Why We’ve Removed Our Watermark Feature

When it comes to selling art online, presenting an accurate depiction of your artwork is paramount. Watermarks can obscure and distort an image, and discourage people from clicking through to view your listing in full. That’s why we’ve decided to remove the Bluethumb watermark entirely.


This piece is Yuki by Amanda Davidson, with the Bluethumb watermark.


We’ve recently uncovered concrete data to suggest that artworks listed without a watermark inevitably sell better than those that do, and it’s not hard to see why. Watermarks make it much more difficult to see the fine details of a piece and distract from its composition. They also make it more difficult for us to feature you, as we can’t upload any watermarked images to social media or our email newsletter.

Of course, we do understand that some artists don’t feel comfortable listing their works without a watermark and may decide to add their own. Because of this, we have implemented a replacement security feature, whereby if someone tries to download an artwork image, the file will be a a ‘web file’ (which is really just some numbers and letters!), rather than a .jpg.


Visitors to Bluethumb can only save artwork images as web files.

while we have never heard of an instance of fraud resulting from an unwatermarked artwork image on Bluethumb, many artists don’t feel comfortable listing their works without a watermark and may decide to add their own.


Yuki by Amanda Davidson – see how much better it looks when you can see the artwork clearly?


If you do use your own watermark, please consider the following:


  • Don’t use your own website or email address as part of your watermark. Unfortunately, this is a breach of conditions and we’ll have to remove your artwork from Bluethumb should this be the case.
  • If you use a watermark, place it discreetly in the bottom right or left corner so that, if we do decide to feature it on social media, we can easily crop it out. Watermarks don’t look very professional or consistent with the images that we feature on platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Plus, a watermark reduces the chance of your work being featured in our ads on Facebook, as Facebook penalises any images containing text (in other words – ads that we set up with text-heavy images often get switched off or don’t reach as many people).
artist sitting in front of work
Katherine Gailer: The Power of Women


  1. Sandra Messner. says:

    Thanks to the bluethumb team. I trust your judgement on watermark removal. Cheers Sandra Messner Artist Melbourne.

  2. Linda Billett says:

    I just hit ” save as” on a random artwork on Bluethumb and saved it with no problems. Your new security feature is not working.

  3. Anne Armstrong says:

    Won’t people just be able to ‘screen dump’ (instead of downloading the jpg file) and then use that image if it’s not watermarked?

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