On Designing Watermarks to Further Define Our Artist Voice
To watermark or not to watermark? That is the question.
My personal rule of thumb is:
– usually, if I post the image on social media or blogs, I do add a watermark
– if the image is for a client or publication, of course, I don’t watermark it
– if the image is part of a digital portfolio of sorts, I do not watermark it
That said, I always add metadata to my images, right after downloading them and recheck that metadata (and captions) right before submitting them to the client.
Here, I’m not going to touch on why we should (should not?) watermark our images, copyright infringements and all that. Rather, I’ll try to touch on how to design watermarks to further enhance our work, in particular our artist voice and, perhaps, our brand.
In general, a watermark should include the copyright symbol © or the actual word, “Copyright,” sometimes the year when the image was made, and the photographer’s name. “All Rights Reserved” can also be added, but it would also add to the overall size, appearance, of the watermark. Some photographers choose to include additional symbols, to perhaps add to the uniqueness of their watermark design.
Watermarks can be distracting. Therefore, we need to walk that very fine line between adding a watermark, but creating it, designing it and placing it on our image so that it doesn’t distract too much from the image itself. In addition, we need to design a watermark that defines us, as photographers, and that defines our work, our artist voice, and, yes, our brand.
That is, when designing our watermark we need to consider several things, including its size, shape, and the font that we use, as well as the overall appearance of the watermark based on the style, look, feel, mood that define our work, our artist voice.
One other thing to consider is to keep the watermark design consistent with and throughout our work.
Myself, I’ve been through several watermark designs–from a Gothic-style one for my vampire photography to one involving some kind of calligraphy fonts for my first wedding photography jobs. But, in time, I did find my voice. Or, better said, perhaps I’ve learned how to better…express it, I believe. Hence, I’ve decided on a watermark that’s more me, more my work. At least that’s how I feel, and how I feel at this point.
One more thing. Keep in mind that every font, image, sentence, and, yes, watermark that you use on your website, in your digital or print portfolio, helps define your artist voice, your work, your brand. So take your time, allow enough time to choose what works best for you and your work. In other words, choose wisely.
As always, thanks for stopping by!