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How to Make a Watermark in Photoshop

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Final product imageFinal product imageFinal product image
What You'll Be Creating

If you're wondering how to create a watermark in Photoshop, there are two ways to do it: manual and automatic. In this tutorial, I'll show you both of these methods!

Watermarks have two functions:

  1. They let your audience know who the author of the image is.
  2. They save your photos from unauthorized use.

So if you want to learn how to watermark photos in Photoshop, keep reading!

Looking for a quick logo for your watermark? Head on over to Envato Elements, where you can pick from thousands of options, including this series of typography logos. These are perfect for adding a professional watermark to your designs.

Minimal Logo SetMinimal Logo SetMinimal Logo Set

What You'll Learn in This Photoshop Watermark Tutorial

  • How to create a watermark in Photoshop
  • How to turn a logo into a watermark
  • How to add a watermark in Photoshop with an action
  • How to add a watermark in Photoshop with a brush
  • How to add a watermark in Photoshop to multiple photos at once

Follow along with us over on our Envato Tuts+ YouTube channel:

Tutorial Assets

Here's what you're going to need:

1. How to Make a Watermark in Photoshop Manually

Step 1

First, open the logo that you want to use as a watermark. Make sure it has a high resolution, so that it will look good on images of all sizes. The letters or symbols should be in greyscale—the brighter they are, the more transparent they will be in the end, so black and dark greys are the best choice.

open your logoopen your logoopen your logo

Step 2

Go to Edit > Define Brush Preset. Name it "Watermark Temp".

define brush presetdefine brush presetdefine brush preset

Step 3

Open a photo in a resolution that you work with most of the time. Create a New Layer and test your brush—see what size and color work best for your watermark. The location is not important for now.

experiment with color and sizeexperiment with color and sizeexperiment with color and size

Step 4

If you want to make your watermark semi-transparent, first take the Move Tool (V) and experiment with pressing the numbers on your keyboard—this will change the Opacity of the layer, so you'll be able to quickly test various options. Once you find the perfect Opacity, copy its value, take the Brush Tool (B) again, and paste it into the upper bar.

change the opacitychange the opacitychange the opacity
copy the opacitycopy the opacitycopy the opacity
Copy the value from here...
paste the opacitypaste the opacitypaste the opacity
... and paste it here.

Step 5

Now, go to the Brush Settings (F5) and click Create New Brush. Select all the options to save the settings you've just adjusted, and name it "Watermark".

create a new brushcreate a new brushcreate a new brush
new brush settingsnew brush settingsnew brush settings

Step 6

You can remove the Watermark Temp brush now. Your main watermark brush is ready to use—because all the settings have been saved, you won't have to adjust them every time you want to add a watermark. You just need to choose the spot and click to place the watermark there! But, of course, nothing's stopping you from readjusting the options if the image seems to require it.

testing new brushtesting new brushtesting new brush

2. How to Make a Watermark in Photoshop With an Action

Step 1

This first method is good and precise, but what if you have a lot of images to watermark? Then it's better to use a Photoshop action. To do this, open the Actions panel and Create a New Action. Name it "Watermark".

create new actioncreate new actioncreate new action
name the actionname the actionname the action

Step 2

Create a New Layer. Go to Edit > Fill and use any color.

fill the layer with colorfill the layer with colorfill the layer with color

Step 3

Press Control-T and make the layer 5% smaller in both dimensions. Name this layer "Border" and hide it.

resize the layerresize the layerresize the layer
layer resizedlayer resizedlayer resized
hide the layerhide the layerhide the layer

Step 4

Got to Edit > Place Embedded. Select your logo.

place your logoplace your logoplace your logo

Step 5

Select both the logo and the border layer. Take the Move Tool (V) and use the align controls on top to place the watermark in a spot that should work for any photo. You can keep the watermark in the center, to cover most of the photo, or somewhere closer to the border, like a signature. You can also change the dimensions to resize the logo.

select both layersselect both layersselect both layers
align the positionalign the positionalign the position
example positionexample positionexample position

Step 6

Double-click the logo layer. Set the chosen color in the Color Overlay, and the Opacity in the Blending Options.

add color overlayadd color overlayadd color overlay
Don't do this if you want to keep the original color of the logo.
color overlay resultcolor overlay resultcolor overlay result
adjust opacityadjust opacityadjust opacity
opacity adjustedopacity adjustedopacity adjusted

Step 7

Because this is an action, not a brush, we can use it as an opportunity to style the watermark some more. For example, if you're worried about the visibility of the watermark on various backgrounds, you can add a Drop Shadow and a Stroke. However, if your watermark is supposed to cover most of the photo, it's better to keep it as plain as possible.

add drop shadowadd drop shadowadd drop shadow
drop shadow effectdrop shadow effectdrop shadow effect
add strokeadd strokeadd stroke
stroke effectstroke effectstroke effect

Step 8

When you're done, right-click the layer stack and select Flatten Image.

Step 9

Now, go to File > Save a Copy and press Save without changing anything. Use the settings that you want to use for all the photos.

save settingssave settingssave settings

Step 10

Stop recording the action. Now all you need to do to add a watermark to a photo is to open it in Photoshop and press Play!

stop recordingstop recordingstop recording
play the actionplay the actionplay the action

3. How to Batch Watermark Photos in Photoshop

Step 1

Now you know how to add a watermark in Photoshop with an action, but to save time, you can use the Batch edit function. To do this, go to File > Automate > Batch.

Step 2

Make sure that the Watermark action is selected in the Play section.

select the actionselect the actionselect the action

Step 3

For the Source, select the folder with the images that you want to watermark.

select the sourceselect the sourceselect the source

Step 4

In the Destination section, select a separate folder for the edited images.

select the destinationselect the destinationselect the destination

Step 5

Check Override Action "Save As" Commands. Leave the other settings as they are.

check override save ascheck override save ascheck override save as

Step 6

Click OK and let Photoshop do its thing. Editing all the images this way make take a while, but you're free to run this process in the background and work on something else in the meantime!

batch action resultbatch action resultbatch action result

Good Job!

Now you know how to watermark photos in Photoshop, both manually and with actions!

photoshop watermark finalphotoshop watermark finalphotoshop watermark final

Logo Templates

You can use some simple text for your watermark, but if you want it to look good and complement the image, you should use a logo. If you don't have a logo, you can use templates and adjust them to your needs:

Minimal Logo Set (PSD, AI)

Minimal Logo SetMinimal Logo SetMinimal Logo Set

The logo I used in this tutorial comes from this huge set of 100 minimalistic logos. They're simple enough to be used as a watermark, yet so pretty that they will complement every photo they're on!

Vintage Logo & Badge (PSD, AI, EPS)

Vintage Logo & BadgeVintage Logo & BadgeVintage Logo & Badge

Do you need something more detailed and descriptive? These logos are artworks in their own right, and they will make your photos recognizable at first glance!

Heraldic Crest Logos Set (AI, PSD, EPS)

Heraldic Crest Logos SetHeraldic Crest Logos SetHeraldic Crest Logos Set

Minimalism is trendy, but sometimes you want something more—these beautiful logos are elegant and will work great as watermarks on wedding photography.

Technology Logo Collection (EPS, AI, SVG)

Technology Logo CollectionTechnology Logo CollectionTechnology Logo Collection

If you need something more modern, this set offers 12 logos with nice, simple icons, with space for your name and the tagline. They will work either as a black or a white watermark, or even as a full-color signature in the corner of the image.

Vintage Monogram Logo Pack (AI, EPS)

Vintage Monogram Logo PackVintage Monogram Logo PackVintage Monogram Logo Pack

But you may also prefer your watermark to be as simple as possible, so that it doesn't distract the viewer from the image. If this is the case for you, this set offers 26 two-letter signatures that look like little artworks and will fit every photo.

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