26

Does anyone know what our site logo is supposed to represent?

A box?

A Transformers® character?

Is there any desire to have a better logo? If it has to be squarish, I'd suggest a penny-farthing Ordinary.

  • 1
    Blame Nick :-) – andy256 May 29 '15 at 12:04
  • So, what exactly does the logo represent?? – István Zachar Jul 28 '16 at 21:06
9

It looks like a head tube badge to me.

For what its worth, I like it.

A Pennyfarthing wouldn't be as readable in say the tabs at the top of Chrome, but it might work better on the Stackexchange Android app where the logo has too much space around it.

  • A point of view is a wonderful thing! I was having the same problem as @RoboKaren until I read your answer, now I'm happy (or at least feel like I get it). Thanks. – dlu Jul 13 '15 at 20:06
  • I always read it as a head-tube badge as well, although I'll admit in its abbreviated form, it doesn't make much sense. – Adam Rice Sep 1 '17 at 23:05
11

I agree it makes little sense. In particular, questions in the HNQ list show up like this:

enter image description here

To me, this is little more than a green heart. I do see the connection - cycling is a healthy activity that also has a low environmental impact. However bikes and cycling are not necessarily the first things that spring to mind when I see a green heart.

I'm not a UX or graphical designer, but I'm pretty sure there are some better symbols that would suggest this site's purpose other than a green heart. Perhaps something like this simple bike path logo could be shrunk down to favicon size and still convey the right info:

enter image description here

I found this one by doing a google image search for "bike path logo" - there are other similar suitable images.

4

The best time for logo change was when the site was upgraded to the new CSS/LESS standard last May. This is when the logo had to be redone anyway, in SVG format.

After looking through the entire list of Stack Exchange sites, I notice that Bicycles logo, with its letters SE, is the only site logo that refers to Stack Exchange network in any way. One can take this as a reason to preserve such a unique detail, or to get rid of it for the sake of consistency.

  • Good point, the S&E are completely superfluous... – Greenonline Jul 19 '18 at 23:47
4

Does anyone know what our site logo is supposed to represent?

Might I suggest bicycles?

(I'm not suggesting that the site's current logo is currently intended to represent that. I'm suggesting that is what the site logo should be intending to represent.)

I sought out this question. Although I do actually have some reputation due to some involvement with one question, I'm not currently anticipating being very involved with this site. Still, this site may directly impact me.

Today, I saw a question ("What are the benefits of drop bars?") listed in the right sidebar of another site. I thought, "What are drop bars?" I saw the icon next to the question, and it was a box.

Had I seen an icon that looked like a bicycle, I would have had a good chance of just figuring it out, instead of needing to first load the question, and then have a good idea of what people are talking about (once I figured out this question was on the bicycle site).

Please try to make your icon represent the topic of your site (bicycles) in a clear and straightforward manner, rather than try to capture the essence of some emotion you hope to experience while using these contraptions, as beloved as they may be. That way, people can understand what the site is simply by seeing the icon. It will help people to recognize the site when all they see is an icon. People seeing just an icon is something that does actually happen, in the multi-site "Hot Network Questions" panel. It may allow people to skip a question if they really aren't interested in reading about bicycles right now, and it may attract people who might be more prone to skip a question just because they really aren't interested in reading about grey boxes with green hearts right now.

  • Look at almost any company's logo. Does it tell you what the company does? No. That's not what logos are for. Indeed, look at any of the logos in the HNQ list: basically none of them tell you what the site is about, until you recognize them. I suppose the exception to that is the Mathematica site, which uses something close to the Mathematica logo -- but that only tells you what it's about if you recognize that Mathematica's completely abstract logo means "This is about a mathematical programming environment." – David Richerby Mar 5 '18 at 13:17
  • Also, if you're on a computer, you can mouse-over the links in the HNQ list and see what site they point to. – David Richerby Mar 5 '18 at 13:21
  • Nonsense. e.g., Burger King's represents a Burger, and I've seen plenty of small ice cream shops use an ice cream cone as a logo. Many companies use quite applicable logos. But besides companies, some SE sites have intuitive logos, e.g., security = a shield, Christianity = cross, gaming = Galaga-like ship, or at least memorable ones, e.g. money = piggy bank, movies = popcorn, cooking = chef's hat, tex = typographic symbols (the "handlebars" characters, no less). – TOOGAM Mar 6 '18 at 2:35
  • OK, so you've found one company whose logo represents their line of business. And Dorling Kindersley's logo is a book, which makes two. However, they're in a tiny minority. Consider any car company, bicycle company, oil company, computer company, etc. – David Richerby Mar 6 '18 at 2:39
  • I happened to eat at Burger King today, so it was fresh in my mind. I'm sure I could come up with any others. FedEx's arrow to represent speed. Cisco's airwaves. Milwaukee Brewers 1978-1993 (glove, containing m and b). Minnesota Twins. Hope for African Children Initiative. Southwest Electrical (swecs.com). (Microsoft) Windows. NASA. There's actually a lot of organizations that decide to have their logo include at least a reference to what their about. You want oil? Penley, Pumpelly, North Oil Co, Waterford, Uganda Nat'l, Preferred, Oliver. Shanadoah Bicycle, Muddy River Bicycle... – TOOGAM Mar 6 '18 at 3:23
  • Mouton Bicycle Co, The Blue Bike Co, Copenhagen Bicycles, Tartan Bicycle Company, Crank and Sprocket Bicycle Co, Bike New York, Flycycle, Bicycle Company, Student Bike Co, Bateman's Bicycle Company, Chicago Bicycle Company, Friends Electric, ArrowBike, Wildlife Cycles, Adventure Bicycle Co, S.A.M.'s Bike Co, Logo Bike Co, Freeport Bicycle Co, KenneBunkport Bicycle Co, Boxwood... actually, bike companies seem to have a higher-than-normal/average occurrence of having a bike-related theme in their logo (20%ish maybe). Finding examples is not proving to be hard to do at all. (@DavidRicherby) – TOOGAM Mar 6 '18 at 3:29
  • FedEx's logo is just the word "FedEx"; it's not a depiction of a package being delivered. Cisco's logo is an abstract representation of the Golden Gate Bridge, not a picture of computers being networked together. MB's logo, as you describe it, isn't a picture of beer. – David Richerby Mar 6 '18 at 9:16
  • The Windows logo doesn't depict a computer operating system. Shenandoah Bicycle's logo isn't a bicycle. I can't find "The Blue Bike Co" but Blue's Bike Co's logo isn't a bicycle. After that, I'll be honest that I got bored of Googling but there's a pretty high hit-rate here of you claiming that some company's logo is a direct depiction of their line of business when actually it isn't. – David Richerby Mar 6 '18 at 9:36

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