In an already older article I had already discussed the usefulness of a digital signature. I wrote this then because I saw so many cluttered and large watermarks on photos which I thought was just a shame. The photo was sometimes totally ruined. There are also the benefits of such a watermark. Then I had some tips for and a link to Photologo where you can order them but you can also make them yourself. Here below is an introduction.
What do you need?
A photo editor that can work with layers and export transparent PNG images. If you don’t have one a few tips. Affinity Photo is now on sale. For €28 you have a photo editor equivalent to Photoshop and you don’t need an expensive subscription. Do you not need this and want a simpler program than Paint.Net gives good results. If you want to use the model I made in PSD format install the PSD plugin for Paint.Net.
Making the signature
First off, I use Affinity Photo myself. Except for some small differences per program, what I describe works the same everywhere, so just try it out!
Of course, you can always, fully graphically, make your signature with a drawing tablet, but I personally find this way easier. I download a font I like and install it on my computer. It is then also available in my photo editor. I search for the fonts on the internet but really I only need one website that has a large collection of handwriting fonts. I always go to Dafont Free. More like 1500 handwritten fonts, there should always be something among them.
In the example, I am already on the fonts page and I have highlighted the font I want to use in yellow.
I choose Christine Signature here, this is a nice slim letter that reflects good handwriting. So it won’t be one of those fat blobs somewhere in a corner. When you are on the page you immediately get a number of alternatives from the same creator that are often equally beautiful.
Installing fonts in Windows
We have now downloaded the font and we are going to install it in Windows. To do this we first unpack the zip file. In Windows explorer we will stand on the font and right click on it and choose install for all users. When this is done we can start using it. Here below you can watch a 2 minutes movie.
Creating the signature in Affinity Photo
I create the signature here in Affinity Photo. This works about the same in all photo editors. Below you can see how the model looks to me. You can download this model later from this website.
You can see here the model as I made it. If you want to make it yourself, the size is 960×180, big enough to make a nice sharp signature for all the pictures. If you see it in your own program the name is probably in different letter because you didn’t install the font that I have here in the model as a starting point. You see here 3 layers. A black background, the layer “John Photograph” and the layer “PHOTOGRAPHY”. This last layer has the font Arial Regular which is on every computer, you don’t have to change it.
We now go into the layer of the name and select the name. Then we go to the font selection and choose the font we just downloaded, in our case Christine Signature, and we see the name change fonts.
You can see now that it is a little messy. The name looks fine after adjusting it to the box it should be in. the word “PHOTOGRAPHY” should have some more free space. Select the Photography layer in your layers as shown below.
The layer PHOTOGRAPHY selected, now we can move it freely within the boundaries of the box and possibly resize it. These actions we will do both with on the picture below the final result.
Then we turn off the black background, it was just a help to make the white letters so we could see them well. Saved, we don’t need the black background because it’s best if the signature is transparent so it can be placed on most photos.
If all goes well, the image will now look something like the one below. The squares indicate that the image is transparent. You can now also see why I added a black background to my model. The signature is almost invisible!
Now we are going to export it to png format. You can then use it in Lightroom or other programs and it will retain its transparency. In Photoshop or Affinity Photo I use the layers by copying and pasting them into the photo so that after any resizing they are always properly adjusted to the image. I also use the PNG format as a logo for my website or signing mail.
I always make a black version for the logo/signature which is then suitable for light photos, signing email etc. This is done simply by selecting the white letters and changing to black in the color picker. Don’t forget to save the file under another name to keep your white signature.
Now there’s nothing stopping you from adding a beautiful signature to your photos.
OK, now get to work and make something beautiful out of it.