Photographers and designers merely create. It’s up to the consumer to enjoy what these creators have prepared for them. Now, there comes a time when people would rather steal images than purchase them rightly. There’s also the moment the creator realizes he’d much rather have his name on what he’s made so that the world knows. This is why artists sign their work and photographers and designers add copyrights and watermarks to things. Doing so in iPhoto isn’t possible (though you could download Picasa for free). What you really need, though, is a dedicated app.
Watermarker, developed by Reactiv Code, is a nice-looking solution. It’s simple, has all the features you need, and doesn’t cost nearly as much as Digimarc. Sounds promising, right? Let’s find out if it really is that good.
A Simple Drag and Drop
There’s no setup process for this app. All you have to do is drag and drop your image into the window, or just drop it on the icon in your dock. Give the app about a second and it’ll load the image into the left pane. It’s nice to see such a quick start, and things look good so far.
After loading an image, the real task that the app was meant for comes into play: adding a watermark. By default, whatever you type into the text box in the top right will be your watermark. It displays in the bottom left of the image by default and will automatically appear as you type the text. I prefer my watermarks in the bottom right, so I changed it by clicking the drop-down menu and selecting that. There are also options for the top right and left and middle.
As you’re typing it might be a good idea to put a copyright symbol beside your text so people know who the image belongs to rather than who created it (sometimes the two can differ). To do that, click the text field, move the cursor where you want the symbol to be, and click the copyright button below.
For the more advanced user, the app offers a strikethrough, which has the same appearance as images on iStock Photo and other Web sites of that type. This is a very useful feature if you want to host the image somewhere and don’t want to worry about someone stealing it. You can even click the color button beside Strikethrough and change its appearance to better fit your image.
The other two advanced features are Custom Image and resizing. The first allows you to bring your own watermark in from Photoshop or another tool you created it with so you can give each of your images a unique feel. It’s very useful if you have a company logo to put on an image, or if you want something more elaborate than Comic Sans and Chalkboard. The second feature simply resizes the image’s width to the number (of pixels) you put in the text box. The ratio is also changed and a live preview is rendered in the photo pane. It’s pretty handy for live-bloggers to optimize upload times.
Customize Your Watermark
The default font for this app’s watermark is Helvetica 24. You can change it by clicking the A button beside the watermark text field. Every font your computer has is on this list, so feel free to change things up to suit your taste. Also, if the font isn’t large enough, just change the size to something that looks better on the image. Sometimes you have a photo of 5000 pixels or wider and the watermark is too small to even be there. You can also change the font and background color (that transparent layer behind the text) if you want to keep things very custom.
Speaking of transparency, it’d be nice if the app had a slider for how opaque your font is, because not everyone wants their watermark to look like it’s plain text. There should also be a slider for the background. If you head to the font’s settings, there is a dimmer, but it blacks things out and it’s not easy to get to, which is a good reason to add one to the main screen.
My only major complaint about this app is its lack of batch processing. If I were to upload a collection of my images — not just one — to a stock photo Web site, it’d be easier to run them through a batch processor like the one Photoshop employs rather than loading each image individually. The current standing of things actually isn’t that bad, though. It’s nice that the app saves all your font settings for the next image so you can still process things quickly.
While there is only one complaint, I also have a feature suggestion: WordPress uploading. It’d be nice to have this app connected to my blog so I don’t have to manually upload all my images after watermarking them. Such a feature would eliminate a step in my workflow and speed up a live-blogging process. For some people it can be very useful and I’m sure they would be grateful if the developer added something like this to keep things more productive and unified.
Watermarker is a fantastic way to put your name on images, whether it be with a pre-made image or a nice font. Photographers, live-bloggers, and creators of beautiful paid PSDs alike will enjoy being able to slap on their emblem or name so easily. The only problem is that they won’t be able to do it on a lot of images at once. If the app gets batch processing, it will be worth paying the price of $7.99. Right now, though, it seems a bit expensive. $4.99 is a more realistic cost for what it offers.