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Well, the faq does say no question is too small and I haven't found this question asked elsewhere so...

I'd like to suggest the introduction of icons for the badges, as seen in Team Fortress 2, Day of Defeat: Source or even Kongregate. Imagine your favourite badge transformed with a colourful and amusing image!

With a community as large and diverse as this one, we ought to be able to come up with some decent badge icons.

What say ye?

EDIT: How about them apples? (Just a sample of what's possible..)

Commentor

Epic

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I hate this idea... but I love your style. –  Shogging through the snow Feb 5 '10 at 4:31
    
Well, they're inspired by TF2 so it's not really my style, but thanks. –  GenericMeatUnit Feb 5 '10 at 4:42
    
Didn't know commenting requires shouting. :P –  o.k.w Feb 5 '10 at 6:40
    
You're welcome to submit your own icon.. ;) –  GenericMeatUnit Feb 5 '10 at 21:50

6 Answers 6

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Personally, I feel that the beauty of the badges is in their names. Some are very creative and others are well, some may say abstract.

As much as part of me is curious/excited to see how the graphical badges might turn out, I feel that it will dilute the names' impact.

Having say that, maybe someone can come out with a couple 'prototype' graphical badges that can swing my vote. :P

UPDATE:
Added dboarman's recommendation
some badges from dboarman

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I think my sentiment exactly matches yours. It's really the achievement within the title of the badge. However, I would like to see something a little less plain: imgcash4.imageshack.us/img197/8514/… for example??? –  IAbstract Feb 5 '10 at 1:51
    
I've added some sample images to my original question, if you want to see 'em. –  GenericMeatUnit Feb 8 '10 at 4:46
    
@o,k.w.: Hey, cool...thanks for putting those up. –  IAbstract Feb 8 '10 at 9:07

My eyes are already bleeding

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I take it that's a negative connotation in the modern vernacular..? –  GenericMeatUnit Feb 5 '10 at 0:26
    
@generic - no, i quite like it when blood runs from my eyes. Wait, what? –  Antony Feb 5 '10 at 2:26
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So, if they are already bleeding, it won't make any difference if we introduce some Lady-Gaga icons, will it? –  ЯegDwight Feb 5 '10 at 3:08
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I'll bet there were old-timers who complained when text badges were first added too. "Badges? We don't need no stinkin' badges!" –  GenericMeatUnit Feb 5 '10 at 3:33

You can see graphical badges on some of the Stack Exchange sites -- epic advice and VFX overflow come to mind.

While I fully support this kind of customization for SE, I am not sure it really fits well with the highly-text oriented, no frills nature of the trilogy at the moment.

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Tags, not badges - I just checked EpicAdvice and they only have icons on the tabs, badges are left plain. –  deleted Feb 5 '10 at 2:29
    
I would argue that badges fall into the category of frills, so if we're in for a penny, why not a pound? It could be an optional setting - view your badges as images or text, as you prefer. –  GenericMeatUnit Feb 5 '10 at 3:32

We do have a very large community here.

Of programmers, system administrators and computer power users.

I'm not sure I'd count too heavily on this community for engaging, attractive, consistent (from a design language perspective) graphical icons.

Now, if you want a bunch of awesome freehand MS Paint art, you are totally in the right place. Freehand circles and arrows FTW!

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You'd be surprised at the artist lurking in some computer types. All MS Paint pics welcome! Simplicity is king. I'll even throw my scribbles in if nobody else does. –  GenericMeatUnit Feb 5 '10 at 0:25
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Actually, I wouldn't. And musicians. And theatre geeks (such as myself -- acted, directed, written, light and sound design, I've done it all). But sorting the wheat from the chaff ... For every random and welbog we have, there are probably 30 or 40 talentless people like myself who would still submit something! –  John Rudy Feb 5 '10 at 0:39
    
Also, art and icon design are two fundamentally different skillsets. Icon design (and that's what this really is) is all about consistent design language, color usage, symbolic shapes ... It is a superset of art. –  John Rudy Feb 5 '10 at 0:40
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@Statistical Union: Hey man if I ever catch you comparing me to random again I will come to your house and I will find a neighbour's dog and I will introduce myself to that dog's owner and I will take that dog for a walk and I will do this every day until I can convince the dog to poop on your lawn. I do not take kindly to being compared to Australians. –  XMLbog Feb 5 '10 at 2:04
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@welbog: I rent. I don't have a lawn. And I'm on the third floor, so if you think you're gonna get that dog to do something on one of my balconies, it better have good aim and strong haunches. –  John Rudy Feb 5 '10 at 3:20
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It only takes one design student.. –  GenericMeatUnit Feb 5 '10 at 3:34

It doesn't sound real useful even for visual effect, since the badges are only seen when you look at your profile page or the badge page.

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but they can be so pretty... ;) –  IAbstract Feb 5 '10 at 1:23

For some reason, this reminded me of a scene from Time Bandits. View last few seconds starting from about 1:12.

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