Create an Image Watermark in Photoshop - Digital Photography School

Create an Image Watermark in Photoshop

Create an Image Watermark in Photoshop

In a recent post I talked about using an image watermark in Lightroom to apply to your images. This post I’ll show you how to create the watermark image to use.

This watermark has two concentric circles with text between them and a set of wavy lines making it reminiscent of a post office stamp cancellation. The watermark also has a slightly grunge look.

To make it, start in Photoshop with a letter size image. I set mine to landscape orientation with a white background. This will make it easy to create a black watermark and I will be able to see it as I work.

Add a new layer by choosing Layer > New > Layer. This is a transparent layer on which you’ll place the circles.

Make a watermark image in photoshop step1

Start with the Ellipsis Tool which shares a position in the Tools with the Rectangle tool – it is a shape tool – don’t use the Elliptical Marquee Tool.

Make sure that the option on the Tool Option bar is set to Path and hold Shift as you drag a circle on the screen.

Make a watermark image in photoshop step2

When the circle is in position choose Window > Paths to view the Paths palette.

Select the Brush tool and select a brush. I used a Hard Round brush sized down to around 40 pixels.

Set the foreground color to black, click the Work Path in the Paths palette to select it and then click the Stroke Path with Brush icon at the foot of the Paths palette. This strokes the path with the current brush.

Make a watermark image in photoshop step3

Click the Path Selection Tool which shares a position in the Tools palette with the Direct Selection Tool. Click on the path and it will select the entire path.

If the transformation handles do not appear press Ctrl + T (Command + T on the Mac). Hold Shift and Alt (Shift and Option on the Mac) and drag inwards to create a circle which is concentric with the previous circle.

Make a watermark image in photoshop step4

Repeat the process of selecting the Brush, click on the path so it is selected and click to Stroke Path with Brush.

Make a watermark image in photoshop step5

Click the Path Selection Tool and, with this smaller circle selected, press Ctrl + T (Command + T on the Mac). Hold Shift and Alt (Shift and Option on the Mac) and drag a little outwards to create a circle path for typing the text along.

Make a watermark image in photoshop step6

Select the Text tool and hold the mouse over this third path.

Look for the text tool to show as an I-beam pointer with a bent line through it – this tells you Photoshop will align the text along the path.

Click once to anchor the Text tool to the path. Select the text color – in my case I chose black – and select the font and font size – I used Myriad Pro – 24 points. Type the text to use – I typed:

© 2012, Helen Bradley – projectwoman.com –

To enter © hold Alt and type 0169.
?Make a watermark image in photoshop step7

With the text selected display the Character palette by choosing Window > Character and adjust the tracking to expand the text so it wraps all the way around the shape.

Make a watermark image in photoshop step8

You can draw your own lines for the cancellation lines using the Custom Shape Tool. First create a new layer then select the Wave shape and on the Tool Options bar make sure that it is set to Path.

Make a watermark image in photoshop step9

Drag to make your curved lines.

Make a watermark image in photoshop step10

Select the Add Anchor Point Tool (it shares a position with the Pen tool) and click once in the middle of each end of the path to add a point.

Make a watermark image in photoshop step11

Target the Direct Selection Tool, click one at a time on the Anchor points you just added and press Delete – this breaks the 3 paths in half to make 6 paths. When the Anchor is selected it will show as a dark filled square.

Make a watermark image in photoshop step12

Select your Brush and black paint and select the path in the Paths palette and click the Stroke Path with Brush icon.

Make a watermark image in photoshop step13

Once you’ve done this you can add a grunge effect.

Start by hiding the background layer, target the top layer and press Control + Alt + Shift + E to create a flattened layer with transparency. Hide all layers but this top one.

If the lines aren’t dark enough duplicate this layer a few times and they will darken. Then merge all these duplicated layers

To add the grunge effect click Add a Layer Mask icon at the foot of the layers palette to add a mask to the layer. Locate an interesting texture image to use such as this one from www.mayang.com/textures.

Make a watermark image in photoshop step14

Make it the same size as your image by choosing Image > Resize, deselect the Constrain Proportions checkbox and click Window and click your copyright image file to use its dimensions. Click Ok.

Now return to your Copyright image, click the mask to target it and choose Image > Apply Image. From the Source box select the texture image (it won’t appear in the list if it isn’t the right size), and then set the other options to suit so you get a distressed look to your copyright symbol. Click Ok.

Make a watermark image in photoshop step15

Add a new layer and press Control + Alt + Shift + E to create a flattened version of the image on this layer but maintaining its transparency. Make all other layers invisible and crop the image close around your shape.

Then choose File > Save As and save it as a .PNG image to use in Photoshop or Lightroom as a copyright overlay.

If you select the top layer and press Control + I you’ll invert it to make a white version of the copyright image that you can then save as a second .png file.

Make a watermark image in photoshop step16

Make sure to also save your file as a .psd file if you think you might need to make changes to it – for example, to change the date – a .png file is flattened so it won’t be easy to edit – a .psd file will be much easier to update.

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Helen Bradley is a Lifestyle journalist who divides her time between the real and digital worlds, picking the best from both. She writes and produces video instruction for Photoshop and digital photography for magazines and online providers world wide. She has also written four books on photo crafts and blogs at Projectwoman.com.

  • Serhan Altug

    Hello,

    Nice tutorial but…

    “Make it the same size as your image by choosing Image > Resize, deselect the Constrain Proportions checkbox and click Window and click your copyright image file to use its dimensions. Click Ok.”

    I use Photoshop CS6 and culdn’t find the Image > Resize option. What do i false?

    And in the next step, in Apply image can not see the Source for texture.

  • http://www.enviactions.com Stacie Jensen

    Great tutorial for those that do not already have a logo to turn into a paintbrush. If this image is made on a canvas at 1500 px width or less you can turn into a paintbrush to make your watermark quick and simple by going to Edit and then “Define Brush Preset” and tada you have a watermark paintbrush :) Make sure you are still in the psd or png format on a transparent background.

  • John Smith

    Nice tutorial however I only managed to get as far as “Set the foreground color to black, click the Work Path in the Paths palette to select it and then click the Stroke Path with Brush icon at the foot of the Paths palette…” before I lost the plot. Couldn’t work out what the Work Paths in the Paths Palette bit was all about.

    Never mind, this used to be a damned good read ;-)

  • http://www.projectwoman.com Helen Bradley

    @serhan Oops.. sorry, the command is Image > Image Size – my fault entirely. The reason you can’t see the texture in the source file area is that you have to make the texture file the same size as the working file to be able to see it in the Apply Image source box.

    You should be fine once you resize the texture to match the working file size.

    @john smith – if you choose Window > Paths you will see the paths palette. The top path is called work path, click it and follow the steps from there.

    I’ll try to schedule doing this as a video tutorial so you can watch, pause and follow along. That might help.

    cheers

    Helen

  • John Smith

    Helen,
    Ok, I maybe managed that and drew a grubby circle on the page…then “Click the Path Selection Tool which shares a position in the Tools palette with the Direct Selection Tool” has totally floored me.
    I think after a couple of hours on this will give up…

  • http://www.projectwoman.com Helen Bradley

    I have just recorded a video of this post which is up on YouTube here:

    http://youtu.be/1LuPMwwFDmQ

    It steps through the instructions in the post and shows you exactly how you do it in a watch and learn format. Hope this helps some readers who were struggling with Paths and working out exactly how this is done.

    Helen

  • Chris

    Thanks! Took me a couple of hours and bit of googling the more cryptic bits but I have a watermark! Now to work out how to apply it to a picture.. After completing this tutorial though I’m sure it will be a doddle! Thanks again.

  • http://www.cramerimaging.com Cramer Imaging

    This is another interesting way of creating a watermark. My method is to copy an image file of my logo with a layer style, drop it in as a layer on the photograph I want to watermark, resize it, and change the layer filter to a nice soft light filter or a screen filter, position it, and call it good. The custom paint brush method is another good way to go. I just prefer having that translucent look to my watermark that is so irritating to try and clone out. This is a really good idea though and has that artsy feel that many of us photographers like.

  • http://flickr.com/shotsunexposed Ramiz Kazi

    It’s a great idea, i have made some changes into this and saved it as a custom brush so i can easily use it. Thanks.

  • http://www.yiigo.com/guides/vbnet/ Thomas Smith

    I’m having a hard time using a lib to add watermark to images with this
    http://www.yiigo.com/guides/vbnet/how-to-create-watermark.shtml
    Perhaps I should try PhotoShop, seems way too easier and much fun. :)

Some older comments

  • Ramiz Kazi

    June 22, 2013 03:04 am

    It's a great idea, i have made some changes into this and saved it as a custom brush so i can easily use it. Thanks.

  • Cramer Imaging

    March 17, 2013 10:42 am

    This is another interesting way of creating a watermark. My method is to copy an image file of my logo with a layer style, drop it in as a layer on the photograph I want to watermark, resize it, and change the layer filter to a nice soft light filter or a screen filter, position it, and call it good. The custom paint brush method is another good way to go. I just prefer having that translucent look to my watermark that is so irritating to try and clone out. This is a really good idea though and has that artsy feel that many of us photographers like.

  • Chris

    February 25, 2013 09:57 am

    Thanks! Took me a couple of hours and bit of googling the more cryptic bits but I have a watermark! Now to work out how to apply it to a picture.. After completing this tutorial though I'm sure it will be a doddle! Thanks again.

  • Helen Bradley

    February 22, 2013 07:38 am

    I have just recorded a video of this post which is up on YouTube here:

    http://youtu.be/1LuPMwwFDmQ

    It steps through the instructions in the post and shows you exactly how you do it in a watch and learn format. Hope this helps some readers who were struggling with Paths and working out exactly how this is done.

    Helen

  • John Smith

    February 8, 2013 06:52 am

    Helen,
    Ok, I maybe managed that and drew a grubby circle on the page...then "Click the Path Selection Tool which shares a position in the Tools palette with the Direct Selection Tool" has totally floored me.
    I think after a couple of hours on this will give up...

  • Helen Bradley

    February 8, 2013 05:58 am

    @serhan Oops.. sorry, the command is Image > Image Size - my fault entirely. The reason you can't see the texture in the source file area is that you have to make the texture file the same size as the working file to be able to see it in the Apply Image source box.

    You should be fine once you resize the texture to match the working file size.

    @john smith - if you choose Window > Paths you will see the paths palette. The top path is called work path, click it and follow the steps from there.

    I'll try to schedule doing this as a video tutorial so you can watch, pause and follow along. That might help.

    cheers

    Helen

  • John Smith

    February 8, 2013 05:30 am

    Nice tutorial however I only managed to get as far as "Set the foreground color to black, click the Work Path in the Paths palette to select it and then click the Stroke Path with Brush icon at the foot of the Paths palette..." before I lost the plot. Couldn't work out what the Work Paths in the Paths Palette bit was all about.

    Never mind, this used to be a damned good read ;-)

  • Stacie Jensen

    February 8, 2013 03:44 am

    Great tutorial for those that do not already have a logo to turn into a paintbrush. If this image is made on a canvas at 1500 px width or less you can turn into a paintbrush to make your watermark quick and simple by going to Edit and then "Define Brush Preset" and tada you have a watermark paintbrush :) Make sure you are still in the psd or png format on a transparent background.

  • Serhan Altug

    February 6, 2013 11:41 pm

    Hello,

    Nice tutorial but...

    "Make it the same size as your image by choosing Image > Resize, deselect the Constrain Proportions checkbox and click Window and click your copyright image file to use its dimensions. Click Ok."

    I use Photoshop CS6 and culdn't find the Image > Resize option. What do i false?

    And in the next step, in Apply image can not see the Source for texture.

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