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Shamelessly stolen from The 7 Essential Meta Questions of Every Beta:

6. What should our logo and site design look like?

This one is pretty straightforward. Solicit contributions, throw out ideas, post preliminary (or finished) designs, and be supportive and respectful of other people’s ideas and creativity.

We have designers on staff who will actively help come up with site designs but, if an idea stemming from the community stands out as exceptional, we are happy to use it.

Here's one example of how this discussion can unfold.

I would particularly like to get the community's input regarding suggestions for imagery that reflects engineering across all its disciplines. Some comments from Beta icon: Eg or Eng?:

On behalf of all the non-mechanical engineers: "Oy! with the gears already!!!" :-D

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.

Ideally, our design will incorporate imagery that's relevant to engineers across the board.

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    $\begingroup$ A hardhat and a slide rule. No kidding. $\endgroup$ – Deer Hunter Feb 24 '15 at 20:52
  • $\begingroup$ @Deer: Hardhats say "construction", not engineering. $\endgroup$ – Olin Lathrop Feb 25 '15 at 15:07
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    $\begingroup$ Please tell us what pixels dimensions this logo image will be displayed at in various contexts. $\endgroup$ – Olin Lathrop Feb 25 '15 at 15:13
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    $\begingroup$ @Olin The only context I already know about is this one. A good approach is to use the SVG format to easily scale up or down; but at this stage, designs can be very preliminary. $\endgroup$ – Air Feb 25 '15 at 15:18
  • $\begingroup$ There is one size that is not listed there and that is the 16x16 icons used for example as tab icons and when switching between SE sites by clicking on "Stack Exchange" on the top-left of the page. That puts a pretty tough limit to to the information density that's possible in these icons. I think that's the reason why all of the logos you see are highly abstract. $\endgroup$ – Wasabi Jun 5 '15 at 3:35
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I'll throw my hat into the ring.

Eng Logo

I had a hard time coming up with what to put for the middle horizontal leg. I was trying to draw something electrical engineering-y (a field about which I know precisely nothing). I think it ended up looking more like an SDOF system (at least, to my structural engineering brain). Any EE folks out there who can contribute an entertaining circuit diagram?

Edit: Here's a few concepts that are still legible when pretty small.

e logo

The sort of obvious "e" made to look a bit like a blueprint

Sigma Logo

Sigma because we are the sum of several engineering disciplines

Pocket Logo

Because...pocket protectors?

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  • $\begingroup$ I like the concept of using symbols from different fields to draw the segments of the letter. Something like that, simplified, could work for the header; we'd probably want to go even simpler for the icon. $\endgroup$ – Air Aug 28 '15 at 20:05
  • $\begingroup$ @Air -- Agreed. It's a challenge to come up with something that stays legible at small sizes. Seems like it might require going with something pretty abstract. $\endgroup$ – CableStay Aug 29 '15 at 8:06
  • $\begingroup$ Fortunately, we have the SE design team to help us take a community favorite design and turn it into something practical. $\endgroup$ – Air Aug 29 '15 at 15:20
  • $\begingroup$ Slide rule? Really!? $\endgroup$ – Olin Lathrop Sep 20 '15 at 21:21
  • $\begingroup$ @OlinLathrop haha --- couldn't resist kickin' it old school. I'm totally open to suggestions though! $\endgroup$ – CableStay Sep 21 '15 at 14:34
  • $\begingroup$ I actually quite like the idea of a pocket protector as the icon. It is the quintessential engineering-nerd symbol, as evidenced by how almost all the top images on Google search have a pocket protector on display. And if you're coming to engineering.SE, you've gotta be at least a bit of an engineering nerd. $\endgroup$ – Wasabi Sep 23 '15 at 22:44
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I'm wearing a shirt with this logo, which I've always liked.

enter image description here

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To get people thinking I'm placing some engineering logos I found on the web. I'm not suggesting or recommending any of them just listing some examples of what exist. Maybe we can take an idea from one or two and combine it with something else.

Idea light with gears & people

An Idea light bulb with gears & people

Gear with hard hat Hard hat on a gear wheel

Stylized person wearing hard hat Stylized person wearing a hard hat

enter image description here Another idea bulb with internal gears

Light bulb with gears Light bulb blue print

Light bulb Drawing compass

Drawing compass Human brain as a printed circuit board

Human brain as printed circuit board Gear with tools inside

Gear with tools Hardhat

Lego block Lego block - good for modelling!

IEAust Logo Logo from the Institute of Engineers Australia - technology nut with a sine wave

Singapore Inst Engineers Logo Logo from the Singapore Institution of Engineers combining a number of engineering elements.


EDIT: There have been no additional ideas in the past 5 days. So I'm nominating the blue print of the light bulb as the logo for this site.

Light bulb with gears

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  • $\begingroup$ I like the blueprint background concept. That's the only one of this bunch that actually says "engineering". Hardhats say "construction", wrenches say "auto mechanic", and gears are already overused. The lightbulbs with gears examples are way too intricate and busy. $\endgroup$ – Olin Lathrop Feb 25 '15 at 14:32
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    $\begingroup$ The people inside the light bulb gears are shouting, "Help! I'm trapped in a configuration that does not spin!" $\endgroup$ – Air Feb 25 '15 at 15:12
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    $\begingroup$ Second the lightbulb blueprint idea. Another idea is a turbine blueprint. Anything with an engine in it, for it's engineering. :P $\endgroup$ – Deer Hunter Feb 25 '15 at 15:13
  • $\begingroup$ I really like the blueprint design, it instantly says "Engineering/Design" to everyone, within engineering or otherwise. $\endgroup$ – cKrug Feb 27 '15 at 14:35
  • $\begingroup$ I think you misunderstand the comments. We like the blueprint concept. Personally I think that particual blueprint is too busy and far to intricate. $\endgroup$ – Olin Lathrop Mar 2 '15 at 14:56
  • $\begingroup$ This is something that may take many months to decide. I have my issues with the light bulb blueprint concept. It is very similar to Ask Patents, for one thing. $\endgroup$ – Air Mar 2 '15 at 17:37
  • $\begingroup$ I like the blueprint, but I don't care for the lightbulb. A lightbulb really doesn't have that much to do with engineering, and this isn't a site where people come to generate ideas. I prefer @DeerHunter's idea of a blueprint of an engine. $\endgroup$ – Chris Mueller Mar 2 '15 at 18:54
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In keeping with @DeerHunter's idea, the image below is of a jet engine. It is a proprietary image so we can't use it as is (without paying), but I think something along the same lines would be cool.

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ I'm OK with the concept, but there is way too much detail in this picture for it to make sense at the low resolutions it will usually be seen. $\endgroup$ – Olin Lathrop Mar 3 '15 at 20:27
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From looking at the examples posted by Fred, the one with a blueprint background stands out as really the only one that says "engineering". Hardhats make me think of someone pouring concrete or welding steel at a construction site, wrenches and screwdrives of auto mechanics, a compass of drafting, and legos of toys. Gears wouldn't be bad if they weren't already such a overused cliche.

Lightbulbs are a pretty universal symbol meaning "idea", but the examples so far are way too intricate or busy. So here is a basic concept:

Yeah, yeah, I know. Now you can see why I went to engineering school instead of art school.

The calculator is deliberately reminiscient of the HP 15C, the best engineering calculator ever made (if you don't agree, you're not a real engineer). The point is that someone can quickly recognize this as "calculator and light bulb" without needing high resolution. A real artist can probably simplify this a little while still keeping the two elements recognizable.

I did some playing around with colors, and came up with this quick hack to invoke the blueprint feel:

Again, a real artist can find the right background color, make the white foreground lines thicker to be more readily recognizable at low resolution, etc. I'm just trying to show the concept.

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  • $\begingroup$ As you said, we can always beautify the artwork afterwards. First let's get the ideas. $\endgroup$ – Fred Feb 25 '15 at 23:38
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enter image description here

Any guesses as to where this came from? Send answers on the postcard.

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  • $\begingroup$ To Car Talk Plaza, box 3500, Harvard Square, Our Fair City? $\endgroup$ – Air Feb 25 '15 at 22:11
  • $\begingroup$ Ah, ... the good old GDR logo from the former communist East Germany. $\endgroup$ – Fred Feb 25 '15 at 23:33

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