A while back I shared with you all how to create a watermark text font in Photoshop to copyright photographs and artworks. I realize not everyone has Photoshop, so I decided to find some helpful online watermarking tools. These will aid in protecting images in case they are posted elsewhere without adequate permissions.
As you know, it is very easy for visitors to right-click and download almost any image on the web. With a Pinterest stop pinning website code installed on a website, anyone can still obtain the image this way, and copy it elsewhere.
It is virtually impossible to prevent all art thievery on the internet, but there are certainly ways of making it less likely.
Some of these were explained previously at How to Protect Art from Online Theft.
This article examines watermark creation. There are many free online watermarking services which artists may use to implement a watermark to a single artwork or multiple. The process often involves uploading images, and adjusting the copyright message, fonts, font size, placement, colours, etc.
Before discussing these, I will explain my recommended format for a digital watermark.
Recommended Format for a Copyright Watermark
There are various formats for watermarks employed by artists. Some artists include an artist website, while others attach their name. Adding the current year and a copyright symbol © is also a widely held practice.
What follows is my preferred copyrighting method, stating either my name or art website.
©Graham Matthews 2012
Tips: Keep the watermarking message short, and included the copyright symbol ©. (Copy and paste this symbol where needed) The watermark should not be too noticeable as to distract from the artwork, but still be easily read.
Free Online Watermarking Tools
Please note: We at Artpromotivate are not affiliated with any of these listed free online watermarking programs. We only list them as a service to our readers, so that they can decide for themselves which matches their situation.
Picmarkr.com offers a free online watermarking tool.
Options include image, text, or tiled watermarks. Uploaded artworks may only be watermarked five at a time.
Picmarkr also allows watermarking of photos from Picasa, a Facebook profile, and Flickr. I only tested the Facebook watermarking, but it seems to work fine. Picmarkr will require access to your personal Facebook photos in order to add the copyright information. 10 images may be watermarked at a time. When the process is complete, the watermarked photos replace the originals.
Watermarktool is also free for the basic features. Various options included for free are text size and color, and positioning the copyright onto the photograph. Use the classic upload method to upload only 4 photos at a time, or the multi-uploader tool, which requires flash.
Click the select files button. To add watermarks to every image in a folder, select them all. If they are larger than 200KB, an error appears, and the file will not upload.
Click Upload Selected Files and wait for completion. In the Personalize section, enter the copyright text inside the box. Adjust the settings if desired, and click Generate.
Thumbnails of all the watermarked photos will appear, along with the original image. Click on an artwork to open it in a new window, then right-click and save the file to another folder and rename.
The main criticism I have for Watermark Tool is no full control over the outcome of multiple images. Most of the watermarks do look ok (right), but depending on the image, the watermark may be difficult to see (top), and other times the text is larger than normal.
But, besides that, this free watermarking tool serves its purpose well.
At Watermark.ws, images may be batch processed, resized, and compressed. They accept a fairly large file size for free (500kb), and allowed file types include tiff, png, bmp, gif, and jpg. Options include adjusting watermark type, style, colors, and position.
Click Upload Photo to get started, then Manage Photo to make the image appear at the right of the screen.
Click Add Watermark, enter some copyright text, and adjust font, color, size, alpha (opacity), angle and multiplicity. Drag to position it anywhere on the photograph. You may have to resize the watermark box as well.
Resize and compress the image if desired, then click the blue Process Photo button, then the black one below it.
- Watermark Images
Watermark Images has a multitude of options that will satisfy anyone wanting to add copyrights to photographs. 20 artworks may be added at once, totalling no more than 20MB.
Font properties: select the font type, color, size, transparency, and whether you want solid or outline.
Position of watermark: Place the copyright anywhere on the image.
Special Effects: Adjust rotation, shadow, and shadow color.
Box around Text: Most other watermark programs do not give this option of deciding whether to include a box or not.
Which Watermark Website is Best?
Both Watermark Images and Watermark.ws are very good choices for an online copyrighting program. Choose either depending on maximum image size, and number of photographs to upload simultaneously. If you need to add watermarks to Facebook, Flickr, or Picasa photos, use Picmarkr.