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I am part of a private beta and was curious about makes the graphics set for that site. I understand that these are typically handled by the SE team but they do entertain community submissions.

Is there a way to see these graphics collections from other sites without signing up for them? Badge icons are hidden if you are not a member for example. I would like to see the various styles that people have settled on / chosen. That way my proposal cam match the overall look and feel.

Also searching the sites one by one is time consuming if there already is a way to find pictures/graphics. Perhaps these graphics files are all named the same and they can be programmatically gathered from the full fledged sites?

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Every site has its own "sprites.svg" file where all of these icons are located, following this pattern of URL:

http://cdn.sstatic.net/{site-short-name}/img/sprites.svg

Just replace {site-short-name} with whatever gets placed into the URL before the .stackexchange.com part. You can also append "meta" to the end of the short name to access the sprite sheet for its child Meta site. For example, to access English SE's sprite sheets, you'd use the following URLs:

Main Site

http://cdn.sstatic.net/english/img/sprites.svg

Meta Site

http://cdn.sstatic.net/englishmeta/img/sprites.svg

Note that this method only works for graduated sites which have received their full designs. All sites using the beta theme will use the short names "beta" and "betameta" respectively.

Also, sites which use a top-level domain to access them (such as stackoverflow.com) just use whatever is before the .com part of the URL (so "stackoverflow" for example).


As far as your intent for why you want these, I think you're a tad confused about the design process of new sites. First off, a site will only receive a full design if and when it graduates in the network, and a discussion about the design will not begin until the point when Stack Exchange has decided the site is ready. Any and all discussions about designs before that point tend to get swiftly closed as off-topic, since it's generally not worthwhile to discuss the design in advance like that. I'd strongly encourage you not to even worry about site designs this early in your site's beta phase, as there are much more important things you could be doing with your time there to make sure the site flourishes and makes it to graduation.

Secondly, Stack Exchange doesn't utilize user-contributed designs. They have their own designers which create a design unique to that specific site completely from scratch. Aside from the general layout having to follow the idea of a Stack Exchange site, the design isn't really influenced by what's been done on other sites. The network has a very wide array of unique designs that don't really match each other.

When the discussion about the design of the site gets started (upon the decision of graduation), it's really just the Stack Exchange team looking for ideas from the community of what they might want the site to look like, what symbols might make sense, and what general feel they want the site to give off. It's not a community design contest where the best design wins, and you shouldn't spend an abnormal amount of time creating a design, but feel free to sketch up some quick drawings to illustrate what you're getting at.

  • Thanks for the answer and you candidness. Still neat to know and probably wont look into it too much then. – Matt Mar 24 '15 at 2:17
  • I am going to use the sprites to make my own design just for me to see and use locally. – Matt Nov 20 '15 at 14:28

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