Should You Watermark Your Digital Artwork?

Graphic Artist


Many artists, photographers, and even businesses opt to add a digital ‘watermark’ symbol to their online artworks, designs, and images as the way to guard their ownership and copyrights.

Wikipedia explains: Digital watermarking is the process of embedding information into a digital signal which can be wont to verify its authenticity or the identity of its owners, for visible identification within the same manner as paper bearing a watermark.

One of the simplest ways to achieve exposure as an artist or photographer is solely to induce your images out there. Obviously, it’s great to publish images to your portfolio site or photoblog. The more folks that see your images, the more potential clients you’ll receive, right?

Unfortunately, publishing your work online isn’t entirely that straightforward. While people will recognize images on your site as your work, what would happen if some other person saved your image from the net and uploaded it onto their own website as their own work? It’s a terrible thought to contemplate, but tragically this happens to photographers fairly often.

Watermarking: the answer to Copyright Infringement?

It’s tempting to mention that simply watermarking your photographs will protect them from misuse, but unfortunately, this can be not the case. While there are benefits to watermarking, there are a lot of potential drawbacks that you simply must consider:

  • The watermark impedes the image. You want to realize that a picture with enormous anti-theft copyright disrupting the topic of the image isn’t exactly appealing. In fact, in many cases, it might probably drive potential fans and viewers away from tracing the source of the watermark or perhaps viewing more images on whatever site published it.
  • The watermark implies that viewers are thieves. While having a large watermark that says “DO NOT STEAL” might deter thieves from copying that image and claiming it as their own work, to display an insulting lack of trust towards them is why (copyright infringement) many viewers would regard such a watermark.
  • The watermark discourages sharing. This is often just about the results of the previous two claims. If the watermark insults viewers or simply harms the integrity of the image, people won’t want to share the image. Needless to mention, this can be not smart marketing.
  • The watermark implies the photographer is more important than the topic. When people see an enormous watermark, what they’re seeing subconsciously is “Wow, this photographer is de facto filled with him or herself.” Not only is it saying the photographer is more important than the topic, it also says the photographer is more important than the photo. Does this seem backward?


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Obviously the image above could be a parody, but there are photographers who actually watermark their images in ways not too different from the parody above.

So the ideal solution here is simply to use a small watermark, placed within the corner of a picture or perhaps on an extended frame that surrounds the image, very similar to an artist would sign their paintings. this enables the watermark to exist cohesively with the image and protects the image from misuse.

Well, unfortunately employing a classy signature just like the one above doesn’t completely protect your image either. In fact, it’s extremely easy for somebody to merely appear the signature from the image so claim the image as their own. Whether or not the watermark actually overlays the image, if it’s deferred to the side or corner, it will be cropped and the general public who view it are none the wiser that the image isn’t original.

Why Watermark at All?

So why watermark at all if it doesn’t protect the image from theft after putting an enormous anti-theft watermark within the middle of the image impedes the topic of the image and puts an aesthetic signature or logo off to the side? It’s a sound question to ask, and plenty of professional and amateur photographers alike choose to not watermark or use a watermark remover for these very reasons.

However, leaving a signature-style watermark plays a very important marketing role, provided your clients and image sharers don’t misuse the image. If they don’t basset your signature or logo, you’ve got an identifying signal that may draw viewers back to your portfolio site. Believe it or not, many photographers have gained clients simply through prospective clients seeing one in every of their watermarked photos. If your signature or logo has the name of your website, it obviously helps for these purposes.

Of course, an honest number of photographers and digital artists gather future clients simply through good client feedback. By making their clients’ experiences as positive as possible, they mustn’t watermark the pictures they gave to their clients. Instead, their clients would post their images and rave about the photographer or artist within the image description.