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I have noticed that Cognitive Sciences SE and probably others use three letters in their blue (beta) icon. Engineering uses two (Eg). It's non-intuitive, and I feel e.g. "Eng" would fit the name better and be more discoverable / guessable. A gear would be even better, like the plane icon at Aviation SE.

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  • $\begingroup$ While I agree that "EG" is not a very intuitive abbreviation and a gear icon would be nice, keep in mind that sites get full designs when they graduate. $\endgroup$ – Air Feb 10 '15 at 17:26
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    $\begingroup$ @Air ... which may take several years. Best to carve out our mindshare early. $\endgroup$ – Deer Hunter Feb 10 '15 at 17:27
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    $\begingroup$ I do not disagree. My point is that this change may not be a priority from the staff's perspective. The best way for us to make it happen might be for one of our users to contribute a design that staff can simply "drop in" with minimal effort. $\endgroup$ – Air Feb 10 '15 at 19:10
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    $\begingroup$ On behalf of all the non-mechanical engineers: "Oy! with the gears already!!!" :-D $\endgroup$ – user16 Feb 10 '15 at 20:11
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    $\begingroup$ @GlenH7 - the exact symbology is TBD. )) $\endgroup$ – Deer Hunter Feb 10 '15 at 20:14
  • $\begingroup$ For the record, I think gears do a great job of representing engineering within a single, simple icon. That said, once we get to the point of selecting a site design, there are a number of iconic symbols from the various fields that we could borrow from. Transits for civil; sparks or electricity for the EEs; the other fields have a number of symbols to pull from as well.... $\endgroup$ – user16 Feb 10 '15 at 20:17
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    $\begingroup$ Air quality engineering has no handy symbol. If I do my job, the result is invisible! $\endgroup$ – Air Feb 10 '15 at 21:18
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    $\begingroup$ Changing the icon is not out of the question, but I'd need to see more consensus and discussion about what to change it to (if anything other than Eng). I like the gear, but I'm not an engineer, and I surmise that the gear only really represents a very limited subset of engineers--and we want this site to have broad appeal. $\endgroup$ – hairboat Feb 11 '15 at 21:00
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For a choice just between EG & ENG I prefer ENG

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While "ENG" seems like an improvement over the current "EG" abbreviation, I think a gear icon would offer much more "bang for our buck." More letters will be less readable and if we're going to ask for a chance, we might as well set our sights on something more iconic (ha, ha).

We may have the best chance of success here if we follow the example set on Aviation.SE by creating the icon ourselves. I've never worked with SVG before, but I had some free time, so here's a mock-up:

engineering icon.png

I'm not a huge fan of the gear shape, which I shamelessly stole from Wikipedia; I'd prefer the teeth to be more distinct. However, this doesn't appear to be simple to do with the tool I downloaded and it works in a pinch, even if it does look a bit like a flower.

Should be reproducible using the following XML:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="no"?>
<svg
   xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg"
   version="1.1"
   viewBox="0 0 200 200"
   height="200"
   width="200">
  <g id="bubble">
    <rect
       ry="18.928572" y="6.7964911" x="22.129595"
       height="156.06053" width="155.01321"
       style="fill:#62b0df;fill-opacity:1;fill-rule:evenodd;stroke:none;" />
    <path
       transform="matrix(0.25298014,-1.4165527,0.7640002,0.46905707,-44.144649,234.94073)"
       d="m 133.92857,164.64285 -9.46521,45.46474 -34.641013,-30.92948 z"
       style="fill:#62b0df;fill-opacity:1;fill-rule:evenodd;stroke:none;" />
  </g>
  <g id="gear">
    <path
       d="m 156.81483,90.879152 0,-13.502483 -16.91327,-6.721781 c -0.47339,-1.26678 -0.96993,-2.491822 -1.57711,-3.694772 l 6.83324,-16.217714 -10.01058,-9.54748 -16.84895,6.61867 c -1.28124,-0.59411 -2.59334,-1.09247 -3.94917,-1.55647 l -7.17027,-16.03359 -14.150135,0 -6.992736,15.97958 c -1.409869,0.47627 -2.765709,0.97464 -4.103541,1.58592 l -16.818082,-6.44926 -10.002862,9.54502 6.856386,15.903475 c -0.666343,1.306059 -1.201476,2.636667 -1.716025,4.00901 l -16.63799,6.790522 0,13.502482 16.650853,6.621128 c 0.511978,1.372343 1.062547,2.700491 1.723744,4.009011 l -6.727747,16.00658 10.002861,9.54748 16.707454,-6.56957 c 1.342977,0.60884 2.711681,1.09738 4.118976,1.55892 l 7.159969,15.97958 14.150125,0 7.00047,-16.06305 c 1.34554,-0.47381 2.67308,-0.97218 3.94402,-1.55401 l 16.96988,6.48856 10.00543,-9.54749 -6.96958,-16.10969 c 0.59688,-1.21277 1.0754,-2.440263 1.54879,-3.692311 l 16.91585,-6.886267 z m -56.71117,16.880558 c -13.607288,0 -24.652115,-10.536846 -24.652115,-23.526235 0,-12.989388 11.044827,-23.526235 24.652115,-23.526235 13.615,0 24.65467,10.539302 24.65467,23.526235 0,12.986933 -11.04224,23.526235 -24.65467,23.526235 z"
       style="fill:#ffffff;fill-opacity:1;fill-rule:evenodd;stroke:none;" />
  </g>
</svg>
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    $\begingroup$ Probably for worse, we actually already have two sites that are depicted with gears. Our site for developing things with our API, Stack Apps, uses a simplistic one as you've depicted above. Our site for patent stufferies, Ask Patents, uses a more complexly depicted one. As much as I like a cog for engineering, I think the image of a singular sprocket is probably unideal. $\endgroup$ – Grace Note Feb 11 '15 at 21:14
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    $\begingroup$ Excellent point. Clearly we need to come up with something better, or live with letters. $\endgroup$ – Air Feb 11 '15 at 21:25
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    $\begingroup$ @GraceNote The sadistic anarchist in me wants to suggest the three interlocked gears that are the bane of engineers and thinking people everywhere. $\endgroup$ – Trevor Archibald Feb 12 '15 at 3:02
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    $\begingroup$ I was thinking that although a gear is a good symbol for engineering, it is often used to indicate the "settings" part of an application. We might want a symbol that doesn't already have a common association. $\endgroup$ – ConjuringFrictionForces Feb 8 '17 at 19:27
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I have put in the request to our dev team to make the change from Eg to Eng. I'll keep you updated as to when this will get taken care of!

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    $\begingroup$ It's done! Oddly enough, it came out in all-caps, though... $\endgroup$ – Wasabi Sep 14 '18 at 23:53
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, it appears that it did. Is the preference still Eng or is ENG ok to use? $\endgroup$ – Juan M Sep 17 '18 at 12:01
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Answering first in support of Eng. over Eg/EG.

Second to mention that orange is the academic color of engineering.

A symbol would be best if we can find one that is general enough without becoming meaningless (i'm not holding out hope).

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    $\begingroup$ Orange might be the colour of engineering in the US but it is not internationally: Italy - black, Spain - brown, France - Amaranth, New Zealand - dark violet, Australia & Germany - varies with each university. Not that I mind orange. $\endgroup$ – Fred Feb 12 '15 at 6:00
  • $\begingroup$ That's a good point, I hadn't noticed that the scheme was US only. So that's no good. How about a blue that matches the old ferro-gallate gum used to make blueprints? That would have been fairly common across engineering disciplines back when it was used. $\endgroup$ – Dan Feb 12 '15 at 6:20
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    $\begingroup$ I don't object to orange, it's a colour that would be noticeable from all the other sites. If the colour of our icon were to change would we then also change the colour scheme of the our site to match? If so, a colour that it is to look at would be best. Blue print blue might be; I'm open to suggestions. Ask Ubuntu has a tan icon & a tan scheme on the site to match the Ubuntu scheme. I find it difficult to look at, so we wouldn't want to do anything similar. $\endgroup$ – Fred Feb 12 '15 at 9:56
  • $\begingroup$ Orange is often used as a safety color for high visibility. Who doesn't like safety? More importantly, standing out from other site logos is important. But a color scheme is something the SE design team will likely want to handle. We might have more input with respect to the iconography. $\endgroup$ – Air Feb 19 '15 at 18:17
  • $\begingroup$ Notably, Ask Patents uses a blueprint-based theme that we would want to differentiate ourselves from. $\endgroup$ – Air Feb 19 '15 at 18:18
  • $\begingroup$ Huh? What? I never hear of orange being the color of engineering, and I'm in the US. That may be something unique to your school. $\endgroup$ – Olin Lathrop Sep 14 '18 at 11:47
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We used ENGR at RPI. Better than a gear :)

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