A Word on Watermarks

Artwork demonstrating my thoughts on watermarks. Part 1.

This is an image I did recently. It’s of my newest Dungeons & Dragons character. He’s a half elf rogue, in case you’re curious.

So I did this image and thought: “Should I add some sort of watermark to it? Do people still do that sort of thing?”

To answer that question, I did some research. Okay, okay, I clicked around the web for like 5 minutes. Anyway, these are the conclusions I’ve drawn from those 5 minutes of super difficult research:

How You See It

Artwork demonstrating my thoughts on watermarks. Part 2.

I’m convinced that this is how most artists who are still using watermarks think they work. I could imagine them saying to themselves “It doesn’t obscure much, and it protects my hard work!”

Uh huh.

How I See It

Artwork demonstrating my thoughts on watermarks. Part 3.

I hate to say it, but pretty much every time I see a watermark it is exceedingly distracting. So much so, that this is pretty much how it reads in my head when I’m looking at the image.

Now, it’s possible that I’m alone in this. I might be the only one.

Somehow, I doubt it.

How PhotoShop & Other Modern Photo Editors See It

Artwork demonstrating my thoughts on watermarks. Part 4.

Modern photo editors are making more and more things so easy to do that they are virtually effortless. After all, that’s their job. So while you’re trying desperately to keep people from using your work without your permission, it’s going to take nearly nothing for them to do it anyway and the people you want to appreciate your artwork can’t because you’ve garbled it up.

Bingo

Artwork demonstrating my thoughts on watermarks. Part 5.

So I guess if you want something small and that doesn’t obscure your image as a way to tell people where to find you – fine. Do that. But please – don’t cover up what you’ve worked so hard on. It’s just going to make viewing it a miserable experience.