Diversity Avatars

Diversity avatar icons that celebrates humanity

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#3 Product of the DayApril 07, 2018

The Diversity Avatars collection is an exploration of the beauty and diversity of people and cultures around the world, including all walks of life, religions, and nationalities.

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Verena Burger@verenaburger · restaurant
How many pics?
Scott LewisMaker@iconifyit · Web Developer. Icon Designer. Blogger.
@verenaburger Currently there are 200 avatars in the set but we are working on 800 more for a total of 1,000. We will be publishing 100 new avatars about every 6 weeks. You can follow our progress here : https://diversityavatars.com/pro... - But please don't judge the lack of aesthetics on that page too harshly. We opted to spend time on the avatars instead. :-)
Mubaris NK@mubaris · Full Stack Developer
Wow! This collection is awesome
Scott LewisMaker@iconifyit · Web Developer. Icon Designer. Blogger.
@mubaris Hi @mubaris. I am the co-creator of this collection. Thank you! We really appreciate the kind words.
Ramy WafaaMaker@ramywafaa · Founder RoundIcons.com
@mubaris Thanks a lot! More is coming soon, check our progress page to keep an eye on the updates.
Scott LewisMaker@iconifyit · Web Developer. Icon Designer. Blogger.
Hey everyone, just a quick note to let you know that you can follow our progress at https://diversityavatars.com/ico... The avatars take quite a bit of time to create because we are pretty meticulous with the technical details of the files but also in researching the different people and groups that we represent in the set. When we decided to create the set, we set a few rules for ourselves. This list is not exhaustive but they are: 1. Do not rely on assumptions, stereotypes, or our own pre-conceived ideas. Research, ask questions, learn. (NOTE: Some of the rough drafts _may_ violate this rule because they are sketches, not finished designs. The goal was to get the ideas on (virtual) paper quickly so we have a starting point from which to work. They will still be rigorously reviewed and refined as needed). 2. Do not depict anyone in a negative light. The goal is empathy. We are not about judgment, except in some fairly obvious exceptions, but even then, we try to remain neutral so that designers can use, subvert, modify the avatars as needed. 3. Accuracy and quality are more important than speed. If users have to wait a little longer, that is fine as long as we deliver the highest quality product we can. Thank you for your support. It has been truly humbling. @ramywafaa and I have put a lot of our shared passion into this and are really encouraged by the almost-universal positive reaction. One more quick note, you can also suggest an avatar or avatars at the same link above. If you are considering buying the set and there are any avatars in the "Progress" preview you need, or there are some you need, in general, let us know. We cannot promise, but we will do our best to include them in the upcoming release. We will be making 1,000 avatars just to start so it doesn't make much difference to us which ones we create when. If you need them, we want to do our best to add them. Cheers, Ramy & Scott
Inclusion people like Joseph Stalin in this set is a very bad idea. :|
Scott LewisMaker@iconifyit · Web Developer. Icon Designer. Blogger.
@pchelnikov Hi Michael. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Our goal from the beginning has been to listen to what people have to say so that we can learn (provided what is said is about the work, is respectful, and not personal attacks). Can you elaborate on why you think it is a bad idea? How would you suggest we decide who should and should not be included? Also, is there no value at all in including historical figures? The intent is not to glamorize these figures but to provide images that can be used in any way designers see fit include, and especially, for subversion of those images.
@iconifyit let me ask you a question. Does your icon set contain an image of Hitler? If not, why?
Scott LewisMaker@iconifyit · Web Developer. Icon Designer. Blogger.
@pchelnikov It is a very good question and I'm afraid I don't have a good answer. All I can tell you is what my own internal dialog has been as well as what conversations I have had with other artists. This same issue came up before with regards to Trump. I think the discussion is not only fair but appropriate. We - keep in mind there are two of us, although I am the most out-spoken - are never dogmatic or unmovable about any decision. This is a conversation that is hopefully never "over". We don't have an icon of Hitler because I can't bring myself to add it. That is not to say that we won't, but as of yet, we have not. The collection is only about 20% complete and we may decide it is important to add Hitler. 1,000 avatars is the initial goal but the collection will continue to grow. I recognize the contradiction. There is no moral basis for including Stalin but not including Hitler especially since in terms of raw numbers, Stalin was responsible for more deaths. @ramywafaa and I have discussed this issue for months. I have never been 100% comfortable with including Trump, much less Stalin and Lenin. There are also sketches for Saddam Hussein and other controversial figures. For me the main question has been whether the style is right for depicting these figures, not so much whether there is a justification for including them. I believe there is sound reason for including even hated figures in a collection of icons depicting historical figures. I do not believe in censorship and denying history doesn't do anything to educate or enlighten. There is vast chasm between depicting something or someone from a neutral position and glamorizing it. I do, however, question with whether the goal of this collection and including controversial figures, dictators, etc. are at odds. Another angle, however, is if the style is not appropriate for dictators because it is too "cartoonish" then wouldn't it also trivialize great leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr. to make a cartoon of him? It's a rhetorical question, and I haven't thought enough about it to have a concrete opinion, but it is something a designer/artist must always consider. "Is the medium appropriate for the message"? Ultimately the team decided to include Stalin, Lenin, Trump, and Saddam. I think Bashar al Assad is in the sketches as well. With due respect, however, you did not answer the questions I asked. I understand your response was a rhetorical device but it also avoids having to defend your statement. I am trying to understand why you think it is inappropriate and how you recommend we decide where to draw the line. If stating it is a bad idea is fair, then my trying to understand where to draw the line is also fair. It is easy to make a black and white judgment about a Stalin or a Hitler but what of other controversial figures? This is why I ask where should we draw the line? On what objective criteria should that decision be made? It seems to me that the decision has to be based on objective parameters and not merely subjective because anyone could object to anything couldn't they?
@iconifyit I’ll try to explain my opinion. I think that this is due to the way we perceive the history of different countries. Hitler is the generally accepted absolute evil in the whole world. This is roughly clear in France, Russia or the USA, and so on. And I suppose that Stalin for most peoples is not the same evil, because he destroyed basically his own people. But for me, as for the Russian, Stalin is the same evil. However, I do not feel the same about Trump or Saddam. That is, people from different countries and different cultures will differently treat certain individuals from your set.
Scott LewisMaker@iconifyit · Web Developer. Icon Designer. Blogger.
@pchelnikov Yeah, I totally understand and I did not want to make assumptions but thought maybe that was part of the issue. I appreciate the feedback (sincerely, I really do). Like I said before, we really want this kind of feedback because we do not presume to know everything. Despite our intentions being good, we know that we are susceptible to misunderstanding, ignorance, etc. I have struggled with the combination of the style of this set and including figures like Stalin, Lenin, etc. from the start. FWIW, I voted against including them but it was a team decision and I have to support my team. But I'm still uneasy with the combination of the whimsical style and potentially hated/hateful figures. My hope is that people will do exactly as you have and talk to us and help us understand where you're coming from. And if we have several people say, "Hey, this is hurtful and here's why" then we can always remove figures or make different decisions. Nothing is etched in stone and by @ramywafaa and I are very approachable. At the end of the day, we want everyone to feel included, respected, and help everyone to better understand humanity. It is probably a lot to ask of a set of avatars that are kind of cartoonish but this is what we know how to do. It might succeed, it might not. But we will have learned something either way and will hopefully be able to apply those lessons and maybe contribute something to make the world better. I appreciate your feedback and willingness to have a dialog. I hope you can better understand where we are coming from and that this is not a situation where we feel like, "We are right and we wont' change our minds". Respectfully, Scott
Amrith Shanbhag@amrith · Community at Product Hunt & Feathrd
Thanks for sharing @ramywafaa :) What other type of icons do you want to include next?
Scott LewisMaker@iconifyit · Web Developer. Icon Designer. Blogger.
@ramywafaa @amrith Hi, I am the co-creator on this collection. You can view the next batch of 100 avatars and follow our progress here: https://diversityavatars.com/pro...