Here’s the deal: As unfortunate as it is, it’s now a fact of life in the design industry that there are shady people out there on the *interwebs* who would just as soon snag your gorgeous project images and try to pass them off as their own as they would look at you! It’s gross and pathetic, yes, but it’s just how it is.
The coolest designers (such as my wonderful clients) not only watch their own backs for this – they also watch for their fellow designers’ work popping up in places where it shouldn’t be and without proper, ACCURATE credit. Yay for the rising tide that lifts all boats (not to mention good juju!).
Even so, the best way to help protect yourself against this egregious image theft is to watermark your images with your logo.
Now don’t flip out just yet – I know you don’t want to mar your beautifully designed, styled, and shot images with a watermark. I get it.
But I’m not talking about emblazoning your name and logo right, left, up, and down on your pics like school picture proofs. Just a small, semi-transparent png file logo in the corner will do the job nicely.
(And by the way, DIY bloggers have been doing this for years. Granted, I do think their watermarks are often larger than they need to be, but they’re being super smart to brand their images)
It’s actually double smart, because by adding your logo, you’re not only keeping someone from falsely claiming that image and the design work it represents is theirs; you’re also ensuring that even if a link breaks or something goes wonky behind the scenes on Pinterest (you ARE pinning all of your images to Pinterest, right?!), the folks who see just the images can still find you.
Think about it: I’m browsing around on Pinterest and I see the most AMAZING kitchen design. Because the designer watermarked her image, I also see at a glance – without even clicking on the pin – that Suzy Q Interior Design is responsible for this fabulousness. Even if I click away, when I see a few more of Suzy’s images, she’s getting in my brain. I’m eventually going to want to find out more about her and her work. If I get to her site via the pins, great; but if I don’t, I can just google her (and I probably will because I now know I love her work!).
So how do you go about watermarking your images, you ask? It all depends on what tool you want to use. If you have Photoshop, here’s a good tutorial. Otherwise, you can use freebie tools like PicMonkey (here’s a tutorial for that) or Canva (and a tutorial).
I’ll be on the lookout for more and more branded images of your lovely designs, my dear interior designers!