Make Your Own Avatar

Making your own avatar sounds hard, but it is really simple. But first, what is an avatar? Why do you need it? Well, on most social networking sites and blogs, a picture is used to represent you. Sometimes it is a photo, sometimes words, other times it can be a funny or cute picture with a caption. If you are sick of staring at your picture all the time, or tired of the same old avatars, why not make your own?

First of all, you need to choose a background image for your avatar. It can be a simple color, a drawing, or a photo. Just remember that avatars are small, so make sure it will be easy to see. Once you have a background image chosen, decide if you want to add words or other designs. The entertaining thing about creating your own avatar is that you can put yourself into it. Some pictures do not require words, but, to really express yourself and your tastes, a caption usually helps.

Example background image:

Once you have the idea of what you want it to be solid in your mind, it is time to start creating. A simple free web-based program like Picnik is the easiest to use for beginning avatar creators. You can also use a Photoshop or Paint program if you would like. Upload you photo to Picnik and get started.

One the photo is uploaded, you need to crop it. Avatars are square, but most photos are rectangular. You have to crop, or cut away the excess. The main image can be in the center or off to one side. Just make sure you have some ‘clean’ space for the caption. Once your photo is square, you can move on to the next step.

Example cropped image:

cropped images

Step two is simple. A frame accents your avatar. It is not always necessary, but a simple black border can help your avatar to stand out, especially on a cluttered background. Simply add a frame of anywhere from 10 to 20 pixels. This is also the time to manipulate the photo itself. You can use effects to turn it black and white, sepia, or brighten it. Parts of the photo can be highlighted for importance. Change it up to look exactly how you want it. Make a cluttered background fade away in black and white, or a important figure stand out in bright colors.

Example framed and highlighted image:


When you are satisfied with the look of the photo, it is time to add the caption. The text you use should be bright and bold so it will be readable when shrunk down to avatar-size. The font called Impact works best. Use either black or white, depending on the background color. Red is also acceptable in some cases. Make sure you expand the text as large as you can without covering up the picture.

Example captioned image:


When you feel that the avatar is complete, save it in the original size- in case you want to edit it later. Last but not least, it is time to re-size it. A normal avatar size is from 100 by 100 pixels to 150 by 150. Once you change the pixel size (easy to do on the save page) make sure you name the final product differently than the original.

Example completed avatar:


That’s it! You’ve created your very own, one-of-a-kind avatar. Post it on your Twitter, blog, or other social media and your friends might just ask you to make one for them also. Al little bit of personality goes a long way.

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