gravatar-examples.gifOnce you spend a little time reading and commenting on various blogs, you’ll notice that on certain blogs some people have branded icons next to their comments, while others have a generic anonymous graphic.

These icons are avatars — tiny online logos that represent you on blogs and other online forums. It’s a small detail that plays an important role in your studio’s online social networking.

They are easy to setup. Design a small square graphic in Photoshop; save it as a JPG, GIF, or PNG; and upload it to a free account at gravatar:

Gravatar — globally recognized avatars

The process takes about two minutes. Use a photo, or design a small square version of your studio’s logo. This free service works with all gravatar-enabled sites (including most WordPress blogs, like ours). Test out your new avatar by leaving a comment here!

spga.gifSource: In April 2009, I am presenting at a luncheon workshop about social media marketing at Graphic Artists Guild / SPGA – Seattle. If you are a Seattle-area creative professional, consider this tip an early social networking homework assignment.

When you’ve designed a branded avatar image you like, keep it handy. You can use that small square logo as your online calling card for other social networking sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Digg, etc.