This one is pretty straightforward. Solicit contributions, throw out ideas, post preliminary (or finished) designs, and be supportive and respectful of other people’s ideas and creativity.

We have designers on staff who will actively help come up with site designs but, if an idea stemming from the community stands out as exceptional, we are happy to use it.

5 Answers 5


Site design, like all graphic design, is the use of elements to convey meaning. Every element tells the visitor something.

ELL needs something more in line with learning and teaching English. The first images which come to mind are the blackboard, the A B C, the apple for the teacher. All things which identify the site as focused on students and welcoming the special problems of English instruction.

I would avoid the ELU ampersand. The ampersand says "literary". It's good for ELU, but not for ELL.

  • 2
    I like the Blackboard idea, and don't have a problem with the ABC – although I fear that might convey something too elementary, as if the site's primary audience is grade school children. (Maybe something like a diagrammed sentence instead?). I'm not so fond of the apple idea – just my opinion, but I find that to be a trite image; also, I wonder how much the ties between apples and education are globally recognized. Still, I've upvoted this answer, because I think there's much good fodder here for a graphic designer to consider.
    – J.R. Mod
    Commented Jan 27, 2013 at 10:03

I won't complain if we go with an ampersand (much like ELU), but, if we want to do something entirely different, I'll offer this idea for a site logo:

proposed ELL logo

It's meant to suggest that learning English can be a puzzle at times, and that we're all continuing to learn as we go.

Here's what it might look like as a 100x100 pixel image, in case you're wondering:

proposed ELL logo - small

No offense taken if you don't like the image. We're all just brainstorming at this point; maybe my idea can at least spark someone else to design something even better.

Obviously, this entire puzzle would be illegible at 16x16, but that wouldn't preclude a condensed version from being used:


  • I think this is great, you could also do the crossword with one missing letter. Commented Jan 26, 2013 at 22:52
  • This would be unrecognizable at 16x16 pixels.
    – ctype.h
    Commented Jan 26, 2013 at 23:16
  • @ctype.h: Correct you are. See my edit.
    – J.R. Mod
    Commented Jan 26, 2013 at 23:32
  • We need a subtle error in that.
    – fuxia
    Commented Jan 28, 2013 at 6:40
  • Scrabble Style :D
    – dwarandae
    Commented Jan 30, 2013 at 19:51

I think the ampersand makes an excellent logo. To help distinguish it from the EL&U logo, I think we should use a serif ampersand instead of the calligraphic one from EL&U. What does everyone else think about this?


I like the design on EL&U, but there is too much red; I would prefer blue or green. Additionally, I think a serif font should be used for text, as I think it would improve readability.

  • 1
    I wouldn't use Times, though, as that restricts the main site font to Times. Use something which is serif but distinctly different, like Belwe Bold Commented Jan 26, 2013 at 22:20
  • 2
    A simpler ampersand for simpler English.
    – Hugo
    Commented Jan 27, 2013 at 7:44
  • 3
    -1 "&" doesn't appear in our (current) name, and it implies a 'little sister' relationship to EL&U that I think we should be careful to avoid. Commented Jan 27, 2013 at 16:58
  • @StoneyB Why does the logo have to contain part of the site's name?
    – ctype.h
    Commented Jan 28, 2013 at 1:38
  • @ctype.h Well, it should have some sort of relevance to the name or the purpose. Commented Jan 28, 2013 at 2:09
  • 1
    @StoneyB I think the ampersand is relevant because it is still used frequently, even though it is no longer part of the alphabet.
    – ctype.h
    Commented Jan 28, 2013 at 2:26

Here is another idea, which is still somewhat typographic, but does not contain an ampersand, and is more closely related to the name of the site:


Here is the 16x16 pixel version:


  • 2
    This looks pretty cool; I'd like to see the second L bumped down just a little bit, so that the rectangularish shape formed between the E and the middle L mirrors the one formed between the two L's.
    – J.R. Mod
    Commented Jan 28, 2013 at 12:20
  • @J.R. That is a good idea. See my edit.
    – ctype.h
    Commented Jan 28, 2013 at 18:56

I would like the main site's coloration to have more contrast. In particular, the color difference between regular text and a

block quote

is negligible, and the formatting barely does anything to make it stand out either. As a whole, the site tends to look kind of "washed out".

  • 8
    Part of that might be because the Beta sites all have the same style until they graduate.
    – user65
    Commented Jan 26, 2013 at 18:14

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