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Gravatars as Branding Tools

A Gravatar image is universally associated with your web presence and it’s a very powerful branding tool. Register a Gravatar and add links to your Gravatar profile page that describe your brand and where you can be found in the digital world so your brand is easy to follow.

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Did you know that your account has always been a account? It’s true.

Gravatars are Globally Recognized Avatars integrated into WordPress that appear beside your name when you do things like comment or post on a blog. Gravatars help identify your posts on blogs, social networks, wikis and forums by distinguishing you from other users. When you have a account, that automatically gives you access to a Gravatar account at Dashboard > Users > My Profile.


mejanuary13Before you proceed to select and register your gravatar image and complete your profile page details  you will want to watch the brief video and consult the best practices for Gravatar, Avatar, Blavatar image selection.

Here are links to the guide for uploading, replacing or removing your Gravatar and  associating multiple email addresses to a Gravatar and Gravatar hovercards. You can replace the generic Gravatar image with the image of your choice quickly. But do be sure to take the time complete all the fields on your Gravatar profile page, and to maintain a professional appearance at all times, keep that page up to date.

gravatar profile

To enable Gravatar display and hovercard display on your own blog go to > Settings > Discussion and scroll way down the page to “Avatars”. That’s also where you can set an maximum rating and default avatar for Gravatar display on your blog.

Gravatar Image Selection Tips

In Branding on the Blog and Beyond the Blog I discussed how a logo, gravatar, custom banner, or customized theme and graphics, business cards, etc. aren’t your brand. Your branding strategy incorporates both text and graphic elements that communicates your message to your target audience visually and powerfully.

Gravatars help represent your brand.  What does your Gravatar say about you?

Choosing to use a picture of yourself for your gravatar is a more personal and more powerful choice than choosing to use a logo. No one gets an up close and personal feeling when viewing a logo. Heed Jenise Fryatt‘s advice:”A picture of a person says you are interested in a human to human relationship.” Avoid using blurry images with busy backgrounds. Chose a clear picture with a neutral background that clearly depicts you as the friendly and approachable person you are.

You don’t have to be a WordPress user to register a Gravatar; all that’s required is an email address. Whether you blog under your real name or under a pseudonym you can make it easy to communicate your brand across on all sites across the internet by using a Gravatar.  So why not register your own Gravatar and put this powerful branding tool to work for you across the internet?


Please share your own Gravatar selection story in the comments. Did you choose your Gravatar image with branding in mind?

* Some of the content in this post was originally published in Gravatars for Global Recognition.

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20 thoughts on “Gravatars as Branding Tools

  1. Choosing a close-up of my handsome smiling face was an easy choice for me. I always feel much more positively inclined when I can see a person’s face (being used as a gravatar). No guarantee it’s really them, of course, but still–

    And a smile always makes a good impression. I’m always puzzled and a little put off by unsmiling gravatar faces.

    I’d never heard the term “blavatar.” Absurd! A gravatar by any other name would… be, and is, superfluous!! : )

    Your own gravatar, with its great smile and Veronica Lake overtones, is definitely one of the most distinctive and attractive in Blogland!

  2. Yes,I chose mine carefully, and it is amazing what you can turn a photo into. My Gravatar image is actually taken from a photo from when I went camping-we had an amazing campfire, and I cropped it down to that.

  3. So what do you think of the Sight theme? I must admit my Gravatar didn’t have a lot of thought by me. There are times I wonder if I should change to something more “professional” for work related blogs that I comment on.

    By the way, I miss your occasional visits!

    • Hi Jean,
      I love your blog as is. I would not chnage anything about it at all. You aren’t blogging for bucks so don’t fret about stats because they don’t matter unless you do blog for money.

      My visits are infrequent due to the sciatica and the fact that our business is to some degree driven by tourism. Spring is always a very busy time for us and on top of that I have my contracted work.

      I tried out the Sight theme and though I liked the post slider feature I did not like the font. I’m picky and theme fickle. I switched to using Untitled but I may not stick with it for long.

  4. Being concerned about privacy on the Internet, I didn’t want to use a photo (there’s usually one on my About page for anyone who’s that interested). And I wanted something more distinctive than just another selfie. I was thinking of branding, sort of, in that I worked in editing and publishing, so I chose an interesting asterisk in a handsome red. It goes with my theme of pied type, retired editor, etc. Whether you like it or not, it sure pops out of a group of Gravatars.

  5. This is something I do need to consider. When starting the blog there was just so much to do, the gravatar was chosen as a whimsical image and I figured I’d get back to it someday…you know how that goes.
    Thanks for the links – will be checking those out

  6. I recently did the Blogging 201 course which was great and one of the things they talked about was making sure your gravatar was doing its job. I haven’t checked yet, so I’m filing this post in my to-keep folder so I can come back to it later. One thing they said was that your photo should be just of you and close up, but I really like the photo I chose because it shows me doing what led me to blog in the first place.

  7. Fascinating! I wish I could say that I’d given more thought to my gravatar, but the fact of the matter is I haven’t. In fact, I need to work on branding all the way around. For example, I don’t think the name of my blog works well, but I don’t want to change it now, after all of these years. Thanks for another great post!

    Hugs from Ecuador,

    • Hi Kathy,
      Your image is clear but need to update your Gravatar profile page because it says you are living in the US. Your blog has yet to be added and your social networks links are missing there too, so you have a bit of work to do there.

  8. great post, I use a photo right now but am getting an image to use across the board by an artist, just something I like and prefer, hoping that it will create a striking image and can be used on all my blogs :-) great article as always. I didnt know about linking it to other services x

    • Hi there,
      I like the idea of an artist using a photo to make a universal Gravatar image for you. I also like the fact you have included your three blogs on your Gravatar profile page. Linking to the other services on your Gravatar profile page is important. That page introduces you and your sites and social networks to all who view it. It points to out where you can be found on the internet so your can be found a followed. You ought to add your Flickr and Pinterest sites to it.

  9. Great info Timethief. I’m on it like a car bonnet!
    I used a photo my dad took of me at my little brother’s wedding last year. I look a little squinty, but I like it. I had a great day.

  10. Gravatar really is wonderful. It’s something I didn’t know about until I started blogging at

    A lot of bloggers don’t fully utilize Gravatar and I think they should as it does help with branding.

    Oh and having links to blogs and social pages on Gravatar is good for easily being found around the Internet.

  11. I did choose my gravatar with branding in mind, I wanted it to clearly display the name of my blog. However since my name is longer I decided I would abbreviate it with the initials, which makes for a nice logo. it was very interesting what you said about your face on the logo demonstrating that you are human and personal, however I know I’m personally just not comfortable with putting my face out there for everyone to see! (maybe its a self confidence thing).

    This post was extremely interesting, thank you for sharing!


    • I like your gravatar choice. Know what you mean by not to sure about putting your face out there. And anyone who has encountered some of the Odd out there completely understands – it can be a security issue.

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