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Avatars: A How-Not-To Guide

The humble avatar; a thumbnail that reflects you or your brand online. It’s the perfect opportunity to create a lasting impression of your brand. So, why does everyone’s suck? In this article, I aim to show you how not to create the perfect avatar. Let’s start with #5.

  1. In 5th place, we have 8-bit avatars

    #5: Eight-bit avatars

    Reminiscing back to the ‘80s, we have this semi-accurate pixellated representation of your face. When I say “accurate”, I mean “unless your face is comprised of 90° angles, it’s about as accurate as using your arm as a ruler”, of course. Unfortunately, it’s been used and overused (and then some), and for that reason, it earns a place in my list.

  2. In 4th place, we have semi-identifiable pictures of girls in a group

    #4: Group shots

    Well hi there, old school friend. Although I do vaguely remember our wacky hijinks, I’m unable to place a face to your name. Not to worry, though; you’ve got a profile picture. I’ll identify you through that! Oh, wait. Which one are you? I don’t know, because you took a group photo. Thanks(!)

    (For those wondering, the person in this offending profile is on the top right.)

  3. In 3rd place, we have something that has a dual purpose as your breakfast and a default avatar

    #3: That damn Twitter egg

    If you’re going to join a social network, the first thing you should do is make sure you have an avatar, otherwise the first thing I do when you follow me (and a few thousand others) is block you.

    Seriously, it’s not hard. Just Photoshop things on your face.

  4. In 2nd place, we have Instagram

    #2: Filtered Beyond Oblivion

    Loved by hipsters and amateur photographers, the Instacrap Instagram app allows anyone to take a picture with their iPhone and pretend they know what those fancy buttons do. What really bugs me, though, is when the avatar isn’t a picture of them. The avatar on the right is for my hipster clock, so it’s okay.

  5. And finally… The winner is boobs!

    #1: “Well-endowed” robots women

    Giving false hope to people everywhere, these spam accounts use scantily-clad women to sell their quacksalver—actually, I don’t have a problem with this.

    (Photo credit: @healthrecipes2)