Howto: Create a Gravatar brand icon

Recently I talked about how to make your brand image icon show up when sending to Gmail recipients. Today I'll talk about how to do the same for a different set of smaller ISPs and email clients.

Gravatar is a system owned by the folks behind Wordpress that allows you to upload an image or photo that is then linked to an email address. The primary use of the system is to show user icons for commenters on Wordpress blogs, from what I can tell.

An interesting secondary use is to use this "Gravatar" image to represent the sender of an email message in an email client. Email client and ISP support for Gravatars is not broad. According to this article from Zendesk, support for this is specific to users of Airmail, Sparrow, Postbox, and the Thunderbird email client. And I am led to believe that Thunderbird support requires a plugin.

However, signup is easy, so why not do it? It'll extend your brand image reach just a little bit further, with only a little bit of work.

Here's how to do it:
  1. Go to
  2. Click on the "Create your own Gravatar" button.
  3. Enter the email address that your brand or company uses to send emails from.
  4. Choose a username. This must be unique. Don't be funny here, as it may later show up in some other place that we don't expect.
  5. Choose a good password, and don't lose it.
  6. The Gravatar system will send a confirmation email to the address you specify. After you receive that email, click on the "Activate Account" button within. The message comes from
  7. After you click on the activation button, you are returned to the website. Click "Sign In" to log back in to
  8. You'll land on a "Manage Gravatars" page. It'll say, "Whoops, looks like you don't have any images yet! Add one by clicking here!"
  9. Click on the "click here," click on "Upload New," and click on "Choose file" to select your image.
  10. Click "next." You'll be led to a screen where you can crop the image, if desired. Click on "Crop Image" to continue.
  11. "Set rating" for your Gravatar image. Is it safe for all? Then select "G" rated and submit.
  12. You now have a Gravatar image uploaded.
That's it! You're done, and your Gravatar image should display alongside emails from you, when sent to recipients who use any of those handful of ISPs or email clients.

I suppose that if your social media brand ambassador ever decides to respond to comments on Wordpress blogs, you'll be covered there as well.


  1. Gravatar images are also used with the Disqus comment system.... which is widely used.


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