You would notice watermarks on most professional photography or stock photos. When you are looking for an image online, you can expect to see a lot of stock photos that are peppered with watermarks, and you could only access the clean, un-doctored version of the image if you pay for it from the copyright owner.
On the marketing side, you would notice visible watermarking on a bunch of professional photography, visual art, design, and even memes, especially on social media sites. Content creators and influencers would watermark their photos to make sure that if anything they create ends up going viral online, their brand or name is recognized.
Some media companies and websites would automatically put watermarking when users download images they have uploaded. Reddit, for example, would add its watermark to photos you download from the Reddit app.
Moreover, you might also want to add a watermarking to personal photos. Just because you post personal images on social media sites and apps does not mean you are giving just about anyone the consent to make use of your photos as they please. To help safeguard your precious memories from people who might try to exploit your photos and your identity, you can choose to put effective watermarks on any personal photos you upload on the internet.
How to Add Effective Watermarks
How your watermarking would look is totally up to you, and you could choose to have other watermarks for various image types or purposes.
Your watermark could be an image, text, or a logo, and it could be as prominent or subtle on a photo as you would prefer. You might also want your watermark to have copyright info, an identifier such as your logo or name, or even status information, such as “Draft,” or “For Review.”
Nevertheless, if you are watermarking photographs that you aim to sell online, you can go for a semi-transparent watermarking that covers the whole frame. It is crucial to keep in mind that if your watermark is too small and tucked hidden into a corner of your photo, it could be cropped out by creative photo thieves.
If you are putting a watermark on a digital image to help protect your work, it would be advisable to put your watermarking on an area where it could not be easily cropped out. If you put it on a solid, smooth background, it could be easily edited out, so it is advisable to put your watermark over a busier portion of the photo.
You’ll see this principle on a lot of tabloid shots, where the watermarking is put directly on the subject of the image. By placing the effective watermarks on the part people want to see, they are making sure that nobody else could profit off their photos.
However, if your watermarking is too obtrusive and covers the whole image, it could distract from the subject and overall quality of your work.
Create a watermark that blends well into the image to provide it with a more pleasant look that still markets your brand. Though some would like a more transparent branding, others prefer a more opaque, eye-catching watermarking.
It is essential to create a balance that works well for you based on what you are watermarking and your purpose for watermarking it.
As we have mentioned throughout the article, watermarking your photos is a good way to protect them from theft and promote your brand at the same time. Still, keep in mind that you don’t have to shell out a huge amount for a watermarking tool, even with the said benefits. In fact, there are free yet efficient watermarking tools, like Watermarquee, that you don’t even have to download and install—it works right on your browser. How convenient is that?
This online watermarking tool lets you make and add your own watermark or use absolutely customizable templates to help protect your photos. Adding effective watermarks to a photo using Watermarquee is actually very simple. You just have to upload an image to the site and click on the Add Logo, Add Text, or Use Template options. You could then proceed to put the text, adjust its size, color, font, or transparency, and decide if you want a transparent or solid background. When you’re happy with your design, click on the Save icon and select the destination folder on your computer in which the watermarked image is going to be saved.