Competition closed!

Winners announced here

Something that I brought up on the community check in post was reaching out to Stack Exchange sites that share similar ball-parks to us, and doing some promotion to increase cross-site involvement. To get the ball rolling on that, why don’t we design some community ads!

Community Promotion Ads are community-vetted advertisements that will show up on the main site, in the right sidebar. They are updated yearly, you can check out the ads that are running on Arqade (and have run in previous years) by viewing the questions tagged with the tag.

So where are Arqade’s community ads on other sites?

Well, we don’t have any... I’m pretty sure we used to, but they’re more than likely woefully out of date. And with 2020 starting a fresh new decade, it’s high time to see some new designs!

What are the rules?

Design an ad that promotes Arqade to other Stack Exchange communities, and post it as an answer here. It can either be completely generic, or specifically targeted to one or multiple communities. (I’ve linked some examples below showcasing both).

Here are the image requirements, taken from the 2019 Community Promotion Ads post:

  • The image that you create must be 300 x 250 pixels, or double that if high DPI.
  • Must be hosted through our standard image uploader (imgur)
  • Must be GIF or PNG
  • No animated GIFs
  • Absolute limit on file size of 150 KB
  • If the background of the image is white or partially white, there must be a 1px border (2px if high DPI) surrounding it.

Here's an image placeholder at the 600x500 pixel size

Which sites should we target?

Any site that may fit into the broad buckets of computing, gaming, media, entertainment or lifestyle would be the best bet, but if you have a cool idea, any site is on the table!

How long will the contest run?

To give everyone a fair chance to enter, especially considering the holiday season, the contest will run from 16th Dec, 2019 to 31st Jan, 2020. We will then have a one-week grace period to allow late entries to accrue votes.


‘Tis the season, so I’m willing to front up 800 reputation points in bounties*: 500 for the highest voted design, 200 and 100 for second and third place respectively. Similar to the screenshot competitions - only upvotes will be counted. (In the case of ties I’ll try and split the rewards evenly).

Even if you don’t win - your design may end up being used to promote Arqade, which is still pretty cool.

Looking for inspiration?

* Given the limitations surrounding rep transfer, bounties will be raised as ‘Reward Existing Answer’ on your highest-voted answer on the main site, and awarded once the 24 hour bounty lock expires.

  • If you notice any other cool community ads around the network, feel free to link them in the comments (or edit the post if you have the privileges)
    – Robotnik Mod
    Commented Dec 16, 2019 at 4:01
  • Something from this type of format?
    – damadam
    Commented Dec 16, 2019 at 9:02
  • 1
    @damadam - something like that yeah. I've added a placeholder image at 600x500
    – Robotnik Mod
    Commented Dec 16, 2019 at 23:50
  • I've extended the time an extra two weeks to give everyone a fair chance to enter given the holiday season.
    – Robotnik Mod
    Commented Jan 13, 2020 at 6:02
  • What's the policy regarding the use of footage from games, films, and the like? If these ads are used exclusively on the Stack Exchange network, are copyright issues a problem, or is this considered fair use?
    – Joachim
    Commented Jan 13, 2020 at 12:02
  • @Joachim - Hmm, good questions. I am not a lawyer, - I think it would be best if ads avoid using copyrighted material (screenshots) so we don't have to answer that question when lawyers come knocking. Quotes should be ok though.
    – Robotnik Mod
    Commented Jan 13, 2020 at 23:47
  • 1
    @Joachim Well, we have this ad on our network right now. It's been there for a while, so I assume it's fine...? But I don't have the slightest clue. Commented Jan 20, 2020 at 11:58
  • "Must be GIF or PNG; No animated GIFs" a slight contradiction, don't you think?
    – Corsaka
    Commented Jan 20, 2020 at 12:20
  • 1
    @Corsaka All that means is if someone prefers working in the GIF format it is allowed, but must make a non-animated GIF (or a 1-frame gif). Not as uncommon as you might think, although PNG has definitely taken over in terms of the de facto web standard.
    – Robotnik Mod
    Commented Jan 20, 2020 at 12:45

6 Answers 6


explore new worlds

Here is a more rounded, evenly scaled, png version.

enter image description here

  • I like this, but I think changing out the helmet for something more rounded like this or this.
    – Batophobia
    Commented Jan 14, 2020 at 19:16
  • @Batophobia hmm, i could do that. was just thinking that the helmet would be more recognizable
    – Dragonrage Mod
    Commented Jan 14, 2020 at 19:43
  • 2
    @arghtype I should be able to do that. I’ll try and remember to once I get off work today
    – Dragonrage Mod
    Commented Jan 17, 2020 at 9:14
  • 3
    I like the second one a lot better Commented Feb 1, 2020 at 9:16
  • @Chaosblessed I have posted it on other SE sites’ community promotion ad posts. However the post on our site is for things that will be shone on our site, so it doesn’t really make sense to have ads for our site on our site.
    – Dragonrage Mod
    Commented Mar 21, 2020 at 20:06
  • @Dragonrage oh duh 🤦‍♀️ Commented Mar 22, 2020 at 4:02

enter image description here

  • 5
    Had Puzzling.SE in mind when making this.
    – Batophobia
    Commented Jan 3, 2020 at 21:14
  • 6
    It might help to use a heavier font (in black), and a border around the arqade logo.
    – ave
    Commented Jan 6, 2020 at 9:36
  • 1
    While the size for high DPI (i.e. Retina display) is 600x500, consider to also take care for the normal display on 300x250. I'm kind of worried if the white text is not so readable on 300x250.
    – antimo
    Commented Jan 8, 2020 at 8:45
  • 1
    @Ave is that better?
    – Batophobia
    Commented Jan 8, 2020 at 21:56
  • @Batophobia looks good, though could be a little better with larger text and smaller imagery (perhaps also drop "Weighted Companion Cube"?). I'd love to experiment with it if you're willing to share the source file.
    – ave
    Commented Jan 9, 2020 at 9:18
  • 4
    @Ave be my guest. I contemplated just changing the quote to "Arqade reminds you that it will never threaten to stab you", which might look better.
    – Batophobia
    Commented Jan 9, 2020 at 15:36
  • 5
    This is pretty cool. Now I wanna make one with Cave Johnson quotes. "We're not banging rocks together here, we know how to make a quantum space-hole!"
    – Robotnik Mod
    Commented Jan 10, 2020 at 3:56


  • Was thinking Movies.SE while making this. Source file for those that want to make it better.
    – Batophobia
    Commented Jan 13, 2020 at 16:30
  • 13
    What have you done Commented Jan 13, 2020 at 17:54
  • It is a great ad, but I am disturbed by the picture on the right. Is that a valid reason to downvote?
    – Dragonrage Mod
    Commented Jan 14, 2020 at 18:50
  • @Dragonrage It's from the Super Mario Brothers movie.
    – Batophobia
    Commented Jan 14, 2020 at 19:09
  • @Batophobia I’m aware, it’s still disturbing though :P
    – Dragonrage Mod
    Commented Jan 14, 2020 at 19:09

Some late entries:

  • A 'standard' ad, in white and black:

    enter image description here enter image description here
    (The explosion graphic can be worked into the black version, as well)

  • For Movies.SE:

    enter image description here enter image description here
    (Not sure if these are recognizable. I have a version where Bill Murray's face is more pronounced.)

  • For StackOverflow:

    enter image description here enter image description here
    (I know, humour is not my strong suit.)

  • 1
    Nice work! The Stack Overflow ones would also fit on Game Dev I think :)
    – Robotnik Mod
    Commented Jan 28, 2020 at 23:30
  • Why is the first Movies.SE footer different from the others?
    – Batophobia
    Commented Jan 29, 2020 at 16:47
  • 1
    the one with eyes is a bit disturbing
    – arghtype
    Commented Jan 29, 2020 at 18:23
  • @Batophobia Older design. I updated it.
    – Joachim
    Commented Jan 30, 2020 at 1:00

Snipe some rep!

  • 3
    Hi GnomeSlice, I like this design, but it might help to have Arqade's logo or name (or both!) somewhere on the image, as it's not immediately clear where clicking this ad will lead.
    – Robotnik Mod
    Commented Jan 28, 2020 at 3:59
  • Bottom-left looks like a good place, but I'm no design expert.
    – wizzwizz4
    Commented Feb 5, 2020 at 8:27

Competition closed!

Please join me in thanking everyone that took the time to design and submit a community ad for Arqade, it's very much appreciated. When the community ad posts roll around for 2020, your designs will be used to help promote Arqade and it's wonderful community! Thanks again!

Now, on to the winners of the competition! As stated in the announcement post - we will only be counting upvotes, so here we go!

  • 1st Place with 24 upvotes, congratulations to Dragonrage! - A space-themed advertisement featuring popular videogaming logos and symbols, with Arqade's little fighter ship taking prominent place. Well done! You've earned 500 reputation points!
  • 2nd Place with 22 upvotes, congratulations to Batophobia! - Your portal-themed advertisement has earned you the second place medal! I wouldn't eat it though, the lab boys insist I tell you it's made up of ground up moon rocks. Pure poison! You've earned 200 reputation points.
  • 3rd Place with 18 upvotes, congratulations to Joachim! - Your advertisements with multiple designs targeting different SE communities are interesting, cool, fun and a little freaky! Well done! You take home 100 reputation points.

Thanks once again for everyone that participated! Be sure to keep an eye out for future competitions!

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