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 I’m pretty sure we used to, but they’re more than likely woefully out of date.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 Dec 16 '19 at 4:01
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    @damadam - something like that yeah. I've added a placeholder image at 600x500 – Robotnik Dec 16 '19 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 Jan 13 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 Jan 13 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 Jan 13 at 23:47
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    @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. – Wrigglenite Jan 20 at 11:58
  • "Must be GIF or PNG; No animated GIFs" a slight contradiction, don't you think? – Corsaka Jan 20 at 12:20
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    @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 Jan 20 at 12:45

explore new worlds

Here is a more rounded and evenly scaled version.

enter image description here

  • I like this, but I think changing out the helmet for something more rounded like this or this. – Batophobia Jan 14 at 19:16
  • @Batophobia hmm, i could do that. was just thinking that the helmet would be more recognizable – Dragonrage Jan 14 at 19:43
  • can you scale up the helmet a bit? It's clearly smaller than all other icons – arghtype Jan 17 at 2:50
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    @arghtype I should be able to do that. I’ll try and remember to once I get off work today – Dragonrage Jan 17 at 9:14

enter image description here

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    Had Puzzling.SE in mind when making this. – Batophobia Jan 3 at 21:14
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    It might help to use a heavier font (in black), and a border around the arqade logo. – Ave Jan 6 at 9:36
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    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 Jan 8 at 8:45
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    @Ave is that better? – Batophobia Jan 8 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 Jan 9 at 9:18
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    @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 Jan 9 at 15:36
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    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 Jan 10 at 3:56


  • Was thinking Movies.SE while making this. Source file for those that want to make it better. – Batophobia Jan 13 at 16:30
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    What have you done – Wrigglenite Jan 13 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 Jan 14 at 18:50
  • @Dragonrage It's from the Super Mario Brothers movie. – Batophobia Jan 14 at 19:09
  • @Batophobia I’m aware, it’s still disturbing though :P – Dragonrage Jan 14 at 19:09

Snipe some rep!

  • 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 3 hours ago

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