Watermarks 101


Do cat pictures really need a watermark?


Adding a proprietary claim to a labor of non-profit love can be uncomfortable for a lot of people. There’s a feeling of “this isn’t about me, so why should I put my name on it?”. You’re not alone; it’s a perfectly reasonable state of mind… but it doesn’t factor in the benefits of watermarking.

It isn’t about self-promotion. Well, maybe a little, but not in the capitalist sense. Think of it as letting the community know what you do and that you’re here to help. Organizations will be able to recruit or consult you, resulting in more cats going home.

Watermarking your work will help people find you and the cat you’re promoting. Pictures can end up in some pretty crazy places, and there’s no guarantee that your organization’s name will go along with it unless included in the graphic itself.

Here’s how to do it.

For a text & picture tutorial, Picmonkey has one here.

Tips for watermarking 

  • The color can be adjusted after the watermark is placed on your picture, so don’t worry too much about choosing a permanent color while making the original.
  • Choose a contrasting shade for your mark to make it visible. For example, a white or light color if the background is dark, and a dark color if the background is light.
  • Use the “fade” slider to blend the mark into your image.
watermark color and transparency

Color, contrast, and transparency at work.

  • For the love of all that is decent, don’t put your watermark near the animal’s face or anywhere near the center of the image. This distracts the viewer, muddles the image, and makes you look tinfoil-hat paranoid about someone stealing your work. A corner is fine.
watermark size demo

Size and placement matter.

  • If you’re a shelter photographer, there is a chance your watermark will be cropped out by the graphics people for design purposes. Make sure they have a file of your watermark so that they can add it to the finished graphic and give you credit.