New ‘Google Illustrations’ tool lets you build a custom profile picture for Gmail

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Google Illustrations profile picture


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Besides appearing in the top-right corner of every Google app, your avatar is most prominently used for Gmail. A new “Google Illustrations” tool lets you find and build a custom profile picture.

Earlier this year, Google made it so that you can quickly change your profile picture from Gmail for Android. In addition to taking a brand new picture, finding an image already on your device, or Google Photos, you can now select one from a “Google Illustrations” collection.

There are hundreds of illustrations (as seen above) with images from “various cultures, interests, and backgrounds.” For example:

We all have different tastes and preferences. Whether you are a cat person, a foodie, or an avid traveler, we’ve got you covered. Try searching for a place in your home country, a hobby you share with your friends, an animal or mythical creature that you like.

After making a selection, you can “adjust illustrations’ colors and focus to your own taste.” Users can adjust the image colors and focus, as well as pick individual elements. 

Google Illustrations profile picture
Google Illustrations profile picture

This profile picture is used for Google Workspace (Gmail, Docs, etc.), Contacts for Android, Maps (reviews, location sharing), YouTube, and more. The company built this tool especially for people whose “social context or privacy concerns might prevent them from using an actual photo as a profile picture.” 

It will be available from today in Gmail for Android. Like before, open the profile switcher in the top-right corner and then tap your avatar, which is already badged with a camera icon. This will show your existing image, and “Add profile picture” opens a redesigned UI. “Illustrations” is the first tab with Google Photos still available like before.

You can browse or keyword search through the new Google Illustrations collection to find a profile picture. Selecting presents customization options, like swapping the background color.

Late this year or in early 2022, the editor will be available in other Google apps and the web, with iOS support also planned.

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