Orbium

Brief

Orbium hired Antistatique to create a whole set of icons when it was carrying out a major update of its software. We designed, developed and delivered over 100 tailor-made icons that correspond to Orbium’s identity and can be integrated into their software development cycle.

Study and inventory

When launching a project of this type, we have to go through several steps to determine the scope and final form of the icon collection. We first had to do a preliminary study and thorough inventory of the existing icons.

The preliminary study gave us the chance to get to know our clients, their software, and the technology that they use. We could therefore identify the needs of the team and users. This phase also allowed us to scope out the competition and related services. Based on our study, we were able to decide on a general design approach and style, and set a rhythm for the following steps.

In parallel, we also drew up an inventory, which is an exhaustive list of all the existing icons. We took advantage of this exercise to question the use of each icon and discuss what it represented. A major software update is a good opportunity to tidy things up. We wanted to make sure clients were aware of the changes that were being made, including new functions and improved performance. We wanted to simplify, renew, update and consolidate elements that had been accumulated during minor updates.

After these first two steps had been carried out, we began searching for the right graphics.

Year:
2014
Client:
Orbium
Skills: Design

Design principles

We weren’t simply working with a geometric grid. We also had to think about a color palette and variations of certain icons. The collection of icons had to fall into a graphic system that could be used again if the collection were to be extended or modified.

We started with a shortlist of about 5 icons. These initial key icons were very different in meaning and form, and set the tone for the rest of the collection. Sometimes we compared and discussed up to 15 versions of an icon before choosing the one that best corresponded to our objectives.

We fine tuned this phase using a construction grid and “crash tested“ the first lot of icons. They had to be flexible so that other icons could be produced from them. They also had to match the purposes that we had identified.

During that period, we also defined the color palette.The shades had to correspond to the Orbium brand and general interface. They had to be varied and lasting.

Color palette and shades:

This exercise allowed us to create the entire collection on a solid, common base. There is therefore a visual coherence between all the different elements, which are often separated on the interface.

A few details

We’ll spare you all our discussions on the meaning and significance of a particular icon and all the different versions of a certain symbol. These details belong to Orbium and its software.

Nevertheless, here is some of our research into the "User" icon:

Throughout the project, we had many discussions that helped us gain momentum as the weeks progressed. The solid base we had built ensured that the rest of the collection would be developed smoothly.

Here’s a sample of the collection (on 32 x 32 pixel grid):

Conclusion

The Orbium project made us feel as though we were creating limited-edition sleeve buttons for a tailor-made suit. After all, it’s the details that make the outfit. We had to maintain a consistent visual identity for over 100 different icons. We tried to keep the forms and metaphors simple. That proved to be a bit of a challenge when dealing with abstract actions. We’re depending on users of the software to let us know if further improvements can be made!

We asked Antistatique to help us develop icons for our software. For this complicated projected, Antistatique needed to understand our field of work (Banking and IT Consulting) and use our core software, which had not yet been finalized, as its base. Despite these challenges, the Antistatique team proved to be both professional and creative. They met all our needs and complied with our specifications. The icons that they produced more than fulfiled our expectations with regard to creating a visual identity and representing Orbium through its software. On an interpersonal level, it was truly a pleasure to work with a team that was always available to listen to our needs and constantly had a smile on their faces!

Anaelle Burnand Marketing & Communications Coordinator