Getty Images re-invents the watermark

Submitted by John on Sat, 05/26/2012 - 20:34

Ballerina slicing a watermelon

Getty Images completely redesigned their watermark, and the new design is amazing. It gives credit to the photographer, in the image itself, and it has a link where you can find out more about the image at any time.

Now, compare this to the old Getty Images watermark:

Woman, wearing lipstick

I have no idea who this person is. I have no idea who took the picture. I know it's a Getty Images picture but I have nowhere to go for more information because if you think I am going to spend even half an hour combing through their archive looking for more info you are out of your mind. I found this image on a Tumblr blog, so I can't even get any clues from the file name. I did a Tin Eye reverse image search and it came up with zero results, I'm guessing this means that Getty Images is blocking its images from image search engines. But it also means that if I want to use this in a design or a campaign I'm completely stuck and it's not worth my time to find out more.

The old watermark is huge, and it is RIGHT on top of the middle of the image; horribly distracting. Also notice the new watermark has NO mention of Getty Images at all. No logo, no text. I don't know about you, but I tense up when I feel like someone is trying to market to me. The old watermark is all about The Brand. When I look over to the new watermark, I actually feel myself physically relax.

The new watermark also has a striking visual design (although I'm sure we're going to see a TON of copycats.) I immediately got it, whenever I see an image like this I'm going to think Getty.

Finally, do I even need to point this out? Putting the link on the photo is a genius move. I cannot believe no-one else has thought of it. The old watermark was ugly and designed to keep you from sharing or using the image. The new watermark looks great, and with social media, each one of these images is like a little advertisement for the image itself. Any time a Getty Images picture goes viral, that link, embedded in the photo, is going to bring people directly to a place where they can license the photo. The photographer is going to get credit too, it's a win for everyone.

Check out Getty Images' statement on the new watermark.