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Is there any thought process behind changing the icon of Stack Overflow

Old one:

enter image description here

New One:

enter image description here

  • 3
    Haven't you seen the video????!! – juergen d Sep 22 '15 at 10:12
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    Naw, we just change things here without thinking. – Oded Sep 22 '15 at 10:18
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    Unicorn did this. – Ankit Sharma Sep 22 '15 at 11:48
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    From blog post: "Next week, they’ll share how it fits into a new style guide we’ll be using to help us standardize our visuals and save valuable design cycles downstream." Comment by Joshua Hynes: "we'll have a post unpacking the logo a bit more soon. The orange is a step in-between two (TWO!) oranges we had in the previous logo. The previous logo had 7 colors. The new one has 3 colors, and one of those colors is a tint of another color." So: (1) it establishes a primary brand color, a specific shade of orange. (2) More explanations are on the way. – user259867 Sep 22 '15 at 13:12
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Yes, as the name change blog post stated, we do plan on sharing a little more about the new logo, its history, why we decided we needed to update it, and what changes we made. That post is coming soon. We meant to get it out earlier last week but we've been fairly busy updating the brand and other exciting projects.

To answer this question specifically, here's a small excerpt from the forthcoming blog post:


Earlier this year, the Design team and key stakeholders took part in an exercise to explore and better understand our brand. We worked through what we thought Stack Overflow represented, what we wanted Stack Overflow to represent, what you—the community—thought Stack Overflow represented. This process made us confront the fact that our branding efforts weren’t communicating effectively.

Many of our brand incongruities sprang from the fact that we lacked a systematic brand approach. How we approached design varied across the company—between products, teams, projects, and even individuals. And you—our community—bore the brunt of this. It fell to our community to figure what was different and why that mattered. These inconsistencies created unnecessary barriers, tensions, and learning curves within our brand and products.

Understanding this, earlier this spring the design team started discussing re-aligning the Stack Overflow brand experience. Our goals were to:

  1. Evolve our current branding while maintaining our brand essence.
  2. Create a systematic approach to our branding efforts which would allow us to provide a consistent interaction with developers.
  3. Focus our brand on the elements that make us who we are, taking what developers know about us and thoughtfully consider how to push that forward.

This update may not seem like huge step forward visually. Many might not even notice a difference. But it’s a big step forward for us. For the first time at Stack Overflow, we've developed a systematic approach that will allow our growing team to be visually consistent wherever you experience Stack Overflow.

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It has all to do with the rename of the company back to 'Stack Overflow' (before the company was named 'Stack Exchange'). The icon is the new company logo. The site logo has been updated with that.

See the blog post about the rename and the new icon:

We thought it was pretty awesome then, and it’s still pretty awesome now. So, the design team didn’t change much, and just made a simple, clean update to the existing logo.

There wasn't a real reason mentioned in the article, just that it looks better.

  • 1
    "look better" I agree, certainly more modern. I mean, who fades grey into orange :P – James Sep 22 '15 at 14:23

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