I think that the Meta logo does not reflect its "meta" nature. What about something like that instead:

sample 1

Or

sample 2

Or any other ideas?

EDIT: or, as suggested by random, something more ouroboros such as:

alt text

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Needs more ouroboros. –  random Apr 10 '10 at 12:24
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Personally I don't like the greyscale site with the red / distressed "meta" in the logo. –  Josh K Apr 10 '10 at 12:49
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The answer is obviously a stack of stacks. –  badp Apr 10 '10 at 16:06
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no, the answer is a stack of itself –  Gabriel Cuvillier Apr 10 '10 at 16:12
    
no! a dishwasher! –  bobobobo Apr 10 '10 at 16:57
    
Hahaha, really @Pekka? =) –  jadarnel27 Jan 25 '12 at 21:42
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@jadarnel yeah, man! Meta's logo is way too boring, I've always thought so. –  Pëkka Jan 25 '12 at 21:43
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@JoshK there was much whining about the greyscale when "meta" first launched, but it's staying because Jeff likes it... it's kind of like a "shadow" of the real site. –  Joel Coehoorn Jan 25 '12 at 21:45
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FWIW, I really like the 2nd image. –  Joel Coehoorn Jan 25 '12 at 21:45
    
Gotta spend that meta rep on something, eh @Pekka :) –  Adam Rackis Jan 25 '12 at 21:52
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@Adam yeah, but I really believe in this cause! The current Meta logo could use some improvement. –  Pëkka Jan 25 '12 at 21:58
    
@Pekka - if the currently accepted answer could get accepted, that would be just awesome. –  Adam Rackis Jan 25 '12 at 21:59
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Perhaps a more distinguished logo would help reduce the number of people who mistake this for Stack Overflow? –  hammar Jan 25 '12 at 22:10
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I'm So Meta, Even This Acronym (needs something like that) –  Almo Feb 14 '12 at 18:39
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Needs more cowbell too –  seanb Mar 8 '12 at 2:48
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13 Answers

up vote 104 down vote accepted

It doesn't really fit in, but I think it's pretty meta:

new meta logo, large
meta with new logo applied

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Wow! Good idea! It reminds me of Escher pictures. If the topmost element of the topmost stack could "morph" back to the orignal red stack container it would be awesome! –  Gabriel Cuvillier Apr 11 '10 at 17:59
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... And adding another dimension is a way to go "Meta"... –  Gabriel Cuvillier Apr 11 '10 at 18:06
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This is soooo cool. When can we expect this to be implemented? :) –  Pëkka Jan 25 '12 at 21:42
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more recursion needed! –  paul23 Jan 28 '12 at 3:29
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Your graphic design skills are amazing. –  Adam Rackis Feb 8 '12 at 15:17
    
This looks more like Area 51 to me, which generates new Stack sites. –  Almo Feb 14 '12 at 18:38
    
Super cool... but it would be a disaster as a favicon. –  Richard JP Le Guen Sep 27 '12 at 20:23
    
First of all, was that made in Blender? Second, @RichardJPLeGuen the favicon can be kept, and the icon changes. –  hexafraction Sep 29 '12 at 11:28
    
@ObsessiveFOSS Yes, it's Blender. –  balpha Sep 29 '12 at 18:13
    
this is really cool –  th1rdey3 Oct 2 '12 at 8:18
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The current logo is certainly lacking sufficient waffleage.

New MSO Logo

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And I want a T-Shirt with this one. –  squillman Apr 11 '10 at 3:20
    
Is that blood or syrup? –  Dexter Apr 11 '10 at 3:29
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@Dexter: depends on the post –  squillman Apr 11 '10 at 3:31
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Love it! You get one upvote from me for this! –  uɐɯsO uɐɥʇɐN Apr 11 '10 at 20:22
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Perhaps a more beer-oriented logo?

meta beer logo (Ethiopian)

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Yeah, see? Y'all down voted this, but now we actually have a meta.beer site. So Pthbbbbbbbbbbbbbb :P –  Tim Post Mar 4 at 14:26
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@Adam Davis posted:

Currently the only thing I can think of is the error message that occurs when an error message can't be displayed due to a problem with the error message handler

Which made me immediately think of this

enter image description here

Hmm, hows that for a logo!

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The meta section is about improving stackoverflow and making it better, and that could be represented in the logo. If the logo starts off as a sketch and is improved along the way, ending in a more "finished" state, like the real logo.

I'm not an expert at drawing but here's an example:

enter image description here

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4  
I actually really like this. Brilliant! –  Purag Feb 27 '12 at 15:45
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I really like this one :P How about posting some variations too? –  Lix Feb 27 '12 at 15:46
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@Lix - Did this during the coffee break to show the Sketch -> Finished idea I had. If it gets popular I'll do some more for sure =) –  Niklas Feb 27 '12 at 16:13
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I think this looks awesome, but it would be easy to confuse with the original SO... maybe if the first part of the logo were even more roughly sketched? –  Liz Sander Jul 9 '12 at 13:13
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Wow! I really love this! This would also solve the alignment problem. To the mods, can we please use this? –  silvinci May 22 '13 at 15:12
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Any luck with other sites? –  Cole Johnson Jul 28 '13 at 7:59
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Another idea: Escher hands.

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I'm rubbish at graphics, but I would suggest some metasymbol, like "::="

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Needs more freehand circles!

Freehandcirclified

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more freehand needed - but yes, with circles –  gnat Feb 8 '12 at 13:36
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What about unicorn?

meta unicorn logo

:)

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I'm with Adam Rackis on this one (+1 btw), only you need to try a bit more:

The real Meta Stakoverflow logo

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+1, though I do prefer my more minimalist version :) –  Adam Rackis Jan 25 '12 at 22:25
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Ohhhhhhh - you free-handed the logo too - I almost lost some Dr Pepper upon seeing that. –  Adam Rackis Jan 25 '12 at 22:25
    
Well, Dr Pepper. What's the worst that could happen..? –  David Thomas Jul 9 '12 at 22:50
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The current answers are trying a bit too hard. I think we should keep the original logo, but add some freehand!

enter image description here

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This is very intriguing. I think it's becoming my new favourite. –  Pëkka Jan 25 '12 at 22:04
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I want this. I'd spend 20k of my Unicorn dollars to get this implemented. –  Pëkka Feb 8 '12 at 12:08
    
@Pekka - well, when you're in charge you can implement it yourself :) –  Adam Rackis Feb 8 '12 at 15:16
    
yeah man! This one will be my top priority. :) –  Pëkka Feb 8 '12 at 15:45
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Your first proposition makes me think of this:

metal spring

Well, it would sure represent Meta better in its true purpose: give an originally serious thing to people, so they can play with it endlessly.

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Did a slinky ever have any serious purpose then? –  Arjan Apr 10 '10 at 12:38
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@Arjan - From the story of its creation (see edited link in anwser), it was originally a serious engineer experiment (something supposed to "support and stabilize sensitive instruments aboard ships in rough seas"), which turned out to be something funny. Exactly like Meta, in fact. Originally to report bugs, and discuss on a high level about the trilogy... And finally filled with waffles, freehand circles and unicorns. –  Gnoupi Apr 10 '10 at 12:50
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you are forgetting Icelandic Fridays! –  perbert Apr 10 '10 at 15:38
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Your answer (which is a silly response to a potentially vaguely semi-serious question) is reenforced by the fact that it's the highest voted. +1 for not answering the question and diverting the subject to slinkys. –  Super Long Names are Hilarious Apr 11 '10 at 4:24
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@Length - I object! My post is actually answering the question "What about something like that instead", as it contains an opinion about one of the propositions. The fact that you feel diverted is only a vicious effect of the slinky, crawling through your child memories. –  Gnoupi Apr 11 '10 at 7:46
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Hrm. A stackoverflow occurs when another function is called and its variables overwrite beyond the end of the stack, possibly onto other important data.

So if we abstract that out another level...

Hrm. I shall have to ponder this further. Currently the only thing I can think of is the error message that occurs when an error message can't be displayed due to a problem with the error message handler.

That's hard to realize in a simple logo though...

How about:

Core dump

  • It's an error that occurs in an error (ie, an error on stack overflow may result in a core dump)
  • Can be realized as a simple logo
  • Also represents a significant amount of knowledge - it's essentially taking the brain state of the computer and dropping it to disk so it can be dissected.

All of the above really do describe what meta is all about, and it's a nice, catchy idiom.

I'm thinking something along the lines of this for logo:

Logo for core dump - box with gear inside, red arrow suggesting the gear is removed from the box downward - falling out of the box

The SO font should be used, and the graphic itself isn't great, but it gives the general idea.

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Take the errors causing errors idea far enough and you've got yourself a kernel panic or BSOD, the latter is recognisable enough a small version would do. –  Phoshi Apr 10 '10 at 15:15
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Oooh, Core Dump! It's perfect for meta stack overflow discussion! –  Adam Davis Apr 10 '10 at 15:25
    
Thanks @Phoshi - your comment triggered what I was trying to get at... –  Adam Davis Apr 10 '10 at 15:31
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So should the new logo be a bomb, then? Or maybe a trash can. That would make the "Meta is not your trash can" comments very ironic. –  Aarobot Apr 10 '10 at 15:43
    
But doesn't "dump" carry unmanageable/unwanted connotation? –  bobobobo Apr 10 '10 at 16:03
    
I'm seeing lots of logo and double-entendre posisbilities in "core dump". :D –  Ether Apr 10 '10 at 16:17
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Oooh, Core Dump! I say we vote for this, we can achieve independence! –  Phoshi Apr 10 '10 at 16:29
    
I think it needs a freehand arrow. –  Aarobot Apr 10 '10 at 20:49
    
@Aarobot - I had to freehand the arrow in pixel editing mode. Does that count? –  Adam Davis Apr 10 '10 at 20:51
    
Only if you made the whole arrow without ever releasing the mouse button, and I don't believe your mousing is that accurate. –  Aarobot Apr 10 '10 at 21:10
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