Tuesday, July 23, 2013

How to Create Your Own Custom Watermark in Photoshop CS5

Whether you're sending proofs to clients, writing a blog post, or selling prints of your photos online, a custom watermark is a great way to promote your business and protect your photos all at the same time! However, they can be quite tedious to manually apply to each photograph. Here's how you can avoid that tragic monotony:

Drumroll please......

Photoshop Actions!

I know. When I first heard this, I was like "Oh my, that sounds way to technical." It's not. I promise.

Hold onto your hats ladies and gentlemen, because the ease of this tutorial is going to blow. your. mind.

1. Open a new document. [Sorry. That was lame...Thank you, captain obvious. ;)] But seriously, this is important. Make sure your file size and resolution is similar to the photos you'll be applying your watermark to. It doesn't have to be exact at all, just getting it in the ballpark will make your life way easier later on. I like to use 4x6 inches at 300 px.

2.  Figure out your design. You can keep it really simple or jazz it up. Don't be afraid to experiment, just remember what you did. You'll need that in the next step. [Note: As far as color's concerned, most people use white because it shows up the best on all photos. :)]

Here are some watermarks that I love:

Image Source
Image Source
Image Source
3. Now, here's the "magic" part. Merge all the layers [except the background] that are part of your watermark. Copy it. Clear your canvas [don't hate me!]. Open your actions panel [if it's not there, click "window --> actions" or alt +F9]. Click the "new action" button. Name it whatever you're little heart so desires. Then, press the "record button".

Now, you can paste your watermark [or create it again from scratch] and the computer will save what you did so you don't have to do it over and over and over again.

4. While still "recording", position your watermark where you think you will use it most and re-size it until you like it. You'll be able to adjust this each time you use the action, so don't stress about getting it perfect.

5. Don't stop recording yet! Change your oppacity. This is what gives watermarks that professional, half-see through look.

6. When you are finished, end the "recording" by pressing the "stop" button [the square]. 

Now whenever you want to apply your watermark to a photo, all you have to do is press the "play" button [the triangle]. Photoshop will automatically repeat all of the steps you recorded. From there, you can adjust your watermark to fit each individual photo.

Here's an example from my personal portfolio. See what a great addition a watermark can be?

Like this Photo? Buy it on our Etsy shop, here. :)

Make sure to save your watermarked images in a separate document from your originals! You don't want to get stuck only being able to print photos with your logo on them. [Not that I've ever done that before....;)].

Let me know if you have any questions or tutorial requests! I love hearing from readers!

Have a great day!


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