Saturday, March 1, 2014

If You Don't Watermark Your Work ...


If you think, "Oh, it's just a sketchbook page," or, "It's just a class exercise," or, "No one will be interested in this," or "It's not good enough to copy," stop fooling yourself!
I had a class project I thought the same thing about show up on an listing ... and it wasn't mine. The whole composition was copied, down to the type treatments.
Luckily, the young woman took the listing down when confronted, but it taught me a lesson. Posting your images small and in low resolution doesn't protect you. That's what I've always done, but in this case the woman painted a copy of my art instead using the digital file to print something. In cases like that, having your name front and center might protect you.

Here's how I made mine above.
1. Open Your Image in Photoshop.
2. Copy a White version of your logo to a layer on top of the image OR create a text layer of your name with a white fill.
3. Place it over the main area of interest in your image, someplace where it won't be easy for someone else to clone it out.
4. Change the opacity of the layer to 50% (or whatever you prefer) to allow both the image and the watermark to show.
5. Add a drop shadow to help the watermark show up in light areas of the illustration.
6. Save your file to 72dpi and keep the dimensions as small as possible. The image above is 530 pixels x 400 pixels – just large enough to fit in the space on my blog. You can always keep a high resolution file for yourself, but don't put anything online that someone could grab and use to print.

And finally, not to be depressing, but if you post your art online you run the risk of it being copied. You have to think about sites like Pinterest and Tumblr where your images might get posted without a link to your site and your information.

Stop thinking it won't happen to you.
PROTECT IT – Watermark everything you post.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the how-to. I've never known how to do it. I don't have photoshop, but I've been thinking of getting Photoshop Elements. Maybe now is the time.


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