Tips and Tricks: Labeling your Artwork for the Internet

You may have noticed that the pictures of my rugs that I share on this blog have my name on them. Or, maybe you haven’t noticed – I try to add my name discretely so that it doesn’t take away from the rug itself. Recently, a fellow rug hooking teacher sent me a picture of a rug and asked me if it was mine, because it looked familiar to her. She had found it after it was posted on the internet by another person. It was my rug, and I didn’t know the person who had posted it without any reference to me. However, anyone who took a close look at the photo would have noticed my name on it.

I don’t know how this person found my rug, if it was on this blog or elsewhere, but this is a valuable thing to remember: if you post a photo on the internet, it will be there forever, even if you take down the original image. This exact issue is why I began watermarking my rugs when I post them on this blog, so that even if someone else reposts my art without attributing it to me, it’s still labeled with my name. It’s possible that most people who post someone else’s work just do so because they like it. On the other hand, there are most definitely some who try to represent another artist’s work as their own.

To watermark my images, I use Photoshop Elements, which I downloaded several years ago. You might already have access to a version of Photoshop or Photoshop Elements that you could use for watermarking your work. However, Photoshop and Photoshop Elements require paid subscriptions now, and so if you don’t have access already, there’s a variety of free photo editing software available, that you could use instead. For example, there’s Darktable, Pixlr x, GIMP, or Krita.

Once you have access to a photo editing software, watermarking your photos is very simple.

To create a watermark, I start by opening up my Photoshop Elements software. I then go to the File menu at the top of the window, select New, and then Blank File. Then, I drag the picture I want to edit into the new blank file I created.

I like to drag the photo I want to edit directly into the software page, to make it easier on myself.

The first step to working in photo editing software is always to duplicate your current “layer”, which is the photo you are editing. You do this in the panel to the right of your screen – you right click and select “duplicate layer”, as shown in the image below.

Here you can see the photo I’ve selected at the center of the screenshot. On the right, you right click the image of the photo and select “Duplicate Layer.”

Once you’ve duplicated your layer, click the little eye next to the original background layer to hide it. You will know the layer has been successfully hidden, because the eye icon will have a red line through it, as shown in the images below. Now you’ve prepped your photo and are ready to begin creating your watermark. Start by selecting your text tool – it is usually shown as a “T” in the menu on the left. Once you’ve selected the text tool you can click on your image where you’d like to begin writing your watermark.

The Text tool is the “T” in the left menu bar. Once you’ve selected your text tool you can click on your photo where you would like to begin typing, which in Photoshop Elements shows as a cursor with a check mark and red circle with a line through it.

Type out your name, company, or other text that you’d like to watermark. There are three tools that I use to change the appearance of my text to suit what I need: font size, color, and opacity.

In the screenshot above, I’ve typed out my name for the watermark, and the color, font size, and opacity options are all circled in grey (in the bottom left and top right of the image). For this photo, all I choose to do was lower the opacity of the text to 50%.

Once the text has been adjusted to suit my needs, I can further adjust where it appears on the page using the rectangle that surrounds the text to enlarge the text, make it smaller, or turn it on a diagonal.

After adjusting the opacity of the text, I choose to shift it over to the right side of the image, and shift it so that it is on a diagonal.

Once the appearance of your text is to your liking, you can click the green check to accept it, and save your photo. When saving your photo, I like to recommend renaming it so that you know it is edited, and make sure you remember to save the image as a JPEG file.

Here is the final watermarked image that was created!

If you have any questions about the steps outlined above, please let me know! I’m happy to further clarify anything that’s needed.

As a final note, if you do come across a photo of something you like, and you want to post it online, on your social media page, website, etc., post a note with the photo attributing where you found it, who created it and/or from whom you have obtained it. It will help you remember over time, it will give credit where it is due, and if someone sees it and knows the originator, they will most likely let them know that someone thinks enough of their work that they are sharing it with others. This will reflect well on the originator of the post, AND on you as the sharer.

3 thoughts on “Tips and Tricks: Labeling your Artwork for the Internet

  1. I’ve been water marking my patterns also. I use abode but have to pay a monthly fee. This is great on how to do it with other programs without the fee.

    Liked by 1 person

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