I cut the background out of my avatar a few weeks ago, and thought that made it look better on more sites. As of very recently, there seems to be a background color set on avatars as part of the theme on SO and MSO (I believe some other sites already had this). I'd prefer it if they didn't.

Does anyone else have an opinion about this?

I could fill the background with white, but it seems wrong for solid-background images to blend in better than transparent-background ones, and many sites have non-white backgrounds.

enter image description here

On Ask Different the background looks absurd in profiles because it doesn't match the border:

On Cross Validated there's no color I could pick to match the background:

enter image description here

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    Think inside the box! Maybe SE doesn't want you messing with their aesthetic, even inside the avatar bounds?? – Awesome Poodles Aug 9 '11 at 8:41
  • Yeah, I don't think this should have a background on your profile page either. I've never noticed it because no one else took the time to cut out the background. – Cody Gray Aug 9 '11 at 10:31
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    +1. I think mine looked better with a transparent background too – Cameron Aug 9 '11 at 12:54
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    I think this qualifies as a bug (mis-feature), added the bug tag. – Paŭlo Ebermann Aug 9 '11 at 21:02
  • I just noticed this today, and as PaĆ­lo Ebermann stated it could just be a bug. – Jon Aug 9 '11 at 21:09
  • Hmm, I think you got your text backwards. The "bad" should have been typed out, "good" should have been free-handed. – Jeff Mercado Aug 9 '11 at 21:47
  • @Jeff - yeah, I've made just a minor edit. Anyway some decorative font would be on a place for Good. Added new screenshot, by edit :) – daemon_x Aug 9 '11 at 21:48

This was laying the ground work for not necessarily square profile images.

Causes some problems because we really assume that they're square... basically everywhere. Tried some CSS tricks to "square out" all profile images, but this clearly had some issues with those users who set gravatars with transparent bits.

I've gone ahead and tweaked our code to not try to "square out" things we know to be square (like, all existing profile images). This code will go out with the next deploy.

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  • Interesting glimpse into the future. But doesn't Gravatar require that all images be square? In order for this to be relevant, you'd have to be considering the previously rejected feature requests to support non-Gravatar profile pictures? Or would you have to kill me if you told me? – Cody Gray Aug 10 '11 at 5:17
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    @Cody you might want to re-read the red tag here – balpha Aug 10 '11 at 5:41

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