Innovation That Matters

Stock image watermarks made less annoying, more useful

Fashion & Beauty

R/GA London, which was appointed Getty's design agency of record in March, has launched a rebranding of the company's watermarks through the Watermark Project, which aims to make them more practical.

Stock photography provider Getty Images has already harnessed the power of social media to connect customers with its product through its Thinkstock subscription service Social Art Buyer, which enables Twitter users to easily find the images they are looking for. Now R/GA London, which was appointed Getty’s design agency of record in March, has launched a rebranding of the company’s watermarks with the Watermark Project, which aims to make the current features more practical. The old Getty Images watermark consisted of the company logo placed in the middle of each image, the function of which was to ‘spoil’ the picture so it could not be used without paying for it. While useful in one respect, it also served to make it harder for legitimate customers to properly preview the product before buying. In the redesign, R/GA has replaced the logo with a shortlink to the Getty page hosting the purchase details for that image, as well as information about its creation and related photographs. This is useful for customers who find a watermarked Getty photograph online from a different source and want to use it, while the company benefits from viewers being driven back to its site. R/GA has also updated the watermark to include the author — giving photographers the credit they deserve for their work — and moved the text into a stylish translucent gray box in the bottom right of each image. According to Fast Company, the new watermark is being tested now, with a site-wide roll-out expected soon. The video below demonstrates the redesign: By discarding the placement of its company logo and replacing it with a more practical shortlink, Getty Images has transformed an unloved — but necessary — feature of its business with a more useful alternative. How could your business re-think some core essentials to better serve the customer base?



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