April 2, 2010


How to make a simple watermark in GIMP

This is a really simple tutorial and well worth the small effort required, because you’ll have something to put on your photographs/artworks without making it look too ugly while making sure you get enough credit in case your work is copied or used.


How to make a simple watermark in GIMP

1. Your Signature

  • Firstly open up GIMP with a blank transparent page (1600 x 1200, 300dpi)
  • Now Select the Text Tool, type in your name, or initials if too long
  • Use any font you like, I used ‘Vladimir Script’
Your Signature

Your Signature

2. Copyright Symbol

  • Use another text box and copy in the copyright symbol: © (copy it, Ctrl C -> Ctrl V)
  • Again, use any font you like, I used ‘Vladimir Script’
Copyright Symbol

Copyright Symbol

3. Your Website

  • Use another text box and type in your website or whatever URL you have (Flickr, DeviantArt, etc)
  • Use any font you like, I used Tw Cen MT
Your Website

Your Website

4. Adding a Breaker

  • You can add a line in between the text:
  • Add a new Layer
  • Just grab the Brush Tool, with the settings shown below:
  • Use Shift and Ctrl to get the line straight
Adding a Breaker

Adding a Breaker

5. Saving

  • Merge all layers go, ‘Right Click’ on layer –> Merge Visible Layers
  • Now go, Image –> Autocrop Image
  • Then, File –> Save As
  • Name it ‘My-Watermark.gbr‘, the .gbr means it will be a brush (you can easily add it to images in one click)
  • You may need to scale it down or the file size might be too large!


  • Spacing: 25
  • Description: Your Brush name – so you can find it in your toolbar!
Saving as a Brush

Saving as a Brush

1. The file(.gbr) must be put into your GIMP folder (!may not be the same!): GIMP–>2.0–>brushes (C:\Program Files\gimp\2.0\brushes).

2. Refresh Brushes window, otherwise it should be there on start-up.

6. Adding your Watermark

  • File –> Open as Layers…
  • This is what it looks like:
  • Add a new layer so you can adjust opacity
  • The watermark might need to be scaled
  • With 25% Opacity to blend better
Adding your Watermark

Adding your Watermark


That’s it! You can download the .XCF file here: My-Watermark.zip

If you’d like to use these photographs please Contact Me!

Please comment below if you have any questions and I’ll answer them ASAP!

All images on this site are copyrighted© – All Rights Reserved.

Written by Mike

Michael Scott is the publisher and photographer behind Scott Photographics! He is very passionate about his photography and enjoys sharing the best of his experiences for others to enjoy too! Contact Mike via email!
Read more from Featured, Gimp, Tutorials
116 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jan 10 2018

    Hi Paige,

    It could be that you do not have Administrator rights to the computer (PC). Try running GIMP as Administrator: *Right-Click* GIMP.exe > Run As Administrator

    Or, you should be able to install the brushes in this folder: C:\Documents and Settings\YourWindowsUserName\.gimp-2.8\brushes

    I hope this helps:)

    Kind regards,

  2. Paige
    Jan 10 2018

    Hi there,

    I’ve made it to the point of trying to save my watermark, and had to go down into the “Basic” folder as Mike also mentioned. But when I try to save I just get an error message:

    Saving ‘C:\Program Files\GIMP 2\share\gimp\2.0\brushes\Basic\My-Watermakr.gbr’ failed:

    Could not open ‘C:\Program Files\GIMP 2\share\gimp\2.0\brushes\Basic\My-Watermakr.gbr’ for writing: Permission denied

    Any help figuring out what I’m missing would be greatly appreciated!

  3. Aug 3 2017

    Dear Bre,

    Possibly check in “C:\Program Files\GIMP 2\share\gimp\2.0\brushes” and you may save your brush file to the “Basic” folder, then in GIMP click refresh on the Brushes toolbar.

    I hope that helps!

    Kind regards,

  4. Bre
    Aug 3 2017

    I can not find the gimp brushes folder to save my watermark to, can you offer any suggestions as to how to find it? Thanks, Bre

  5. Nov 12 2016

    Hi Howard,

    Check the size of the image, you may need to reduce it.

    If you could tell me more about where you are at, or send us an email then I can help further:)

    All the best,

  6. Howard G. Chapman
    Nov 11 2016

    I am new to Gimp. I made a simple watermark but I need it to be faint and Ghosted. I was unable to save it as a brush. Can anyone help to make it simple since I am new to this. Thank you.

  7. Adam
    Jul 14 2016

    Image newbie here, you completely lost me on step 6. I have the watermark image created and it shows up properly as a brush. But how do I get it on the image in question???

    I have the image I want to watermark open, and I have the brushes dialog box open. I have the layers dialog open with a new layer into which I assume I am supposed to put the watermark using some kind of brush tool, but have no idea what to do next.

  8. Dec 5 2013

    Not sure if anyone mentioned this already but you can actually type the copyright symbol right in GIMP (as opposed to copying and pasting) by holding down ctrl-shift-u, then typing a9 & pressing enter. I learned that trick from here: https://www.ajopaul.com/2013/01/17/add-copyright-symbol-in-gimp-as-text/

  9. Mar 14 2013

    Many thanks for this. Must now amend all my website pics. Hopefully the watermark might prick the consciences of a couple flower providers (well we live in hope) when asked by customers to duplicate my designs on the cheap, or indeed when trying to pass off my designs as something they’ve created.

  10. I found this link just a few minutes ago, and you solved a major problem I have had for a very long time. Just one minor addition. In Linux, you have to put the brush file in /usr/share/gimp/2.0/brushes/ in order to appear in your brushes files.

    GIMP still needs some work here. The only way to actually use this, is to do it on a test picture first to adjust size, and opacity. Once that is fixed, it works perfectly.

    Also I agree with the others; the last step of your tutorial needs some editing, but it may be because I’m using the newest GIMP while it seems this one is nearly 4 years old.

  11. Dawn
    Jan 21 2013

    Thank you for the tutorial. While I knew how to do a watermark in Gimp, I did NOT know how to add it as a brush until I came across your helpful tutorial.

  12. Jan 9 2013

    Hi Scott
    Tutorial worked great until the last step, where I cannot see how to actually use the brush in Gimp. I tried Open as Layers but it did not work (should I have any file open at this time?). I tried copy and paste or just putting in a new layer and using the brush but it is tiny and i can’t see how to rescale anything. Help please!
    thank you

  13. Dec 3 2012

    I realize this is an old post, but I wanted to let you know it is still being used. Gimp isn’t always that user friendly but your tutorial is very easy to follow and saved me so much time. I created a very pretty watermark and now know just how to resize it for each photo. Thank you!

  14. Andy
    Nov 16 2012

    Thank you, I managed to make a signature !! Still learning about GIMP and layers etc.

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