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I'm Kurtis, a new product designer at Stack Exchange. First off, congratulations, your site is beginning the process of moving out of beta to a fully-graduated site!

Graduation and Your Site Design

Graduation comes with a few perks. We 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

As we did research for the site, we found recurring themes in the questions that helped us in the overall design direction. One was the question of "can you help me identify this movie or show?" and the other theme had to do with the question of the creator's intended meaning to a scene, plot point, or creative direction. We wanted to capture the spirit of this intrigue in the design. Enter Saul Bass...

Saul Bass (and friends) movie poster mood board

Vintage movie poster mood board

Saul Bass is known for his genius ability to take a production and distill its essence into a simple movie poster image or title sequence. His work has been inspiring designers like Ollie Moss to design minimalistic movie posters for the past 40 years. We wanted to capture the grit and impact of these movie poster in the design. And since the site topic covers both movies and TV, we created a filmstrip of illustrations representing scenes from the wide range of shows and films discussed on the site.

Illustrations

In the illustrations we wanted to capture memorable moments from various genres of movies and TV shows. The scenes needed to be so iconic that they were recognizable at a small size. We've got a good start here, but are looking for the community's suggestions on a few additions. Here's where you can help us—What are some memorable iconic movie or tv scenes that we should add? We're looking for a range that spans the popular to the more obscure.

A film reel of mulitple movie and TV illustrations Another film reel of mulitple movie and TV illustrations

These scenes are a nod to the "can you identify this movie or show?" questions. By the way, can you identify the movies and TV shows in the image above?

Color Scheme

The color scheme has a retro vibe with a touch of "digitally remastered to it's original optical vibrance." We used red as the dominant color because of it's association with movies, but also because it represents the passion of the human experience so often captured in television and film.

Color swatches

Logo

Because the site covers the topics of both movies and television shows, we wanted to use a non-medium specific icon. The logo also needed to be scalable to small sizes. We landed on a single piece of popcorn. While popcorn is a favorite snack for movie-goers and couch potatoes, the icon also represents one small moment in the bucket. It is the single frame of film, or that one scene or memorable character.

The style of the graphic is minimalist, unique, and clean (with just a touch of grit.) It is a merging of modern and retro styles.

Logo design breakdown

We matched the rounded popcorn icon up with a strong, bold font, and we think the juxtaposition of organic beside geometric shapes works nicely. The popcorn also plays the part of an ampersand in the logo.

The circle around the logo represents a spotlight.

Multiple lockups of logotype and icon

Swag

Branded promotional items

Overall Site Design

Home page design

Question page design

Please click to see full-resolution version.

We believe the design captures the mood we were going for and would love to hear your feedback. If there are no major design changes, we're hoping to launch the site soon!

Thank you for for making this such a great community!


EDIT

Thank you for all of your input. We've made some changes based on the community's initial feedback.

Logo

There were enough people who weren't in love with the logo execution of the single piece of popcorn that we decided to revisit the design. We know that we won't be able to please everyone, but at the same time, we want you to feel good about the site and the community you've worked to build.

We explored a few different directions and landed on the execution below for the following reasons:

  • A box of popcorn is much more recognizable than the single piece.
  • This concept still focuses on the consumption side of movies and TV shows.
  • It works as a standalone icon and will scale to a small size.
  • It's fun.

Updated Movies & Tv Branding

T-shirt

It seems everyone like the illustrations (and we do too.) so we've updated the T-shirt design to include them. We will update which snapshots are included once we've completed them.

illustrations

So many suggested snapshots on the community wiki! The hard part will be narrowing things down. We'll do our best to create a balance between genres as we finish all of the site assets and work toward launching the site in the very near future!

  • 1
    Don't know the 3rd and 6th pictures from the top row (maybe I should post an ID question? ;-)). – Napoleon Wilson Jan 6 '15 at 17:46
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    Well done, Kurtis - this looks awesome :) – hairboat Jan 6 '15 at 18:00
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    Wait, could it be right out of the intro to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air? – Napoleon Wilson Jan 6 '15 at 18:36
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    What exactly is the shark flying through the air supposed to represent? Looks like some kind of cross between Jaws and Singing in the Rain! – DisgruntledGoat Jan 6 '15 at 19:45
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    @DisgruntledGoat Oh, seems you didn't see Sharknado (for better or worse, though). – Napoleon Wilson Jan 6 '15 at 19:51
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    By the way, are there any plans to adapt the quote and spoiler blocks to the color pallette or will they stay the light yellow they currently are? I'd be fine with anything, just asking. – Napoleon Wilson Jan 7 '15 at 19:02
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    @KurtisBeavers - FWIW I prefer the box of popcorn, more instant recognition, and its fun. – iandotkelly Jan 10 '15 at 5:25
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    @KurtisBeavers i like the changes. Didn't expected updated version this soon. Nice wok, specially the t-shirt is too better then previous one and popcorn box is good to me. – Ankit Sharma Jan 11 '15 at 9:41
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    I really like the new design. The popcorn box is better than the single Kernel. As far as logos go, you have to have something, and popcorn goes hand in hand with watching movies and TV. The only other thing I could think of would be flim strip on the screen of a TV. I really like the new shirt, and would buy one the day they were available for purchase. – Ben Plont Jan 11 '15 at 21:21
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    Really like the new logo. I agree that it makes it much clearer as to what the site is about, as most people see a box or tub of popcorn and think entertainment. Definitely can't wait to get my hands on some swag. – MattD Jan 12 '15 at 14:08
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    @KurtisBeavers I've brought it up in chat, but where exactly will we be able to buy M&TV swag? I wasn't aware SE sites had a store of some kind. I want that shirt on my body so bad. – MattD Jan 12 '15 at 20:16
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    "It should be featured more prominently on the t-shirt as well imho." - No, it shouldn't, the T-shirt's great as it is. - "maybe put the URL in there?" - Good idea, though. – Napoleon Wilson Jan 14 '15 at 23:29
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    @atticae I used to put site url in our swag shirts. Then I realized it serves very little purpose other than making the users a walking billboard. Instead it should just be a COOL shirt. If the shirt is cool then maybe a conversation can start "hey where did you get that shirt?" "oh it's from this Movies&TV Q&A site, let me tell you more..." this way it's more organic. – Jin Jan 15 '15 at 21:37
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    +1 to @Jin. I hate when t-shirts have URLs on them. They're almost always too small to read, and if someone does want to read them they have to get really close to me to do so, and homie don't play dat. If someone is curious to know what your shirt is for, you can easily tell them the URL yourself. – MattD Jan 16 '15 at 14:46
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    @AndrewMartin I want that shirt on my body so bad. And a convention could be fun. :P – MattD Jan 20 '15 at 21:18
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This Community Wiki answer is for everyone to add his possible suggestions for other cool little image snapshots of famous movies and TV-shows in addition to the ones already presented in the question.

  • As a big fan of James Bond he might also deserve a presence there, being quite an iconic part of cinema for the last 50 years. Maybe a snapshot of the classic "shooting into the barrel" pose or something the like.
  • Butch and Sundance still from the final moment of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
  • King Kong atop the Empire State Building
  • ET flying bike
  • As a way to get both movie and TV with one thing (and since we already have the "other star-thing"), Star Trek might also be an idea, don't know a fitting motive though, maybe just the classic Enterprise in space or someone in the transporter getting "beamed". Additional ideas for Star Trek: Kirk in his captain's chair, Kirk fighting a Gorn, Kirk holding a Tribble, Spock giving the live long and propser sign, Sulu wielding a fencing foil, or Captain Picard as Locutus of Borg.
  • Crocket and Tubbs posing infront of the black Ferrari with the Miami skyline in the background.
  • The Simpsons on the couch (fortunately easy to recognize by their silhuettes).
  • Tony Soprano (maybe the diner scene looking straight into the camera).
  • Siluette of Don Draper from Mad Men sitting on his chair (from the intro).
  • The Dancing scene from Twin Peaks with Agent Cooper, the man from another place and Laura Palmer.
  • Al Bundy sitting on his sofa with hand in his pants.
  • 2001, maybe the monolith at the Dawn of Man, or the closup of Bowman's face behind the helmet while floating in HAL's core, or just HAL's iconic red "eye".
  • Shining (Here's Johnny scene)
  • Hannibal lecter's introduction scene with his mask.
  • Snake Plissken in any characteristic pose (maybe too obscure? But at least I didn't choose Napoleon Wilson ;-)).
  • The gang from Reservoir Dogs, or the characteristic camera shot out of the opened car trunk, or Uma Thurman and John Travolta dancing, The Bride in her yellow jumpsuit from Kill Bill vol. 1, The Bear Jew from Inglorious Basterds.
  • The Man with no Name in his poncho or the showdown of the trio in the Good, the bad and the ugly.
  • Jon Voigt and Dustin Hoffman walking the streets in Midnight Cowboy.
  • The charriot race in Ben Hur.
  • Willem Dafoe (or whoever it was) on his knees in Platoon.
  • Tom Cruise hanging from the ceiling of the IMF computer.
  • The Blues Brothers (easily silhuettable due to their monochromatic outfit in the first place).
  • Rocky on top of the Philadelphia Museum steps.
  • Richard Gere in Navy uniform carrying Debra Winger on his arms.
  • The 6 Friends posing around the fountain from the intro.
  • Freddy krueger claws
  • Superman flying or kissing Lois.
  • jason voorhees or scream movie mask
  • dirty dancing famous move
  • For more horror you could go with Nosferatu, or if you want to go even more essoteric horror, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, widely regarded as the first true horror film.
  • Close Encounters of the Third Kind (Devil's Tower)
  • Something involving Charlie Chaplin, particularly his Tramp character. Chaplin is one of the most widely recognizable figures in cinema history, arguably one of the first true film stars.
  • Something from a Wes Anderson film, Rushmore may be the easiest to work with here, followed by The Royal Tenenbaums.
  • Something from a Disney and/or Pixar film.
    • Lion king scene where rafiki introduces simba
    • buzz or woody from toy story
    • or some fairy-tale like Cinderella shoe.
  • A good source for popular/"good" movies is Wikipedia

    • The stairs from Battleship Potemkin
    • Something from Bicycle Thieves
    • The stairs from Vertigo
    • Casablanca is missing
    • For India (how can be not have a Bollywood entry) I suggest Lagaan, although it maybe hard to come up with an iconic image - I suggest this
    • From Germany M makes for a nice image
    • For the UK The Third Man seems to be the favorite: It would give us Orson Welles
    • For France Les Enfants du Paradis : Use this image
  • For Bollywood (India), better representative will be record breaking DDLJ, by iconic train scene or field.

  • Pikachu (Pokémon) or teletubies.
  • Or death note or naruto from anime section.
  • The Seventh Seal for Bergmann and Sweden, which gives us at least two iconic images: The dance and Death.
  • The Delorean from Back to the Future
  • Neo evading bullets in Matrix
  • The outline of the flying "Serenity" from Firefly
  • A polaroid picture from Memento
  • Mickey Mouse or Bugs Bunny (or both). Perhaps the latter could be chewing on a carrot?
  • Mia Wallace smoking (Pulp Fiction)
  • 1
    If Star Trek is added, and I highly support this suggestion, I'd go with either Kirk sitting in the Captain's chair, Spock presenting the live long and prosper sign, Kirk fighting the Gorn, Kirk holding a Tribble, or Sulu wielding a fencing foil. – MattD Jan 7 '15 at 5:38
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    Hey i am superhero and horror fan, so want some slasher movie theme item too. – Ankit Sharma Jan 7 '15 at 6:00
  • Horror would be great. Definitely could use some representation. With Trek, Wars and Who in the banner, I'd dare say we'd share a bit more in common with Sci-Fi and Fantasy, and we all know we can't have that. :P – MattD Jan 7 '15 at 6:20
  • @MattD Feel free to modify the respective bullet point with those ideas, you obviously know way more about Star Trek than me (I find Spock and the hand sign probably the best idea to now). – Napoleon Wilson Jan 7 '15 at 10:44
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    Updated the Star Trek entry, and added a few more of my own. I'm sure others will pop into my head as the day goes by. At the risk of sounding needy/demanding/over zealous, how hard would it be to maybe have more images than the top banner can hold, and they just randomly fill in as the page is loaded? Naturally I don't want the amazing Kurtis to do more work than is necessary, as I'm sure he has other sites to get up and running, but it was a nifty thought I had so I figured why not share it? :D – MattD Jan 7 '15 at 14:21
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    @MattD "how hard would it be to maybe have more images than the top banner can hold, and they just randomly fill in as the page is loaded?" - Oh, I thought that was the plan all along, what else are we doing this list for here. But agree, this would really put a chunk of work onto him if taking all those suggestions, we don't want to wait another year afterall. I'll leave it up to the designer's discretion how many and which he takes and if it's random or not (would be cool, though), as he's proven that he knows what he's doing. – Napoleon Wilson Jan 7 '15 at 14:36
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    I work as a web developer, though not really on the graphic design side of things, but I'm aware of how much of an effort this sort of thing can take. As such I didn't want to feel like we were coming off as demanding, and that I'd really be grateful for whatever he decides to do because we'll finally have a design that represents the site. – MattD Jan 7 '15 at 14:39
  • @MattD The most classic would probably be Rafiki holding young Simba over the cliff, given that it's also universally regarded as one of Disney's best ever. – Napoleon Wilson Jan 7 '15 at 14:54
  • @NapoleonWilson True, and while it might be complicated, could also do the image of Woody and Buzz flying from Toy Story. I'm a huge Disney and Pixar fan (big cartoon fan in general), so I felt remissed to not see Disney and Pixar on the list. :P – MattD Jan 7 '15 at 14:55
  • I also updated the Tarantino entry with more characters from his films that could work. The Bride would be even simpler than the gang from Reservoir Dogs, but the red motif of Dogs would fit better with the site. – MattD Jan 7 '15 at 14:56
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    Not all movies are made in UKUSA, you know - your list needs more entries from Europe, Russia, India, Asia and maybe Africa. – Martin Schröder Jan 7 '15 at 15:53
  • @MartinSchröder Well, then add them if you deem them universally known enough. It's free to be extended by anyone. – Napoleon Wilson Jan 7 '15 at 15:54
  • @NapoleonWilson: done. – Martin Schröder Jan 7 '15 at 16:13
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    @MattD I appreciate all of these suggestions. We definitely welcome any of the ideas and will try to implement anything that makes sense and is doable within the scope of the project (without making any promises ;). – Kurtis Beavers Jan 7 '15 at 19:44
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    @AnkitSharma Just think about all the great ID-this-image questions we'll be able to answer! ;-) – Napoleon Wilson Jan 7 '15 at 19:44
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Well, first of all, Thank you very much for making this possible and driving graduation forward!

The overall design idea seems very good to me.

  • As a huge fan of orange I personally love the general color scheme.
  • The Saul Bass idea is pretty good, since I am personally more in favourite of rather minimalistic/streamlined and less "playful" designs.
  • Those little pictures and there inclusion in the title bar are a great idea and I think those you have already present a broad spectrum of famous stuff (though, I'm sure there could be countless cool examples one could come up with, and I don't know one or two from them but you can't know everything).

Now of course no design review without a little critique:

  • The popcorn thingy as logo just seems a little too obscure to me. While the idea of using it for ampersand is neat, I think a single item of popcorn is too hard to decipher and not too represetative of the matter (I wouldn't have know what it is right away hadn't you told me, I thought it's some kind of cloud). I would have personally loved a bit more extensive use of stylized clapperboards or film strips, maybe also as logo.
  • The little things (accept background, vote arrows, favourite star) seem on the other hand quite generic (but I've seen that elswhere already in new design, maybe it's just the common approach now). This is in itself not a bad idea and I prefer it over too playful a thing, but maybe something like a stylized clapperboard or a film strip could be used as accept background instead of just a rounded rect.
  • As someone rather averted to identification questions and sceptical of their place on the site (and a community who's in general divided over the matter) I was a bit shocked when I read it was taken as input for the design process (though, I see that's entirely our own fault). But thankfully enough it doesn't have any direct major representation in the site design, which makes this an entirely academic concern.

But except for the popcorn those are really just minor problems to me (and I might be the only one having them), neither am I to dictate your job to you. As a designer you know what you're doing and overall I'm very glad for this fascinating design. I'm looking forward to seeing the site in full shape in the near future. Thanks again.

  • Thank you for the feedback. We'll keep all of these points in mind as we revise the site moving forward. I like the idea of adding a clapperboard. The logo design was a hard one. We explored several options including multi-kernel executions of the popcorn theme. We were looking for a solution that wasn't a cliché and that did not focus on either movies or popcorn. It also needed to scale and be identifiable as a favicon. I believe the popcorn will grow on people over time and is simple enough to become a recognizable icon of the community. – Kurtis Beavers Jan 6 '15 at 19:25
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    I also dislike the popcorn, I didn't find it recognisable at all. I don't think a clapperboard or projector or film reel is any more cliche as a concept than popcorn, but they are instantly recognisable. – DisgruntledGoat Jan 6 '15 at 19:42
  • The clapperboard and projector reel are cliche, however those design elements won't be representing the entire site in other contexts the way that the logo will (favicons, all SE site listing page, etc). I'd love to use some sort of a stylized film reel for the logo, but think it would exclude TV from the site. What are others' thoughts about the need for an icon that is inclusive to both the Movie and TV questions? – Kurtis Beavers Jan 6 '15 at 20:53
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    @KurtisBeavers Well, I think TV is produced with clapperboards, too (and also on film strips, or at least once ago), for that matter. But you also have a point in that popcorn also emphazises the consumption aspect (while clapperboards and stuff could also hint to a production related site, like Video Production, which we're not). But then again, I don't know when I ever had popcorn to a TV-show. But sure, it's not an easy decision and it seems there already went quite some thoughts into the matter behind the scenes. – Napoleon Wilson Jan 6 '15 at 21:00
  • I've voted up the dislike of the popcorn icon as well. While well designed, I didn't guess it was replacing the '&' symbol until I'd read something about it. – MattD Jan 7 '15 at 14:22
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    @KurtisBeavers How about a VHS cassette with some tape looped around to form an ampersand? It's archaic, but may be more recognizable (while still applicable to both movies and TV). – Adam Lear Jan 9 '15 at 2:06
  • @AnnaLear A VHS cassette might be too easy to mistake for an audio tape (given that its relation to movies is pretty void nowadays) and I'm not sure the actual visual resemblance to an ampersand is really that important, when too words next to each other might as well imply that connection already. But interesting idea nevertheless. – Napoleon Wilson Jan 9 '15 at 2:43
  • That being said at the current point I can as well live with that popcorn/cloud thingy, I have to agree that it's at least quite unique compared to something more traditional, if only because it's so obscure. It's really mostly when it's standing alone without any text that it's problematic to set into context, but in the overall setting it might as well work maybe. – Napoleon Wilson Jan 9 '15 at 2:44
  • @NapoleonWilson though you said you could live with the logo, we decided to revisit the design. Please see above edits to original post. – Kurtis Beavers Jan 9 '15 at 22:20
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Regarding the upvote and downvote buttons, could they be thumbs up and thumbs down icons? I rather like the idea, stemming from the days of At The Movies, where Siskel and Ebert started their notorious review process of giving a movie either a thumbs up or down. It's iconic enough to have even been used in movie adverts.

"Siskel and Ebert gave it two thumbs WAY up!"

Not a huge deal in the end, just an idea of providing a nod to the critique side of film as well.

This goes along with Napoleon Wilson's note of some of the iconography being a bit generic, so I'm presenting idea to make it less so while still being relevant to the M&TV idea.

  • 1
    I love this suggestion. I always like this thumbs up and down thing. – Ankit Sharma Jan 7 '15 at 5:34
  • Beautiful idea! – Ben Plont Jan 7 '15 at 17:49
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    While I also think this to be a neat idea, keep in mind, though, that thumbs might carry a slightly more subjective notion than arrows do. Some people already have difficulties not to mistake this site for Facebook and downvotes for dislikes of the poster. But then again this is just a minor problem and if people don't get what votes are for, arrows probably won't help them either. But just so that you have heard that concern. – Napoleon Wilson Jan 7 '15 at 18:17
  • A valid point, I was just seeking to aide you in your quest for "less generic iconography". :D – MattD Jan 7 '15 at 18:19
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    I like the thumb up/down idea however I feel it deviates a bit too much from our standard SE arrow convention. – Jin Jan 8 '15 at 18:13
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    Just because it's what's always been done, doesn't mean it's the way it always needs to be done. Thumbs up/down still fits with the theme of the site, as explained in my post. If someone has an alternative idea that would use something more akin to arrows, go for it. I'd love to see more ideas. – MattD Jan 8 '15 at 18:17
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It is so nice to see the design work you have done, it looks great - thank you!

Like many I suspect we won't want to emphasize the Identify-This questions of the site - they are viewed as a necessary evil by many (but not by all), but like @NapoleanWilson comments, the Saul Bass theme is a very positive outcome from that input.

The illustrations are spot-on. I can't identify one of them (the guy with the baseball cap on), but they are recognizably iconic views from classic and recent movies and TV shows.

My first reaction to the popcorn was likewise (to @NapoleanWilson) negative - I didn't instinctively make the connection to popcorn when I saw the graphic, but actually it is growing on me.

  • Guy with baseball cap = Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Pretty sure that's it anyway. Took me a moment as well. – MattD Jan 6 '15 at 22:01
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32 upvote to a meta question, as i always expected graduation is always a hot topic.

Anyways with the design, i will want to represnt my views in two part (Inspired with MattD's suggestion:-

Thumbs Up:

  • This little ID posters (Came by the idea of representing evil ID's) but the outcome is great. They are just repeating, better add more.

  • Oscars, this evil fellows always though that it will be tricky and copyright issue etc but the outcome is great. I love Oscar trophies.

  • Colour theme . I always wanted the theme to be less dark and eye friendly. Which it is.

  • Swags are cool.

Thumbs Down :

  • Popcorn bothers me too.
  • There is no movie-reel and clapperboard. We here also cover the film-technique, directorial decisions etc too which is more presented by clapperboard then popcorn.
  • Orange is bit dark.

Overall i love the design and will wlcome this design just expressed my view no hard intents. @Kurtis Beavers: nice work.

  • 1
    What about using film frames for the medals/badges instead of Oscar/award statues? That way it's a design that works with the site, and we shouldn't have to worry about copyright infringement? – MattD Jan 7 '15 at 14:28
  • @MattD i am the one who is shouting for oscar from start , so i am happy with it and i think SE team must have already sorted out the copywrite thing. – Ankit Sharma Jan 7 '15 at 14:37
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    @AnkitSharma thanks for you feedback! We've made some updates to the logo and design in the original discussion post. – Kurtis Beavers Jan 9 '15 at 22:24
  • @KurtisBeavers thanks for considerations. – Ankit Sharma Jan 11 '15 at 11:31

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