I am curious who designs all the various hats for winter bash events on SE websites. Were these hat custom made for SE, or did the website utilize some pre-existing content? I am really curious about the identity of designers, so I will rephrase my question in an elaborate from:

Does the administration of StackExchange.com have a team of designers working for them, do they hire third party company, or did they buy set of pre-designed images from someone?

If the answer is either third party or pre-designed content, then I may as well just cut to the cheese and straightforwardly ask:

Who makes the hats?!

2 Answers 2


All the hats (for Winter Bash 2013, 2014, and 2015) were made by a single person, a freelance designer named Elias Stein.

How can I tell for sure? It's clearly mentioned in the Announcing Winter Bash 2015 blog post:

That means we owe another big thank you to amazing freelance designer Elias Stein, who deftly handled the conversion of all hats from crazy vague concepts into beautiful digital reality for the third year in a row, and our very own unicorn lord balpha, who once again worked tirelessly behind the scenes to perfect the hat distribution process.


The hats from Winter Bash 2016 are designed from the Marketing Design team, especially by Kalina Moniquet and Nohemi Olvera.

It is also mentioned in a blog post It's Hat Season...Announcing Winter Bash 2016:

We want to give a special nod to everyone involved in putting it together:

  • The Marketing Design team for coming up with the beautiful design. With extra special thanks to Kalina Moniquet and Nohemi Olvera for the amazing hat images.

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