Update: Revisions at the bottom of this post

I'm Paul, a designer here at Stack Overflow and the designer working on the upcoming Sound Design site theme for you. I first want to thank you for your patience as I got pulled onto other projects after my initial post. I reviewed your responses to that post - and below you'll find the site design I came up with, based on your ideas and input.

Your site design

From the answers and comments on the original post, I understood that you wanted a simple and modern design and somewhat serious - at least something that reflected sound design as a profession, more than just sound listening. I therefore focused on a few elements from pro audio apps and I hope you'll see that reflected in the design.

Our SE themes are fairly simple (a logo, one color and a background image) so there is only so much we can do, but I believe I was able to at least hint toward this in an abstract way.

Color scheme

For the color scheme, I wanted to attempt to recreate the feeling being inside of a piece of audio creation software. I chose to set the background color to a shade of dark grey in order to feel like most of the pro audio software. Then, I set the text to a dark grey as well - as using color for text just didn't feel right when I looked at Logic Pro X, Ableton Live, Pro Tools, Sonar, etc. Then, the logo uses colors that are often used in sound editing software - greens, yellows, reds. Color in this way is saved for 'meaning'.


I found a logo that I believe is a balance between visually interesting, simple and professional. I tried several logo ideas but many were too busy, too gimmicky or ended up only feeling like listening. This logo reminded me of some of the images you sent me in that initial post.

Proposed Sound Design SE community logo

I was able to find, purchase and then tweak and integrate this icon from the lovely Noun Project into your logo. I then used Noto Sans, an open source typeface. Any of the audio software I've seen uses sans-serif typefaces. And the Noto typeface is a very interesting project where they are attempting to be able to render most of the languages of Earth with this typeface. Felt like a cool way to represent the diversity of people working in the audio field.

Page design

Putting all of these together, we get something like this:

Proposed Sound Design SE community design

And following our tradition of setting Meta in a similar design, but greyscale, we get:

Proposed Sound Design SE Community design

I also wanted to give you an easter egg, because you were so patient with me. Most sound design software seems almost set to permanent "dark mode" in that there is very little use of white for background colors. We don't officially support dark mode on SE sites as there are still some accessibility and other issues to iron out, but I went ahead and did a dark mode version of your theme:

Proposed Sound Design SE Community design in dark mode

If you add the theme-dark class to the body HTML, you will see this. I believe there are some browser extensions out there that might help with this.

You'll also notice a small hint toward an audio wave in the background as a small piece of visual interest.

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.

Update: Updated capitalization in the logo and did a badge design based on feedback.

Sound Design theme, showing badges Sound Design theme, showing all badges

  • Hi Paul, thank you so much - that looks lovely. I'm guessing from your comment that we don't get to customise things like up/down arrows or badge icons (see music.se for lovely badge icons in the top bar!) but even just with the 3 customisations, it makes me happy.
    – Rory Alsop Mod
    Commented Oct 14, 2022 at 22:57
  • 1
    @RoryAlsop The customized arrows were retired with the design updates in 2018, so no sites have them. The badges and error pages are optional and up to the designer to decide whether to customize. I'd say the new batch of designs are about 50/50 customizing these elements.
    – Catija
    Commented Oct 14, 2022 at 23:17
  • 1
    @RoryAlsop Thank you! I'll look into the badge icons since it seems like a popular request Commented Oct 17, 2022 at 15:00
  • 3
    @RoryAlsop I updated the post with new badges Commented Oct 17, 2022 at 15:59
  • Lovely badges! thank you so much
    – Rory Alsop Mod
    Commented Oct 17, 2022 at 21:36
  • 1
    Yeah! fantastic! Thank you.
    – n00dles Mod
    Commented Oct 18, 2022 at 18:02
  • 1
    Yeah, I think the capital D looks better too, imo. Happy to hear other views, though. :)
    – n00dles Mod
    Commented Oct 18, 2022 at 18:10
  • 1
    I like it. I was happy with the lower case d but I'm equally happy with the new upper. Badge icons are good. Does someone need to put an answer in below so we can visualise the level of acceptance in the voting?
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Oct 19, 2022 at 7:04
  • 3
    Thanks everyone. Sounds like I can start to move into the development of this theme. Commented Oct 19, 2022 at 15:03
  • +1 for the capitalization in the logo - much better. Is there any way we can highlight site rules and conventions in the theme for new users? this might be a good opportunity to address usability issues in this area and hopefully stem the tide of off-topic and manufacturer questions?
    – Mark
    Commented Oct 20, 2022 at 7:32
  • 1
    @Mark I can't think of a way we can do that with a simple theme. Maybe we can work on that in other ways in the future.
    – n00dles Mod
    Commented Oct 20, 2022 at 14:41
  • 1
    @n00dles: There are ways the Ask Question page can be customized to help educate and guide new users, which may help with that. See this Meta Stack Exchange post: What site-specific changes can be made to the Ask Question page to help askers on that site write better questions?
    – V2Blast
    Commented Oct 20, 2022 at 15:41
  • 1
    @V2Blast Thanks man, that looks like a good place to start.
    – n00dles Mod
    Commented Oct 20, 2022 at 19:10
  • 1
    Looks awesome! thanks @n00dles for the heads up :)
    – frcake
    Commented Oct 21, 2022 at 10:04
  • @frcake no problem buddy!
    – n00dles Mod
    Commented Oct 21, 2022 at 13:34

1 Answer 1


I love the colours! ((Almost matches my wrist-candy!)) Dark mode was more the full theme I was hoping for, so thanks for doing that. (- if it was up to me, I'd lower or remove the brown in the overflow blog, though).

I do have a question - why is the "d" in design not capitalised? Shouldn't it be capitalised? Is it a style-thing?

Also, if it wouldn't take long, could we have some custom badges like Rory said? Sounds cool. Not fussed on the error page. Thank you!

If you do have the time for the custom badges, I'd like to suggest some simple design ideas...
(click image for site)
simple pot design 1

(From left to right; Bronze, Silver, Gold (coloured like the last ones, and obviously thicker))
Simple pot badge design 1
Simple pot badge design 2
Simple pot badge design 2 coloured

Example badges on Music.SE
musical notation badges from music.se

Thank you!

  • 2
    I can't customize the blog callout, sorry but I will capitalize the D on design if you prefer and I'll look into the badges. Thanks for the design suggestions for them Commented Oct 17, 2022 at 15:01
  • 1
    Updated with badges based on the design you suggested and Design capitalized. Can you let me know what you think? Commented Oct 17, 2022 at 16:00
  • 2
    Great concept for the badges! :D I like!
    – Catija
    Commented Oct 17, 2022 at 19:46
  • 5
    Does this badge goes to 11 ?
    – audionuma
    Commented Oct 19, 2022 at 5:37
  • 3
    @audionuma haha Of course they do! I actually thought about putting an 11 to show people it goes 1 louder than normal knobs ;)
    – n00dles Mod
    Commented Oct 19, 2022 at 10:25

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