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12:16 AM
@msh210 can you confirm/deny the comments on this question
5 hours later…
5:04 AM
@Jin @HodofHod @ShmuelBrin FWIW, I'm recommend avoiding both the hamsa and the Sefirot. The former is, as Hod indicated, controversial, and the latter is rather esoteric.
@IsaacMoses I was actually meaning to suggest that.
at least the sefirot part
@Jin ditto, with Jewish designs, including generated by Jews, in some cases. I really appreciate the care you're putting into this
Regarding Gematria, @Jin, it could be incorporated in some clever way, but most likely only if the numbers or letters to incorporate are generated by someone in the community. It would be very easy to try to do something with that and end up looking silly and inauthentic.
5:38 AM
@ShmuelBrin you have got to stop changing your gravatar! it's so confusing!
@HodofHod are you still up?
@Jin sure
what's up?
do you mind if i show you guys a logo concept?
based on what we talked about.
I guess I missed @IsaacMoses by a few mins
@HodofHod I know. I think of you as this green square.
@ShmuelBrin Can't we just go back to the old tom smith days?
@Jin Sure!
5:42 AM
@HodofHod ok great. so before I post the design, here's my very brief... design brief:
the logo should:
1) Should look distinctive "Jewish" via art style, colors and use of symbolism.
2) Should convey the questioning nature of the text "Who Knows?"
As I mentioned earlier in chat, I want to use Magen David, but not too explicitly. I feel it won't make our site brand stand out from the other Jewish related sites out there.
user image
^ click to see full res
the one in the middle is how I imagine it'd look on the site, with the colors and texture.
@Jin I see the star! it took me a minute
@DoubleAA yay!
A few things to point out just in case you miss it:

Logo is mostly a Tree of Life, with braches form the shape of the Star of David.
The center stem is the upper half of a question mark. The dot of the question mark becomes the "o" in yodeya.
The dot in the "i" of "mi" is a falling leaf, further ties the logo type and the logo mark.
@Jin I like it! This is just the concept?
@HodofHod well, I'm pretty happy with it. what i showed you above is already like the 4th logo, and its many-th iterations later..
ahh... you mentioned it was a concept, so...
5:49 AM
I had the tree is different shapes and art styles. But i'm happy with this one, it has that organic feel.
@HodofHod yeah my bad. I call all my designs "concepts"
until they're shipped, they're concepts :)
(it's also my way of covering my behind, in case it sucks badly, then I can just say "oh well, it was just a concept.")
@Jin Thank you for showing us! (so were you asking for specific design feedback, or was this just a general heads-up?)
@HodofHod I don't need detailed feedback. it's more of getting feedback of the initial impression from you guys. If it's mostly positive, I'll post it on Meta to get further feedback.
I'm sure I'll be tweaking some details.
I'm only posting here first, to get the initial round of feedback, just in case I was way off the mark with this design.
I'm also brainstorming on the overall site design at the same time. To me, the logo and the site design is one package. They need to complement each other, so none looks out of place.
Is the tree without the words going to be its own icon as well?
@DoubleAA no the logo includes the text.
but for square shaped icons, such as favicon, apple touch icon, it'd just be the tree.
@Jin So what will be instead of the blue speech bubble with a J?
5:55 AM
@Jin ok. I think it's gorgeous, I have one concern, though.
@DoubleAA It'd be a tiny tree.
I'm not sure if that's what you're looking for though.
oh, and @Jin, when you say that:
12 hours ago, by Jin
when the site launches, it will be Mi Yodeya
do you mean that the primary url will be mi.yodeya.com, or miyodeya.SE, or remain judaism.SE?
@HodofHod It means just the header title on the site will say "Mi Yodeya" instead of "Jewish Life and Learning"
@Jin but the url will still be judaism.SE, right?
as for the url re-directing I'm not certain yet. I need to ask the community team
I imagine it'd work like our Ask Different(Apple) site.
6:00 AM
@Jin ok.
@HodofHod also www.seasonedadvice.com goes to cooking.stackexchange.com.
thanks for the feedback on the logo!
@Jin thanks for making such a nice one!
I noticed there are 30 leaves...
@DoubleAA :)
6:04 AM
@DoubleAA you counted!!???
actually, the dot on the "i" is 31 :D
doh! i need to remove one..
but it'd be 29 when I don't use the text for apple-touch icon.. hmm
but that's a fallen leaf.. so it doesn't count? :)
@Jin Don't remove it yet. It may end up being better to add or subtract one or two if we can find a good symbolism/gematria.
@Jin wait, it's intentional?!
@HodofHod yes.
@Jin What did you have in mind for 30?
6:07 AM
i stumbled upon judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/1371/sheloshim-mi-yodeya while looking for "mi yodea" on our site
so i thought it'd be cool to have 30 leaves
i honestly don't know the importance of 30.
I thought that post was interesting.
@Jin Wait, isnt that another leaf on the center of the "?" ?
I detect a hint of red.....
it is. unless i miscounted...
lemme count..
@Jin Good thing you didn't find the post about 293!
i can't count tonight.. i've had too much coffee..
@Jin 32
if you count the "i"
6:09 AM
right. so i need to remove one from the main tree.
ok done. thx for the help.
@Jin that center leaf blends in with the branch. I couldn't tell it was a leaf till I zoomed in to the actual pixels and saw the red.
@HodofHod Me too.
removed a leaf, and made the center leaf bigger.
@Jin nice!
so there should be 30 leaves on the tree, not including the "i" leaf
there's @IsaacMoses
6:19 AM
@Jin Hi!
It's beautiful!
Don't you think the featureless circle for the 'o' clashes with the seriphed font?
@IsaacMoses great to hear!
FWIW, the numeric value of "mi" is 50.
@IsaacMoses that's actually the outline of the serif O, in the typeface I used(Caslon)
Any chance of making some of the leaves into the Hebrew letters of "mi yodeya" (there are six, including one repeat)?
oops. i used the wrong one on the bottom. hold on
6:23 AM
Maybe blend it in a bit more by linking to the tails of the 'y's and shading them toward brown?
@IsaacMoses I don't quite follow.
i played with the dot quite a bit. any more styling I did to "y deya" made the question mark not obvious in the logo
e.g. making "yodeya" the same color
also, having the dot in its unique color, and solid filling makes people look at the logo more imo.
then they discover more deeper meanings in the logo
@Jin Good point (hah! no pun intended!)
(I'm just a little obsessed with the tails of the 'y's for some reason)
I've always been a fan of logos that have hidden meanings in them.
מי יודע
@Jin Right. Those
hmm i wonder how they'd work as leaves, since their shapes aren't leafy like at all
also, at a small size, they're not recognizable I'm afraid.
6:32 AM
@Jin Try different Hebrew typefaces. That little letter looks like a leaf in some of them, and the last (rightmost) letter can look like a branch with two leaves
@Jin (FTR, Hebrew letters as leaves have been done lots before, including in the aforementioned memorial plaques)
@IsaacMoses i've seen some during my research, I like them a lot.
Here's a typical memorial one (not with letter-leaves): allfaithscemetery.org/all-faiths-cemetery-tree-of-life.htm
^ just to be sure, about the letters
@Jin Yes.
I can definitely see the first and the last one being leaves
I'm not sure how I'd do the other 3
also keep in mind, the logo on the site won't be too big, so many intricate details such as letter leaves will be lost
6:39 AM
@Jin What about in the branch structure?
@Jin Allow me to point out that there is a different script/handwritting way of writing modern hebrew which might be more art-able.
@Jin, The reason I'm pushing getting Hebrew letters in somehow is that getting any of them in would make the logo jump out as Jewish to anyone familiar with that alphabet.
@IsaacMoses That was my concern. Especially since the Star of David is very subtle (which I think is good).
@HodofHod Well, you do want it to look Jewish, don't you?
6:44 AM
@DoubleAA which font is that?
@Jin Looks like an mspaint special to me
even with the one you posted, the straight line letters will be difficult to make to letters?
@IsaacMoses Absolutely, but I agreed with Jin and others on meta that the Star is a bit overly used.
i plan to use the Star for favorite star on question page
i think someone suggested that on meta
@HodofHod as did I. I think it's hard to overuse Hebrew letters, though
6:45 AM
@Jin not really. in traditional writing (i.e. in Torah scrolls) the small line letter ("yud") actually looks quite a bit like a leaf.
I'm definitely open to the idea of using letters
@Jin I just searched google for free hebrew fonts. This one is called Motek (it means "cutie") and can be downloaded here oketz.com/fonts/motek.html (third to last link from the bottom)
@DoubleAA ok thanks. I'll play with it some.
@Jin me!
@IsaacMoses agreed
I'll present another version with the Hebrew letters. I may take me some time.
I'll be out of town this week. (starting Tuesday). Going to NYC for the annual company meeting.
6:47 AM
@DoubleAA From the same site, [this one] provides more organic features
FWIW I don't really think they need to be leaves but can maybe just be written there curving over the top of the question mark in the same dark brown. Just an idea.
@DoubleAA Or as large letters in the background, watermark-style
@IsaacMoses Also a possiblity
@Jin Ooh. Get Joel to take a look at your concepts
@IsaacMoses I will! I emailed the logo to all my Jewish friends. (all 3 of them!)
6:49 AM
@Jin, this is the traditional form of the hebrew letters (as used in Torah scrolls). the small line letter ("yud") is the 2nd line, 2nd from right
close friends that is. but maybe I need to email more. There are several Jewish at SE Inc.
@HodofHod that looks better to me, as far as looking more 'Serify" seems to go well with Caslon. Again, I don't know anything about Hebrew calligraphy.
@Jin Some ethnic Jews are more familiar with their heritage than others. Joel is definitely more than sufficiently familiar for this exercise.
Here's all the relevant letters circled.
@DoubleAA which font is that?
@DoubleAA What no freehand?
6:52 AM
@DoubleAA Well done. @Jin, you can take or leave the little hairs at the top
@Jin This is the traditional way the script is written in torah scrolls. It's more of a calligraphy.
@DoubleAA ok. I can just reproduce the same vector shape in Illustrator
I'm sure there are fonts out there that replicate it.
Oh, and back to auspicious numbers, the following are more so, traditionally, than 30: 26, 36, 18
@Jin You can morph and change the letters quite a bit. You keep the general forms, they'll be recognizable. If you're interested, just look through a couple different fonts, they'll give you an idea of what can be accentuated, etc.. and as always, we're always happy to help!
6:54 AM
@HodofHod I'll most definitely ask you for help :)
with other designs I've done, I went with my instinct, but not with this one :)
@Jin To whatever degree your instinct informed what you've shown us so far, it's helping!
oh btw, feedback from a Jewish friend of mine:
"I think adding מי יודע (mi yode'a) in Hebrew to the logo might have a good effect on people. You might want to consider Rashi Script, both because it's more stylized and because some (very religious) people might think Hebrew is overstepping it (with the whole it being the language of the bible and so on)."
so he had the same idea as you guys.
i think?
As far as Rashi Script goes, for the 5 letters we are dealing with, there aren't really big differences.
Especially if we are going to be playing with the shapes a little anyway
@DoubleAA Yup. I don't think anyone would mind using Hebrew letters, from a religious point of view. It's not like you're incorporating anything even hinting at a name of God, or even a bible verse
@Jin absolutely! Rashi script is also a good idea because it's used almost exclusively for learning and texts. So mix that with the Tree of Life, and you've got "Life" and "learning"
6:58 AM
so for the letter leaf arrangement, do I need to spell out mi yodeya? or can the letters be randomly placed for aesthetic purpose only?
@HodofHod Well said!
@Jin Either. The latter would be more obscurified, of course.
... for better and for worse
OK guys, I could probably do this all night, fueled by my excitement over this, but I've gotta sleep.
Is the yellow-red-brown color scheme going to set the tone for the rest of the layout?
@IsaacMoses A wise suggestion.
@DoubleAA I'm not set on colors, however I picture the overall site design to be a warm earth toned scheme.
Thanks again, @Jin. TTYL.
so for the logo, I feel like the color I picked would blend in well. Also from looking at a lot of Jewish arts, it seems to be a popular one.
7:01 AM
13 hours ago, by Jin
From researching for Jewish arts, both traditional and modern, there's a strong earth tone color scheme to most of the Jewish arts i've seen. orange, gold, yellow, brown etc
@IsaacMoses thanks for the feedback. gn
@IsaacMoses good night!
i picked these specific colors because I remember them from looking at a friend of mine's ketubah. I really liked that combination.
@Jin Well they look pretty good right now too.
I think I'm going to follow Isaac's lead.
oh something unrelated, i found this during my research
7:04 AM
As msh210 would say, have a good timezone everyone!
user image
i plan to use parchment paper texture for the site, as hinted in the logo mockup
A: Design for Judaism.SE

Monica CellioHere's an idea that combines "parchment/books", "living (not just study)", and "mi yodea": something that evokes the feel of a Pesach haggadah, complete with the occasional food/wine splotches.

Do you think using a wine stain would be a good idea as Monica suggested? Is that something most Jewish would "get?"
@Jin In my personal opinion (and this really might only be me) the wine is a little too Passover-y. I feel like there should be discolorations and age in the texture, but the red/purple of a wine stain might be too much, I think.
@HodofHod If I use it, it wouldn't be used too abstrusely. For example, I was thinking about putting it in the footer.
7:18 AM
Hmmm, again, I feel like this might be just me being too picky, so feel free to disagree, but I feel that the wine is something exclusive to a Passover Haggadah. You would never find wine stains on an old Psalms, for example. Tear stains, certainly. Even blood, in some extreme cases. But not wine.

Perhaps you should ask what the rest of the community thinks about it whenever you end up doing that meta post.
@HodofHod sure. will do. As for posting the design on meta, it will be sometimes in the week of the 23rd after I get back.
Also, now would be a good time to brainstorm how to promote the site's graduation
@Jin True! I'm gonna start thinking on that, and I'll bring it up here tomorrow.
11 hours later…
6:16 PM
My Mom sent me this. Watch his expressions!
@NeilFein heyhey
@jin Hey, what's up?
i posted the logo design here lastnight
you can scroll up for the conversation, or see i.sstatic.net/mEobX.jpg
this? Very nice!
Whoops, posted that before you posted the link.
I didn't know Mi Yodeya would be the name.
it will be :)
6:21 PM
I really, really like it.
thank you. i posted my design brief lastnight.
Hey, my copy of Illustrator finally arrived.
Nice program, but a pain to learn.
@NeilFein are you familiar with photoshop?
Does that mean the rest of the design is on meta? Going now to look.
6:22 PM
No, haven't used PS in years.
i haven't posted anything on Meta, not even the logo
i only posted here lastnight for the regular chatters to take a look, for a super "alpha" screening. I'm glad it was well received. I'll be doing some more tweaking to it.
Using the videos at Lynda.com to learn the program. I still think it's needlessly complex, but at least now I know enough to look stuff up in a book. (I'm better with books than training videos.)
@NeilFein same here. there's a book I highly recommend
It looks pretty neat. I got the Visual Quickstart book for now, but I'm eying that one as well.
probably the best book on Ai. vector.tutsplus.com a great good resource too, probably the best online one
6:31 PM
I hear Photoshop CS6 is out in beta. I'm guessing Illustrator CS6 will follow soon.
Although I'll likely stick with CS5 until I've learned it well.
once you get to know the pen tool, it becomes very easy
well, not super easy, but manageable.
if you have any questions about it, let me know. or you can ask on graphicsdesign.se
I've been using the pen tool for twenty years, so doing the actual drawing isn't a problem. I've mostly used Freehand, though; I switched from Illustrator to Freehand in the early nineties. It's all i what one is accustomed to, I'm sure, but I find Illustrator's interface confusing and complicated.
That site looks pretty cool, thanks! Have bookmarked it.
Gotta go, later!
3 hours later…
9:19 PM
anyone here?
regarding this question here:
Q: When did some Ashkenazi customs regarding baking matza start?

Eli LanseyHistorically, when did the Ashkenazi customs to not bake matza on Pesach, and to bake matza on erev Pesach afternoon start?

should i delete it and ask two in its place?

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