We've already began discussing the new logo.

In that discussion some of the answers including my own blurred into the topics of overall theme and colourscheme but I think it's cleaner to separate each. We can certainly mention and link to related points between the questions.

I also started a topic about the just the colourscheme.

  • Thanks for starting the debate on this... As a general comment, I'd say I don't think we need much of a theme/background beyond a choice of nice colours and accents. Whatever few graphics would probably be directly derived/inspired/tied to the logo, so I don't think they should be developed separately... Colour-wise, my preference (and what I perceive to be a consensus) would go for classy, subdued and "zen". Meaning: lots of black and white, with some colour touches and perhaps some very light off-white pattern (e.g. japanese paper) for background. ELU seems a good model to me. – Dave Jun 28 '11 at 9:06
  • Shameless plug: meta.japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/519/… – Andrew Grimm Sep 30 '11 at 10:02

A selection of traditional Japanese writing paper, brushes, and calligraphy in different styles (making sure to include plenty of kana)

Vote up for yes we should

Vote down for no we should not

Comment for why you feel in favour or against.

  • I like this idea because it invokes both "language" and "Japanese culture," while many other suggestions only invoke culture. – Amanda S Jun 28 '11 at 6:19
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    The challenges will be 1) not to be confusable with Chinese 2) not be too obtrusive since both the background and the text on the page will involve Japanese script – hippietrail Jun 28 '11 at 6:31
  • I think that not looking like Chinese is going to be the biggest difficulty. – Mark Hosang Jun 28 '11 at 6:53
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    Hmn. Yes to writing paper (though a very subdued version of it, if used as a background) and brush strokes/calligraphy... Less sure about "plenty of kana" (or kanji or anything). I don't think we want to crowd the interface more than necessary, beside the masthead... – Dave Jun 28 '11 at 9:08
  • As you said: using random kana/kanji (in addition to be dangerously close to cheese) might become confusing when the content itself has kana/kanji. Better to stick with only relevant calligraphy... As for Chinese/Japanese confusion: i wouldn't be that concerned honestly. A proper Japanese design/mood generally looks nothing like its Chinese counterpart (whether colours, calligraphy or even characters). – Dave Jun 28 '11 at 9:10
  • I think it would obviously have to be as faint as subdued as the current beta graph paper background. Very faint but noticeable. – hippietrail Jun 28 '11 at 16:00
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    Since I like the beta background, I think we may use the kind of paper used for vertical writing at school (with the big blocks, one per character, if you see what I mean. I can't recall the name). – Axioplase Jun 29 '11 at 5:47

Let's get real Japanese (from the 80's)

  • Public bath (not onsen. Drawing is better than picture)
  • Children with the colourful hat worn during earthquakes
  • Mobile ramen-ya (those small caravans on the pavement that one sees during summer evenings, where salarymen go)
  • Doraemon
  • Watermelon breaking with a baseball bat

Vote up for yes, I like some of those ideas
Vote down for no, there's no way we do any of those
Comment for the one(s) you like.


I'm all for an anime school girl skipping while carrying a book saying japanese on it since everything in japan needs a mascot.

I'm all about not turning this into an otaku site, but an anime mascot of any kind would be distinctively japanese and actually vibe with what many japanese sites do as well. And we could do something with the mascot character to make it into more about the language.

We could make a character with 日本語 as it's body, or a dictionary or carrying a book are all possibilities.

Should we include an anime-style character/mascot as part of the logo?

Vote up for yes we should

Vote down for no we should not

Comment for why you feel in favor or against.

Edit: this may be better suited in the logo thread.

  • I think the "cute" look is as much a key part of contemporary Japanese culture as anything else and as a bonus doesn't exist to the same extent in Korea or China. Cute characters are everywhere including "keep out" and "no smoking" and "beware of bears" signs. I don't think an anime/manga character would make a good logo personally though. – hippietrail Jun 28 '11 at 7:04
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    For the same reason I'd be against using some typical Hokusai views (other than for really tiny icons or small pictograms, maybe), I don't think an anime-esque theme is desirable. Whatever one's taste regarding this particular aspect of Japanese culture it is rather polarising and its use would convey the wrong message to a lot of people regarding the scope of this site... – Dave Jun 28 '11 at 9:02
  • Why not a school boy? Or a hard-training wanabee-ninja? Na, I don't think there is need for a mascot, nor for anime design. I'd rather have a picture of an sony radio instead… – Axioplase Jun 29 '11 at 5:35

Should we include imagery of famous Japanese sights or art such as Mount Fuji, the Miyajima Torii, or a Hokusai painting such as The Great Wave off Kanagawa?

Vote up for yes we should

Vote down for no we should not

Comment for why you feel in favour or against.

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    While instantly recognizable trademarks of japan, i think we should try to go for something more original so that we don't get lost in the crowd of japanese language/sites. – Mark Hosang Jun 28 '11 at 4:46
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    @Mark: The trick will be to be both original and nicely associatable to Japan for both people very familiar and only slightly familiar with Japanese culture. – hippietrail Jun 28 '11 at 5:35
  • This is true Hippie, though I'm sure we can do it without using these famous sites. – Mark Hosang Jun 28 '11 at 6:52
  • Well, so much for the cliché. We can find something better, I'm sure. – Axioplase Jun 29 '11 at 5:36

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