How to Sign Your Work – Adding a Digital Signature To Your Photographs

A popular trend these days is to sign your images when posting online.  The thought is to treat the image more like it was being shown in a gallery and less like pixel dust in the wind. The process is really pretty easy to do.  I’d also like to state that this is a much more attractive way to watermark a photo.

Here’s the process for Photoshop Users

  1. Sign your name… take your time and give it a few tries.  If you’re using pen and paper, go with a thicker felt tip pen or marker.  If using a tablet, that works too.  Be sure to create a nice large signature so you’ll have plenty of pixels to work with.
  2. Scan or digitally capture the signature at a very high resolution.  You’re likely adding this to high-resolution imagery, so better to start large and scale down (instead of up).
  3. Clean up your signature with a Levels adjustment to make the whites and blacks crisp.
  4. Save two versions of your file.  One black on white and one white on black.  You can choose Image > Adjustments > Invert to make a negative image.
  5. When you’re ready to sign, choose File > Place and navigate to your signature file.  Choose the black or white signature based on your photo background.

  6. Scale the image to taste by dragging a corner handle.  Be sure to hold down the shift key to constrain the proportions of the scale.
  7. When ready to place the image, press the Return (Enter key).  The layer is added as a Smart Object which can be scaled or resized as needed.
  8. To blend the signature file, change the layers blending mode.  Use Multiply to drop out the white background or screen to drop out the black.

There you have it… a classy watermark that’s easy to reuse on all your online photos.

Do you have a favorite way to sign your digital images?  Share it in the comments please.

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