Watermark like a FoOl

Watermark like a FoOl

Image by 潤咲まぐろ

Time to blow your minds. This is an article about watermarking – for the better. No, this article is not a joke.

I’ll give it to you plain and clear: watermarking sucks. That’s why it’s awesome. It sucks to the pont where it will engage (and enrage) Every. Single. Reader. It will get your group plenty of hate.

On the other hand, the aggregators won’t care even a bit, because aggregators aren’t people. And that’s where everything went wrong in the history of scanlation watermarking.

People feel betrayed at seeing those huge “WE ARE WHAT THE FUTT SCANS” watermarks on their imouto/onii-chan’s sweaty, sparkly bodies. You don’t do that to the shounenfags, and you don’t do that to the fujoshis. It’s outright cruel. You’re ruining the PLOT of the manga (lol).

But… yeah, sometimes it’s necessary, because we want the support of the readers while spreading our message. Yet you scanlators haven’t used watermarks correctly up till now. The only ones who used watermarks properly were the hated corporations: the aggregators!

How do we make watermarks useful? Some basic user interface psychology will help us.

The solution: faces.

Faces? Whose faces? Your fans’ faces. Not your face because nobody cares about you, as you are a scanlator. Asking you to use your own face is detrimental to the plan (unless you’re a pretty little lady, but that’s even worse – think of the scandal). It’s like asking the chef if the food is good. Is the food good? Sure it’s good, damn it, who the hell do you think I am? I am Italian. I can cook by default.

I’m sure you have Facebook, Twitter, or at the very least a blog for your scanlation team. Ask your fans to give you pictures of their faces, a portrait, maybe even with funny hats and masks. Just ask them to show at least their eyes and mouth because those are important. Funny faces are very cool.

Once you get at least ten faces, cut them out of the picture – do it properly, but don’t waste over 9000 hours in MSPaint. Remove the body because that’s less fun to show. In this case, faces are enough.

Then, apply it as a watermark. I asked a fan to let me use his best funny face earlier, so here’s an example:


The big difference

You’d think, “Well, that’s just a normal watermark.” LOLNO.

Think about it:

  • He is your fan
  • He agrees with your ideals
  • He is a good example of your typical fan
  • He makes other fans think before saying bad things about you
  • He makes your fans understand that they are not alone
  • He makes your fans feel like they can put their faces on the line (rather literally)
  • He makes your fans understand that there are people behind scanlators
  • He makes your fans understand that they can back up scanlators
  • He makes your fans take a position
  • He makes your fans lol trolls
  • He makes your fans accept it
  • He makes your fans hate what you hate
  • He makes your fans give you more faces

The last point is the least important, but new faces for your private face collection are always good.

Anyway, the point of all of this: faces are human. When you use a face on a webpage, you instantly engage the user. Scanlators are very lucky, because we can get faces that are actually from our fans and not model images of a earphone-wearing secretary (that you can buy for lots of money). It’s quite honestly the closest your scans can get to the heart of your readers.

As I pointed out, you just need the eyes and mouth. Those are the first things one notices in a page, any page. In your books, your webpages, your scans. The eyes and mouth are always noticed first (manga-style eyes don’t work for this).

Because it’s very visible, you can keep it out of the drawn area. That way you’re not destroying the original image’s quality while still delivering the message as powerfully as possible. Don’t bother putting the watermark over the drawings: nobody ever goes through chapters removing the watermarks unless they are  really hard to remove. It might sound odd, but the harder they are to remove, the more bored readers will be willing to remove them.

So there you go, your new watermarks with 8000% more thought put into it. Almost no rage will be directed towards you, and you’ll have hordes of users raging against the evil corporations. That’s how professionals do it. I think.

The future

Please, in the future, either use faces or don’t waste your time watermarking at all.

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40 Responses to “Watermark like a FoOl”

  1. Rockmanshii says:

    And I am French, I can make bread by default from everything, like how Macgyver would make a bomb with chewing gum and a comic book.

  2. Tensei says:

    And I’m Mexican. I can make tacos and posole by default.

    For a moment I thought you were being serious, Woxxy.


  3. Jade says:

    Sounds weird, but when I get scanlations I always save the credit pages onto my computer as well, so when I’m reading through it they come up. That way I’m always reminded of the good job scanlators do :) If I saw faces that would work too :)

  4. Tran Linh says:

    I will go with the simple method:
    “if you are seeing this watermark, then it was mangafox, mangahere…acbdefg who forced us to watermark our releases. btw, The place those fucking bastard ripped off our releases is batoto.com.”

    Need feedback on this please xD, i’m going to do it for every single chapter we are going to release from now on.

    • woxxy says:

      Considering the sites, you could put it as a watermark that is just a line of text on the bottom and write “the below sucks, who hosts it is Batoto.com”. Pure results.

  5. Koro says:

    Good timing to say the least: http://japanzai.com/index.php?topic=746.0

    Our watermarks won’t actually be as long as what Tran just posted, but you get the idea.

    What I like about your idea on watermarking definitely isn’t the human touch, but rather that it will attract a reader’s attention. I’m far more likely to pay attention to a picture of some random’s face than just text or a bland image.

    • woxxy says:

      You shouldn’t look down at the human touch. It’s what keeps your users loving you through subconscious relationships.

      I really think it’s the only weapon left for us.

  6. the unoriginal FoOl says:

    If only a certain |insert the first alphabet of English|-Team would learn from FoOls instead of pitying da fools.

  7. Pedram says:

    hahaha this is Totally Great :P
    i Agree with this 100% :P
    plus i Don’t Mind anykind of Watermark as long as its not on a Seriously bad place :P
    but i can’t help but Lol when i think what would happened if mangafox upload a Manga with an Obama face on each page ….. lol
    btw i can Donate my Face if u want :P

  8. ccc says:

    The best option would be a site where the scanlators post their release themselves with the foolrulez reader. It would own mangafox/helper so much that nobody would visit them anymore.
    btw my main reason for visiting sites like mangafox is to see wich releases were scanlated especially for the groups that don’t have an online reader [ i don't wanna download it. ]

    • the unoriginal FoOl says:

      That’s just you – why would anyone bother visiting scanlator sites after scanlator sites for their manga dose, specially the casual readers? Heck, ordinarily they won’t even know anywhere else other than the manga reader to read manga. Only when you become a dedicated manga zealot reader will you seek and find sites like Manga Updates (Baka-Updates Manga, whichever you prefer) to keep track of releases and where to find them.

    • That1Guy says:

      Isn’t that what Batoto is for? Online reader that doesn’t (seem) to make money out of greed.
      On a side note, idgaf about watermarks. I don’t care if they cover half the page. Some would say I lack taste or am easily entertained. Maybe they’re right. I just fucking HATE MangaFox and the like because of their shit quality and how they make money off of what others do for free.
      I’m from America and I can talk down to everyone else and pretend I know everything by default.

  9. T1 says:

    Best idea ever but a little to late…so I went with do nothing at all. So much time to do something productive but enjoying it lazing around…I should feel bad but I feel relieved not to use the watermarks anymore :p

  10. woxxy says:

    People still didn’t understand this whole article is about how people shouldn’t watermark, were the sky to fall. It explains why it’s completely useless and why people start hating you.

    My trolling was not blatant enough (what the hell, faces?) or you guys can’t get on with the times. It’s not 1999 anymore. Audience on the Internet is caught through being better, not worse.

    As long as scanlators will try being better by being actually worse, they will be butthurt till the end of time. Meanwhile, FoOlRulez flourishes, and we don’t care even a bit about who re-hosts our releases. We actually just love trolling with it, like in this post.

    Do something good: imitate us. Imitate how we do things, and you’ll get out of the tunnel.

  11. b7 says:

    Just shoop in PENISES everywhere and MF with their underage user base will go out of business. In the future just provide a txt with the translation script. I’m capable of stealing my own raws from public sources that doesn’t watermark their releases even though scanlators rarely give proper credit for raws.

  12. miceder says:

    ^Was supposed to be a response to someone else…

    That kind of watermarking certainly is more eye-catching, and by using fans’ faces, people won’t be able to use it to hunt down the scanlators who did it