Types of Digital Watermark and Their Uses

The explosive growth of the Internet has driven the process of seeking and sharing information to take place easier and quicker. However, this concurrently gives rise to rampant piracy.

Considering once you publish your works, even written content for images, you’ll never know who else is gonna use them and for which purposes. It’s even worse if imposters take advantage of them for commercial use without your consent.

To avoid that scenario, you should look for viable solutions. Since we’ve already covered content theft in other articles, this time we’ll focus on image piracy.

You’re able to disable right clicks or create protected links of your images to stop visitors from downloading them freely. However, people can still screenshot and use them as their own. What can you do in this situation? We recommend applying a watermark to your photos.

In this article, we briefly explain what image watermark is as well as their usages. Then we’ll highlight different types of watermarks, their distinct features.

Why Are Watermarks Important?

In short, a watermark refers to a sign that is superimposed onto images intentionally, which aims to claim image ownership. That sign can be a text, a pattern, a brand name, the logo, or the address of a website. The photo below shows you how a typical watermarked image looks.


Photo watermarks benefit you in plenty of cases, from partially protecting your works to market your brand and website.

  • Protect your intellectual work
  • Watermarks add a certain theft protection layer to your original images. Using watermarks makes it difficult for people to copy or use your images without your notice. Though it’s impossible to prevent people from downloading your photos, watermarking allows you to affirm the copyright over your images by showing the original source.

  • Visualize your brand
  • Beyond copyright protection, watermarking turns out to be a brilliant tool to market your website. It helps to support website promotion. If your images are widely shared on the Internet, viewers will easily identify your website via provided logos and addresses. This can bring traffic and clients to the site.

  • Differentiate your business from competitors
  • Plus, some websites use watermarks as a highlight of their images. A creative watermark that is well-designed can also strongly impress viewers. Some of them might become your client too.

    Different Types of Watermarks

    There are 2 types of digital watermarks, visible and invisible. The following section will discuss the features of each type in detail.

    Visible Watermarks

    The name says it all. A visible watermark is clearly seen by viewers. It’s basically the semi-transparent identifiers overlaid on the original images. These identifiers can be text, address, URL, logo, or QR-codes, or anything to show the ownership of the images. While they are semi-transparent, they still allow the original images to be viewed.

    Visible watermarks are best used for promotional purposes, as well as securing images from copyright violation. However, any benefit has its own trade-off. Their helpfulness in tracking illegal use of images is limited. They can be easily cropped, overlaid by another watermark, or removed by the right software though.

    Invisible Watermarks

    An invisible watermark, on the other hand, is an identifier embedded into an image or file and completely invisible to naked eyes. Its existence is only viewable via electronic devices or specialized software.

    The advantage of using the invisible watermarks is that imposters can’t crop or text over the watermarks as with the visible ones. The invisible watermark is divided into 2 categories, including robust and fragile.

    A fragile watermark is so sensitive that even the slightest modification in the watermark signal can’t destroy it. This comes in handy for verifying whether your images are tampered with or not.

    On the contrary, robust watermarks seem unbreakable. They should remain intact as they can stand up to signal processing attacks. Any attempts to remove them will lead to image quality degradation or even destruction.

    This is useful in proving the authenticity of your works. In case you find your photos being copied and misused without your permission, the robust covert watermark will serve as great evidence to point out the rightful copyright holder.

    Tools to Watermark Your Photos

    There are hundreds of watermark plugins for WordPress images available on the WordPress repository. Each comes with a set of advantages and disadvantages requiring you to consider carefully before picking, depending on your demand.

    In case you don’t know how and where to start, our top 5 watermark plugin suggestions give you some ideas. The Watermark WordPress Files plugin stands out from the crowd due to its powerful capabilities.

    The plugin enables you to add both text-based and image-based watermark to your photos. It’s possible for you to add watermarks by shortcode. Out of the box, you can easily disable the right click of any images on your WordPress site too.

    Watermarking Your Works Now

    Overall, watermarks serve as a shield warding off copyright infringement and an excellent way to promote your website.

    There are two kinds of this image protection method: visible and invisible. While the visible watermarks assist you in marketing your brand and impress viewers, the invisible ones better protect your images.

    So what are you still waiting for? Start to watermark your works now!