Drawing in PowerPoint: A Tower Icon

towerA client in the cybersecurity business wanted a slide sequence showing a corporate network under attack by sophisticated hackers. The client had a set of corporate icons for the network components (servers. switches, etc.) but additional icons were needed to tell this story. In particular, the client wanted to show a “command and control center” established in the network by the bad guys to direct the attack. A medieval style tower seemed to be a good image to represent this idea; this post will show how I drew this icon.

Network/IT people commonly use a set of stylized icons. The icons provided by Cisco have become widely used but similar sets are available from a variety of sources.

These icons are usually “flat” or in a parallel “3d” projection. My client had developed a set of icons in a particular style using corporate colors and in a parallel/isometric form. The various icons that I developed for the project, including the tower, are consistent with this style.

The 3d techniques used here have been described in earlier posts. Briefly, the idea is to draw various “faces” and components separately, apply the appropriate rotations, and assemble the object. One of the challenges is to get the shades of color of the pieces to be consistent in the 3d image.  More about this later.

Here are the steps:

  • Create the basic wall. As you can see, the wall is made of several components (outlined in red); this will make it easier to assemble the tower later.


This is a “gothic” arch; you can find examples on the web for creating this shape.

  • Here are four versions of the wall with 3d depth and rotation (Isometric/Left Down and Right Up). Note that the left rectangle in the right front wall has zero depth; this allows it to cover the edge of the left front wall (the width of the rectangle is the same as the depth – 18pts). Similarly, the left rectangle in the right rear wall has been deleted.

wall 2

  • Now, assemble the walls. Use nudges and pay attention to front-back relationships:

wall 3

  • Create the crenelations with a group of rectangles, with depth and rotation (Isometric/Top Up).


  • Create and rotate a couple of squares to complete the tower parts:

tower 2

  • Assemble as before:


  • Here’s the tower with the outlines removed. As you can see, the shades of color on the crenelations don’t match the other parts of the tower. 


  • This is the tower after I fiddled with the fill colors, the depth colors and the lighting angle. I don’t know any systematic way to do this except trial and error.  By the way, the dark gray is consistent with the client’s icon set; the tower could be lighter or another color:

tower 5

  • The flag is made from a line with a Circle bevel and a version of the Pentagon shape rotated:


I’m sure that it has occurred to you that you can make walls, gates, and castles! How about a whole village? A cathedral? What fun!

If you want a PowerPoint file containing these objects and their details, use the form below to request the “tower file:”

1 Response to “Drawing in PowerPoint: A Tower Icon”

  1. 1 Cityscape – “3d” Buildings | powerpointy Trackback on May 10, 2016 at 1:08 pm

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