Copyright protection for online design

Hey guys, I’ve been studying my Diploma in Graphic Design & I’m pulling my portfolio together for my Adobe Portfolio.
Would you recommend adding a watermark to my designs or the copyright symbol to protect my designs? Or should I just not worry?

I wouldn’t bother.

First, your work is already copyrighted. A copyright mark will not keep people from stealing it.

Second, it’s low-resolution versions of your work, so there’s really no reason to care if people take the images. It’s not as though they can really do anything with them.

Third, if someone is tempted to copy your work, there’s no practical actions you can likely take anyway. Besides, does them doing so harm you in any material way?

Fourth, your portfolio is, I’m assuming, mostly student work. You might be a great designer, but student work isn’t typically stolen and used. And on those rare occasions where an idea is stolen, like I said before, does it really do you any harm?

I’m definitely making no apologies for thieves or trying to justify their actions. What I’m really saying is there’s not a whole lot you can do about it and, besides, it’s probably not going to hurt you if they do. If I were you, I’d concentrate on putting together the best possible portfolio and not worry too much if other people like it so much that they want to steal your ideas. For that matter, if they do, it should be an indication to you that your work is so good that people actually copy it.


Thanks for your reply @Just-B. That’s a great way of looking at it. Some of the work is student assessment & some is paid work for customers. Like you said, just focus on putting a great portfolio together not marred by copyright overlays.

I always put a 8-10% watermark over anything online. Also, since your art is being viewed online, you can save it at a lower than printable resolution.

The simple truth is if someone wants to steel your work, they will. You can’t stop it, but you can make it too much trouble for them.

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Thanks for the suggestion @Neverman. That 8 - 10% is just annoying enough to possibly deter them from copying.

It’s also annoying enough to compromise the integrity of the work you’re trying to present in its best light.

Agreed. There are a lot of ways to make the art online “unprintable” - to the extent that quality controls the beauty of the finished print - but will still look good onscreen.

Simply using a lower resolution, flattening, save as png (reduces # of colors)…

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Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness.

― Oscar Wilde


I know it’s really just me showing my age but the clothes I used to wear as a teenager - that I’m embarrassed I ever wore - are now becoming popular with the 20-somethings lol.

And all the music sounds the same And I walked to school 10 lies uphill, both ways…

And I walked to school 10 lies uphill, both ways…

Yeah but did you do it in the snow? Barefoot?

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In my day we didn’t have feet. We had stumps. And we were damn lucky to have them.

I’ve noticed that too. I work at a university, so I’m surrounded by students in their late teens and early 20s. The current style for female students seems to be expensive jeans with ragged holes in the knees. Sometimes there are even pre-made patches sewn onto the inside behind the holes. Every now and again, I’ll see jeans where the patches have artificial holes worn in them.

I’m not at all sure what the reasoning is behind this.

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