Should You Watermark All Your Instagram Photos?

As a graphic designer, your work is valuable, and nothing is more frustrating than it getting copied or stolen. For this, many people use watermarks on their photos. However, you may be wondering if watermarks are a good idea for visual content that is shared on Instagram.

In general, Instagram photos should not have watermarks. This is because the format of Instagram is not conducive to watermarks and they could ruin the authentic feel of the photo.

While using a watermark on Instagram is not the worst thing in the world, it is probably best to avoid it. Keep reading to learn more about the overall pros and cons of using a watermark on Instagram posts.

Putting Watermarks On Instagram Photos

Instagram is one of the most popular social media applications in the world, and it is highly useful to graphic designers. This visually-based photo and video sharing platform will allow companies to make the most of their design work and reach a wide audience.

With any sort of public sharing, there is always the risk of work being copied. Watermarks are one way in which designers attempt to avoid this. In the past, watermarks have most often been constrained to images shared on the internet but it is natural to wonder if they can be used on Instagram photos, too.

The Pros of Watermarks on Instagram

Graphic designers work hard to create visually striking and memorable content. Nothing is more frustrating than when someone else takes this work and claims it for their own.

Here are the pros:

  • They prevent this blatant theft. People will be less likely to steal a design if they see that it is watermarked.
  • They could increase brand recognition or your repute as a designer. If you put your name on your photos, people will better recognize your company, which can be a great marketing tool.

However, there are also several downsides to watermarks which should be taken into consideration.

The Cons of Watermarks on Instagram

Putting a watermark on your Instagram photo may result in the following drawbacks:

  • Less appealing to viewers: users scrolling through the platform might find a photo with a watermark less visually appealing. It distracts from the overall flow of the photo and might leave people unimpressed.
  • They ruin the authenticity: Instagram prides itself on being a window into people’s authentic photos. When you put a watermark on your designs or photos, followers might see this as a lack of authenticity and view your page as a corporate entity rather than something personalized.
  • They could lose followers: If a watermark strikes someone as distracting or ugly, they will probably not continue to follow your page. As a business owner and/or designer, this can be very damaging to your overall reputation.

Adding a watermark to photos and designs certainly has its drawbacks, especially on a social media platform such as Instagram.

Tips for Deciding If You Should Watermark Your Posts

You may be wondering now if it is really worth it to use a watermark on your Instagram photos. The bottom line is that it usually is not. Keeping your design safe from copying is not worth losing your followers or coming across the wrong way on a social media platform.

Here are some tips:

  • Instead of using a watermark, you might instead choose to incorporate your company name into the design itself or place a small logo somewhere in the photo. This can discourage copying.
  • If you do see that one of your designs has been stolen, you should immediately report the account to Instagram or any other social media platform. They may be able to help you, depending on the situation.
  • Should you think it is essential to have a watermark, try using one on your photos for a little while and see if your number of followers is affected. If your following stays consistent, you are probably safe to continue using watermarks on your designs.

Additionally, using online resources like can make it that much easier to create impactful designs easily whether or not you have a watermark.


Life as a designer or business owner is filled with challenges, and one of them is seeing your carefully crafted designs get stolen. However, using a watermark on platforms such as Instagram is not always the way to avoid this phenomenon.

Watermarks can ruin your image as a business or impact your followers negatively. There are other strategies you can use to reduce plagiarism while still maintaining a strong base of followers.