I'd like to know why this question was closed as being nonconstructive:

Welcome to the community. This question is not a good fit to our Q&A format. We expect answers to generally involve facts, references, or specific expertise; this question will likely solicit opinion, debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. Please ask questions about specific issues you are having, even when asking for a review of a specific design, but not general idea-gathering or brainstorming.

– Philip Regan ♦ 2 hours ago

Although the question probably could have been worded slightly better, the majority of the answers were decidedly objective as opposed to just passing on random ideas. While the OP was asking for ideas to augment his logo, he/she did narrow the question to asking for symbols/strings that represent code (of which there are several widely-accepted examples, three of which were posted.)

Graphic design, being (to some extent) an art, as opposed to a science, is going to bring many borderline objective/subjective questions like this one. Is this going to be the standard for when a user asks a question about accepted visual representations of other ideas?

Also, I'd like to cite three other very similar questions that have not been closed.

  1. What icon can I use to represent 'concept'?
  2. How can I visually represent the concepts "invincible" or "winning without fighting"?
  3. How would you represent "religion" in an icon, neutrally?
  • I have re-opened the question, and please see my comments below. Thanks Jul 20, 2011 at 13:28

1 Answer 1


I am asking a more general question related to this elsewhere in meta, but I will restate some of my reasoning here:

We allow for design reviews of specific pieces and issues related to them, which is subjective, but I feel these recent questions are just too open-ended and are of little value to the community at large or over the long term. (Frankly, some of these questions seem like they are either homework or someone just wants their work done for them.)

There have been very open-ended design reviews we have closed, and several we have kept open, and I feel the same standards should apply to these idea-gathering questions as well. They are subjective, but they fall well outside the guidelines for subjective questions:

  • inspire answers that explain “why” and “how”.
  • tend to have long, not short, answers.
  • have a constructive, fair, and impartial tone.
  • invite sharing experiences over opinions.
  • insist that opinion be backed up with facts and references.
  • are more than just mindless social fun.

As for the ones you cited, I only stuck to those questions that have been asked recently, like in the past few days. But I do intend to maintain this policy because it speaks back to one of core goals of Stack Exchange of getting good answers to good questions. There is still so much more to Graphic Design than this site being inundated with "How do I..." and "I need an idea for...". There are other forums on the web that are better suited to that type of discussion rather than here.

  • well, there is one place we technically allow critiques: meta.writers.stackexchange.com/questions/181/… I am not sure if that applies here or not, but "a writing site has to allow talking about writing." Jul 20, 2011 at 10:33
  • also of note, oddly enough: meta.writers.stackexchange.com/questions/337/… Jul 20, 2011 at 10:34
  • 1
    Reviews and brainstorming should be allowed here, but only if they fall within the subjective questions guidelines. As I get deeper into moderating this site and as we get more questions from new users, I think this needs to be better applied. We have left both types of questions open in the past, if only because it is hard to discuss GD without reviewing work. The ones I recently closed were simply too open-ended to be of value to the community. I may have overshot my closings with the question raised here, so I will re-open it since, in retrospect, I think it would fall into a gray area. Jul 20, 2011 at 13:30
  • Case in point: graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/questions/2967/…. There is no way I can allow that question to remain open and keep GD.SE in line with SE's guiding philosophies. Jul 20, 2011 at 13:57
  • @Philip FWIW... I think you're totally on the right track. There have been great answers from A Gilbertson and R Attrill recently and I doubt these are the types that will get attracted by "do my job for me" questions. There have also been more low-end questions recently so stern application of the rod will probably be required...
    – Farray
    Jul 20, 2011 at 15:05

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