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Edit: The logo has been updated according to this comment.


Graduation and Your Site Design

Graduation comes with a few perks. I have already begun work on your site's design, which will give you your own unique theme that reflects your topic and culture. This will help brand your site as unique, even while you share common elements with other sites that show you are part of a bigger Stack Exchange family.

Once the design goes up, you will receive a link in the footer of other sites in the network, along with the ability to migrate content to and from other sites — and the notoriety of a public launch that says, Congratulations, you finally made it!


Design Concept

I created a unique design and branding for this community to convey the feeling of construction and diversity. ExpressionEngine is meant to be a tool with which you can build almost any site you want. A state of live construction is conveyed by the schema of the letter “E” and the triangle shapes building a block.


Color Scheme

I decided to go with a vibrant and energetic orange to give a strong personality to this site and at the same time, stay in touch with the logo color of EllisLab, the builder of ExpressionEngine. The orange color represent the heat and energy that you can sense during a development rush on any project. It places ExpressionEngine as a powerful build tool which you can use during development phases.

Colors


Logo

Logo

I decided to make a logo with an icon mark, which reflect the idea of a construction project: you always start with a plan or a schematic (the outlined E) of how something needs to be built. Then, as the project is finished, the final form (solid E) is what is seen by people for all time.

As a logo mark, it stands out on its own and can be easily translated to other sizes or for promotional materials for the site.

Here are some examples to illustrate how it can be used elsewhere to strengthen the visual identity.

tshirt

sticker


Overall site design

The overall look and feel is clean and elegant, oriented for readability though. The powerful header is contrasted by the minimalist look of the content section so the design has good balance.

Home page

Question page

I believe the design and branding work very well for this community, it’s unique, dev-oriented, and capture the mood I was going for. I’d love to hear your feedback, and if there are no major design changes, we’ll launch the new site design and graduate the site from Beta soon.

Congrats awesome community!

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    Where can I buy the T-Shirt, it looks cool ;) Love the orange - very striking, love the bespoke font, and subtle use of the hexagon iconisation/buttons. For the logo how about 3 sides of the cube with letters on? EEA = ExpressionEngine Answers...? I'd like to see more of the triangles/hexagons from the logo on the header area instead of the squares, but hey ho, still looks great. – Peter Lewis Dec 1 '14 at 20:20
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    Huh? This doesn't look anything like the EE logo or colors. It seems much more reminiscent of Craft CMS (the fork) to me. – Michael Hampton Dec 1 '14 at 21:44
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    Kinda agree with Michael re: colors. I'd expect more blues which can just as energetic and vibrant as orange. – Angie Herrera Dec 1 '14 at 21:52
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    @MichaelHampton I wouldn't call Craft a fork, it's a completely separate codebase. Though I do agree with you about the colors. – Lindsey D Dec 2 '14 at 0:24
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    My two cents is that the EE StackExchange site is community support and should not reflect EllisLab's brand colors. We don't want anyone confusing the site for official support. The more different the colors are, the better. Very exciting! Thank you for all your effort in getting the design to this stage and I look forward to seeing it live on the site. – Anna_MediaGirl Dec 2 '14 at 3:25
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    @LindseyD We didn't want to reflect EllisLab's brand color as it's a different site for a different purpose. And, unfortunately, blues tends to be really less energetic than oranges. That said, Craft CMS also uses an orange but their branding are completely different, the one for this community stays unique – Stéphane Dec 2 '14 at 9:31
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    My quick 2c: The orange is too close to Craft's orange. Otherwise, it's great. – Rob Hodges Dec 2 '14 at 11:05
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    @Stéphane Don't get me wrong, it's a beautiful design! I was simply agreeing with Michael that the color scheme is reminiscent of a competing product. – Lindsey D Dec 2 '14 at 19:10
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    Thanks @StéphaneMartin for those changes. I agree with Anna_MediaGirl that it's good for this community site to have its own branding. As for competitor similarity, Craft uses a more reddish color and mostly as an accent. If competing product color schemes were a concern, that would lead to an avoidance of blues anyway since Wordpress and Drupal both heavily make use of blue. Regardless, this is SE's branding and needs to be unique to them and their sites, I don't think our or anyone else's color schemes are really relevant. – Derek Jones Dec 4 '14 at 14:57
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Exciting! We're stoked to see this community site come out of beta, and love the color scheme and that so much thought is being put into its design.

Though Derek Hogue is correct on the branding. Please refer to conversations between EllisLab and Jay Hanlon, VP of Community Growth at StackExchange regarding use of EllisLab's trademarks. ExpressionEngine® Answers was settled on as the name for this StackExchange site since "ExpressionEngine" could potentially cause confusion in the marketplace.

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    Oops. I ordered a thorough, impartial investigation be carried out. But they concluded that it was my fault, so I reject their findings out of hand. We dropped the ball on getting all the prior discussions to design, so they had no idea this one would differ from our standard naming conventions. We'll get an updated version (with "Answers" and the IP mark) posted shortly! – Jaydles Dec 2 '14 at 15:38
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Thanks Stéphane! Overall I love this look.

I do find the logo a little disorienting though. It feels as though it's meant as a translucent 3D representation of a cube, with one E on one face, and the other E on the opposite face, but there's some "uncanny valley" in that this is not quite what's happening.

I think it should decide whether it is indeed a 3D cube, in which case it needs to be made more obvious (perhaps with more defined perspective lines on the edges), or it should decide to be a hexagon, and lose the perspective on the letterforms.

My 2¢ on the logo.

Beyond that though - and you'll need to talk to other SE folks on your end about this - I'm pretty sure that EllisLab - who own the ExpressionEngine software and mark - had some concerns over how exactly the site was named and branded. ExpressionEngine® Answers was, I think, very deliberately chosen for this reason. And I imagine they may well not be cool with what could be mistaken as a rebranding of their product with the creation of a new mark here that simply says "ExpressionEngine".

So I think that definitely needs to be sorted out.

But I love the colours and the overall aesthetic, and am excited to see the site graduate! Thanks, and excellent work.

  • You're spot on about the branding. See my comment on Derek's Answer for more detail. – Jaydles Dec 2 '14 at 15:39
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    It's almost like they looked at the photo of you for inspiration on the color palette. – AllInOne Dec 3 '14 at 22:52

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