What is a Watermark and Why Does it Matter

If you’ve been around the internet, you’ve most likely seen or heard of watermarks. If you’re an online creator or business, watermarks are especially important for you. It can be a dog-eat-dog world out there for businesses that earn a living by sharing images and media online. There are plenty of people out there looking to copy, steal, or otherwise take from your business. Watermarks can help make it safer for online brands to keep working without fear of someone stealing their work. 

Watermarks, by design, protect your private intellectual property from being stolen or copied. They can come in many shapes and sizes and can be used for all sorts of media. A watermark can be a personalized stamp, logo, or signature of your business. When used well, the watermark can protect your work while allowing the viewer to see the product.  If you’re looking to learn more about watermarks and how you can use them to protect your business, you’ve come to the right place! Here’s everything you need to know about watermarks, where you can find them, what they can do for you, and why they’re important. 

an image with umbrella concept of security
an image with icon concept of brand recognition

Builds brand recognition

One of the many ways you can make your brand recognizable is by using watermarks. When done right, choosing to apply a watermark to your videos or images, your followers and clients can easily identify your products. If your business is just starting up, this is especially important if you want to grow your consumer base and stand out amongst your competitors. As your business gains popularity, more and more people will be able to recognize your work because they will know exactly who did it. Plenty of photographers or digital artists will use personalized watermarks to sign their work. 

an image with brand build by cubes

Builds a strong brand image

If you’re looking to start your business and keep up with your competitors, standing out is sometimes simply not enough. There are plenty of photographers, videographers, graphic designers, and illustrators to go around. If you want to be successful, you need to think about building a strong brand image as well as standing out. This is where watermarks come in. Aside from making your brand more recognizable, they also make your brand seem more professional. Watermarks are a sign of a serious and reputable brand and will make future customers more inclined to choose your business over others.

Protects from theft

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Watermarks are most known for and used to protect your media from getting stolen. The internet is a free-for-all when it comes to media, and if someone sets out to steal, nothing can really stop them. Yet, it doesn’t hurt to have a watermark to at least make it harder for them to finish the job. A well-placed watermark makes it, so your image can deter lesser and lazier online thieves from stealing your work. A well-crafted watermark is much harder to erase from the image without taking away from it or being painfully obvious. On the off chance that your work still gets stolen, there is a silver lining. Those who do end up stealing your work will give you free marketing until you get them to take it down.

Discourages unauthorized use and distribution

As an online media creator and distributor, your work can be taken from you in many different ways. Clients and competitors are the most common culprits for stealing your work for their own personal gain. Yet, those within your brand can distribute your work without your say-so as well. Your articles can be published before they’re ready, and your photographs can be posted without being touched up. Whether intentional or not, distributing prototypes before the final draft is ready can harm your brand, spread misinformation, or even have legal implications. Watermarks help prevent this when used as a marker for work meant only to be viewed and not distributed.

an image with red sign board for no access

Encourages clients to pay for your work

A common issue that many online creators face is clients backing out of paying at the last minute. After seeing unwatermarked finished products, clients can take off and steal your final work without paying you a cent. This kind of behavior counts as art theft and can cost your business valuable time and money and can make it harder for you to trust clients in the future. A good way to avoid this is to only send your clients watermarked versions of the final product. This will discourage them from printing it themselves and stealing your valuable work. It also ensures the proper payment for the full, unwatermarked product. 

Shows pride in your work

an image with pride writen by marker

Last but not least, another reason to watermark your work is that it shows pride. Whether you produce photographs, videos, graphic design, or a scientific study, it’s all about producing good work and being proud of it. As a business, you can use your watermark as a stamp of approval and brand your work with the quality and recognition it deserves. A watermark shows that you care about your work and that you are willing to protect it from others who wish to steal your good ideas. A brand is only as good as its watermark, so make sure to do it right and to represent your brand well. Let your work wear your watermark as a badge of honor!

So there you have it! Having a watermark for your work is almost as important as having a logo or online presence in the modern age. Watermarking your work can help build brand recognition and image. It can make your business seem more respectable and easily recognizable. Watermarking your work protects it from being stolen and distributed without your say-so. Doing this will uphold the integrity of your brand and will make sure that you’re being paid by encouraging clients to hold up their end of the bargain. Last but not least, a watermark is a mark of pride, that shows that you mean business when it comes to your work. 

Of course, the important thing to remember is that the benefits of a watermark are only as effective as the watermark design itself. Good watermark design and placement are key in protecting your intellectual property. So remember to keep that in mind when applying watermarks to your work in the future.

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