I’ve always wrestled with adding a watermark or signature (or whatever branding) to my photos that I post online. First off, my name is so long that it’s always been difficult to make a watermark that looked good. And I hate cheesy copyright symbol watermarks. It’s like taking this great looking photo, and putting something totally generic on to it (and they serve absolutely no legal purpose in protecting your photo, other than making it ugly).
NOTE: This blog post has absolutely nothing to do with protecting your photos and the legalities around it. It’s purely meant as a “hey, it looks cool!”, and a means of branding your name. Again, it has ZERO application toward legally protecting your work 🙂
What About My Signature?
But I’ve seen signatures on photos that I thought looked cool and elegant. Unfortunately my signature sucks. It’s basically just scribble.
Since I’m not a designer and I’ve always hated my signature I really just did nothing. Fast forward to a few weeks ago, I’m scrolling through Facebook and a sponsored ad (don’t we all love those) comes up. It was by this company called PhotoLogo. It had a photo of a signature on it that grabbed my interest so I clicked on it. I checked out their website, put my credit card in, and tried it out. Below is what they sent me:
I loved it! I didn’t have high expectations, but I really wanted to see what they’d do with my name. For me it was TOTALLY worth it. I’ve always battled with signing my whole name, and it never occurred to me to just use the first initial. And their version looks so much more elegant than my version.
Note: I have absolutely no affiliation with PhotoLogo.co. I’ve never talked to them and the only communication I’ve ever had with them is when they gladly accepted my credit card. So if you’re wondering if they’re backing up truckloads of money in to my front door to write this, the answer is a definite no (but it would be nice!) 😉
What’s really cool is that they give you a high/low resolution black version, a white version, and an Adobe Illustrator .AI version which can be scaled to however large you want. They’re PNG files which means they support transparent backgrounds. So when you drop them on a layer in your photo, you really only have to move and scale it, but you won’t see any background.
Is This Cheating?
I was talking to a friend of mine and they asked if it was cheating. After all, it’s not really my signature. I told them I thought of it more as a logo of sorts, but also a signature that I wish I had and I may even try to replicate with my own for things I do sign (books, prints, etc…). So… no… I don’t think it’s cheating. I do want a little bit of branding on the photos I post, and I think this gives me a good balance between my ugly signature and paying a professional to make a great looking logo (that I’m not even sure I need or would use).
But Is A Signature Really Important?
In this day and age, I personally don’t think so. First, off, whether you use your a copyright, or signature or anything over the top of your digital photos, you should know that it doesn’t mean it’s protected. Now, the moment you press the shutter (in most cases), your work is copyrighted. But to really give yourself an added bit of security/recourse for your photos, you should register your photos with the US Copyright Office (for US readers). But this article or this signature, at least for me, was never intended for any legal purposes – it’s purely aesthetic. So please don’t think of this as a way to protect your work – it’s not.
Next, most of you reading this blog probably aren’t selling a ton of prints. In fact, nobody I know is selling a ton of fine art/landscape prints these days. Maybe someone besides Peter Lik is making a killing at it, and if they are, I haven’t heard of it 🙂
And again, for most people reading here, I don’t even know that everyone needs an official logo. I’m not sure that makes much of a difference these days.
So the signature isn’t super important in the traditional print signing way of things, and it’s not going to protect you. But now that most of our photos are being shared online, I can see how a signature could add a little something to the photo (if done well), as well as some branding (like a logo). The PhotoLogo sales video actually says it pretty well up front, if you want to take a look:
NOTE: I did not send them my legal signature. To me, this is for people (like me), that have signatures that look like crap, and want something a little more elegant 🙂
Anyway, I thought it was pretty cool and fun to share. Here’s the link to the website if you’re interested.
The experience was good. I paid them on May 31st and got a confirmation email right away. It didn’t say exactly how long it would take, and I didn’t hear anything, but I got the final version on June 2nd. So it was around a 2-3 day turnaround which is fair. For the small amount of money it cost ($49), when I consider that I’ve probably spent many hours of my time trying to come up with a signature or logo, or something to put on my photos, I think it was worth it.
Thanks for stopping by. Have a good one!
Adding Your Signature or Logo In Lightroom and Photoshop:
I’ve also done a couple of videos on how to add your Photologo signature to a photo in Lightroom and Photoshop. The process is really simple once you have a signature graphic, and just involves a layer in Photoshop. Or in Lightroom you can just add your signature or logo as a watermark on the photo.
- Adding Your Photologo Signature in Lightroom (Click Here)
- Adding Your Photologo Signature in Photoshop (Click Here)