Yes, and No... this is a big subject... I personally, despise Intellectual Property rights, not because of what it's claimed to be for, but because corporations use it to get more money, rather than to protect their property... e.g. a single copy of Windows being used on multiple computers, is "genuine" in my opinion, if the key used on all the computers, came with the product... it's genuine no matter how many computers it came on... even then, the disc itself is not the unique part... I can use a single retail Windows 7 Ultimate key on any copy of Windows 7 Ultimate...
My thoughts, you need a (c) "your name or signature" for sure.
You as the designer hold the copyright. I personally don't like watermarking mine as I feel it mars the image and I like to enjoy my work. However my talents aren't anything compared to yours. I love your work and feel it would be a shame to have a large watermark over the entire thing.
There is a few options. Some art programs allow an invisible watermark to be placed in the file's coding leaving nothing visible on the image.... however many people miss that and would not even know it is there...
I'm sort of one of those people who can go either way on this sort of thing. I PREFER un'marred' wallpapers myself. . .and really hate it when there is an ugly watermark on them.
HOWEVER, personally, if I make a wallpaper, (at least one I intend on sharing) I will include a small, faint line with credits somewhere on it. (Faint being readable, but not 'in your face')
I think if credits are included, they should be included like a watermark. Out of the way. If it can be tucked behind the 'task bar', thats a great place, so the person can enjoy the image - but the credits are there.
Well, I'm not against watermarks on wallpapers. But my personal opinion is that it shouldn't be oversized or a main eyecatcher. A rather small signature in a noticeably, but non-focussing part of the image should do it...
A wallpaper is a consumable 'of sorts'.. i.e it is intended to be used and then replaced. The artist can decide if they want to offer it free or charge or charge for its use. Unless it is something downright spectacular no one is going to pay for a wallpaper so 99% of them are going to be free.
A majority of users would prefer to have no watermarks on their wallpapers and if an artist is putting a watermark on their 'free' consumable they should not be releasing their art AS a wallpaper. If they are that protective of their 'free for use art', they should seriously reconsider republishing it in another form/category/medium etc. This way they can protect their rights, there is less confusion and everyone knows what the artist 'wants them to have'.
The problem is that while it's probably advisable to put watermarks on all works, that in reality your picture probably isn't good enough to warrant the distraction - i.e. I will just find another wallpaper sans-watermark which looks prettier.
Personally, I dislike watermarks on wallpapers (and often text in general). However, I voted that it's important to protect the artist. Especially in your case, where it seems that everyone thinks they can get away with stealing your works. Besides, a link in the watermark might lead me to find more pieces by an artist I've taken a liking to.
Obviously, most people use wallpapers and are not creating them.
Personally, I don't really care about signatures that much when I set a pic as my desktop-bg. However, when it comes to myself releasing a wallpaper, I make sure that at least a link to my dA-page is visible somewhere. Especially because I feel like all those wallpaper-websites seem to auto-leech them from dA without proper crediting.
Something you could do is imbed a subliminal copy of some identifying mark in the image somewhere. Best to do it in one of the details, some almost random, complex looking area that's important to the overall image. I've done it on a few of mine. Keep a copy with a separate layer with the mark highlighted so you can prove it's yours when someone tries to steal it. Don't use identical marks twice, of course, change it to fit each image, but it needs to be some pattern you can use to prove ownership. Distorted initials are good. Fact is people don't expect the art to be it's own watermark.
Of course that's harder with space art, I suppose. Try doing something that'll show up when you mess with contrast or saturation or something, but is virtually invisible otherwise.
it's better view without any watermark or text on it... but, you always have this BUT here is what I can say from my experience, and it's really easy to understand: IF YOU DON'T PUT TEXT ON IT AS YOUR DIGITAL SIGNATURE SOMEONE ELSE WILL DO IT. So, I suggest you that you put small text (as someone already told you) with your name and site (or DA page). When I started to work wallpapers they were all without text and I found it on couple of wallpaper sites with their 'watermark' - what is yours it's yours
Like priteeboy said. If it's not there it probably will just be taken. I don't usually put watermarks on my work, because this is my hobby not my business. Then one day I put a image up of me with a Star Trek actor I met at a charity benefit. As a mark of respect for the actor, I put the dreaded watermark on it. And i got so many ppl asking me to remove it. Why? Yes it is annoying and detracts from the art, but not that much, because if it did, ppl wouldn't ask for you to remove it
Long story short...If it's your income put one there and accept it as a necessary evil. If it's a hobby...meh. Thats how I feel about that.
If people didn't steal our work so much, regular and wallpapers, we wouldn't be having this debate. Sig and copyright date and perhaps the name of the artwork are great, but big honking watermarks drive me crazy... I hate seeing them on my artwork, as it takes away from the beauty of the art itself, but what are you going to do when people constantly steal them. I used to put out tons of wallpapers, but now I am cutting back on them and making just regular art and adding the dreaded watermark, until a better solution comes along.
Place it in a nice spot where it is easy to see, hard to remove without fucking up the image, and doesn't get in the way of the core art. =extvia's Cloud wallpaper has a tag down on the bottom right-hand corner that's plainly visible, but it doesn't take away from the art.
I think a signature, logo, name or something should definitely be included, so i can instantly look up who did that wallpaper.
But if an image has a big watermark over it, i just wouldnt download it / use it as a wallpaper. Watermarks arent that hard to remove anyway, so why annoy the fans who just want to watch it, not steal it.
You should always have your signature and copyright on the image. Watermarks are fine on art, but on wallpapers i feel it destroys the image and purpose of it being a wallpaper. Normally you want a wallpaper to show off your desktop or look pretty, but watermarks ruin this.
However you still need to protect your image and i don't know what the answer would be unless you bit the bullet and expected that if you release a wallpaper it will be uploaded on other sites. Is this such a bad thing so long as your copyright remains and they are not being charged for?! :\
Copyright info tucked away in a corner somewhere is something I don't mind and can respect the wish to protect your work as well as rights. Watermarks kinda ruin the overall appearance if not done carefully.
But I'm just a guy with an opinion, and I may be the only one who feels this.
While there's heaps of my work stolen out there - it doesn't seem to happen to me on the same grand scale as much as it does to other artists of my skill-level and popularity level, and I owe the fact mine are picked at by thieves less than they should be thanks to watermarking them Sometimes I even get people asking to buy certain pieces because "they need to print one without a watermark" and when I get that I always wonder that if I didn't watermark them, would they bother asking for it, or would they just have taken it?
It depends on what you do. Watermarks make sense on anything unless it ruins their intended purpose, which is especially true for wallpapers which are supposed to be untarnished gifts for people. While seeing it on art may ruin the piece but at the same time it's not like a normal artwork is intended to be used by anyone for anything when the artist was making it, unless they specifically marked it as a wallpaper. It's kinda like - if you own a bike shop and had to store some bikes outside, you'd chain them up so people don't steal them. They can still see them and buy them if they want and that is enough I say - they aren't intended for people to actually use them until they buy them. But if you were giving bikes away as a favour to the public, well chaining them up for protection makes little sense
Basically I support watermarks being used on anything that isn't a wallpaper or stock. Those things should</i< be able to be viewed unobscured. But for regular artists like myself who don't intend to make art for wallpaper use, well - watermarks are fine (within reason, I try to make mine low opacity and place it somewhere that fits the composition of the piece)
I said they're supposed to be, not that they have to be. But generally wallpapers are created with with the mindset that "People will be using this on their desktop and wouldn't want any large distractions" While regular artists such as myself think "I'm creating this just for the hell of it, if people make it their wallpaper then fine but that's not my goal"
That's not a watermark, that's a signature. Watermarks are supposed to be fairly large and covering part of the artwork to make stealing it much more difficult. A signature is tiny bit of text that can easily be cropped out without losing much of the artwork at all. I see it happen a lot.
I always put small signature or even a watermark in the corner of my wallpapers. Or if you don't want to spoil the image too much, just put some short text written in small typo at the edge of each wallpaper ("Copyright (c) Name").
My lawyer advised me to put clear watermarks on all my posted work after one of my many copyright infringement cases, so it got me thinking about what people who display my work actually want, should be interesting to see how this one goes.