How to Make a Signature for Photography

By Theodora Ruhs
Create a signature for all your digital photography.

You've taken a great photograph and want to share it on the Internet, but how do you make sure no one uses your photo without giving you credit? There's no foolproof way to keep people from using your photo without permission. However, embedding a signature, also called a watermark, in your photo file, can make sure people who see it know who took the photo. If you use image-editing software for your photography, its easy to make a signature that you can use over and over again.

Open a new project with a transparent background. Name your project so that you can find your signature later. The size of the new project does not matter.

Create a text box in your project. Choose the font and color you want to use for your signature. Type in your signature, i.e., your name or company name. You should now have a text layer.

Create a new transparent layer on top of your text layer. Add any shapes you want to have as part of your signature. Merge the two layers together to make a single layer. This option is usually found in the layer menu.

Save your signature. Save as a project file (specific to whatever software you are using) if your editing program asks you to choose a format. Do not save as a jpeg. This will allow you to go back and edit later, as well as preserve the transparency.

Open the digital photo on which you want to put your signature. Create a new transparent layer over your photo. Select and copy your signature. Paste it into this new layer. Move the signature to the position you want it.

Resize your signature to match the size of your photograph. Move or rotate the signature to the position you want it. Open up the signature layer's style options. Choose emboss to make your signature standout from the photograph. Add a drop shadow to make it standout even more. Lower the opacity for a more subtle look. Save your photo for posting.

Tip

Some image-editing programs allow you to save layer style settings. Use this option to keep the same look every time you use your signature.

About the Author

Theodora Ruhs started writing for radio in 2000. Since then, she has worked as a writer for broadcast news and volunteered her writing skills to several nonprofit publications. She is an experienced multimedia instructor with a Master of Arts in media ecology from New York University.