How to Add a Custom Transparent Watermark to Photos

Making a transparent watermark for your work can help build your personal brand and prevent piracy. I'll show you how to do it online.

How to Add a Custom Transparent Watermark to Photos

Everyone wants to use great photos but not everyone wants to credit the original creator. If you want to prevent your photos from being stolen, a transparent watermark is the solution.

Making a transparent watermark seems like a simple process, but there are several steps to the process that may not be immediately obvious. In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to create a custom watermark and add it to your images in a way that looks great. Here's how to get started:

  1. Make your watermark
  2. Make it transparent
  3. Download and share

1. Make Your watermark

First, open the Kapwing studio and click ‘Start with a blank canvas.’ Next, make the background color transparent by clicking the checked circle with a red slash on the right.

Now, decide what your watermark will say. Click ‘Text’ from the top menu, enter your text, then customize the font, formatting, outline and background with the edit options on the right. After editing, select the background and click ‘Custom Size’ and enter a width and height that’ll closely fit your text. In this example, I entered 1000px wide by 200px high.

A screen recording demonstrating how to create a text watermark in the Kapwing Studio.

Make sure your text is concise and easy to read so viewers know who the credit goes to without additional research. Also, your watermark should match your brand so viewers will recognize your work as you publish more photos.

If you’d rather use a logo instead of a name, check out this article about how to make a custom logo. Otherwise, you’re ready to move on so click ‘Export Image’ in the top right and download the image when it’s finished processing.

2. Add transparency

Once your watermark is made, it’s time to apply it to your photo. Again, open the Kapwing studio and ‘Click to upload’ or paste the link for the photo you want to watermark. After the photo is pulled up, click ‘Upload’ in the top left to add the watermark you just created.

A screen recording showing how to start a project in the Kapwing Studio.

Now you’re ready to add the transparency so your watermark doesn’t distract too much. To do this, select the text and click ‘Adjust’ on the right side. Drag the opacity slider to the left and preview the watermark on the left side. I recommend an opacity of 50 so your watermark is visible but not obstructive.

A screen recording showing how to edit text in the Studio.

When you’re done adjusting, go back to the studio and move the watermark to one of the corners. Click ‘Lock Ratio’ from the edit menu to scale the image down without changing the aspect ratio.

If you have a logo, follow the same process outlined above. Open the logo, change the opacity and place it where it doesn’t obstruct the composition. To remove the background of your logo, check out this article about how to make a logo transparent.

Note: it's best to use a logo with text so your viewers can search your name or company with ease.

3. Download and share

Finally, you’re ready to click ‘Export Image’ and download the final version. If you're not signed into a Kapwing account, sign in or sign up using your Google or Facebook account – this way, our own transparent watermark will be removed from your project.

A screen recording showing how to export and download a project from the Studio.

Now you can share your photo with the world without worry of someone else taking credit. And remember – always give credit to the photographers whose work you use yourself, and if they require it, ask for their express permission to use their work! Photography is a phenomenal art form for sharing, but only if you use others' work fairly.

Photo by Evgeni Tcherkasski on Unsplash

If this guide helped you, be sure to subscribe to the Kapwing Resources page - we’re constantly writing new tutorials and features to help you make the most out of Kapwing. And, check out the related articles to keep learning:

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