Creating a Custom Watermark Brush in Photoshop

Tired of re-opening your logo file and placing it on your images every time you want to watermark? Here is a visual step-by-step guide on how to create a simple watermark brush in Photoshop.


 

1. Create a new document in Photoshop. The background should be set as “Transparent.” Size can vary; it’s best to make it large, yet not too large. The document size can be changed later if need be.  I sized this at 300 PPI (pixels per inch, in the Resolution box), and 2000 pixels x 400 pixels.

 

 

2. Place text or a logo design of your choosing in the document. It’s best to fill the entire frame. Be sure to add text and other elements in black and at 100% opacity. You can then crop off excess of the document. (Note: If you are a professional photographer, make sure that any fonts you use you have purchased the commercial license to! You should also be using original logo artwork or artwork that was purchased from a designer.) For this example, I just used text with my business name.

 

 

3. Save this document first as a .PSD (just in case you need to make changes). Then save as a .PNG. PNG stands for “portable network graphics” and is an image file format that retains transparency. (When asked about “interlacing,” for this purpose it won’t matter which option you select.)

 

 

4. Close the .PSD document and re-open the .PNG version in Photoshop.

 

 

5. With the .PNG version open, click Edit > Define Brush Preset. A dialog box will appear asking you to name your new brush. It is best to name the brush in a way describing it well in case you make more brushes in the future.  (Note: If “Define Brush Preset” is grayed-out in the menu, this means that your document is too large. You can decrease the image size slightly and try again. Keep decreasing slightly if it is still too large. Don’t go too small.)

 

 

6. Click on the Brush tool. Your new brush should now be shown in the default Brush Palette (you may have to scroll to the bottom of the list; you can rearrange your brushes by clicking the gear symbol which opens the Brush Preset Manager.)

 

 

7. Open an image. It is recommended that you create a new layer. (In the Layers palette, there is a symbol for “Create a New Layer” that looks like a sticky note.) Click the drop-down arrow on the Brush Palette to access your new watermark brush. Change your brush color, size, and opacity as you wish. (If your watermark is placed on a new layer, you will have the freedom to further adjust the size/opacity/location of the watermark after placing it.) You’ll see the outline of your watermark brush hovering as your cursor.

 

 

8. Click on your image to place your new watermark. The best location to place a watermark is usually somewhere near the middle of the image, and over an area of texture. This helps prevent cropping or cloning to remove it.

 

 

9. For posting images to the web, I prefer to downsize them a bit. This allows for faster loading time. I size my web images at 2048 [error on screenshot] pixels on the long edge at 300 PPI. Click on Image > Image Size to change the size.

 

 

10. SAVE AS your image! Always be sure to save your watermarked image as a separate file so as to not overwrite your original image file. I save my watermarked web copies with “-WEB” at the end of the filename.

 

 

The resulting watermarked image:

 

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