Tutorials – Using Droplets to batch add logos in Photoshop CS5

There must be a hundred (maybe more) different ways to batch add logos to your photos – from plugins, scripts, add-ons etc etc.

Some of them don’t even use Photoshop.

But, if you are like me and use Photoshop in conjunction with Lightroom and Illustrator exclusively in your workflow here is a nice little way to add your logo to as many photos as you like rather quickly.

Please note, this tutorial will be divided into four parts:

  • Placing your logo into Photoshop
  • Recording that placement process as a Photoshop Action
  • Creating a Photoshop Droplet for batch processing multiple files using a Photoshop Action
  • Pulling it all together

Each step will be handled in detail below, however before we begin, I am gonna assume you (or your designer) have done the right thing and created your logo in Illustrator (where all good vector based artwork should be created!) and that you have converted all type to Outlines – we don’t want any stray fonts in this file.

Part 1: Placing your logo into Photoshop

Step 01.

In Illustrator, open the .ai file of your logo.

The Photography by BJWOK one looks like this when I open it:

Photography by BJWOK logo - .ai file opened in Illustrator CS5

Of course you cannot see too much right now, as my logo features a fair amount of white text on an opaque background and we are currently in the Preview mode, (the default mode when opening a file in Illustrator) so for the sake of showing you guys here I’m gonna hit command-Y to covert my view to Outlines mode – this is only converting the view of the artwork, not the artwork itself!

You can toggle back between Outline and Preview mode by continually hitting command-Y.

In Outlines mode the Photography by BJWOK logo looks like this:

Photography by BJWOK logo - .ai file opened in Illustrator CS5 - converted to Outlines mode

Step 02.

Once in Outlines mode  “select all” using command-A, then “copy” using command-C.

This puts the copied content nicely on your clipboard and makes it ready to be pasted right into Photoshop.

Here’s the Photography by BJWOK logo all selected and copied:

Photography by BJWOK logo - .ai file opened in Illustrator CS5 - converted to Outlines mode - select all, copied to clipboard

Step 03.

Over in Photoshop open a photo.

I’m working on a jpg of Tracer @ Elizapalooza ’11 in this example.

The file when opening comes in at a beautiful 4094 pixels on the long side:

Unscaled Tracer jpg ready for scaling and logo placement

But this is too large for web use.

All my jpg files here on this site I scale to 1000px on the long (Height in this example) side at 72 dpi (Resolution in the Photoshop dialogue box).

I feel this is a nice size for clients to see their images in brilliant detail on larger monitors, yet not large enough to print without any discernible quality loss.

I’ve scaled down the size of this image using command-option-I and changing the value Height from 4094 pixels to 1000 pixels.

With Constrain Proportions checkbox selected, the Width value is proportionately scaled down to 667 pixels.

The image should now look like this:

Scaled Tracer jpg at 1000 pixels on the long side ready for logo placement

Step 04.

With the select all from Step 02 in Illustrator above still copied to your clipboard, and while still in Photoshop, paste command-V that clipboard info into Photoshop.

You will see the following option:

Logo pasted into photoshop from Illustrator

Choose Pixels and hit Ok

You will have to hit Enter on your keyboard one more time as the pasted content will have Transform handles until you commit the Paste.

(Hint: You can hit either Enter or Return – it makes no difference which one.)

Here is the logo paste committed to Photoshop, after hitting Enter to remove the Transform handles.

Logo placed into photoshop from Illustrator - paste complete, Logo is now on it's own layer as pixels

NB: If your logo is WAAAAY too big for your image at this point the first thing to check is the dpi (Resolution in the Photoshop dialogue box) of your jpg.

A dpi larger than 72 dpi will make your logo appear waaay too big.

If your resolution is at 72 dpi yet your logo when pasted appears waaaay too small, check that you’ve scaled the long side of the image to 1000px (or smaller, whichever you use for images on your site) as in Step 03 above.

(Hint: There is no need to worry about the Document Size options when changing pixels or dpi as Document Size is only relevant when printing an image – we are only concerned about web usage here.)

If your image is at 72 dpi and correctly scaled yet your logo is still not correctly sized, jump back into Illustrator and scale it – the beauty of Illustrator and vector artwork is that you can scale as large or as small as you want! So go nuts, then Select all, Copy and Paste back into Photoshop until you are happy you’ve got a good sized logo.

Step 05.

In Photoshop directly after committing the paste from Illustrator, Select All Command-A and with the selection still made, go:

Layer –> Align Layers To Selection –> Bottom Edges like this:

Align the logo to the bottom edge of image

Your logo will jump to the bottom edge of the image:

Logo at bottom edge of image

With the Select All still selected go:

Layer –> Align Layers To Selection –> Right Edges like this:

Align the logo to the right edge of image

Your logo will jump to the right edge of the image and now be aligned bottom right hand corner. Of course you can choose any option from the above dependent on where you would like your logo to be on your image.

Logo at bottom right edge of image

Now, the logo is butted right the way to both edges of the image, and that doesn’t look great in my mind.

There needs to be a margin of some sorts.

There’s a little trick to get around this, and it involves a simple modification to your logo back in Illustrator.

Photoshop is aligning your logo to the edges of the image, which is fine as that is exactly what we are telling it to do, but what if we added a line of pixels to the bottom right corner (or whichever corner butts the edge of your image depending on where you are placing the logo) to your logo. Only a few pixels are needed, they will be impossible to see on your final image however Photoshop will use those pixels as the edge of your logo and align it to them.

Here’s the Photography by BJWOK logo with those pixels added to the bottom right hand corner:

Logo with added pixels to the bottom right corner

Barely visible isn’t it?

But it’s there, and that’s all Photoshop needs to align to.

Here’s a close up in case you really couldn’t see it in the image above!

Logo with added pixels to the bottom right corner - close up

With my new logo selected in Illustrator I can go back and repeat from Step 3 and my logo will be placed nicely into the corner with a beautiful margin like this:

Logo with added pixels to the bottom right corner placed in Photoshop

And those pixels you added are not noticeable even slightly.

Step 06.

Command-E will merge the logo layer with the original jpg layer so you will now have a flattened image ready for saving:

Layers before merge - Logo layer is on top and original image is 'background'

Command-Shift-S will bring up the Save As dialogue box as below:

Save image to desktop - you will see why shortly!

I save everything to my desktop, the reason will be clear when creating the Droplet coming in part 3.

Choose your jpeg options and hit OK.

Baseline (Standard) is best, Quality at 12

And that is how you place a logo into Photoshop!

But surely you don’t want to have to go through this entire process literally every time you need a logo placed?

Nope, we have Photoshop Actions to help speed the process!

Part 2: Recording that placement process as a Photoshop Action

First thing to understand in Part 2 of this tutorial is that invariably we are dealing with two types of images: Portrait and Landscape.

I will show you how to set up a Photoshop Action to automatically complete Part 1 on a Portrait oriented image, and once you’ve seen how it’s done for Portrait you will easily be able to create the second one for Landscape.

Step 01.

Again we are starting with the full sized (4094 pixels on the long side) jpg of Tracer @ Elizapalooza ’11.

Open your image in Photoshop and make sure you can see your Actions panel. (If it’s not visible, head to Window –> Actions to bring it up.

Create a new set by clicking the Create New Set button (circled red in the below image) and give the set a name of “Add Logo.

Create a new set in the Actions palette

Step 02.

Now click the Create New Action button (circled red in the below image) and name the Action “Portrait

Create a new Action within the Set

Notice how the little red “Record” button is activated once you click Create New Action:

Record button is activated

Whatever steps you take in Photoshop from now on are being recorded as an Action.

So, now go back up to Step 3 in Part 1 above and follow those steps one by one, recording them as the Action.

In brief the steps are, but check above if you cannot remember exactly how to do these as it’s really important to get this part correct!

  1. Change the image size to 1000 pixels (in this case as the image is Portrait, you only change the Height.)
  2. Go into Illustrator (don’t worry, Photoshop will not record anything outside of Photoshop) and Select All on your logo (making sure to use the new one with the added pixels at the bottom).
  3. Back in Photoshop, paste the logo as pixels (remembering to hit Enter to commit the Paste function)
  4. Select All
  5. Layer –> Align Layers To Selection –> Bottom Edges
  6. Layer –> Align Layers To Selection –> Right Edges
  7. Merge Layers
  8. Save to desktop


One final step when creating the Action is to close the file once it’s saved to desktop. Command-W is the shortcut for this.

Equally As Important!

Once you’ve closed the file you also need to stop the recording process by hitting that little square button next to the Record button.

On your desktop you should have the final image with your logo placed nicely on it.

And back in Photoshop you should have an Action called “Portrait” within the set called “Add Logo.”

Your Actions panel should now look like this:

Actions Panel with 'Portrait' created

Step 03.

Now you can go ahead and create a second action within the set of “Add Logo” called “Landscape.”

This will be identical to the Portrait action except that when reducing the pixels you will be changing the Width value, not the Height.

Once you’ve created the Landscape action and you successfully have a landscape image with your logo placed perfectly sitting on your desktop your Set should look like this:

Actions Panel with 'Landscape' created

Now, it’s time to use these Actions as Droplets to really speed things up!

Part 3. Creating a Photoshop Droplet for batch processing multiple files using a Photoshop Action

Droplets are rad.

They speed things up like you wouldn’t believe.

You don’t even need to open Photoshop to use them!

(Ok, so Photoshop opens itself, but either way you are gonna love Droplets!!)

Step 01.

In Photoshop CS5, navigate as follows:

File –> Automate –> Create Droplet…

You will see a dialogue box like this:

Create Droplet dialogue box

This dialogue box pulls in content from your Actions panel, so if you only have the Actions we created above you will only see the SetAdd Logo“, if not navigate to that set (there may be some default Actions shipped with your copy of Photoshop – I’ve deleted all mine.)

First up, select where you wish to save the Droplet. In this case I’m putting mine on the desktop and to identify it I’ve called it “Add Logo Portrait” as below:

Choose a location where to save your droplet

When you hit “Save” you still need to tell the Droplet which Action to link back to.

So for this Droplet I will be selecting the Portrait Action from the Add Logo Set.

You don’t need to select anything in the Destination section as we have already set this up within the Action. Remember we specified everything to save to the desktop?

You should also leave Stop For Errors checked.

Select which Action the Droplet will link back to

Click Ok and you will now have your Droplet on your desktop like this:

Portrait Droplet

I’ve gone ahead and created one for Landscape also (obviously selecting Landscape for the Action and saving it as Add Logo Landscape.)

On my desktop I now have my two Droplets ready to be used:

Portrait and Landscape Droplets

Part 4. Pulling it all together

By now you are probably thinking that was a really long tutorial!

Yes it was, but it’s important to get those steps right from the getgo because as you will see in the final part, using the Droplet is literally now a one click process.

First thing and this is REALLY IMPORTANT:

You must have your logo selected and copied on the clipboard before you commence using the Droplet!! (As you will remember part of our Action creation uses the paste function!)

With your logo Select All and Copied to the clipboard, simply drag jpgs onto the Droplet and watch it do it’s thing! Or go outside and come back when it’s finished. You don’t need to do anything – every image will be opened, logo added, saved to the Desktop and closed.


NB: You will need to drag Landscape jpgs onto the Landscape Droplet and Portrait jpgs onto the Portrait Droplet, for obvious reasons!

And that’s it!

Droplets have saved me countless hours adding logos to my images.

Imagine manually adding logos to 1477 Big Day Out images? No thanks!!!