I was a little concerned posting my artwork on the internet without a watermark. What the heck is a watermark you might ask. Have you ever taken a closer look at some of the artwork displayed on a site like Zazzle. If you magnify an image on their site you will notice a large “Z” in a circle. Another time you may have seen a watermark may be when have tried to copy a document. Words like void etc. showed up when it was copied. It’s not visible until you make that copy. Well that’s a watermark.
The purpose of a watermark is to discourage theft of an image that you have created. I wanted to create my own watermark to place on the original work I post on the internet. You may want to create your own watermark if you are posting on a blog or anyplace you load an image you don’t want copied. One thing you don’t want to do however, is submit your work with a watermark to a site like Zazzle or Cafe Press, because they wouldn’t be able to sell it in that situation.
Here are the steps for creating a watermark in Adobe Illustrator (my version is CS4):
Create a logo, wording etc. using text shapes etc. Make it large enough to cover your entire image. You want to do this all in black so you can see it.
The next step is to expand the image if you have used strokes (the outlines of objects). This changes all things to fills (the color inside your shapes and art). Do this by selecting all the artwork and selecting the option “expand” in the object tab.
Next if you have used type, select it and navigate to the “type” tab at the top of the program. Select the option “create outlines”. Now your art is made of fills and you can move onto the next step.
At this point select the “transparency” tab on the side panel. You can play with your watermark to determine the transparency you want. You can do this by adjusting the opacity of the object anywhere from one to a hundred, or just select the “soft light” option in the left dropdown box. Either one will work, its your choice. I chose to adjust mine with the “opacity” option.
The last thing you want to do is select all and change your watermark to white. Save it, then test it. Place the watermark on the top of your image and adjust it from there. Everything should look great!
If you’re having problems here is a link that will take you through the steps above in a tutorial online. http://developer.practicalecommerce.com/articles/1399-Tutorial-Protect-Your-Site-Images-With-Watermarks