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I've seen it a number of times, whenever someone types "StackOverflow", someone comes along and corrects it to "Stack Overflow" for trademark reasons. I'm just wondering, if that's the case, then why does the logo appear with no space in-between? Same thing with Stack Exchange in general...

Point is, people tend to type "StackOverflow" or "stackoverflow" because that's more-so how it appears in the logo. If the official name of the site is "Stack Overflow", then shouldn't the logo reflect this difference a bit more?

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  • 3
    There is a space, you're seeing the effect of foregrounding
    – random
    Oct 16, 2013 at 2:34
  • Optical Illusions, I love em! Oct 16, 2013 at 2:34
  • 3
    It's not trademark reasons so much that it's just the name of the site...
    – Servy
    Oct 16, 2013 at 2:42
  • 4
    @random Pics, or it didn't happen. Oct 16, 2013 at 2:43
  • 11
    ITypeItLikeThatBecauseImAProgrammerAndImAfraidOfSpaces. Oct 16, 2013 at 2:48
  • 2
    ...I'm surprised no one has edited my question to correct the spelling... Oct 16, 2013 at 2:50
  • 4
    @JerryDodge: Must... resist... urge...
    – Jamal
    Oct 16, 2013 at 3:14
  • its self should be itself, I tried to edit it but it was rejected because of being too small. Please fix it. Oct 16, 2013 at 7:06
  • "for trademark reasons" -- I guess you saw that in some edit comments? When I change it, it's just because I like to use the proper name. (And with a proper, readable, regular space, not some odd non-breaking space). That's all.
    – Arjan
    Oct 16, 2013 at 7:07
  • "people tend to type [...] because that's more-so how it appears in the logo" -- any proof for that? Too many people type FireFox and MicroSoft while there's no logo dictating that. Just folks copying mistakes from others, I'd guess.
    – Arjan
    Oct 16, 2013 at 7:13

2 Answers 2

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The name of the site is Stack Overflow. That name is stylized as stackoverflow in the logo because the person designing the picture included some text formatted a certain way. You can see similar treatments of logos for products, titles, and sites all over the world. For example:

  • Heroku displays its name lowercase in its logo, but clearly uses an ordinary capitalized name when referring to itself in regular text.
  • Similarly, Macy's renders its logo lowercase and even uses a star in place of the apostrophe.
  • Nike takes things the other direction and writes its name in all caps next to its swoosh, but the name of the company is still just plain old Nike.
  • Wikipedia's logo is in small caps, except that the final A is full-sized; this is for visual symmetry to match the initial W, not because the organization actually wants to be referred to as "WikipediA."
  • Subway puts the first three letters of its name in one color, and the second three in another, but that doesn't mean they're to be interpreted as two separate words.

In the absence of other examples, use logos as guidance for how to write names of things, but remember that logos are still mainly display pieces, not mere text. People may think they're demonstrating how observant they are by mimicking a logo when typing a name, but they're often just revealing their ignorance in failing to look beyond the logo.

When people cite the trademark as the reason for editing, I think they're being a little overzealous. I don't need a trademark to tell me to capitalize proper nouns, or to recognize the difference between graphics that happen to include textual elements, and ordinary text.

The logo is fine the way it is. The different text weights suggest that they're two separate words, and our intuition tells us to capitalize them. Write it that way when you type the name, and correct people when they get it wrong, if you can do so politely. As more people learn and notice the distinction, the mistake will happen less often.

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As it is said in the bible of art school, it has to do with the original perspective. They who would taste the forbidden fruit of standing by the highway as a man named Doppler ran past them a few times screaming his fire engine lungs out.

Between "Stack" and "Overflow" there is a space, which, if you turn the logo around you will notice. Think of it like the Hollywood sign in Hollywood, California (United States of America (and Puerto Rico)), where you have some letters standing in front of others, but from a distance they all look like they're on the same plane.

perspective, foregrounding

That which sits in front is bold because it is closer to your eye sockets, thinner in the distance. The mix between the foreground and background disappears that space, which is still there, but "absent" based on angle.

Also, you can't have spaces in a URL.

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    You've been attending the Will School of Photoshopping, haven't you?
    – user102937
    Oct 16, 2013 at 3:27
  • We're from rival districts @rob
    – random
    Oct 16, 2013 at 3:31
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    Welp, I know what image will be haunting my dreams tonight...
    – jprofitt
    Oct 16, 2013 at 3:33
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    -1 no red circles
    – Cole Tobin
    Oct 16, 2013 at 4:05
  • Nobody sane does red circles #4LOKOYOLO @col
    – random
    Oct 16, 2013 at 4:13
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    @ColeJohnson That "O" sure looks like a circle, and it's red.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Oct 16, 2013 at 4:25
  • And there's two of them Oct 16, 2013 at 4:29
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    @animuson That's orange...
    – Cole Tobin
    Oct 16, 2013 at 4:46
  • This makes me regret saying "pics or it didn't happen" a little bit =) Oct 16, 2013 at 13:37

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