I know there are many ways of creating a watermark. Using the Watermark Editor in Lightroom for example allows you to add your own text or graphic to your images. In general there is a lot of debate whether or not to add a watermark to images.
This article isn’t going to discuss the pros and cons of watermarking your images. Instead, I will demonstrate a step-by-step tutorial using the Custom Tool in Photoshop.
Whether you upload your images to the various social media platforms, or you want to send a client a high resolution image for proofing. This easy tutorial will show you how to create your own watermark using the custom tool in Photoshop.
For a while, my method was opening an image file where I had my own custom copyright information on a text layer. So that I could easily drag and drop this text layer onto a new image. This made more sense and took less time to add a watermark image rather than creating it every time. That is until one day, I couldn’t find the file!
Here are my four easy to follow steps to creating your own custom watermark using the Custom Tool in Photoshop. I prefer to use a custom shape over a custom brush. Shapes are vectors which means they scale up or down without losing quality.
Step 1 – Create a new document
Open Photoshop and create a new document. Make it 1000 pixels wide, by 300 pixels high.
Step 2 – Add text
Press the letter D on your keyboard, to make sure your foreground color is black. Choose whatever font you like, then press T to select the type tool. Hold down ALT key on a Mac and press G (Alt+0169 on a PC). This brings up the copyright symbol, add a space and type your name and year.
Step 3 – Convert the layer to a shape
Go over to the layers panel. Right click on the text layer and go down to Convert to Shape.
This icon appears in the thumbnail to show that the layer is now a shape layer.
Step 4 – Save as a custom shape
Go up to Edit menu and select Define Custom Shape. A Shape Name dialog box appears – type in Watermark and click OK. This now adds your type as a custom option in your Shape Presets Library.
That’s it. It took just four steps to create your own custom copyright watermark. Let me show now how to access, and add it to your images.
Apply your watermark to images for online viewing
Open an image that you want to share on Facebook, Flickr, etc. Create a new layer in the Layers Panel. Choose the Custom Shape tool in the toolbar (press Shift+U)
Go up to the Options Bar and click on the thumbnail next to the word Shape. This brings up the Shape Presets Library dialog box. At the very bottom, you will find the shape called Watermark.
Now press and hold the Shift key, click and drag the watermark shape across your image. The Shift key ensures the shape remains in proportion. Don’t worry about the size just yet. Place it in position – in this case, I placed the watermark bottom right.
Now as the foreground color was set to black, I want to change the color to white. Go up to the Layers Panel and click on the Layer thumbnail and the color picker dialog box appears. You can choose whatever color you want here.
Go back up to the Layers Panel and reduce the opacity to your desired setting. I chose 40%.
I now want to reduce the size of the watermark. Go up to the Edit menu and choose Free Transform Path (Cmd+T on a Mac). Holding down the Shift and Alt keys, drag any of the corners of the transform handles in towards the centre. This reduces the size while keeping the aspect in proportion. Press Enter or the Commit Transform button up in the Options Bar. Go up to File and Save for the Web.
Apply to high res images for proofing
Okay, so let’s say you want to send a higher resolution image to a client. Open up the image. Click on the Custom Shape Tool (Shift+U). The watermark shape is already selected, so hold the Shift key and click and drag right across the image. Leave the color as it is.
This watermark is going to be transparent. Click on the Add a Layer Style icon at the bottom of the Layers Panel and select Bevel and Emboss. The Layer Style dialog box appears. Increase the size to 8 pixels and change the direction to down.
Next go over to the left and click on the Blending Options: Custom, which is directly above the Bevel and Emboss. Under Advance Blending bring the Fill Opacity slider down to zero and click OK. Go back up to Opacity in the Layers Panel and reduce to 68%.
To place your Custom Watermark Shape at the top in the Presets Library, click on the thumbnail right of the word Shape in the Options Bar. The Shape Presets Library dialog box appears. Click on the gear icon and select Preset Manager, the Preset Manager dialog box appears with all the shapes. The Watermark shape is the very last one, click and drag it up to the top and click the Done button.
Do you use watermarks on your images? Why or why not?
What techniques do you use? Please share in the comments below.