Ditch the Square: Why Circular Profile Pics Are The Future

Let’s face it, the age of the boxy avatar is over. Square profile pictures just don’t cut it anymore. Here’s why it’s time to make the switch to the circle:

1. Focus on the Face: Our eyes are drawn to curves. Circles naturally guide our attention to the center, which is exactly where you want people looking – your face! By cropping out those square corners, circular pics put your beautiful mug front and center.

2. Easier on the Eyes: Sharp corners create visual noise. Circles, with their smooth flow, are easier for our brains to process. It’s a subtle difference, but it can make a big impact on how your profile picture appears.

3. Modern and Sleek: Circular profile pictures have a clean, modern aesthetic. They reflect the current design trends and give your profile a polished look.

4. Consistency is Key: Most social media platforms use circular avatars throughout their interface. A circular picture ensures a seamless look and avoids awkward cropping.

5. Works for Everyone: Circular pictures aren’t just for selfies! Even if your profile picture isn’t a headshot, the circle can help frame your chosen image in a visually pleasing way.

The Square Deal:

Sure, squares might offer a bit more space for the background, but is that cluttered corner shot with your pet parrot or that blurry vacation landscape really what you want representing you online?

The Circle of Trust:

Circular profile pictures are the future. They’re user-friendly, visually appealing, and put the spotlight where it belongs – on you! So, ditch the square and join the circle revolution!


Circles are also the most neutral and obvious image storage format according to Children of Time. Specifically a string of pixel values describing the values of the pixels in a spiral radiating outward from the center point


I dunno. I like my square avatar with my pet parrot.


That’s not a square :unamused:

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so rectangles are ok too? circles and rectangles, excluding perfect squares?

That’s for sure :smile:

That book was great. Like really really great. Can’t remember it talking about circles though.


This website is outdated.


So, we’re saying whether it’s the stones or the goban?

Spoilers for Children of Time (book 1)

When the Spiders create the high-altitude blimp in order to communicate with Dr. Avrana Kern (not that they know her as such at this point), before launching the smaller balloon which would ascend even higher before launching their first satellite, they send a message to Dr. Avrana Kern with an image of one of their cities, with Spiders all around, and attached text: “This is us” (at this point in time, Dr. Avrana Kern is still under the impression that they are “her monkeys”). They have to send messages back and forth attempting to communicate the image format the Spiders used as Dr. Avrana Kern is unable to translate the image data into an actual image at first. The narration informs us that the Spiders had used the most basic and universal image format imaginable for easy decoding, and they eventually succeed in communicating the basis of this formatting to Dr. Avrana Kern when they send a formula for a spiral, and she, for the first time, sees her monkeys as they truly are


Wow, you have a very good memory! Thanks for taking me back to that moment in the book. It was great.


Most avatars are not faces.

A good reason not to do it, from my perspective.

“Join the sheep” does not persuade me.

Hand waving.

Strawman. Square/rectangular compositions, not necessarily cluttered, are common.

More or less a repetitiion of the first point.

However, I suspect that all this is satire.


Omg I didn’t realize it said that! My deepest apologies to @saxmaam!

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no worries. my point really is that the circle is limiting. why limit?


The square is equally limiting, more so, actually. A circle is the most efficient 2d enclosure of area, so any other shape, such as a square (nevermind a rectangle) is more limiting than the circle


it is though? can’t I make a circular icon within the rectangular shape?

you could argue that the reverse is true (you could make a smaller rectangle within the website’s default circle). But I can’t imagine that the website is going to make use of the corners that got cut off to make the circle in the first place.

from this point forward, I am going to figure that i have fallen for a satyrical post.


Despite the satire, whether avatar images should be circular or rectangle is subject to debate. Non square rectangles can be annoying since there is no standard ratio length/width (or should it be the golden number?). Squares make better use of space than circles but corners make them less visually pleasant.
Perhaps a square with rounded corners (like the 4th or 5th image) would be the best compromise.


We should make it a user option.

Actually, taking that idea even further, what if users could not only select between circle and square, but also anything in between (squares with rounded corners), so that there is a slider to select how big the rounded corners are. At one extreme, you have a square with sharp corners, and at the other extreme, you have a circle.


But it’s already a user option, just use a transparent picture

Case in point: anoek


While I appreciate your passion for circular images, I think this depends strongly on your definition of “efficient”. There is a reason bees use hexagons!

Okay I’ll admit I am being a little goofy since this is a pretty subjective topic, but in all seriousness, I don’t love the squares.

Rounded box is nice too! The only reason I would urge for a circle instead of some compromise is for consistency with the forums. But perhaps that is a lever we can turn - Discourse allows admins to alter the CSS right?