could anyone suggest me a new way to represent the icon "Add New" without using any form of plus symbol.

For example, say Add New Quiz. How could I represent this as an icon without using any form of
"+" (plus) symbol - http://bit.ly/JHSa4X
"shopping cart" symbol - http://bit.ly/JLWzTC

Ideas/Mockups/Rough sketches greatly appreciated. Thanks a lot in advance :)

  • 8
    Can I ask why no plus symbol? Forget that it's overused and seen in every app designed. I ask why because it's IMMEDIATELY recognizable as "Add" or "New" and shouldn't the function be just that?
    – Scott
    Commented May 1, 2012 at 21:58
  • The second image has a shopping cart because it's supposed to represent "add to shopping cart". You wouldn't use a shopping cart just as an "add new" symbol. Commented May 2, 2012 at 0:49
  • 2
    We need more context to be useful. Adding new WHAT to WHAT?
    – DA01
    Commented May 2, 2012 at 3:05
  • 2
    I have no idea why you'd like to break from such a strong, obvious, simple and clear standard. A plus symbol is as good as icons get. You'd want to have a good reason to break that tradition. Commented May 2, 2012 at 5:20

2 Answers 2


I would consider adding a star or an asterisk as a symbol to represent "new". This would go in the line of "new document" seen in text editing soft. I personally prefer the + symbol for "Add" and something else for "New".

Here are some examples taken from http://www.iconfinder.com:

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Yisela's answer is good and, in the event of a non-negotiable no-plus-can-be-used restriction, is probably your best option.

In the absence of such a bizarre restriction, you really shouldn't try to be too clever with icons. Plus and minus signs have been used for hundreds of years to represent "more" and "less" respectively. When used in a mathematical context, plus means addition.

Since your "Add new" action is representing doing addition - be it adding an object, or adding to an object, or whatever - you simply cannot get a stronger and simpler visual correlation than the mathematical sign for addition..

Usually the "new generation of {historic icon}" questions involve imagery that is considered outdated or that may not be immediately intuitive to new users. A floppy disk for saving, a pencil for editing, etc. Replacing these images makes sense because people don't use floppies at all and may not use pencils regularly. The plus sign will probably mean "addition" until the end of time, and can be represented clearly in as little as 9 pixels - it's silly not to take advantage of that.

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