Watermark and Branding

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December 21, 2014

Watermark and Branding

Australia, golden hour, HDR, high dynamic range, landscape, Narrabeen, Northern Beaches, NSW, Philip Avellana, rock formation, rocks, seascape, sunrise, Turimetta Beach
Seacliff Barricade

So, you've now decided to put watermark in your images, but what information should you include?  Where do you put your watermark in your image?  Are there any colour schemes?  How big should my watermark be?  

As watermarks are personal and dependent on the photographer, there are no definite answers to these questions.  But there are effective watermarks.  They are effective  because they give information about copyright and they can send a viewer back to the photo's rightful owner.

Simple Copyright

Generally, the person who shoots the photo owns the photo, owns the copyright.  If you're going to post online, it's good to add your watermark so that you can stamp your name to it.  To have a simple watermark, add the following:

  • Copyright symbol
  • Year
  • Your name or company's name

Below is a sample:

  • © 2014 Philip Avellana
  • (c) 2015 adventscape

Both '©' and '(c)' are accepted.  For Windows, the copyright symbol '©' can be done by depressing 'ALT' then '0, 1, 6, 9'.  Having © just looks cool.


I like the Simple Copyright.  But I want to add some branding to it.  So I changed my copyright (the one above) to something different.    People who always see my work will be familiar with this logo:

I always put this logo on all my work (whether I change my watermark or not) so it's consistent - it becomes my brand.  

To have more creative options, I created my copyright in Photoshop.  Below is what I made:

If you notice, the 'IORI' logo is still there.  This is branding and consistency.  I didn't add the year, but I modified the name to be the website URL.  This way, you can add this URL to the Address Bar on your web browser to get to my website.  You can even search Google for 'iori' and 'adventscape' and my website will show on top.

In 2015, I'm thinking of modifying my watermark again.  I'm thinking of doing it like:  

The reason why I don't like to put in the year is that, every year, you need to amend your watermark.  This is not laziness, rather, I like the idea that once you upload your photo online, all information is always consistent.  I may go against adding the year later.

Final Thoughts

Adding a watermark with your copyright stamp on it at least adds another layer of protection to your images.  A simple '© 2014 Philip Avellana' is already good enought for general purposes.  But if you want to add branding to your watermark, you'd better be creative.

I added my logo and website address, so that wherever my photos ended up (as long as my watermark is there) credit can always go back to me.

If you're thinking of making your watermark fancy, please show me or post it here. 
Thank you!

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