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After listening to the stack exchange podcast 59, it was insinuated that Joel Spolsky does not like the ux stack exchange logo. When I had a look at it, I realised that there are some problems with the arrangement of parts making up the logo.

Would the UX Stack Exchange logo look better something like this...

improved design

Compared with the original designs in situation (on the left) is my redesign (on the right)

compared

Analysing the original logo, and my new design side by side, overlaying red lines on each straight edge, it is clear to see that the new design is simpler, and edges converge to less points. I believe this is important as the mind seeks patterns, and generally appreciates symetry.

analysis

In case anyone feels like playing around with it, here is the graphic in SVG format...

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE svg PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD SVG 1.1//EN" "http://www.w3.org/Graphics/SVG/1.1/DTD/svg11.dtd">
<svg version="1.1" xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg" xmlns:xlink="http://www.w3.org/1999/xlink" x="0" y="0" width="470.799" height="216" viewBox="0, 0, 470.799, 216">
  <g id="UX_Logo">
    <path d="M470.799,-0 L470.799,0 L392.333,108 L470.799,216 L373.809,216 L343.838,174.748 L313.866,216 L216.876,216 L265.371,149.252 L343.838,174.748 L295.342,108 L343.838,41.252 L265.371,66.748 L216.876,0 L313.866,-0 L343.838,41.252 L373.809,-0 L470.799,-0 z" fill="#1D3A59" id="X"/>
    <path d="M216.876,0 L216.876,82.505 L138.41,108 L138.41,0 L216.876,0 z" fill="#2661A4" id="U2"/>
    <path d="M78.466,-0 C78.466,0 78.466,149.252 78.466,149.252 C78.466,174.748 108.438,174.748 108.438,174.748 C108.438,174.748 138.41,174.748 138.41,149.252 L138.41,108 C138.41,108 216.876,133.495 216.876,133.495 C216.876,216 108.438,216 108.438,216 C108.438,216 -0,216 -0,133.495 C-0,133.495 -0,-0 -0,-0 L78.466,-0 z" fill="#2661A4" id="U"/>
  </g>
</svg>

Also saved as a gist (can download from here)


Designs originally posted...

original variations


Update: alternative variation with smaller star and thicker U cross section

enter image description here

  • 1
    I don't mind the new logo design (second variation), although I think there should be two different blues to make the contrast between the letters 'U' and 'X' clearer. If you are not getting much support here then perhaps try Graphics StackExchange for some opinions and support? – Michael Lai Jul 25 '14 at 5:06
  • 3
    Kudos for the effort and for thinking critically. Personally I feel that if we wanted to redesign the logo, we should first take a step back and consider whether we want the same concept (eg. a star crossing the letters 'UX') before spending designer time on iterating the existing one. – Rahul Jul 27 '14 at 17:00
  • 1
    I like your very first suggestion, with the round U bottom and two-tone. – elemjay19 Jul 28 '14 at 21:01
  • I prefer first design. Overall, I see a star more clearly. I relate to the star better than I relate to .. 4/5 of a star on current design. I think though there are still some improvements that can be made though, like the star being a star becomes a little too prominent, and I wonder how that relates to UX ... it doesn't necessarily – Dennis Jul 29 '14 at 21:28
  • Now that you call my attention to it, the current design looks like an unreadable accident. I do like keeping to the same feel (as this has) while cleaning up the defect. – msw Jul 30 '14 at 3:29
  • 4
    In the current version, the cross stroke at the bottom of the U is too thin relative to the hefty weight of the X. It would look better if upper edge of the bowl of the U were raised a little. – Graham Herrli Jul 30 '14 at 15:23
  • Also, I think the star should be shrunk a bit. At the moment instead of reading as "UX," the white version on a blue background reads as a U followed by a star and a backwards chevron: U★<. – Graham Herrli Jul 30 '14 at 15:24
  • @Dennis the quirky star was discussed on the stack exchange podcast here: soundcloud.com/stack-exchange/… which was the initial motivator for me to look at the logo to start with – Billy Moon Jul 31 '14 at 22:56
  • @3nafish you might be right, but I had deliberately lowered the bowl to put the touching point of the star closer to the middle of the U's inner cutout. Perhaps it could be moved up a little without disturbing that too much. – Billy Moon Jul 31 '14 at 22:59
  • 4
    @3nafish I added a variation at the bottom, which makes it look more like an X, and not a <, makes the star smaller, and raises the bottom of the U. What do you think? – Billy Moon Jul 31 '14 at 23:26
  • @Billy. Yes. I like this new variation much better. Thanks for making it. – Graham Herrli Aug 1 '14 at 14:09
  • 1
    @BillyMoon: I like the update very much, but it's difficult to vote on the different logos. Maybe you could modify your question to ask for a new UX logo and put your designs as answers. – Christian Strempfer Aug 4 '14 at 7:07
  • I think this is a nice enhancement. – DA01 Aug 17 '14 at 19:43
  • i like the first proposed redesign with the browser screenshot. Am i the only one who sees UK in some of the latter redesigns? – Frank Visaggio Oct 15 '15 at 19:31
  • Nice enhancement! They should change the logo to your design! Coolass! – clickbait Jul 10 '18 at 23:13
9

I'm not sure I like the star inside the UX logo, because although it's evocative of the "favorites" icon on StackExchange, I don't think it's particularly emblematic of the site.

I also don't like the awkward use of negative space for the star, because it feels more gimmicky than communicative and it soaks up a lot of pointless cognitive load (like the famous arrow in the FedEx logo).

I sketched the following logo out for fun. It has:

  1. An interesting play on and a nod to the historical StackExchange upvote/downvote buttons.

  2. A use of dimensionality in the "X" or "Experience" to communicate the dimensionality and creativity of UX as a whole and the philosophy of UX as an encompassing multi-discipline.

  3. An interesting use of the gray/green palette which is both distinctive as a color choice and sympathetic with the colors found on the SE site.

It's readable, flat, shrinkable without loss of detail, vector-friendly, doesn't make use of awkward negative space, includes the very core upvote/downvote mechanism of SE, and provides some design flair as a nod to our design roots.

Enjoy (or not! :-)

logo

  • It needs some minor tweaking, but I really like the concept and the thought behind it. I really hope that StackExchange decide to use this for the UX site - even if it means I'll have to get new stickers :) – JohnGB Feb 27 '15 at 16:44
  • You have..... SE stickers??? Where do I get that sugar! – tohster Feb 27 '15 at 16:45
  • Step 1) Answer a few hundred questions. Step 2) wait for StackExchange to send you a thank you parcel with UX.SE goodies. – JohnGB Feb 27 '15 at 16:46
  • 2
    Oh. I gotta earn it lol – tohster Feb 27 '15 at 16:47
  • 1
    The current logo has always bothered me due to the asymmetry created by the star and the letter 'X' - this logo is great because it is visually interesting and the inclusion of the up/down vote 'X' better represents what this SE is about (the star doesn't make any sense to me regardless of the eye twitch my OCD triggers when looking at it) – Charles Wesley Feb 27 '15 at 18:15
  • 1
    Does anyone know who to contact to try to get some traction with this? I agree with Joel that the current logo is wanting... – tohster Apr 29 '15 at 15:12
23

I prefer your proposed redesign.

The unified lines give the overall logo a better sense of balance, the star feels like it flows from the negative space more naturally instead of being forced in, and the letterforms have a more consistent weight.

However, I don't prefer the "First Concept" or "Second Variation" designs. The squared-off U shape feels unnecessarily harsh, and the overlapping letters make it harder to read when monochrome.


Since answering, it looks like there was another revision making the U wider with a narrower bottom. I prefer the one used to make the original red-lined mockup. The new bottom looks too thin compared to the weight of the rest of the strokes.

  • I agree. If the left bottom inside of the U was rounded like the outside was, I think it would flow better. – Code Maverick Jul 29 '14 at 21:07
12

To be honest I don't really see why this is an improvement. Nor do I see what is particularly wrong with the current one that necessitates improvement. You've not really been clear as to why you've suggested these changes. Really, you've just come up with 'an alternative'.

The original designs were commissioned by Stack Exchange resident designer Jin to Dmitry Fadeyev of Usabilitypost.com fame. In fact he wrote an article about the design process of this website. Below is his reasoning for the logo design:

Logo

One of the more difficult parts of the design was the logo. I wanted to add some sort of symbolism to show what UX is about. I didn’t want to focus on the tools, but rather the goal. The final logo is a combination of the two letters “UX” with a star in the middle created using negative space. The star signifies excellence, which is what the field of UX strives to achieve in product design.

There is more discussion on this design on the meta post that announced its launch:

New Design Launched

One point of note, is that (coincidence or not):

I realised the star has the same shape as the star, used to mark favourites.

Just because of that I think I prefer the current design over your alternative.

  • I made some improvements, and added some analysis. What do you think of the updated design? – Billy Moon Jul 23 '14 at 23:40
4

I was trying to figure out why you wanted to change the bottom two (monochrome) logos to say "UK". That was my first impression. At a quick glance, your logo looks like it says "UK" to me. That might be a problem. It also makes the idea of a "star" embedded in the middle entirely too prominent.

It's certainly not my decision, but looking at the two choices side-by-side… I much prefer the first (original) version.

  • 1
    that is a good point about looking like UK. I think I have fixed that in the new design - what do you think of the update? – Billy Moon Jul 23 '14 at 23:33
  • 1
    Your design is nice work; I appreciate the effort. But on the whole, I'd still probably cast my vote for the original design. This is all very subjective, but that's just my opinion. – Robert Cartaino Jul 24 '14 at 0:27
  • @BillyMoon I think the latest update gets rid of any ambivalence about the letters. And for me, it has much cleaner lines than the original. Even when shrunk down to the size of the logo in the title bar, both the letters and the star are distinct. When shrunk to the size of the logos in the "Hot Network Questions" side bar, the star disappears but the letters are still readable (more so than the current logo). – AmeliaBR Aug 1 '14 at 14:00
  • i also noticed the UK – Frank Visaggio Oct 15 '15 at 19:31

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