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!

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    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.

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        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.

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    keith law

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

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    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.”

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    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.

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    Natasha Heredia

    Great info! Great story! Perfect amount of facial hair!! 😀 heehee

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    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.

  • user image

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

  • user image

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

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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?

  • user image

    Excellent except that you havnt shown us how to make the logo. (Or is that on another video somewhere?)

  • user image

    ok lets say you have a color image as part of your logo. How can you change that to a two tone b/w only to make it a black or white logo?

  • user image

    What is the point from making a watermark and put it somewere in the corner?
    Wiht these great Plearn photoshop lessons everybody can remove the watermark in a seccond.

  • user image

    Hi! First i want to say that you guys make e great great job.
    Can u help me by advice me how to improve mainstream photos like the one i sent you.\
    I am verry new with this.

  • user image

    I love you, phlearn team!! You do a great job!

    So I did everything what you showed but when I press the mouse button to put watermark on my photo it doesnt show up 🙁 maybe there is something bad in a settings? SOS, please!

  • user image

    When selecting a color for the watermark, you say you can grab a color from the photo itself, but you do not say how to do that. You probably are assuming people know how to do that, but what are the steps to do grab a color from the photo itself?

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    FYI, I may have typo’ed my e-mail address in my previous note. Here is the correctly spelled one.

  • user image

    You say, “As a bonus try using a color from your image as the brush color. ” but you do not say how to do that. What are the steps to do that?

    • user image

      you just hit the alt/option key while the brush is active to activate the eye-dropper tool for your brush!

  • user image

    I don’t seem to be able to move the logo. have new layer but when selecting move tool it selects the whole image and not just the logo. HELP!!!

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    Courtney West

    I’m having trouble getting the custom brush to work. I create the brush and name it but then can’t find it anywhere!

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    Can this be done in lightroom as well? Changing the color of the watermark using custom brush?

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    jun paras

    how can I make my water mark in a separate layer. I followed what you did but when I click my watermark in my brush tools its not on a separate layer.