The evolution of Yoast avatars & we’re doing a redesign!

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Over the years, our avatars have evolved quite a bit. Paul Madden created the first avatar, back in 2007. A few years later, I asked Erwin to improve upon it and he ran off with them. He created many, many avatars. First of me, later on of the entire, rapidly growing, team. Below is an infographic highlighting that history, about which we’ll talk more at YoastCon.

Yoast redesign

At YoastCon, we’ll also talk about the next step of the design that Mijke and Erwin have been working on. The avatars will stay, but they won’t be as prominent. Now that Marieke, Thijs, Michiel and the rest of the team are all so important for the growth of Yoast and it’s obvious that it’s not just my work, it’s time to take my head out of the header. At YoastCon, either live or through the livestream, you can see us unveil the next iteration of our site design!

For now, enjoy the infographic Erwin and Mijke created:

The evolution of Yoast Avatars in an infographic

The Evolution of Yoast


In the early days of Joost’s consulting career Paul Madden creates his first avatar. Joost quickly learns it makes people recognize him in discussion threads. The avatar turns out to be a perfect personal branding tool.


In 2010, Joost starts his own company: Yoast. The company focuses on website optimization.

Joost asks Erwin Brouwer to update the original design by Paul Madden and expand upon it. More and more avatars make their way into Joost’s presentations, replacing stock imagery. changes in 2010 as well. The new design is a lot cleaner and removes the windmill and with it, the first iteration of the Joost avatar.


2012 is a hallmark year for Yoast in many ways. Joost hires Michiel in the beginning of the year. Several other people follow at the end of 2012, Mijke, Joost’s brother Thijs and illustrator Erwin.

In August of 2012 another new site design launches, featuring avatars in the header on every page.


Yoast grows from a single person to a team of 21 in early 2015.

Every team member gets a personal avatar. The avatar style keeps developing and the process of making them gets more streamlined by the day. The latest avatars are more rounded and detailed in comparison to the first series.

The making of Yoast

Erwin makes all avatars in Adobe Illustrator, making them easy to scale. Every avatar has several layers to make adjustments possible and easy to do. The final artwork is then saved as an optimized png-file to make them easy to load.

This post first appeared as The evolution of Yoast avatars & we’re doing a redesign! on Yoast. Whoopity Doo!