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watermarking portfolio pictures

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SmallDairy77

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Howdy everyone! 

Is it important to watermark pictures of one's art before putting them online?  I've been told watermarks make images harder to steal, but they also (I think) make them harder to look at.  Is there a better way?  And what programs can one run a picture through to watermark it? 
#1 - March 04, 2011, 09:31 AM

Double W Illustrations
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It's more important that you put images online at the correct DPI to lessen the chance that your artwork is stolen. 72 dpi. Keep your images small but large enough to easily see. I'm assuming your primary purpose for putting work online is to attract Art Directors? In that case you will want the proper viewing of your image to take precedence over someone possibly stealing it.

If you do watermark it then try to do so in a semi-unobtrusive way that doesn't detract from the ability of your artwork to be appreciated. I've seen some people put GIGANTIC watermarks across their artwork that makes it impossible to really see and appreciate the artwork. Which means an art director will have the same experience and probably pass that artist up.

At the most I put a copyright notice on my artwork and recently I don't even do that. (not on every individual image) But it's your call.

Photoshop works fine for adding watermarks to your images. You should be able to find any number of tutorials on how to do this by doing a Google search for adding watermarks to images. If you don't have Photoshop there are probably some free-ware programs in existence that will perform the function for you. Again, do a Google search for it!

Good luck!
#2 - March 04, 2011, 01:42 PM

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I think you will find greatly varying opinions on this topic. Personally I do watermark most of my online images. My thinking is that legitimate art buyers have the ability to see if my work is appropriate for their project through the distraction of the watermark. They can always ask for an unmarked image for presentation purposes if need be.
#3 - March 04, 2011, 01:55 PM

Karl_Diaz

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I used watermarks a long time ago and found that they really don't do much to help you. If someone want to steal your work they will find a way. Even disabling the right click option doesn't help much. I say show it for what it is put a disclaimer and copyright date on it and that's about all you really need to do.
#4 - March 04, 2011, 02:51 PM

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With photoshop (  bridge)  you can embed all your copyright info into the ditigial file-

 i- I lean towards not doing anything that will inhibit the art director view  of the online portfolio
#5 - March 04, 2011, 07:16 PM

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I'm not an illustrator, but I'm finding all this info very interesting. (I wish I was an illustrator!)

#6 - March 04, 2011, 08:48 PM
Being Frank (Flashlight Press)
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I think you will find greatly varying opinions on this topic. Personally I do watermark most of my online images. My thinking is that legitimate art buyers have the ability to see if my work is appropriate for their project through the distraction of the watermark. They can always ask for an unmarked image for presentation purposes if need be.

If you look at Steve's portfolio you will see that this is a good example of non obtrusive watermarks. His work is a great example to follow if you are going to do this.
#7 - March 05, 2011, 04:00 AM

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Thanks Wilson!
Julia K. I could be wrong about this, but I thought that the imbedded information is lost on the jpg when it is made from the psd file. 
Karl, quite right that the images are just as easy to steal, hopefully just a little less desirable. The good thing about adding a visible copyright notice is that if you ever do take someone to court the possible award is much greater if the infringer knowingly steals copyrighted work. If there is a copyright notice they can't claim they didn't know the image was under copyright.
#8 - March 05, 2011, 01:37 PM

SmallDairy77

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Thanks again everyone!  I found the copy right office very useful - some of the stuff was even written in terms I could understand!  And I figured out a way to watermark my pictures unobtrusively and tried it out on a few of them already!  I'm so excited to get going on all this stuff - this board is the bomb!!
#9 - March 05, 2011, 03:06 PM

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