Friday, May 20, 2011

5 Reasons To Watermark Your Etsy Images

Originally found on the Etsy Forums and then edited.

StudioEleven11 says
What is Watermarking?Watermarking is very common in the online digital world. Basically it's overlaying a small image on your finished product photo to either thwart piracy or build brand awareness. See photo below as an example. The watermark is my shop name and web address is the corner.

How Do I Watermark?.I recommend that you use Picasa and Picnik for all your photo editing needs. It's free and easy. Picasa's watermark does not get in the way the photo. It is small and on the lower right hand side of the photo. Here is the link that explains how to watermark Picasa pictures.  
Here is a tutorial about how to use picasa to edit your photos.

Why should I watermark my images?
1. Branding
Etsy is photo driven and images are sometimes the first and only things people see. By adding watermarks to your images, you're putting the name of your shop front and center on Etsy search, your shop pages, and any featured stories on and off Etsy. And the more times people see your name, the more likely they are to remember it.

2. Google ImagesFor Etsy, your listing title becomes the keywords associated with your product images. This means that when someone does an image search on Google for "wire wrapped rings", your product images under this title have a good chance of being served. However, the images on Google don't link to your shop but the hosted versions of your image on Etsy. So, your images are basically giving Etsy more traffic. Leverage your images' visibility to your advantage and corral people back to your shop by watermarking your images.

3. PiratingWe all know it happens--people scraping or reusing your photos. But with watermarked images, at least you get some brand exposure out of the deal. Of course people can do editing magic and remove your watermark, but by definition scrapers are lazy and will most likely leave it, giving you additional exposure and making scraping work to your advantage.

4. CredibilityJust like a magazine ad with a designer's logo, your images are your "ads." Make them look finished and you as a designer more credible with watermarks.

5. Finished Product/Overall Shopper ExperienceLastly, give your product images a finished "edited" quality. Make them look intentional and fine tuned with a watermark. Watermarks will not fix bad photography but can augment beautiful photos with a well placed logo.


SibStudio said...

I've hesitated to use a watermark because I figured someone could crop it out or erase it. I never thought about using a watermark to create branding and finished look on your image. Great idea! And your photos are wonderful!

Elaine @ AntiquingOnLine said...

The discussion of watermarks on photos came up on the EcoChic Team last December (2010) and the consensus was that Etsy is so
very partial toward never ever putting images with frames, borders, or bold signatures/watermarks on the front page. Has this changed? After that discussion I removed my watermark from my listings' first image so as not to thwart the ability of the EcoChic treasury makers from having their treasury on the first page. I guess now I will reinstate my watermark!

Lexi Lewis said...

Am I blind? I can't see a watermark on any of these photos! Lol. Time to get my eyes checked. I am liking this idea a lot!

hopeandjoyhome said...

I am torn on this. I had the unfortunate experience on the Etsy blog team to go to another team member's blog and see images of my handmade items on her banner and in some of the graphic pieces she was using on her blog. I was shocked! I contacted her and was further dismayed to find out she had bought the image download offline. I went where she told me and found someone selling my several of my images made into digital scrapbook paper. I complained to the site w/ accompanying linked pics of my shop and items and they removed her stuff but who knows how many she sold. The other gal's Etsy shop banner is even my images. I do not hold her accountable but it is very upsetting. Even if I had watermarked them, unless I had run it right over the top of the image, this person still could have done what she did.It makes you wonder how much of your stuff is just grabbed off your site! You do have a good point about branding your photos so if they show up in google images they lead back to you. I may have to do that.

hopeandjoyhome said...

offline is online!

Sher said...

Very good and informative post. Great blog!

Of The Fountain said...

This is a very interesting post! On one hand, I want to leave my photos clean so they are available to be used in treasuries/features on Etsy, but on the other hand, it would be nice to have my name/brand attached to my photos since I am the one that put all the work into the product and taking the photos. However, some of the watermarks I've seen used have been distracting and made me kind of annoyed...

I think I'll experiment with putting a watermark on my personal blog photos, but keep my Etsy photos clean.

Anonymous said...

I use Picasa and I've used these tag lines in my photos before. I don't really think of them as watermarks, even though that's what Picasa calls them. It's good that they don't obscure the item. The concern is that anyone with a photo editing program can recrop the photo to exclude your tagline. Because you've placed the tagline in the bottom corner, the person stealing your images can crop it out easily and still have the full image of the item. My two cents.

Andrea said...

This is Studio Eleven 11. Thanks for the plug. I think the way the watermarks are done in this post shows it can be done in a way that does not interfere or cause Etsy/treasuries to stop featuring you. This was a HEATED debate on the forums and really depends on the goals of your shop. Thanks again! ~Andrea

Jafar Ahamed said...

Pleased to read your article on Product Photography. Thanks for sharing.
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