I'm Jin, and I'll be working on the designs for the Stack Exchange sites as they graduate from the beta phase. Each site will have its own unique theme that will reflect its topic. However, all sites will share quite a bit of common elements so they feel like they're part of the Stack Exchange family.
Thanks for the brainstorming session you had a while back. It helped me a great deal.
As I said in the other thread:
To me, science fiction and fantasy novels rely on readers' own imaginations to fill in the gap when it comes to visuals. For that reason, I don't want to use graphics that are too explicit.
During my design process, I've looked at many science fiction and fantasy book cover designs. I want our site design to reflect both genres. At the same time, I don't want the design to be overly cliché. So no LCARS UI or dragons :)
For the sci-fi aspect, I believe a planet-scape imagery works well, and for the fantasy side a rune circle will provide a magical feel.
As with all the Stack Exchange site designs, my three goals are:
The Design should reflect the site topic, and is relatable by the target audience.
The Design shouldn't get in the way of content, it should serve as pleasant background noise.
The design should provide the SE community a unique branding.
Here are the mockups for the homepage and the single question view page. You can click on to view the full resolution versions. They do not have all the site elements, but they should give you a good idea of the overall look and feel.
The logo for the site is the rune circle around the female warrior's silhouette. It's not actually in the logo type "Science Fiction + Fantasy." I feel this placement sets the mood better in the header image. Its design is inspired by a promotional t-shirt I created for the NYC Comiccon couple of months ago:
I believe this design works well for our site. It makes this community stand out from the rest of the Sci-fi/Fantasy sites out there, but at the same time it still resembles the Stack Exchange branding.
Please let me know what you think. If there are no major design changes, I'm aiming to launch the new design next week. An early congrats from me!