Today we launched a new vision for our "year on site" badges, including Newbie (the first badge you receive when you activate your account), years 1-8 of being on the site, and new badges for years 9-30. We've come a long way with the badges. The first set were added 11 years ago and had a cartoonish feel. After we announced Anime-Planet's new brand, we wanted to update all of the old badges to have an updated style. We spent some time re-skinning the initial set of badges first, and launched them in 2019 to mixed reviews, which were warranted. Though the old cartoonish style didn't match our current brand, the community was concerned that the new ones felt a bit too much like generic clip art and felt generic. We then tried again with a few of the badges, which many felt were better, but on the A-P team we felt like something was missing still. Now, we have a new illustrator on the team who's been helping with direction for our image and branding assets - they're also responsible for the recently announced new youkai mascots, for example. With them onboard, we went back to the drawing board to figure out how we wanted these to work. We knew we wanted the new badges to be closer to our brand - elegant, whimsical, japanese-patterns and themes, and papercraft style, so we eventually landed on a sakura tree that grows and changes over the year, starting with a sprout at the Newbie stage. Old versus new At first, we tried using a single tree image that grows and changes over the entire 20 years of the site, plus at least another 10 years for the site's continued existence. But we also knew that years 1-3 needed to be interesting on their own (not just green leaves) because many in the community have only been around for that period of time. And there's only so much variation you can do for 30 images in a row. So we finally decided that the tree would go through a 5 year "cycle", where it slowly blooms, then the fall/renewal stage, and then the tree returns slightly larger/more elaborate for the next cycle. Doing this allows us to continue growing the tree as Anime-Planet continues to grow older. The final badges are: Newbie Years 1-30 for being a member on A-P From left to right, top to bottom. Each row is a cycle of 5 years, starting with year 1 on the upper left. Years 9+ are brand new, so if you've been on the site longer than 9 years, log out of your account and then back in to receive the new badges. We hope you love these badges, and are now working on redesigning the other remaining badges. Creating brand new badges isn't on the short-term radar as we first need to finish all of the existing badges, and then fully recreate the code for how to add badges, so that we can add them more quickly and easily in the future. If you'd like to help with our ability to get the badge code and designs done faster, please consider becoming a Patron for Anime-Planet on Patreon.