adding my logo to images

I get frequent questions about how I add my logo to the images, so I thought I’d explain it in a blog post. Here it is …

My log is added as a layer set to ‘Screen’ blending mode, with a drop shadow to actually make it appear again.

When I have a cluttered background, I change the blending mode to ‘Normal’, and remove the drop shadow.

If the background is too cluttered, I add another layer, sized to about the same height as my log, but with the color as a gradient.

That’s it. Simplicity itself.

But here’s the sad news. I do this manually for every image I post on my blogs or on Facebook. I haven’t figured out yet how to automate it for images of varying sizes. So if anyone knows how to do that precisely, I’d love to hear. Thanks!

26 Comments, Add Your Own

  1. 1Val says

    I guess you don’t do these for client jpgs, otherwise your arms would fall off doing 2000pics manually each time??

    There’s always a tradeoff btwn ‘cool’ transparent logos you have to adjust based on if the background is too cluttered. If it was simple black/white + drop shadow it’d be easy to automate.

  2. 2Neil vN says

    Oh no no no … definitely not for client images. This is for blog posts and posting on Facebook.

    I have a manual system in place for the images for Facebook which is quite efficient .. but I still manually do them in two groups – vertical images and horizontal images.

    Neil vN

  3. 3Paul Bohman says

    If you use Apple Aperture, you can create an export option that includes a watermark. You can choose where to place it too. I created a logo and saved it as a semi-transparent png image, and added a little margin around the sides so it wouldn’t be right up against the edge of the photo. Then, when I want to post photos in my blog or on the web, I select the group of photos and click on the export option. They all get sized correctly (you can customize size and other options) and get a watermark. It’s pretty easy.

    Here are a few examples:

    I also designed my logo so that it would work against either dark or light backgrounds, and even busy backgrounds. It took some experimentation to get that to work right.

    And, to make sure my logo doesn’t cover important parts of the image, I created a second export option with the logo on the top (instead of the lower right):

    Usually I just export them all with the logo on the bottom in one fell swoop. But if I need to make allowances for the location of the important elements in a photo, it’s not that hard to do two exports. And, if necessary, I suppose I could create a third or fourth export option that places the logo in some other location, but so far I haven’t felt I needed to do that.

  4. 4Neil vN says

    My problem so far in Photoshop, has been that if I crop the D3 images in any way, even to a strict 2×3 ratio, and then resize … then the logo doesn’t position in the same place as with an uncropped image that has been resized. That extra pixel the image picks up along the way throws everything off.

    Paul .. I will have to check out the Aperture option during the quieter period towards the end of the year. It’s just too crazy busy right now to sit down and figure out new software. I did buy and install Aperture 3 when it was released, but have yet to work with it at all. So … come winter time, I’ll play with this. Thanks for the suggestion.

    Neil vN

  5. 5Paul Bohman says

    Or, another way to do it (one image at a time) would be to create a PhotoShop action. With the file open, you can start recording the action, do everything you need to do to insert the logo, then stop recording and save the action. Next time, all you’ll have to do is click on the action button and it will automatically go through the whole procedure, including exporting, if you include that in the action.

    I imagine there’s a way to script batch actions for PhotoShop too, so you can do multiple photos at once, similar to the Aperture feature, but I’m not experienced with batch actions in PhotoShop.

  6. 6Neil vN says

    Paul .. I tried as an automated function in Photoshop, but failed at getting it right. I think I’m going to need some hand-holding on this one.

    Neil vN

  7. 7 says

    Hi Neil,
    this is what I did:
    first I created an action with all the steps needed to add the signature to an already opened file. The steps do not include the final saving of the picture.
    Then I created a droplet in the File->Automate menu: I choose the action, check the “Suppress File Open Options Dialog” and choose as Destination “Save and Close”. I save the droplet in my “SendTo” folder (under “Documents and Settings” -> MyUserName -> “SendTo” on XP). This way I just select a picture in its folder, right click it & choose Send To and the name of the droplet. If you do it right (play with the options in the droplet creation screen) the signature will be added with no interruptions.

    As of the resizing problem, I usually post on FB or other sites pictures of roughly the same width, and I add the signature to the final version after resizing.
    I have actually 4 droplets in my SendTo menu that are combinations of: bottom left & bottom right, regular and “strong” (for cluttered background).
    This pretty much covers 95% of the cases.
    I still do it pic by pic, because I want to see where to put the signature on each frame, but adding the signature is just a right click job.

    BTW, I use color burn blending mode at 75% opacity for my normal version, and linear burn at 100% opacity for the cluttered one, starting from a 50% grey signature

  8. 9 says

    Hello Neil,
    i suggest to make two different logos like you already experiment already. One with black text and one with ‘transparent’ text. Create these in PS, with transparent background, save it in png format, at the size you want (50×250 @300dpi for example) and copy it every time over the images. If the images posted are approx at the same size in pixels every time (500×750 @300dpi foe example), with the pre-saved logos your online pictures will look the same. Or with the same saved logos in png format to create a batch process for the all pictures in some special software. Have a nice day, M

  9. 10 says

    In the Lightroom 3 you have an option to export with watermark. I don’t know if you are using Lightroom or not, but it is very handy. If you are interested to know more, I will be glad to help you out.

  10. 11Jim_N says

    The simplest method of adding a watermark in Photoshop is by using Russell Brown’s Adobe Watermark Panel:
    It was originally created for Photoshop CS4 then updated for CS5 so this assumes you’re using either CS4 or CS5.

    Its equally simple in Lightroom 3 using either the native Watermark function or Timothy Armes’ LR/Mogrify 2 plug-in.

  11. 12Pat Reynolds says

    Hi Neil

    Make yourself a custom brush in Photoshop, use the text tool to make your signature in the usual way (the help files will tell you how to create a custom brush – it’s so easy). If you start out by making a nice big brush, you can change the brush size to fit, just as you do with any other brush in Photoshop.

    Using the brush you have created, you can then just ‘stamp’ your signature/logo onto a new layer above your image in Photoshop using any colour you like for your brush. Then you have heaps of options available to you by choosing different blending modes for the new layer(try all of them and yo will see how great it can look) – you can also add drop shadows and other effects and change the opacity of the layer etc.


  12. 13ButchM says

    Simplest method for me is I created a collection of different watermarks … simple logo for client prints, one for web gallery shopping cart, another for blog, forum use and several others for special events. Then I save copies of logos as transparent .png files, apply them to the images of choice via Export presets in Lightroom … works quite nicely …..

  13. 14 says

    I’ll just link to Ken Rockwell where he explains how to get your logo correctly to your images. The trick is, that you record an action in which you align two layers (text and image) to right then to bottom so your logo will always stick to bottom corner (and have so much indent as you create it with walking ants rectangle.)

    Hope that helps, bye.

  14. 15Paul Glover says

    Using CS4 I have a set of actions for Flickr, Facebook, proofs etc. and a watermark saved as transparent PNG at a suitable size for each of those output paths. Each of them does roughly the following:

    * Resize the image and apply appropriate smart sharpening for the size.

    * Load the correct watermark, select all and copy to the clipboard, close the watermark image.

    * Paste the clipboard into the image being watermarked.

    * Select all, then transform the selection a few pixels right and up.

    * align the current layer (pasted watermark) to selection bottom and left.

    * select none

    The select, transform selection and align layer steps are the trick to positioning correctly regardless of how tall the final image would be. Everything else I tried didn’t work if the height differed.

  15. 16MP Singh says

    As someone mentioned above, With Lighroom 3 you can easily automate the process to put your watermark on literally thousands of images. There are good number of options to scale and place the water mark.
    Also you can directly export your RAW files to Facebook, smugmug etc. as jpeg files with your watermark.
    If you use Photoshop only and are member of NAAP , they have a free Photoshop Watermark plug in for members. It was written by one of Photoshop developers at Adobe and is super easy to install.

    I can help/demo the LR3 options if someone is interested. I have myself learnt a lot from this blog.

  16. 17Colin says

    Hi Neil

    As a couple of people have mentioned, you can do it in Lightroom 3. I save my logo as a PNG file with transparent background, and Lightroom scales and positions this for each image, whether the image has been cropped or not.

    Very useful!

  17. 18Debra Wallace says

    Guess you left yourself wide open on that one. :) I use Lightroom too – it rocks. Once you switch to LR you may never go back.


  18. 19 says


    I use the Russell Brown method mentioned above (comment 8) also. Works great by using an action to “fit” the image to a predetermined size and then uses relative positioning from a particular corner so that no mater the orientation it works. Been using it for years without a problem is several versions of photoshop.


  19. 23vernon bni photography says

    What i do for my watermarks in light room is after saving my brand name on an image or a set of images i reimport the same images and then save them with my second descriptive image. these will fall on all images in the same place and they come out well.

  20. 25Aish says

    Hi Neil – I would like to know what fonts you’re using with your logo and how are you creating in PS? Thanks for wonderful blog and work that you do.

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