Getty Images Changes Watermark from Annoying Logo to Useful Shortlink

Wanting to shed its image of being “old media” and “old fashioned”, Getty Images has unveiled a new watermark that does away with the annoying logo in favor of short links. Rather than plaster the words “Getty Images” across the front of photos, the new watermark is actually useful: it provides a short link that directs viewers to the webpage for that particular image and also gives credit to the creator of the work. Inspired by the plaques found at exhibitions, the new watermark is offset to the side rather than smack dab in the middle.

In the sample photo shown above, titled “Ballerina with samurai sword slicing watermellon”, the shortlink is

Interestingly enough, Getty is also bringing the concept to the real world as well; photographs found in its galleries will also have the same “watermark” next to them in the form of plaques:

Here’s a short video introducing the new watermarks and going a little into the thought process behind them:

  • Oliver Lea

    Shame you can’t click links in images natively…

  • Carsten Schlipf

     The solution would have been to use QR code.

  • Per-BKWine

    I think it is cleverly done. I’m glad to see that you have been able to illustrate your article with a sample showing the difference! And showing the details of the watermark.

    I too wrote an article on the new watermark (, and contacted the creators of the watermark (RG/A London) to ask if I could use a sample to illustrate the article.

    Unfortunatley the person in charge at the comms company RG/A London, who designed it, never bother to respond to my question.

    Perhaps he thought that I could just grab one online if I wanted one instead of asking.

    Good way of encouraging online image pilfering.

  • Per-BKWine

     That should be R/GA London of course.

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  • QT Luong
  • Attila Volgyi

    I think short link is MUCH better. QR code would require a device to read. OK smartphones can do it but you still need to use some external hardware to decode it.
    The 6-10 digit short URL can be easily copied without any help and is not an obstacle. You can also spell it into a phone if you have to tell to a picture editor on the line which photo to use. I think it is the best method they choose.

    …however I’m courious how many sites will start using photos that have cropped out parts of these information. As the credit and link is a small part of the pic it is not really a protection.

    I’ve used many kinds of watermarks and many of them were overlaid by other watermark or simply cut off the pic that stayed still useful and cheaper than buying them.

  • Ramap

    hi, did you have to buy a licence from Getty Images for these watermarked images before publishing them? Or are these considered fair use?