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I just noticed the second time that some of the icons are not unique. Take this question, for instance: Why is the pond in my backyard not frozen when it is -15 °C (5 °F) outside?

I noticed this question in the sidebar and wondered, "How is this question posted in spanish.se? It doesn't make any sense." I then went to that site and discovered it to be Earth Science. Same problem is there with Magento SE and Martial Arts SE.

Is there any plans to replace them with new icons. A color change, even?

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Currently, the icons have different casing: "Es" vs "ES" and "Ma" vs "MA". It becomes noticeable eventually (they used to have same uppercase favicons, but it was fixed).

This seems to be an issue indeed, but it's fixed for the high-resolution screens ("Es" vs "ES" and "Ma" vs "MA" when using my smartphone, but no difference when using the desktop computer).

It's worth reporting that the high-dpi and low-dpi sprites are inconsistent (and I also recall it has caused some confusion already...)

As for the change, it will occur when these sites graduate and receive own icon & design. But not when they are in beta.

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  • Linux doesn't have the updated icons then, it seems. They're the same on my Chromium 47 browser, Kubuntu 15.04. Also, I checked after @Pang's comment.
    – cst1992
    Jan 14 '16 at 10:38
  • Hm, the different sprites are used for high and low dpi. It may be the problem.
    – nicael
    Jan 14 '16 at 10:44
  • Also note that there is a backlog on the design department which may cause some delay for graduated sites. Jan 14 '16 at 10:46
  • @nicael It is a problem, as the low DPI icons are used for the sidebar, 'Hot Network Questions'. Could be confusing sometimes.
    – cst1992
    Jan 14 '16 at 10:48
  • @cst For me, high dpi. It depends on the screen resolution, I'll try to figure out it later.
    – nicael
    Jan 14 '16 at 10:49
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The key point of departure here is that they are not custom icons. They are placeholders until these sites graduate - if they graduate.

Therefore it is not a design issue, just an unfortunate but fairly unavoidable coincidence.

It would create more inconsistency to change something about the icons just because they share initials, because to users familiar with the site, the blue speech bubble is a very effective indicator (immediately obvious) that the site is in the beta stage and hasn't graduated to a fully fledged site.

In case you're also wondering why they can't have a unique icon during the beta stage, it's a matter of finance and business management. There's little sense in investing further into a product/service that may not survive. It's better to wait until the product/service has proved itself profitable before spending more on developing it.

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