Add a Graphic Watermark in GIMP

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Add a Graphic Watermark in GIMP

GIMP makes it very easy to add a graphic watermark to an image. Applying your own logo to your pictures can be a simple way of discouraging people from misusing your photos. It doesn't guarantee that your images won't be stolen, but the time required to remove a semi-transparent watermark will discourage most cases of image theft.

You can also apply a text watermark to your photos in GIMP to help protect images that you post online. This isn't totally foolproof either, but it will deter most casual users from stealing your photos. Applications are available that are specifically designed to add watermarks to digital images, but it's very easy to use GIMP to add a watermark to your photos if you use this image editor.  

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Add a Graphic to Your Image

It's easy to add a text-based watermark to an image, but if you have a graphic such as a logo, you can also use this as a watermark. Go to File > Open as Layers, then navigate to the graphic you want to use to create a watermark. This places the graphic in the image on a new layer. You can use the Move Tool to position the graphic as desired. The next step will make the graphic semi-transparent so the image can still be viewed quite clearly.

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Reduce the Opacity of the Graphic

GIMP makes it very easy to change the opacity of a layer so any layers below become partially visible. Go to Windows Dockable Dialogs > Layers if the Layers palette isn't visible. Click on the layer your graphic is on to ensure that it is selected, then slide the Opacity slider to the left. You can see a white and a black version of the same logo in the image. If you want to change the color of your graphic to make it more obvious, the next step will show you how you do this quickly and easily.

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Change the Color of the Graphic

Depending on the photo you're watermarking, you may need to change the color of your graphic. For example, if you have a black graphic that you want to apply as a watermark on a dark image, you can change the graphic to white to make it more obvious.

Select the graphic layer in the Layers palette, then click the Lock checkbox. This ensures that transparent pixels remain transparent if you edit the layer. Select a new foreground color by clicking on the Foreground Color box in the Tools palette to open the "Change Foreground Color" dialog. Select a color and click OK. Finally, go to Edit > Fill with FG Color and you'll see the color of your graphic change. In the example here, I've changed the white graphic to red.