In yesterday’s post, we took a close look at what happens when you use different size watermark files on different size output, and determined that the Scale Watermark feature is essentially useless. (There has to be a reason for it and a way to make it work, but I can’t figure it out. By all means let me know if you have!)
Today, we’ll discuss what size to make your watermark, what stylings to use (and not to use), we’ll create some using Photoshop — as well as using two FREE solutions — and finally of course we’ll set them up in Aperture.
Oh, and there’s a video podcast of the most relavent bits at the end of this post. Enjoy!
What we discovered yesterday was that if you make a watermark larger than the output size (for example a watermark that’s 1000 pixels wide and apply it to an 800 pixel wide image), then it will be scaled down to the 800 size. Alternatively if we use something smaller, say 200 pixels wide, it will never be scaled up. This tells us that we can possibly get away with a single watermark size, assuming that our output are all roughly the same size. For example, if you usually output images at 800 for email, 1000 for web, and 1200 for client review, then you could create one at 1000 or so and never look back. And since a good watermark isn’t some huge glaring ugly thing on your photo, I’d argue that a 1000 wide watermark is plenty big for any size output. And keep in mind when I’m saying 1000 wide, I don’t mean 1000 tall as well… more like 100 tall and 1000 wide—and that’s assuming you have something really long to say! Mine, as you’ll see, are around 600 wide.
What do you put in your watermark?
Do you want to just have text, like this?
That file is only 300 pixels wide, and notice that it has a chunk of blank space to the left of it, so the info isn’t crammed up against the left side of the screen (I like my watermarks in the lower left, but that’s of course up to you).
If you want it to say more, the file just gets wider. What you put in there is entirely up to you; a logo, a name, a signature, whatever you like.
But we still need to figure out how to “decorate” it. The above sample works fine on a bright photos, but not so great on a dark one. Here’s the watermark I’ve used in the past, and although it’s not perfect, it works probably 90% of the time.