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How-to's Software Reviews

Making a Copyright Brush in Photoshop

Dan Wiedbrauk (domer2760)


Keywords: copyright, brush, custom, preset, adobe, photoshop, how, to

It is the beginning of the year and I am updating my camera settings so that the camera puts the proper copyright date into EXIF data. I’m also making a new copyright brush in Photoshop.

image1

Image with subtle copyright legend

Click for an enlargement

 

Copyright brush? 

A copyright brush is a tool I use to insert the copyright information (i.e., ©2016 Dan Wiedbrauk) on photos with a single click. I usually do this when I post images on the internet. Yes, I know other photo editors can insert copyright phrases automatically, but they don't give me this level of flexibility and control.

With the copyright brush, I can insert the information anywhere and I can easily modify the color, opacity, and size using the Adobe Photoshop brush tools. I prefer this method because the results are less obtrusive than the automated procedures. 

I only make a copyright brush once a year so I always have to look up how to do it.  I also forget which font I normally use for the copyright statement so that too becomes an annual rediscovery process. The purpose of this post is to share how (and why) I do these things and to create a ‘how to’ guide for next year.  

image2

Step 1. Create a New Image

Click for an enlargement

 

So here it goes…  

Step 1.

Use File>New to create a new image in Photoshop.  You want the signature to be large because it will remain sharp when you make it smaller. If you make a small brush, the text gets blocky when you make it bigger. Make sure you use a transparent background!

                500 pixels wide

                300 pixels high

                100 pixels/inch 

image3

Step 2. Enter the text

Click for an enlargement

 

Step 2. 

Use the text tool (on the left toolbar) to create your copyright text. I like to use the Pristina font for this, but you can use any font that makes you happy. With the Pristina font, I make the copyright symbol 36 points and the text 48 points. You’ll have to experiment with font sizes when using other fonts.

On a Windows PC, the code for the copyright symbol is generated by holding down the ALT key and typing 0169. The numerals must be entered using the keypad, not the upper row of the standard keyboard. To make this work on my laptop, I have to activate the keypad built into the keyboard. The blue numbers on the 7-8-9, U-I-O, J-K-L, and M keys act as a keypad when the blue Fn key is held down. This means that I must hold down the Fn + ALT keys while using the blue keypad numbers on the keyboard.

On a Mac, you can create a copyright symbol by simply holding down the Option key and pressing G. That’s it.

image4

Step 3. Create the brush

Click for an enlargement

 

Step 3.

The next step is to crop around the text and create the brush. To create the brush: 

     Edit > Define Brush Preset…

Give the new brush a name (“Copyright 2016” works for me.)

The brush will appear at the bottom of your brush table.  

image6

Step 4. Selecting the brush

Click for an enlargement

 

Step 4.

To use the brush, select the copyright brush from the pallete, adjust the color and size and click once. Clicking more times will make the text darker. I generally set the opacity for 30-50% and use the click functions to vary the color intensity for the text. After I merge the layers to generate a JPG image, I make a single pass over the copyright phrase with the sharpening tool to produce a final image.

As you can see in the image below, I can insert the copyright information anywhere on the image and in any orientation. This procedure can be used to place your logo on the image but the logo must be on a transparent background to work well.

image7

Examples of brush stroke size, color, and orientation.

Click for an enlargement

 

Happy New Year!

 

(16 Votes )

Originally written on January 4, 2016

Last updated on April 12, 2016

29 comments

Jim Coutre (JECoutre) on July 5, 2017

Thanks Dan ... much better than any other method I've used. Jim

Sharon Keating (sldalr) on March 18, 2016

Is it a requirement to include the year in the copyright or is it okay to leave it off?

Celeste Brunell (cbrunell) on March 12, 2016

Thanks so much. What a nice way to revelop a copyright stamp! I especially like the change color feature.

Tom Rutherfoord (trutherfo) on February 26, 2016

If you also save the copyright document, with the transparent background, as a PNG file, then you can use it in Lightroom's Print module as an Identity Plate, able to size and position at will.

Gary Worrall (glxman) on February 6, 2016

Awarded for his high level skills, specially in Wildlife & Landscape Photography

Finally had a go Dan, Works a treat, a lot less messing around than using LR, Took me a while to get it working but got there in the end ........Gary

Gary Worrall (glxman) on January 30, 2016

Awarded for his high level skills, specially in Wildlife & Landscape Photography

Much appreciated Dan .......Gary

R. Austin Gilbert Jr. (compwhiz47) on January 26, 2016

Good article. GREAT shot of the leaf!

Cheryl Tadin (ctadin) on January 21, 2016

Thanks for sharing the very helpful tip. I added the copyright brush to my brush presets.

Dan Wiedbrauk (domer2760) on January 14, 2016

Fellow Ribbon awarded for his frequent assistance to other members by sharing his perspective, skills and expertise, especially with infrared and macro photography. Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Awarded for his expertise in IR & Macro photography Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015

Thanks everyone for taking the time to comment. It's gratifying to hear from you. I'm glad you found the article useful. -Dan

Edward Sim (Wandolla) on January 13, 2016

Thanks Dan, very simple and easy to do it. Appreciate very much

Dan Takahashi (nomad photographer) on January 10, 2016

Thanks Dan. I have made copyright actions but this way easier !!

Julian Dunster (Thuja) on January 10, 2016

Thanks :)

Ron Mason (otranto54) on January 10, 2016

Hi Dan. Many thanks for sharing this. I have been meaning to do it for some time now but haven't - a combination of bone idleness and not sure how to begin!

Min Chai Liu (mcliu19) on January 10, 2016

Thank you sharing the knowledge.. I was always wondering how one puts copyright logo .. Now I got it

William Wilhelm (WWPhoto) on January 9, 2016

Thanks so much!

MR HUW THOMAS (HUW) on January 9, 2016

Thanks for sharing such an easy to follow set of instructions. I was about to research putting a copywrite onto my work. Capture one does it but then when I go to photoshop the copywrite was not able to be re-edited. Great help, thanks

User on January 8, 2016

Thanks, helps a lot

Dan Wiedbrauk (domer2760) on January 7, 2016

Fellow Ribbon awarded for his frequent assistance to other members by sharing his perspective, skills and expertise, especially with infrared and macro photography. Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Awarded for his expertise in IR & Macro photography Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015

Yes, This procedure will work with PSE 11. Look up how to create a custom brush. The procedure is similar to the one I described.

Robert Kim Holwick (hillsidekim) on January 7, 2016

Will this work with PSE11?

David Templeton (Crashsolver) on January 6, 2016

Many thanks for the information. It is proving quite useful.

Dan Wiedbrauk (domer2760) on January 5, 2016

Fellow Ribbon awarded for his frequent assistance to other members by sharing his perspective, skills and expertise, especially with infrared and macro photography. Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Awarded for his expertise in IR & Macro photography Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015

In my experience, a watermark, like the watermark on piece of paper. is something that goes across the middle of the image. I find these annoying. A brand or copyright legend is what I talked about in the article. A branding mark is functionally, rather than physically different from a copyright legend or mark. A branding mark can be, or can include a logo and is often used as a marketing device. A branding mark often does not contain the copyright symbol or the word copyright. In the real world, people use all three names interchangeably.

John R Bertotti (John Bertotti) on January 5, 2016

What is the difference between a watermark and a brand? I see these terms online but don't know the difference. I have just used the annotate function if preview on my mac. Mainly because I use DxO and don;t have any adobe products. Down side is I have to get each image and open it in preview to do so. I wish there was an easier way with my preferred application. Great write up thanks!

Dan Wiedbrauk (domer2760) on January 5, 2016

Fellow Ribbon awarded for his frequent assistance to other members by sharing his perspective, skills and expertise, especially with infrared and macro photography. Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Awarded for his expertise in IR & Macro photography Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015

Thanks everyone for your kind comments. Fellow Nikonian, Karen Gottshall (scenicshutterbug) told me how to do this several years ago and I thought I would pass along the information in the spirit or our Share, Inspire, Learn tradition.

David Summers (dm1dave) on January 5, 2016

Awarded for high level knowledge and skills in various areas, most notably in Wildlife and Landscape Writer Ribbon awarded for his excellent article contributions to the Nikonians community Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Ribbon awarded as a member who has gone beyond technical knowledge to show mastery of the art a

Thanks, Dan - great tip

Richard Luse (DaddySS) on January 5, 2016

Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Ribbon awarded for  his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2017 Ribbon awarded for his generous contribution to the 2019 Fundraising campaign

Excellent Dan, great idea and thanks for sharing.

Roberta Davidson (birdied) on January 4, 2016

Laureate Ribbon awarded for winning in the Best of Nikonians 2013 images Photo Contest

Thanks so much for taking the time to share this. Birdie

Ernesto Santos (esantos) on January 4, 2016

Nikonians Resources Writer. Recognized for his outstanding reviews on printers and printing articles. Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas, including Landscape Photography Awarded for his extraordinary accomplishments in Landscape Photography. His work has been exhibited at the Smithsonian. Winner of the Best of Nikonians Images 2018 Annual Photo Contest

Excellent Dan. I've been using this for years, it is a big time saver. Glad to see a tutorial for all of us to refer to. Well done!

Jordi Viñas Bascompte (jordivb) on January 4, 2016

Thank you for sharing. Simple and effective solution

Egbert M. Reinhold (Ineluki) on January 4, 2016

Cool hint. Thank you very much.

G