My name is Phoebe, and I’m the product designer working on the site theme for the MVM&R community. After researching and reading through your ideas, I’m excited to share a draft of the new site theme. Thank you for being patient with us.

We wanted to make sure the theme represented the eye-catching, visual aspects of cars, while still keeping an emphasis on the technical aspects of car maintenance and wrenching.

Color scheme

We decided to go with a traditional racing red color, and some shades of gray and silver to reference the typical metallic shades you might find in mechanic tools.

Proposed color palette for MVM&R site design, incorporating 4 colors: black, red, silver/chrome, and light gray.

Header, badges, and favicon

For the header design, we incorporated simple red racing stripes with metallic typography. Since the site title is quite long, we've stacked the words “Maintenance & Repair” to allow for better readability on both desktop and mobile. This means that the phrase “Motor Vehicle” is emphasized. We would love to hear any feedback on how that emphasis feels, along with whether racing stripes feel appropriate here.

Proposed header for the MVM&R site, as described above. "Motor Vehicle" appears as large text, followed by 2 diagonal red racing stripes to the right of that. Next to the racing stripes, "Maintenance & Repair" appears in a smaller size to the right of that, spanning 2 lines. The text is in a silvery vertical gradient (darker at the bottom), against a dark background with a light grid pattern overlaid on it.

Proposed header for MVM&R's Meta site. It is largely identical to the proposed header for the main site above, with 2 main differences: the word "meta" appears (right-aligned) above the "Maintenance & Repair" text, and the racing stripes have the same silvery gradient as the text (rather than being red).

For the badge icons, we’ve gone with wrenches. We tried some other icons such as the check engine light, and a steering wheel, but at the small badge size the wrench had the most identifiable and unique shape.

Proposed badge icons, as described above. There are 3 badge colors: bronze, silver, and gold.

The favicon uses the same racing stripes as the header image.

Proposed favicon (in light mode), as described above. The favicon simply shows 2 red racing stripes against a silvery background. Proposed favicon in dark mode. It is similar to the light-mode favicon, except that the background is a silvery vertical gradient.

Page Design

Since we didn’t want to overdo any references to racing, we used an engine diagram schematic for the background. And finally, here’s a screenshot of what the page would look like with all the elements together:

Proposed page design, as described above, showing a question page. The background of the page is in a silvery color, with engine schematics overlaid on it. Question titles appear in black, while other links appear in red (e.g. usernames, "add a comment", "start a bounty").

Proposed page design, as described above, showing the site's Questions page (/questions).

404 page

We loved the idea from the community to use the empty parking space as a 404 page, and did our best to find a similar, appropriate stock image:

Proposed 404 page image, as described above. It shows an empty street parking space between two cars, with a metal fence in the background, and a city skyline visible over it.


We hope you enjoy this design, but if something doesn’t feel right, now is your chance to share your feedback. This window for feedback will be open for one week. We will then work to incorporate feedback as best as we can, finalize things on our end, and lastly, deliver the design to your site.

Step Status
Information Gathering complete
Design V1 complete
V1 Feedback complete
Design adjustments (if needed) complete
Developer cleanup and shipping of final design complete
  • 4
    Thank you so much for the design. I'm on vacation this week, so won't "really" get to look at it until after Saturday when I get home. I'll be sure to give my best attempt at feedback then. Jun 8 at 2:37
  • New adds ... see my edits in the post below. Jun 11 at 16:44
  • What's the status? Jun 24 at 21:26
  • 3
    @Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 we haven't shipped any of the designs yet because we're working on getting our ducks in a row since it's been a while since the last time we shipped a design. We want to make sure that we have all of the necessary assets. :) I'll check in on Monday to see where everyone is with the designs. :)
    – Catija StaffMod
    Jun 24 at 21:29
  • @Catija - No worries. That's fair. Appreciate the update :o) Jun 24 at 21:30
  • @Catija - I know how challenging ducks can be ... man, oh, man alive ... lol. Jun 25 at 0:24
  • @Catija - With the site design, will we also be getting the change in privileges? Jun 28 at 22:08
  • 1
    @Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 not by default. If y'all want the higher levels, start a meta discussion and we'll consider it. But if y'all are happy as-is, that's fine with us.
    – Catija StaffMod
    Jun 28 at 23:03
  • @Catija - I was just wondering, because it used to be the privs were changed when a site got their design. I don't really think we need the change, it was more or less a curiosity. Jun 28 at 23:38
  • @Catija - Any updates? Jul 22 at 0:29
  • 1
    This is really an excellent design. Well done! Jul 27 at 11:46
  • @Catija - Have you all been punking us? Aug 2 at 23:53
  • 2
    Sorry, @Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 - I've been on vacation for a few weeks. We've been releasing the designs while I've been out but I haven't checked the status here since I got back just yesterday. I'm guessing it'll be coming soon!
    – Catija StaffMod
    Aug 3 at 0:49
  • 1
    The final design is now live! See this post for more details: New design launched
    – V2Blast StaffMod
    Aug 10 at 16:25

2 Answers 2


Very slick - I think the slight racing flavor is a good idea. It sets a positive tone (as opposed to focusing on "welp, your car done broke!" ;-)


I'd have two suggestions/improvements. I'm wondering if we could get a wrench which looks more like a combination wrench (or spanner wrench or open/boxed end wrench). It would look something like this:

enter image description here

I will actually try and make new ones from this image, only using Photoshop to make a mask and set it all one color (basically just using the shape). I'll post them back up for you to see if you like them, hopefully some time tomorrow.

Secondly, I will go out tomorrow and recreate the "404" image as I suggested before. I'm not sure the image you are providing really tells the tale. I will go out and take the picture and do the 404 on it fairly much like the other one. The only difference would be, I'll give SE full rights to the image so there'll be no worries from that department.


I realized I didn't say ... overall I really like the design thus far. It looks great overall IMHO.


Here's the stuff I promised. I hope my Photochops are up to snuff :o)


enter image description hereenter image description hereenter image description here

Here are some shorter versions which may work better:

enter image description hereenter image description hereenter image description here

And the 404 image:

enter image description here

I have larger images of each of these if you need them (I also saved all of my PSD files, so can be edited in Photoshop ... let me know if you want or need them). Hopefully the wrenches can scale down and work. I personally think they are just much better looking than the original ones I did.


Here is what I came up with for the main SE/SO page:

enter image description here

  • 3
    We're still working on finalizing the design (getting close!) but in the meantime I wanted to send over a thank you for the 404 image and the combination wrench suggestion. I modified the badge shape to look more like the images you shared (it had to be the shorter one since the badge images are so tiny and stout). The 404 image works great - love the "page not found" license plate detail!
    – Phoebe Staff
    Jun 27 at 19:26
  • @Phoebe - Sounds like you can use the stuff, so awesome :o) Jun 27 at 23:13
  • 1
    @Phoebe - And if you're wondering, I didn't want to have people's plate numbers on there, so had to figure out something to do with them. If you look in the background, the white truck is mine ;-) Jun 28 at 0:47

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