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Icons for Novacura

When developing a few icons for the same thing, there is a lot to think about. There may be different programs in a program suite, different functions within the same interface, or different parts of a company that should hold together visually. Here we look at how we created new icons for Novacura.


Novacura are experts in business systems and process improvement. Their business areas are mainly production, distribution and service/maintenance as well as finance.

They need­ed help to cre­ate mod­ern and appeal­ing icons for their var­i­ous appli­ca­tions, which will visu­al­ize and match the tech­no­log­i­cal­ly advanced solu­tions. In addi­tion to appli­ca­tion icons, a set of con­sis­tent icons were also need­ed to be used in their process tools Flow.

Novacu­ra also want­ed to be able to use the appli­ca­tion icons in oth­er con­texts such as print­ed mat­ter, back drops and films. There­fore, all graph­ics were made as vec­tor graph­ics in Adobe Illus­tra­tor, so that the final deliv­ery (in addi­tion to the icon files them­selves) was orig­i­nals that can be scaled up with­out any qual­i­ty loss.

Flow is a pro­gram for cre­at­ing process flows in a sim­ple and intu­itive way, in a view sim­i­lar to a draw­ing pro­gram. As an icon, we there­fore cre­at­ed a half-rolled draw­ing, with process arrows that are on their way out of the draw­ing.

The process­es you cre­ate in the appli­ca­tion will lat­er take place in real life for exam­ple order man­age­ment or pro­duc­tion. We also added a pen to get the feel­ing that the user is cre­at­ing some­thing of their own, and to get a bet­ter com­po­si­tion in the icon.

Texo is an inte­gra­tion plat­form, and is far more abstract to visu­al­ize. We sketched out dif­fer­ent ideas with arrows and flows that were merged, but it was dif­fi­cult to inter­pret the icons and they became too aca­d­e­m­ic. We chose instead to return the draw­ing idea from Flow, but with a gear that sym­bol­izes the auto­mat­ic process. It is clear that the appli­ca­tions belong to the same suite, but do com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent things.

In addi­tion to these, we also cre­at­ed an icon for mobile devices, which also had to be quite abstract as it should be able to cov­er a num­ber of pos­si­ble uses. As a sym­bol of sim­plic­i­ty and ease, we chose a feath­er. Light­ing and per­spec­tives were cho­sen accord­ing to the guide­lines of the Android inter­face as the pro­gram will main­ly be used on such devices. We also designed a gen­er­al web icon with the same process arrows around a globe, as well as a doc­u­ment symbol.

The icons were also sup­ple­ment­ed with scaled out­line vari­ants used in pho­tographs and oth­er graph­ics where you want to be more subtle.

New, uni­form, icons were also need­ed for use in Flow. To be able to scale the inter­face step­less­ly (to get a good overview) it was required that the icons were sim­ple and clear. We worked on giv­ing each icon a dis­tinct col­or and sil­hou­ette, so that it is easy to dis­tin­guish them from each oth­er even in very zoomed-out loca­tions where they are only a few pix­els large.

Dur­ing the fall of 2014, we pro­duced a num­ber of illus­tra­tions for use in pre­sen­ta­tions and mar­ket­ing. These sym­bol­ize Novac­u­ra’s var­i­ous focus seg­ments, as well as the peo­ple who work with­in them. The illus­tra­tions are adapt­ed for a par­tial­ly redesigned visu­al lan­guage with a flat­ter and more mod­ern feel. At the same time, we are updat­ing oth­er icons and illus­tra­tions accordingly.

Both we and the cus­tomer are very sat­is­fied with the work done, and we look for­ward to see­ing the icons imple­ment­ed in the sharp soft­ware in the future.