Watermarks are tags you add to a photo,  video, GIF, or any other creation to mark its authorship and/or ownership. You can use watermarks for various reasons most important of which is to protect the ownership of your artwork by applying a unique copyright signature to it. Of course, the simple fact that your photo has a watermark does not make it out of reach of copycats. 

Pretty much any photo editing software embeds tools that allow anyone to remove or hide your watermark. But still, adding a watermark to your creation is important not least because it  adds extra work for the would be thieves and can also discourage lazy copycats from tinkering with your artwork. 

Image credit: visualwatermark.com

A watermark can be anything from a logo, an image, a copyright symbol ©, or text layered on top of the photo or contained within a box (or any other shape) and placed either discreetly or obtrusively somewhere within the image. For instance, readers of Educational Technology and Mobile Learning would notice that I always add the URL of this blog to my visuals. 

There are various online tools and softwares to use to watermark your photos and visuals. You can use any photo editing application to add text and sometimes a logo to your images. Tools such as Canva, Piktochart, Adobe Express, to mention a few can all be used to this end. However, if you want to go with more specialized tools and add a professional look to your watermarks, the tools below are worth considering:

1. Visual Watermark

Visual Watermark is definitely among the best watermarking softwares out there. Visual Watermark enables you to add watermarks to both photos and videos. It offers a wide variety of interesting features including  a library of over 900 fonts, a color picker, over 60 different effects, pre-made logos, and many more.

Using the app’s visual editor enables you to easily add  text watermarks to your photos. Choose a font from the library or upload your favourite ones. You can also insert your logo or, if you haven’t already created a custom logo, use ready-made logo samples to create your own. Supported logo formats include JPEG, PNG, TIFF, GIF, and BMP. 

Batch watermark is another great feature provided by Visual Watermark. With a single click you can drag and drop as many images as you want to the app’s editor and Visual Watermark takes care of the rest. Your watermark will be placed automatically in the same position for all images but you can always change and adjust watermark position for custom images. 

Image credit:visualwatermark.com
You can use the Rotate feature to  align the watermark along the left or right side of the photos. You can also apply the level of transparency you want. The app supports over 100 levels of transparency from opaque to totally transparent. Additionally, Visual Watermark supports tiled watermarks, a feature that allows you to repeat the watermark on photos till they are completely filled with it. 

Note that Visual Watermark is a downloadable software that works on the local drive of your device. It runs on all computers with Windows (7, 8 and 10), MacBooks and iMacs. Visual Watermark offers a free 30 day trail after which you need to purchase one of the three paid editions to continue using the app. A single license enables you to install the app on both Windows and Mac.

2. Watermarkly

Watermarkly is the online version of Visual Watermark. It enables you to add watermarks to both photos and PDFs. You can add watermarks in the form of text or logo. If you choose text, you have access to the following features: over 500 font options to choose from, the ability to add the copyright symbol ©, various colours, adjust size as you want, drag and drop your text anywhere within the picture, choose your preferred level of transparency, add effects, and many more.

If you want to add a logo watermark, you can do so by uploading your custom logo from Google Drive, Photos, or Dropbox. Alternatively, you can check Watermarkly library and choose among the 100 elements there. If your logo has a background that you want to remove, Watermarkly lets you delete it with a single click. 

Image credit:watermarkly.com

Once you are done adding watermarks to your photos, make sure you preview your final photo to ensure your watermark is where it should be. If everything is as you want it, click to download your watermarked photos in various file formats including JPEG, PNG, and WEBP.

“Watermarkly app adjusts the sizes of watermarks by default. When saving images, you can select the “Same watermark size in pixels on all images” option. In this case, automatic scaling of your watermark will be disabled. The watermark size will be the same on each picture.”

The free version of Watermarkly allows you to access all the features. The only limitation it has is that your generated photos will be themselves watermarked by the phrase ‘protected by Watermarkly’. You will have to go premium if you want unlimited access.

3. Watermark.ws

Watermark.ws is an online tool to use to add watermarks to photos, videos, and GIFs. The way it works is simple and easy: First, upload your photos, videos or GIFs from the local drive of your device or from your social media accounts. Next, open the tool’s web editor and add your watermarks and make extra edits including cropping and resizing. Last, download the finished work to your device or export it to the cloud. 

Image credit:watermark.ws
Some of the main features provided by Watermark.ws include: the ability to create fully customized text watermarks, access tons of pre-designed templates and fonts, import your own logos and visuals to use as watermarks, batch watermark photos and videos, save your watermarks as templates to re-use later, apply various filters and editing tools, and many more.

4. Canva

Canva is also a good option to go with to add watermarks to your photos. It offers all the basic features you need to watermark your visuals. I said basic because Canva, unlike previous tools, is a design platform and not specifically a watermark focused tool.  Batch watermark, for instance, is a feature that does not exist in Canav. If you want to watermark a group of pictures at once your only bet is to go with the aforementioned tools.

That said, Canava does provide allows with features such as logo insertion to watermark your photos. You can either upload your logo or use the Canva editor to create your logo. Canva offers hundreds of pre-designed logos that you can customize and use in your images. You can also add textual watermarks using different fonts and text styles.  Once your watermarked images are ready you can download them in different formats, share them via email, or published them online.

Canva is not the only design platform that you can use to add watermarks, other powerful alternatives including Adobe Express/ Adobe Illustrator/Adobe Photoshop, Piktochart, Microsoft Paint 3D, among others.