I have been noticing experiments with new gravatars lately, and it has given food for thought.
What attributes should a good gravatar have?
1) It should be distinctive.
2) It should reflect something about the blog or blogger, or the persona the blogger would like to project.
3) It should not have too much detail, which becomes lost in the small version shown in comments.
4) It should have bold colours and contrasts.
5) It should be selected with care, and then kept forever.
1) One likes to recognise friends on sight, new or old. If they change their hairstyle, for example, this should be for an improvement, but still leave them looking familiar.
2) There should be a reminder of what that blog or blogger is all about.
3) Often, something which looks wonderful in full size looks entirely different when compressed. A bird in flight can look like a funny face, for example.
4) Washed-out faces, in particular, tend to look similar to one another when shrunk.
5) Having an entirely different persona suddenly appearing spoils all the associations one has built up – perhaps over a long period.
Many of the above overlap, but I still think it is useful to consider them as separate points.
If I consider my own under these headings, I remain satisfied with it. It is instantly recognisable, it gives the rather cheeky and enquiring image I think is appropriate, one can see it for what it is, the contrasts are enough to make it stand out, and it has only changed over the years by having a blurring background of greenery removed.
Do you agree? How do you feel yours would rate under these criteria? Are there any other rules which it would be a good idea to apply?
I had thought of using some examples, but that might make many miffed. Therefore, I will only do it by invitation. Some of those I’ve seen only need improved clarity, and others would benefit from some judicious cropping. If anyone would like my opinion on their avatar/gravatar, they have only to ask!
The picture shows a random selection, simply snatched from recent comments.