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Jun 24, 2014

The Best Way to Watermark Your Images in Photoshop

Why Would We Watermark?

Many have asked us about the best way to watermark your images in photoshop. With the rise of blogging and media sharing websites like Pinterest and Tumblr it is becoming more and more important to protect your images. Placing a watermark on your images is a great way of letting people know who owns the rights to the photo.

A watermark can ruin an image of not designed and placed well. In this episode you will learn how to place your logo on your images in a way that won’t destroy your image.

How to Create a Watermark Custom Brush in Photoshop

The best way to watermark your photos is through creating a custom brush. This may sound complicated but you will see in this episode just how simple it is.

You will want to start off with your logo on a plain white background. If your logo is not grayscale, go to Image > Adjustments > Desaturate. Your goal is to have your logo be black and the background white. You can also use your signature by scanning (using a scanner) a white piece of paper with your signature on it.

Make sure that your logo is high enough resolution to show up well on your photos. We recommend the image size between 500px – 1000px. That way if you need to scale your logo down you won’t lose quality.

Once you have a document sized 500px – 100px with a white background and your logo centered it is time to turn it into a custom brush. Simply navigate to Edit > Define Brush Preset. Give your brush a name you will remember and that’s it!

As a bonus we show you how open the Brush Preset Manager and move your logo (watermark) to the front of the brush list. That way when you right click with your brush tool, your logo will be the first option.

Using Your Custom Brush

Using your logo as a custom brush couldn’t be easier. Hit “B” for the Brush Tool and right click. Choose your logo from the list. If you followed our steps with the Preset Manager it will be in the front.

Choose a color and place your logo on a new layer. You may size the brush the same way you would size a normal brush. Open and close brackets “ [ , ] “will make your brush larger and smaller.

As a bonus try using a color from your image as the brush color. This way your logo will be less obtrusive. You may also use blending modes to make your logo blend with your image.

Watermarking Future

After you create your custom brush there is no need to follow those steps again. Your custom brush is saved in your Photoshop preferences and can even be exported.

The next time you want to add a watermark simply grab your brush tool, select your logo and click!

24 Comments


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  • Andrea Covert

    I have written a book. I am illustrating it with my photography. One of the characters is a dragon. How would you make an interesting dragon that has expression, flies, etc?

  • lucrecer

    This is a great tutorial. Definitely something I am going to share.

  • Bettelyoun

    Had an action that basically did this for you. Thanks for the vid.

  • Greg Coltman

    when i try this the watermark is ‘soft’ the edges dont seem as sharp. I used a pdf to creat the logo but also have png eps and ai files. the edges just dont seem crisp.

  • Natasha Heredia

    Great info! Great story! Perfect amount of facial hair!! :-D heehee

  • Robert Potter

    Also try using bevel and emboss on the text / logo layer styling and then set the layer opacity 15-35% it will look even cooler.

  • Jim Johnson

    To me, the reason to watermark has nothing to do with “stealing” or “protecting”. It’s about branding. It only makes sense that if people share your images, they also share your name and logo.

    It says, ” you like this image? this is who made it.”

  • keith law

    Cool I now have my logo as a brush. This is so much better then what I had been doing THANKS!!!

  • Oscar_E Photography

    Hey Aaron and Phlean team, thanks for the cool tips on watermarks. I happen to be watching at work and i had paused the video and this is Aaron’s face when i paused it. I though you would find it funny.

      • Cory Jacobsen

        I imagine you can also change the opacity before or after using the brush. but the blending mode is a cool thought also. Funny how you never think of the obvious till Aaron points it out.