We graduated last year, and are in the queue to get a new site design to get away from the bland beta style we still carry. Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 did a bit of research on timelines which indicates we may be a couple of months away yet, but I feel it is good to get members of the community to think about what items or ideas are key aspects of the image Mechanics will present.

The designers SE have are rather good, but as we are all members of the community, can we come up with concepts, ideas, things to avoid etc., and post them as answers below.

Then when it becomes time for our design to be created, the designer can see where our heads are at, maybe get some inspiration, and know what we don't want our design to look like :-)

Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 add:

I've converted this thread into a wiki. If we could, I'd like to see separate wiki answers done as a list. The design elements which pop into my head are:

  • Concepts, Ideas, and Themes
  • Background Image Design
  • Overall Color
  • Up/Down Vote Selectors
  • Badge Designations (shapes of gold/silver/bronze badges)
  • Link Colors
  • Tag Shapes
  • 404 Page

If there are more, please add them to this list and we'll create a new answer to cover that portion of it. Please do not arbitrarily edit the wiki answers, but rather place "stuff" into the comments below the answers. This will help keep the design element's answers clean and on track. As comments become irrelevant, we'll clean up the comments to reduce clutter.

If you have any questions, please ask! I'm excited to see what people have in mind for the site :o)

  • 2
    I want to ensure everyone understands, even with input from the people here on Mechanics, little or none of our input might be used in the design of our site. Whomever gets designated as our site designer has the last say in what gets created for display here. I'll caveat this by saying they usually take what we want into account, but it doesn't mean they have to take what we want into account. I still think it's a great idea to give the designer a direction if they choose to use it, which is exactly what we are trying to do here. Jan 23, 2017 at 13:33
  • Good call. I probably didn't make that clear did I
    – Rory Alsop
    Jan 23, 2017 at 13:37
  • A relevant post (on this meta) by one of our other CMs from last week: Custom MVM&R design and logo - Information gathering :)
    – V2Blast
    May 19, 2022 at 17:23

8 Answers 8


Badge Designations (shapes of gold/silver/bronze badges)

I've had a couple of ideas for this ... the first is a cog:

enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

Obviously they will be much smaller. I've created them large to show detail. Engineering is still in Beta, but I'm wondering if this would be more to their style than to ours for when they graduate?

My next thought would be the check engine light:

enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

Again, the engines would be much smaller. Also, I can make this without the "CHECK" in the center of it.

enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

Tell me what you like, don't like and we'll go from there.

  • 4
    The gears work for me. Not so sure about the CEL symbols as badges...
    – Zaid
    Jan 22, 2017 at 18:15
  • 1
    I'm a gear fan as well Jan 22, 2017 at 18:41
  • @Zaid I think they represent what they are trying to represent. When I see them I say, "oh look, those are gears." I think they're good. Jan 22, 2017 at 20:55
  • What about a stylised alloy wheel and tyre?
    – Nick C Mod
    Jan 23, 2017 at 10:16
  • 2
    I notice that bicycles has a cog already
    – Nick C Mod
    Jan 23, 2017 at 10:16
  • @NickC - I like the idea. The problem is when they get reduced to badge size, they lose all definition. They have to be simple to start with. While a stylized alloy wheel/tire would look great at 200x200, when you get them down to 20x20 (or whatever size they are) all it will look like is a blob. I'm not even sure my cogs will stand up to the shrinkage. Jan 23, 2017 at 12:31
  • The cogs look excellent
    – Rory Alsop
    Jan 23, 2017 at 13:03
  • I was looking earlier at what some of the other sites have - bicycles have cogs, movies have a film reel, DIY has a phillips screw head. All those look good IMHO. Most of the rest just have the standard dot...
    – Nick C Mod
    Jan 23, 2017 at 14:00
  • I like the cog and the CEL without text. Can we bother @Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 for smaller versions of these so we know what they'll look like in their final size?
    – tlhIngan
    Feb 2, 2017 at 19:17

Up and Down Vote Selectors

Wankel Rotor

Wankel Rotor

I don't know if animations are allowed, but it would be cool if it voting triggers a single revolution :)

Adding to @Zaid's idea, here are some arrows a little more fleshed out. I have created a couple of different design ideas, but I don't know how well it works considering the size (smaller ones are about the right size). I don't know how well it shows up as desired.

Here are the up and down arrows in large view ... pretty much as Zaid had presented.

enter image description here enter image description here

One idea for how they might look when unselected/selected near needed size.

enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

  • 2
    I think the rotor is too detailed to be useful as an up/down arrow. What would work better in my opinion is just an outline of the rotor with a cog silhouette in the middle. Just thinking out loud...
    – Zaid
    Jan 23, 2017 at 17:01
  • I'm pretty sure customized up/down vote buttons are no longer made. It came up on Worldbuilding Meta IIRC during the design wishlist discussions and someone from SE commented that it didn't scale.
    – user
    Feb 2, 2017 at 14:38
  • I like. Boxwrench or piston head could be good also.
    – tlhIngan
    Feb 2, 2017 at 19:18

Tag Shapes

Just my two cents, but try these (courtesy of ACME Licence maker):

enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

Don't know if it would actually work, for several reasons:

  1. Would have to select a particular state or country for the license plate.

    Concept: Would it be possible to make it a different licence plate based on OP's location? Maybe overly complex, but could be really cool all the same.

  2. They're kind of big for the amount of writing on them.

    Concept: Maybe make the tag area a big larger on mechanics.stackexchange?

Feel free to delete all this if you feel it's trash.

  • 3
    @procrastilater - I like the idea of the license plates. I don't know how well it would work, though. I don't think there'd be any way to do State's licenses plates, mainly because we have a bunch of people on here who reside outside of the United States. I can see how something which resembles a European license plate might actually work better. Jan 23, 2017 at 22:47
  • @Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2, you might be right. I did notice that European license plates look simpler. Jan 24, 2017 at 12:33
  • We do all recognise US plates from movies though...
    – Rory Alsop
    Feb 22, 2017 at 8:02

Background Image

My original idea for a background image was something like the following. Something which is hand drawn with lots of parts. Something which draws interest:

enter image description here

  • 2
    I reckon an exploded diagram of an engine or gearbox would make a good background image - not sure where to get one from though!
    – Nick C Mod
    Jan 23, 2017 at 10:18
  • 1
    @NickC - I was thinking along those lines as well. I think an exploded line drawing of just about anything mechanical would look great as a backdrop, so long as you could tell what it is. Jan 23, 2017 at 12:32
  • realOEM.com has detailed drawings for pretty much every BMW ever made - Here is the cylinder head for an E46 BMW M3 CSL: realoem.com/bmw/enUS/… Feb 2, 2017 at 0:42

Concepts, ideas and themes

Designers usually like idea boards or themes to coordinate the overall theme. Add in images and thoughts here.


Link Colors

(Place holder to get past 30 characters ... please delete as needed)


Site Color Schemes

Gearheads who are proud of their ride usually go for loud colours. I would like a rich red or an electric blue. And why not both?

enter image description here

enter image description here

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