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Congratulations Ethereum community! We’re going to be creating a custom site design for you that we hope will represent your subject and we want you all to really love it. You’ve been waiting almost 5 years and we really want to do this well. To facilitate this, we’re reaching out now to ask you for what you’d really love to see in the design and logo.

I’m Piper, Director of Product Design for our Community Products org. I’ll be working closely with our Community Managers to deliver a theme that truly represents who you are as a community. I have some knowledge regarding Ethereum, but am by no means an expert, so I’ll be heavily depending on you and your experience to guide this process.

A quick history lesson about site theming

Originally, site designs were part of the site graduation process. When a site left beta, they'd get their design. But, at the time we only had one designer who was working on designs and the designs were very specialized and often involved a lot of custom illustrations. We got into a situation where several sites were in queue for graduation but the designer didn't have the bandwidth to actually create the designs.

Before she worked here, Catija asked the question Can Beta sites slated for graduation get full-site abilities without site design upgrade? - on MSE. This kicked off several discussions within the CM team of the time and community members and the eventual decision was to implement "Design-independent graduation" in September 2015. This meant that many sites were finally able to leave beta without waiting on a design - including this one!

At that time we also had much more strict guidelines for when a site could graduate - they had to consistently get 10 new questions per day. This level of volume made graduation impossible or very unlikely for many sites - meaning many would stay in beta forever. As such, the CM team considered another request - Let's break up with "Graduation" and remove a bunch of "Beta" labels - and that's what eventually happened, too. In 2019, we removed the beta label from 29 sites- and another 59 in December 2021.

We've also gone through several design systems changes, including launching Stacks version 1.0, which make creating and building in designs much simpler for both our design team and the developers. In fact, we showed off how flexible it could be in our April Fools prank this year "Filters for Stack Overflow" where I personally created the Frisa Lank theme.

What to expect

Over the next few weeks, we'll be communicating with you about your site design, so please help us out as much as you can. While we may not be experts in Ethereum, we know that you are and that you have great ideas about what you want this site to look like - so share them with us! You've got a week now to pool up your thoughts in answers to this question, at which point I'll start working on this site.

I'll spend some time working on a design based on your guidance, and we'll be back when it's ready to show you what the design and logo look like. At that point, you will have a week to make suggestions for adjustments to the design. Our hope is that there will be little that needs adjusting but, due to the size of our backlog, we can't allow more than one phase of feedback, so any changes will need to be recommended at this point.

We'll then consider the changes proposed and make any adjustments that we feel are beneficial. Changes that are too big or are out of scope likely won't be possible, but we'll make sure to explain why we opted against making a change should that happen. Please understand that design is often a subjective thing and we may end up with community members differing in their opinions, so we'll be taking that into account when deciding. Decisions about the final design will be made by the design team and CMs with the concerns of the community taken into account.

Also, it's worth keeping in mind that the goal of these designs is to make something topical, unique, and attractive, but we'll be designing within the scope of our newer site theming. We'll be able to create a logo, background colors, and textures in addition to your logo - but please don't expect illustrations like what you may have seen on some of the older site designs.

Process

Over the next month or so, we’ll be going through a few steps to get your site design up and running. This post is the first of those steps. I’ll also be using this post to track the phases in the table below.

Step Status
Information Gathering complete
Design V1 complete
V1 Feedback in progress
Design adjustments (if needed)
Developer cleanup and shipping of final design

What we need from you

As I've mentioned already, we need some inspiration from you so that we can get started on this design and create something you'll really be proud of. So far, I was able to find a couple of older discussions about logos and site designs here on Meta. Feel free to reference them if there are ideas you like already - or give us new ones! We're really looking for design ideas rather than needing you to design anything for us.

When you're answering this question, think about:

  • What symbols or images are important to the subject of this site?
    • Especially things that speak to insiders that we might not find on our own
  • Are there any colors that are tied to your subject?
  • What tone/mood/feeling would you like your theme to emit? While this is subjective, it helps to set some design guardrails. So, when answering with your thoughts, some good axes to mention are where the theme might sit inside these spectra
    • From fun to serious
    • From classic to modern
    • From simple to complex
  • How could a good logo represent your subject?
  • What are things to avoid?

If you have any questions, let me know! We're really looking forward to hearing from you and getting your site design underway.

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    Thank you very much! I'll try to pitch a few ideas in the coming days.
    – Ismael Mod
    May 20 at 3:23
  • Just saw this post now, well after your designs. I think you did an excellent job combining the fun with the classic :)
    – eth Mod
    Jun 16 at 5:03

2 Answers 2

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I'm happy to hear from you. I've been working with the Ethereum Stack Exchange community from day 0 through beta and graduation. An Ethereum design would be extremely inspiring for this community and as you noticed, we had discussions on that matter several times in the previous years.

I'll try to address some of your questions and hope that I can also reach out to some current and previous designers to encourage them to share their perspectives.

What symbols or images are important to the subject of this site?

The diamond shape is a central part of the Ethereum logo. I have always wondered how all the little gold, silver, and copper badges could be little diamonds; specifically the minimalist "Ethereum Glyph:"

ethereum glyph

Source: https://ethereum.org/en/assets/#historical

Especially things that speak to insiders that we might not find on our own

Currently, there is the notion of Ethereum being the "Infinite Garden" (inspired by the book with the same title). The official website is submitting to this theme: https://ethereum.org; see also https://ethereum.org/en/assets

ethereum hero

There's also a documentary in the works that is inspired by the same idea.

infinite garden cover

Are there any colors that are tied to your subject?

No, I think we can be creative here. In the past, the theme was always grey for generic Ethereum brand assets and colored based on geographic locations, e.g., blue-white-red for an Ethereum France meetup, etc.

Green is a color that was always associated with Ethereum Classic. Without diving into the backgrounds, I would carefully say, this is a color I would not consider politically neutral in this space. :)

The entire infinite garden theme recently opened up to a broader color range: purples, blues, pastel colors, rainbow themes, etc. Here are some more inspirations from the annual developer conference "DevCon" which will be held in Columbia this year:

road to devcon

devcon bogota

You can clearly see that you cannot only vary all the colors and adjust them to your needs but there is also a lot of potential in working with shapes, specifically triangles, triangulation, and everything that is inspired by the initial diamond shape.

Here's the DevConnect "Rubrik's Qube" design, it was also very well perceived.

devconnect amsterdam

What tone/mood/feeling would you like your theme to emit? While this is subjective, it helps to set some design guardrails. So, when answering with your thoughts, some good axes to mention are where the theme might sit inside these spectra

  • From fun to serious
  • From classic to modern
  • From simple to complex

Spontaneously: the tone is futuristic, the mood is departure, and the feeling is being overwhelmed.

It's both fun and serious but often comes with a playful notion. It's modern rather than classic. And it's highly complex.

How could a good logo represent your subject?

I created this thread: Can we get a logo and a header? and I believe it's a good inspiration of what the community likes and whatnot.

What are things to avoid?

Unicorns and rainbows; I think the community used this too much in the past.

Green logos or themes; as I mentioned earlier. Unless it's a green pill ;)

green pill

I wish I had more time right now to dive into this subject but I also think this could be a good start. Let me know if you have specific questions about the inspirations I posted or feel I left out some important aspects!

By the way, the linked Ethereum logo and brand assets are all free to use. I believe they are public domain but I can confirm that later.

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    Thank you for your contributions! I couldn't add anything more to your answer. About the assets license there's an open issue in the ethereum.org repo github.com/ethereum/ethereum-org-website/issues/1461.
    – Ismael Mod
    May 24 at 3:32
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    How incredibly helpful! I am loving the pastel colors in some of the artwork you shared and may lean heavily into that. I am definitely not able to whip out a beautiful futuristic jungle cafe theme, however, I am noticing a lot of geometric shapes in the things that you've shared that I think would be really neat for the header.
    – Piper Staff
    May 24 at 13:54
  • This is so cool! Should we put something out on gitcoin for this to get more design stuff? May 25 at 14:13
  • No, all we need is people that post their visual ideas for the Ethereum Stack Exchange community.
    – q9f
    May 27 at 10:57
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@q9f 's answer is amazing and comprehensive, I only came here to here to expand one thing:

From fun to serious

Ethereum has always had an amazing leaning towards fun. Vitalik wears wild t-shirts to conferences and the Ethereum Foundation would release April Fool's posts. A lot of doge culture and and memes. Fun colors and the like. As far as the question "fun to serious" goes, I would humbly opt towards leaning heavily towards fun.

I also wanted to thank you for your comprehensive post! I'm really looking forward to what you and design come up with!

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