How to Make a Watermark in Photoshop
With social media and online content being such a widely used outlet for photographers to showcase their images, it is important to protect your images the best you can to prevent them from being claimed by other photographers.
Should you watermark your images? Although it’s not a guaranteed way to prevent image theft from happening, adding a watermark with your logo or just a simple text to your images to show ownership and help with brank marketing is a great start.
To help you do this, I put together this step-by-step tutorial to show you 3 different ways to create and add a watermark in Photoshop.
Adding a Text Watermark to an Image
Adding a Graphic Logo Watermark to an Image
Creating a Custom Photoshop Brush - to add your text or graphic logo watermark
P.S. If you want to learn how to add a watermark in Lightroom we have a separate tutorial for that here!
How to Create & Add a Text Watermark
To create a text watermark in Photoshop, you can simply add a new text layer to your image by using the text tool and typing in your name, business name, or website in the font and color you desire.
I suggest keeping the font fairly small and easy to read. Also, to keep your watermark from being too distracting, stick to black or white text color. You want it to be seen, but you don’t want it to be the center of attention. However, whichever font or color you choose to use is strictly up to you.
Step 1: Create a New Layer for the Watermark
Open the image you want to add a text watermark to. Create a new layer by selecting Layer>New>Layer. Rename the new layer “Watermark” in the dialogue box then click OK.
Step 2: Add the Text for Your Watermark
Making sure you are working on the new layer, select the text tool. Now click anywhere on the image to begin adding the text. Choose the font, text size, and color you desire and then type the text you want to use.
You can change the font, color, and location of the text on the image at any time by highlighting the text and editing it as you wish. Once you have it how and where you like it, simply hit enter, and you’re done!
Keep in mind, you can adjust opacity from the layers panel to lighten it up if needed. Or to make it more bold, you can duplicate the layer.
Step 3. Turn Your Text Watermark Into an Action (Optional)
A very quick way to replicate these text watermark steps for use on your images going forward is to go to the Actions panel and create an action.
Start by opening your actions panel. Next, click on the "Create New Action" button at the bottom of the Actions Panel. This button looks like a square with a corner folded up. When you click this, a new dialog box will open up asking you to name your action, so go ahead and do that. Then press the "Record" button.
Now all the steps you take in Photoshop will be recorded. Just follow the steps we described above to add your watermark. When you are finished adding the watermark to your image, press the "Stop" button to tell Photoshop to stop recording your what you are doing.
Now, the process of adding your watermark to your image has been turned into an action. To run the action you just created, highlight the action and press "Play". Once the action runs and adds the text, you can go into the layers panel to select the text and make any changes needed - which might include changing the location of the text or the color.
How to Turn a Logo into a Watermark
Another way to watermark your images is to add a logo or design. In most cases, this would be one you have already created or had created for you to use for all of your advertisement purposes, such as your website, business cards, flyers, etc.
Just as with adding text, less is more. You DO NOT want to add something too large or colorful that it distracts from your image (like the one I added below).
Step 1: Open and Copy Your Logo
In Photoshop, Open both the image you want to watermark AND the file/image containing your logo. Select your logo and press cmd/ctrl + C.
Step 2: Add the Logo to Your Image
Paste your logo image to the image you are watermarking. You can then drag your logo to reposition it and resize as needed.
If your logo is on a white background, select the layer containing the logo from the layers panel and change the blending mode to “Darken” to get rid of the white background.
Step 3: Adjust Your Logo as Needed
Now adjust the opacity as needed to get the transparency to your liking. Again, less is more.
Once again, be mindful of the logo design you are using. The logo you use on your website or business cards may NOT be the best one to use for watermarking purposes. You may need to change the color to something more simple and less distracting like black and/or white.
Once you have your logo watermark the way you like for your images, save it to a different file on your computer for future use.
How to Create a Custom Brush to Apply Your Watermark
Adding a watermark using a custom Photoshop brush is probably the FASTEST and EASIEST way to quickly add watermarks to your photos. You can set this up with both a text or logo design.
Once you create your custom brush, you can simply select the brush tool, click on the watermark brush and then just click anywhere you want on your image to place the watermark.
Follow these steps to turn your already saved watermark into a custom Photoshop brush for super easy, future use:
Step 1: Prepare the Logo
Make sure your logo resolution is around 500 pixels – 1000 pixels. This will ensure that the quality won't be affected in case you need to scale it down once its added it to your image.
You will also need to make sure that your logo is on a white background before creating a brush with it. So make any adjustments needed as far as resolution and grayscale before converting to a brush.
Step 2: Convert Your Logo to a Brush
Once you have the image the way you want it and opened in Photoshop, click on Edit>Define Brush Preset. Name it something easy to locate in the brush list. “Watermark” or “Logo” are the most obvious options. If you plan on creating more than one watermark brush (maybe one for a logo/design and a separate one for basic text), make sure to name them accordingly. After naming your brush, press OK to save it. You now have a custom watermark brush ready to use at any time!
Step 3: Using Your Logo Brush
To use your custom watermark brush, use your mouse to select the brush tool from the left toolbar and click on the watermark brush from the list; or just select “B” from your keyboard (Photoshop shortcut) then right click to access your brush list and find it.
Choose a color and adjust the size of your brush by using the [ ] bracket tools to increase or decrease the size. Now click anywhere on your image to place the watermark where you want it to be.
It will not be necessary to repeat these steps each time you want to use your watermark brush. It will automatically be saved in Photoshop once you complete the steps to define and name it. Then adding a watermark to your images will be as easy as grabbing the brush and placing it wherever you like!
Watermarking images is an important part of photography and if you follow these steps, adding watermarks to your photos can become a very quick and easy process, especially if you turn your watermark into an action or brush to save even MORE time!
Do you have any questions or comments about How to Make a Watermark in Photoshop? Leave me a comment below - I would love to hear from you! And please share this tutorial using the social sharing buttons - we really appreciate it!