By Sandra Schloen, August 2013
We have chosen a new icon to represent OCHRE. We like this new icon for a number of reasons:
  • The yellows, golds, oranges, reds, and browns represent the spectrum of colors that might be thought of as ochre-colored.
  • The general O-shape of the icon stands for the capital-O of "OCHRE."
  • The tree motif has been used in association with knowledge ("tree of knowledge") hence its appropriateness for a database environment.
  • The tree is a perfect metaphor for the hierarchical data model used in OCHRE. In particular, the variety of trees used in the image represents one of our key design principles -- that of multiple, overlapping hierarchies.
  • The variety of leaves pictured indicates the diversity of data captured within our database system. The oak leaves allow a nice word-play on "ochre" (that is, "oak-re"), and represent longevity, durability, preservation. The maple leaves suggest the Canadian roots of OCHRE's inventors.
  • The birds and squirrels symbolize the coexistence of multiple collaborators, each with their own purpose -- some to perch and sing, some to gather nuts.
  • As for the nuts ... oh, never mind!
  • Squirrels of different sizes represent diversity of scale within the OCHRE system.
  • The image evokes the lovely University of Chicago campus where OCHRE first took root, especially in the fall when autumn colors are at their peak and the campus is, arguably, at its prime.

We hope you like it too! Try the "Oak" theme from the OCHRE Data Service website ( for a user interface inspired by these colors and motifs.