I understand this question has already been asked but in this I have expounded on the issue and explain more unsightly features of the Stack Overflow logo.

I'm not sure why but every time I visit Stack Overflow I notice that the second brick (or whatever it is) from the bottom is slightly misaligned. It's gotta be at least two pixels too far to the left.

I imagine the pieces all coming together creating one stack and that one off piece slightly protruding out to the left, resulting in the blunder being finally noticed and then corrected with a tap of the finger, making it flushed with its counterparts.

So I have a few questions:

  1. Does this slightly imprecise disposition have some meaning in the logo?
  2. Is this wonky brick wonkied on purpose?
  3. If this was not done on purpose and was simply some oversight of the designer, is there any way I can request to get this corrected? And how?

As you can witness from the image below, you will see according to my red guidelines that the single brick is off and protruding slightly from the natural flow (no pun intended) of the slinkied logo, throwing off the cohesiveness and visual stability of the logo.

Current StackOverflow logo

Furthermore, I have tried several times to figure out the mathematical rotation being used in the current logo. I have come to the conclusion that there is no consistent degree of rotation of each brick being used. It is purely random and created by an artist who simply rotated to his/her eye's satisfaction. It does come close to the below, corrected, logo I put together.

Each brick is being rotated from the bottom-left corner by a multiple of 5 degrees (negative) plus the total of the brick below it. This also illustrates why the misaligned brick should not be misaligned, as no misalignment takes place when pulling and rotating the bricks apart.

Corrected StackOverflow logo

This appears at a glance to be the same as the current logo but it's not. As you can see in the below illustration, the gray layer on top is the corrected version I made and the below, red version is the current Stack Overflow logo...

enter image description here

  • 34
    lol! The truth probably is that the logo was hand-made with no regard to mathematics. It arguably should stay the way it is. Still, +1 for effort
    – Pekka
    Sep 30, 2013 at 2:22
  • 9
    Whoa, never really noticed this. Now this is going to bother me because I can't look past it. Awesome effort too!
    – Steven V
    Sep 30, 2013 at 2:23
  • 5
    @perhapsPekka No logo that represents such a large website should ignore mathematics during design. Pepsi and other companies have pages and pages of how their logo is made and why. No logo should be simply thrown together. Sep 30, 2013 at 2:26
  • I've got to admit that I don't scrutinize the logo that I see so many times in the course of a day to this detail. I've also got to admit that, in the grand scheme of things, it probably doesn't even matter. Still, good on you for the effort.
    – Makoto
    Sep 30, 2013 at 2:33
  • 15
    @Tommy Why? Stack Overflow hasn't grown into what it is today because of its streamlined corporate appearance. Quite the contrary - it's always mixed hardcore professionalism where it counts with a devil-may-care attitude that isn't afraid to admit errors and cockups in public. I put it to you that's to no small part why people love it. The logo was contrived in a $99 logo contest on this ghastly design contests web site, I forgot its name. So what? If the logo's been good enough to turn a small community into the planet's #1 programming Q&A site, it can't be that bad, can it?
    – Pekka
    Sep 30, 2013 at 2:38
  • 3
    @perhaps it was a $512 contest ($2 ^ 9). So it's exactly 5.171717... better than a $99 contest result. Clearly. Source
    – jmac
    Sep 30, 2013 at 2:52
  • 1
    Damn you! I can't help seeing it now! (+1) Sep 30, 2013 at 8:51
  • Also, the Meta Stack Overflow logo is not just a grayscale version of the Stack Overflow Logo...as I just noticed. Sep 30, 2013 at 9:02
  • 4
    Oh. My. God. I hate you so much right now. Sep 30, 2013 at 14:05
  • Spit and polish, guys. Spit and polish.
    – John
    Sep 30, 2013 at 18:59
  • Wonder if there's a way to find the original logo artists. I'm curious what their reaction to this would be.
    – Ben Lee
    Jan 9, 2014 at 23:18
  • I'm all in favor of your suggestion of a subtle remake of the logo along mathematical lines. However, your remake with the top piece at less of an angle looks too much like it could fall back into the stack. My own view of the logo is that the pieces have been jolted into flight, and should follow a parabolic curve.
    – freiheit
    Feb 6, 2014 at 23:08
  • 1
    @Tommy I think the logo was updated recently but I don't have good enough eyes or tools to check myself, can you please take a look? Apr 6, 2014 at 12:54
  • 1
    Surely this question belongs on MSO?! Nov 25, 2014 at 20:44
  • The slabs are countersteering.
    – philipxy
    Sep 29, 2019 at 3:35

3 Answers 3


enter image description here

 how does this make you feel?


Where is the math behind this logo?

General Electric Logo

What about this logo?

Coca Cola Logo

Don't even get me started about the kerning on this logo:

Sony Logo

My point is that while certain current companies may rely heavily on math to ensure the success of their logos, there are plenty of older logos that relied on the ability of the artist to create something that has a lasting impression.

Would touching up the above logos make them any more successful at representing their brand? Creating better brand awareness? Probably not.

I believe this is a prime example of making mountains of molehills.

  • @James, I'm afraid I don't follow.
    – jmac
    Sep 30, 2013 at 4:01
  • For all of those logos you suggested you can find a VERY in depth profile on its creation and all the math behind it. Very bad examples. Sep 30, 2013 at 4:08
  • 3
    @Tommy, the GE logo was developed in the 19th century. Coca Cola is around that old too. While I'm sure that there are graphic designers out there trying to fit the math to the existing logos, the original scripts for these logos are based on math how exactly? (Note: while there is math in anything, I am specifically talking about the extent to which you are applying geometric transformations to digital images -- was there some sort of design document explaining the curve of the GE G or E in 1900 for instance?)
    – jmac
    Sep 30, 2013 at 4:51
  • 3
    I'd point that the the suggested change to the logo would also eat up around another 20 pixels of vertical space on my page, which I would not like.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Sep 30, 2013 at 5:48
  • @ani At the $1/pixel of the Million Dollar Homepage multiplied by the number of page views, this may be the most expensive proposal ever in the history of meta! (The preceding may be based on totally unreasonable assumptions about the value of pixels, but don't let that stop you from believing it)
    – jmac
    Sep 30, 2013 at 5:54
  • 5
    EEK -1 for pointing out the keming in S O NY. Now I have to hate thern. Sep 30, 2013 at 8:46
  • 1
    I'm not sure I understand your position clearly @jmac. Are you claiming that the GE, Coca-Cola, and SONY logos have not been vetted and retouched by graphics designers since their inceptions? There are clearly a lot of precise interior symmetries and parallels, e.g. the four flourishes around the GE circle and the curves at the top of the g and e and the bottom of the g.
    – jball
    Sep 30, 2013 at 18:20
  • @jball They have been massaged, yes. But the fundamental design choice, not based on math, was there first and was maintained through any massaging by graphic designers.
    – jmac
    Sep 30, 2013 at 23:25
  • @jmac if they've been massaged, then why not allow for the refinement of the SO logo? More pointedly, when you ask, "Would touching up the above logos make them any more successful at representing their brand?", I can't answer the question as stated, but I think the touching up the above logos have gone through very well might have made them a more successful representation of their brands.
    – jball
    Sep 30, 2013 at 23:31
  • @jball This is the GE logo from 1900. If you turn that sucker in to an SVG in those dimensions, and use the new GE color, it will work fine. The fundamental aspect of the logo (the GE in the middle) is virtually unchanged from the beginning and successful not because of math, but because it is a well-designed recognizable logo (like Coca Cola with different C's, and Sony with the odd kerning). The change suggested in this post is even less drastic than changes to these logos. Nobody will notice. It will have no benefit.
    – jmac
    Sep 30, 2013 at 23:38
  • @jmac I suspect we are well into the realm of rampant conjecture now in terms of whether specific changes are better or not, though I can't resist pointing out that a logo maker in 1900 could still have used rulers, compasses and templates to achieve greater mathmatical consistency than an artist's initial drawings would have had.
    – jball
    Sep 30, 2013 at 23:55
  • @jball The reason I picked these 3 logos is because all center around specific text. While it is possible to use a compass/ruler while creating the GE or the Coca Cola, it is a very different proposition than applying a mathematical rotation to a bunch of bars in a logo. At the end of the day, my point is that applying mathematical transitions to design elements is not a necessity to creating a successful logo as evidenced by the logos above that are noticeable and have been successful for decades.
    – jmac
    Sep 30, 2013 at 23:57
  • @jmac Yes, the current GE logo is based on the 1892 version, but it's not even vaguely the same script. The 1900 version is very similar to the modern, but you can see that the current logo is actually the 10th variation. Is there math for it? Probably. It was designed only about 10 years ago, after all. Similarly, if you look at the history of the Coca-Cola logo it sure looks like they've applied some math since the original version.
    – freiheit
    Feb 6, 2014 at 23:11
  • @frei, all I'm trying to say is that having a notable logo is far more important than the math used to create it. Whether the piece is shifted or not is not going to greatly change the reception of this logo, and I think anyone would be hard-pressed to prove that having the pieces slightly off from their mathematical ideals has caused any harm to Stack Overflow. Just sayin'.
    – jmac
    Feb 6, 2014 at 23:47

In techy environments, it's things such as this which pros notice, and from which propose improvements to a group, which in turn make the web and internets a better place.
We all strive for improvement, and your question is quite an interesting observation (I presume you're into graphics.. or just too much time to spare :P)

While some may say "so what", I think they were just being to the point, and meant:

Stack may not have the mathematically perfect logo, or be miss website of the universe, but it does deliver!

So Stack is like a Ferrari F40...

It's sleek enough to turn heads, but it's all about the driving (or.. getting answers..)

The F40 was an iconic super car, loved by many and makes me feel 10 years old when I see one. But they had a plastic windscreen and windows, no stereo, glove box, door handles, carpets or door panels.

So what? I wouldn't kick an F40 off my drive for no carpets...

enter image description here

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