Bil Browning

I need your opinion

Filed By Bil Browning | November 24, 2008 5:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Site News
Tags: polls, Projecters, user icons

We've been considering changing user icons from black and white to color. What's your opinion?

This is, of course, the most important decision you'll ever make. Obviously.

(Per reader request, there's a few examples after the jump.)


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I used to be a big fan of b&w, but - come to think of it - that's when I was in the closet. Since then it's all about living in full color.

Bil, does using color have a downside for you? I don't know what it might be (more server intensive?), but there are already color ads on TBP so I don't think color icons would upset the aesthetic balance of the website.

No downside. I just liked the black and white icons originally because it looked more like a newspaper photo for a columnist.

I like the b&w user icons. They are very dramatic.

Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | November 24, 2008 7:26 PM

Can we see a sample of the color icon???

Hold on and I'll put a couple of examples up after the jump.

Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | November 25, 2008 12:25 PM

Looking at both, I prefer B&W!

Are the smaller black and white icons sharper and clearer than the larger colour icons which pop up on the contributor pages? I'll go with whatever, but I think (not sure) my own picture might be fuzzier if smaller *and* in colour. On the other hand, other people might not have that problem.

But colour might be cuter and more contemporary. Damn. Now I might have to fiddle with the camera for a whole another year to to get a pic I like (it took me that long to get the most recent one).

Dammit! Now I have to get out the pancake makeup for my color shot...

I'm ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille!

Hands down - COLOR!!!

go color for a test run, then take it from there.

and i just want to take this opportunity to say how much i appreciate Bil's presence throughout the blogs. even though i don't always agree with him, Bil's perspective is always intriguing and insightful -- he's a really smart and sensitive guy. he's also a marvelous role model for the many younger men and women i work with.


Ooooh - color for a "test run" would be a nightmare. With over 70 current contributors and alumni, it would be a lot of work to make all new icons, upload them, go through each contributor and set their new icon, etc. It would be a good half a day's work. It's all or nothing! :)

And thanks for the compliment, Marcus; I appreciate it. It's nice to get a note of encouragement every now and then! (Although I'm not so sure you didn't confuse me with Alex when you said "smart!" *grins*)

Color. Color. Color. Color. Color. Color. Color. Color. Color. Color. Color. Color.

Both work, but I still like the b&w best.

I prefer Black/White.. more professional and what I see everywhere else for bylines. Perhaps cuz it looks newspaper-ish.

damn - so much for getting cute with the font color tag! I guess that's not one of the html tags you support in the comments?

A comment from a professional photographer--your B&W photos need some contrast/lightness adjustment. You need to do more than just convert color to grayscale.

I like both formats, & would leave it up to the contributors' preferences.

Keep up the good work.


I like both formats, & would leave it up to the contributors' preferences.

Great idea! --- Let the contributor decide if she/he wants color or B&W ... a democratic way to address an issue that is so very personal and of such grave importance!