Best Vector Avatars and How to Use Them in Your Projects
Today, anonymous digital interactions are the norm, so an avatar is usually the only symbol that represents people when they are online. When designing, be it an App, a website, the branding of a company, or even a presentation, vector avatars are crucial to give expression and identity to users, and it can only be expected that they will become even more important as the world grows more online and remote.
What is an Avatar?
An avatar is a representative substitute of a person, or sometimes, of an organization. Avatars are often branded differently, but the core idea is that an avatar allows us to project our identity into a place where we personally cannot be, like an intangible digital sphere.
The term “avatar” originates from Hinduism, where this word describes when deities transfer their essence into another form. Essentially, the Hindu gods traveled to other realms, such as the earth, by inhabiting a human vessel, the avatar.
The concept of an “avatar” was popularized with the 2009 film Avatar, in which a marine who ended up in a wheelchair transfers his consciousness into an alien body in order to fit in on an alien planet. And while this well-known film is science fiction, with Neuralink founder Elon Musk repeatedly demonstrating an interest in eventually transferring our consciousness to computers, the science behind the film may soon not just remain fiction….
What are Vector Graphics?
In order to understand what vector avatars are, we must first understand what vector graphics (hence the “vector” in “vector avatars”) are and how they are used in the greater graphic world.
Vector graphics are a set of mechanisms that are used to create visual images that start from geometric figures such as lines, points, curves, and polygons. This is what mainly differentiates vector graphics from raster graphics. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. Vector graphics continue to be widely used and are the most preferred choice among professional designers, architects, and engineers for multiple fields where the resolution of designs matters, specifically that resolution is not affected by changing the dimensions of designs. Meanwhile, raster graphics is the most appropriate and efficient option for photographic works and those that need to be in pixels and not vectors.
However, the two mechanisms are not exclusive. Some domains use both vector and raster depending on their purpose, such as graphic design and geographic information systems.
We can find vector graphics in formats such as: WMF (windows metafile), SVG (scalable vector graphics), PDF (portable document format), EPS (encapsulated postscript), CDR (Corel draw), or AI (Adobe Illustrator artwork).
So… What is a Vector Avatar?
Vector avatars are digital images created by illustrators for better quality. You can find different sites online with packs of vector avatars, or multiple digital tools to create your own vector avatars. Vector avatars have more benefits than raster formats since they are specially designed so that when using them, their quality is not affected.
As we have already said, the main function of a vector avatar is to transmit personality and emotions. These avatars are found on multiple platforms where users are expected to have their own profile and therefore their own avatar, from web pages, video games, streaming platforms, and applications.
What Makes a Good Vector Avatar?
Vector avatars take up less space both on your computer and on your digital platform. They are easy to adjust and you can have a very clean and precise result. Creating a digital illustration is an extremely meticulous process, so if you are aiming for the best results for your design project, choosing vector avatars is an outstanding idea.
Types of Vector Avatars
While avatars may be fictional representations, they are intended to be representative of real people. And unlike characters (but much like emojis), avatars don’t even have to look like a person: they can be inanimate objects or abstract shapes. It all depends on what kind of image the user feels that exemplifies their personality (as opposed to the singular emotions that emojis represent).
Avatars styled after real people are the most common. While the simplest is a selfie photo, humanoid avatars can also be custom illustrated. By providing custom illustrated humans, most users these days will expect avatars to include the full spectrum of human users, including diversities of race and gender. And the inclusion has to be authentic, which means no unnaturally coloured characters that suggest diversity without actually doing so.
If you’re looking for really unique and cute looking human vector avatars for your designs, you can get this pack of 795 diversity avatars! It includes 400 female and 395 male designs of all ages and many different professions like doctors, police, business, chefs and many more! Also every character comes with different versions of outfits, skin colors, hair styles, etc. Get this pack of vector avatars in Ai, EPS, PDF, SVG and Iconjar formats as well as transparent PNG files so you can add them easily to any of your design projects.
For the purposes of this article, we will consider creature avatars to cover all non-human characters, including aliens, monsters, animals, and any other imaginary creature. Serious or photorealistic shots tend to be out of place here; usually these types of avatars will be humorously designed in a cartoonish anthropomorphic form.
Looking for the cutest animal vector avatars? Look no more! With this set of 3D animal vector animals you’ll get 50 stylish and cute characters which come in fully customizable files as well as use-ready renders of the characters in a variety of different poses. They are perfect for you to use as avatars or elements in websites mobile apps, presentations and more. This set includes 10 different animal characters (which you can see in the picture above) each one with transparent backgrounds so you can drag and drop them into your projects. Also you can find a .blend 3D model for each one of the characters, fully rigged, so you can customize not only their poses but also their behaviours, facial expressions, colors and every other aspect you want! Don’t know how to do that? This set also includes a short Tutorial Video to show you how to use the pack in blender.
On the other hand, for more creature looking avatars, give this colorful cartoon characters pack a shot. This collection of 300 hundred vector cartoon designs features a massive variety of designs (animals, people, zombies, mythological creatures, and many more) you can use to create compositions for all kinds of purposes, from branding, video games, mobile apps, etc. Every single vector avatars is delivered with 100% vector source files which you can customize to your liking – resize, change colors, create compositions with many characters, etc.
Abstract avatars can include patterns, geometric or organic shapes, and real objects. While these do not have a face associated with them, they can still be emotionally expressive in terms of shape, language, colour, or the cultural associations assigned to an object.
A great example of this type of vector avatars is this pack of more than 280 vector geometric shapes and designs which you can use for all kinds of purposes. All files within this pack are neatly organized in 3 categories and are delivered in layered Ai, PSD and EPS vectors as well as transparent PNG files with several color variations. This pack surely has great options for your abstract vector avatars options!
What are Vector Avatars Used For?
As we have said before, vector avatars are used as an alter ego or a character image in virtual worlds, social media, websites, and communities. Vector avatars can be largely boiled down to many many uses, the most important and common ones are what we’ll be discussing throughout this article.
The most popular and straightforward vector avatars have been images used on social media profiles, messaging apps, or any online service that requires a representative photo of a user. While these are typically static images, they can be animated, but do not extend user control (like the avatars that allows users to move around simulated environments such as a video games). The purpose is just to give a face to the users.
The perfect self-portrait, next to a profile picture, is a cute animated person looking forward, like the ones you can find in this cute icons and avatars pack that includes 300 vector icons. This pack features both male and female avatars fully customizable which means you can add your own color palette. Thanks to it’s vectorial characteristic you can take every avatar and resize it, twitch it, recolor it, mix it and even combine them all if you want! With this avatars you will be adding fun, squishy sweetness, and some hipster and urban bite to your projects!
Mobile Apps and Social Networks
Avatars play an important role when it comes to activities on forums or social networks on the Internet. Here, the term refers to small symbols that often have a dimension of 80 x 80 pixels. These symbols are integrated above, below or next to the username and the corresponding message depending on the selected platform.
In this case, they serve to increase the recognition value of a person or profile on the network. It is considered an element that should build trust. On social media, many people use a real photo of themselves as an avatar. However, in forums where one remains rather anonymous, this is rarely the case. Instead, cartoon figures, 3D graphics, pictures of places, animals or stars, illustrations, slogans and statements, etc. are used.
In cases where social media platforms are used commercially, it is advisable to use avatars that communicate the company’s values in a certain way. Experts refer to this as visual consistency. The first visual impression of a potential customer is configured in such a way that the recognition value is as high as possible. In addition to the avatar, other aspects also play an important role, including the logos, colors and fonts used in all corporate communications. Avatars are an integral part of corporate identity.
For users to not only show their personality but also how they look in mobile apps, incorporate simple yet detailed looking vector avatars like the ones featured in this pack of both male and female vector faces with colored backgrounds. This set comes in an editable Photoshop vector file which means you can edit the sizes, colors and shapes of the avatars. It is perfect to give the users of your mobile app the option to choose from a variety of different avatars for their profiles.
When designing a website that truly connects with your clients, you really want to pay attention to the user-to-user interaction, the user space and mainly the whole UX concept.
There are many reasons why your website should have Vector Avatars for your clients’ profiles, here are some of them:
- Vector avatars give your website good vibe and a feeling of customization.
- Personalization. It lets the user add a sprinkle of character to their information/profile, it lets them have their own little imprint on it.
- It makes users feel good. Users are able to choose their own avatar that represents them. Even wallets have a photo area in them that we can use to make them feel as “ours”. Its a good feeling thats brought on when someone is using your product when they see the photo.
- Control. It gives the users more sense of control over their account which is always a nice feeling.
- It may show users (or make them feel) that the company doesn’t just think they are a number or name, they are more than that. Its a face to a name.
Not only can you use vector avatars for your users or clients profiles on your website design, you can also implement vector avatars for the display of the website so it looks more friendly. To achieve that, use this unique pack of isometric vector avatars. Not only is it exclusive but it is now free! It contains 20 different isometric people illustrations, delivered in a fully layered Adobe Illustrator file, where you can scale, adapt and easily modify all the characters and their separate body parts to better suit your website project without having to worry about losing quality. It is the perfect pack of vector avatars for you to even create your own avatars or scenes containing multiple of them.
In online stores, avatars are used for a totally different strategy. Here, digital customer advisors and contact persons are created using avatars. These help the user with the user experience on the web. If a user has questions about the service, the product range, the navigation or the purchase process, they can contact the avatar. Behind this avatar is a real person who answers the questions, just like in a live chat.
The conversion rate can be sustainably increased through the targeted use of avatars. This is because the customer is not left alone with questions about the product or difficulties during the ordering process. Instead, the customer is guided along the path until the order has been completed. In this case, the avatars are part of the confidence building measures.
Most times you really want to not only give your costumers that confident feeling, but also you want to maintain your brand’s visual identity and you might feel that most vector avatars packs aren’t editable so you really can’t include your own design style. Thankfully, there are awesome avatar sets like this avatars complete creation library which includes Figma components and Sketch symbols. With this set you’ll get 84 different assets, 100% vector and entirely customizable, so your customers will be able to use avatars that communicate effectively with the rest of the shop. You can combine the preset assets or even create your own and go wild by editing the skin colors, hairstyles, facial hair styles, accessories, clothes, eye expressions, mouth expressions, nose types, and even background colors! These vector avatars are perfectly suitable both for web and mobile applications.
Vector avatars are one of the favorite go-to graphics for learning projects. They’re a clean, modern-looking alternative to text-only presentations, and can really complement the current flat design trend. Especially the human avatars are very handy in the designs since their physical characteristics allow an easier understanding and interpretation of the content of the presentation.
Also, with the variety of vector avatars that are currently available it is more than possible to use different avatars for not only each presentation, but also on each slide. The advantage of this type of vector avatars is that there are packs that you can even edit yourself so that it goes much more in line with your presentation.
So if you really want to have customizable vector avatars, get an editable pack! Like this cool pack of more than 100 characters that are fully editable. This bundle features completely different characters displaying unique faces, personalities and outfits, each character includes two different face angles, which means that you could have a total of 200 editable vector avatars for your presentations designs. Since the pack comes in separate Ai and EPS vector formats as well as transparent PNG files, every character is completely editable and ready to use. All the characters are composed with separated vector shapes so you can easily max and match the characters and create your own!
When it comes to video games, it’s important to note that not all video game characters you control are avatars. Video games can involve storytelling, which means that you often control a protagonist. This is a specific character in the game’s lore with a distinctive name, personality, and backstory. In other words, you’re not supposed to think of these protagonists as extensions of yourself; it’s more like how you would inhabit the perspective of a protagonist in a novel.
A true avatar is designed as a blank slate for the user to print to. In video games, these are often “silent protagonists” or protagonists who have no written dialogue other than what you choose for them to say. Often this will require you to customize their appearance in a character creator screen, but it’s also common for there to be no human design, such as special clothings or costumes covering the character or having a “first-person camera” that reduces the avatar to a pair of eyes.
For an awesome video game design, get your hands on this vector avatars set that includes more than 2200 design elements for you to create the perfect avatars for your project! This set includes both male, female and creatures avatars designs that you can mix and match to give them their own personalities, creative accessories and hairstyles. The pack contains heads, eyes, eyebrows, noses, hairstyles, accessories and many more delivered in vector Ai formats as well as PSD files, so you can also customize the colors, reshape the characters, scale them up and down, etc. Get this pack and you will have endless vector avatars options from fun and casual human characters to crazy aliens, super heroes, cosplay wearing characters and everything else in between! This package also includes high resolution transparent PNG files so you can easily drag and drop the assets into your project.
Avatars that represent a brand, as well as its consumers, are becoming more common. This is probably not surprising, as many tech brands (Google, Apple, and Slack) that involve user profiles and messaging naturally rely on avatars. And creating custom avatars that align with an existing brand image not only helps maintain a consistent look and feel across a site, it can also help customers see themselves in a brand.
There is a natural overlap: both avatars and brands seek to convey an identity. And assuming the brand personality is informed by the target audience, the brand and consumer identities shouldn’t be too far apart.
Brand images are commonly reused in default avatars or placeholders that are automatically generated when a user first creates a profile. While many default avatars are featureless, gray human silhouettes, it is better to assign new users different versions of cool graphics based on their branding.
Design for the Person Behind the Avatar
Avatars are like digital extensions of ourselves. In fact, they are often the only images that represent us in certain contexts online. This inevitably means that the more online our lives become, the more important avatars will be in the future.
While avatars, of course, can’t represent the full complexity of a person, they do bring an important human element to distant interactions. So when you need avatars that are more expressive than a poorly cropped selfie, consider contacting a freelance designer.
Since default avatars are made to be changed, it’s essential to provide users with a number of avatars to choose from that align with a brand. This involves hiring a designer who can take your existing visual identity and translate it into a selection of custom avatars.
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