An avatar can say a lot about a person. Their interests, hobbies or their personality. So it's important to choose one that is bold and makes a good statement about yourself.

You can choose to find one already made (such as a TV character or a cartoon), or you can make one. I'm going to show you how to make a simple, but effective avatar that consists of text and a few geometric shapes.

You'll need some sort of graphics editing software, such as Adobe Photoshop, GIMP, or Inkscape. I'll be using Photoshop CS5.

Note that the 'finished' avatar looks better than what it appears as, due to image compression when uploading them.  I've also included the PSD file if you want to cheat or are too lazy to make one yourself.

Let's get started!
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Step 1: Why should you use an avatar?

An avatar helps people easily identify you on a big website. You want people to look at your avatar and say "Hey thats (username)!".

When choosing or making an avatar, you want to make sure that it meets most of these requirements:
  • Good Image Quality
I cannot stress that having a pixelated image off Google will get you nowhere. Choose a large image so that it can be resized easily when needed.
  • Contrast
This one is important. You want your avatar to stand out and catch peoples eye. So pick colours that appear bold and big. Large white text on a black background works perfectly, however purple on red is a no-no.
  • Appropriate
Not everyone on the net is over 30 years old, so make sure that your avatar doesn't contain any sort of derogatory material that could offend someone. 

Now thats sorted, lets start making an avatar!

Irwan22 years ago
Thanks a lot, you really helps me here. And thanks for the psd file.
Irwan2 Irwan22 years ago
hope you don't mind i use your avatar. i'll remove it if you don't like it
ginger200372 years ago
One of my favorite pass times! I've made so many avatars (I probably have one for every day of the year plus some lol) among other things :D
Here is one I just made and went a little wild with (haven't had much free time)
I also included the PSD file (mostly because I won't remember what I did come tomorrow xD)
ginger200372 years ago
Finally I figured out what the PSD files are! I feel like an idiot now xD
I'm normally a Gimp user I only recently got photoshop and struggling through where all the 'stuff' is
iNate2 years ago
This is a fun project to learn a new program.
interesting instructable, could also be useful in creating stencils!
hintss3 years ago
my friend photoshopped mine for me.
Kiteman3 years ago
I struggle to understand the apparent loathing of Comic Sans.

I have tested a number of fonts in worksheets (I teach), and I have found that younger pupils, and poor older readers, find comic sans to be genuinely more accessible than serif fonts, or the more angular of the sans serif fonts.

I'm just gonna leave this here. ;)

It's context - for that application, it's great! Dyslexics and young children (according to what I read, anyway) find it easier to read. It's when it is abused that is bad...
Kiteman Kiteman3 years ago
(Oh, and well done on a nice project, by the way.)
possum888 (author)  Kiteman3 years ago
Thanks. I just think that people have abused it too much by putting it EVERYWHERE.

I can understand why younger pupils appeal to it more (considering I used to), but there are plenty of alternatives if you want a 'fun' look.

But when people use it for writing their resume, designing company logos and even legal documents, it's taking a step too far.

If you like to use Comic Sans, I'm not stopping you, I just think there are many other alternatives, close to Comic Sans.
Heh heh. I remember how almost twenty years ago style gurus complained about tbe overuse of Futura, and how Palatino should be banned.

"Plus ça change..." I guess.
account3r23 years ago
I kinda like my avatar how it is now. But, you can only read it when on my profile. It says something that translates to "It's your birthday? Happy Birthday! We can have cake now, okay?"
mman15063 years ago
i made mine and changed my avatar i found on windows the font myriad pro is the closest
possum888 (author)  mman15063 years ago
Looks great!
CropJ3 years ago
My freelance graphic logo is a possum... lol. I thought it was kind of ironic. Another great way to make an avatar is turn a picture into stencil with photoshop... I used illustrator for vectors. It helps with keeping the design consistent for use in bigger scale. But its a pic of an actual possum me and my friends pulled out of the water onto the dock with a wakeboard. He probably would have drown and was hissing and yelling at us for some reason lol, but we saved him and because he was so photogenic, hes a mascot. haha

possum888 (author)  CropJ3 years ago
Hahaha awesome story!

If I'm honest, the only reason my username is possum, is because thats my mums pet name for me!
CropJ possum8883 years ago
lol... nice. good ible too man!
robocop4083 years ago
You seem to know your way around Photoshop, why the horribly compressed .jpeg's?
possum888 (author)  robocop4083 years ago
The way Instructables shrinks images makes them lose a lot of quality.

Take the last picture with the two circles, and compare it with the original, unshrunk version:
wow it does to
happyjo3 years ago
:D NIce job!