A tendency to find forms that appear humanoid or exhibit humanlike characteristics appealing.

In 1915, worried that their straight-sided bottle could be easily confused with those of imitators, the Coca-Cola company set out to create a distinctive new bottle. The design goal was to have a bottle that would be easily recognized and identified with Coca-Cola and one that a person could tell was a Coca-Cola bottle even in the dark when they couldn’t see it.

Human beings are programmed to see certain forms and patterns as being more humanlike. This is especially true when the forms or patterns resemble the human face or human body proportions. We also have a tendency to find these forms more appealing. When an object appears humanoid or exhibits human characteristics we simply like it more.

Anthropomorphism is the attribution of human characteristics to a non-human animal or non-living things, phenomena, material states, and objects or abstract concepts. Mother Nature controlling the elements for example. Art and Storytelling are rich with the use of anthropomorphism and have been since the earliest paintings and stories.

From Universal Principles of Design

Consider anthropomorphic forms to attract attention and establish emotional connections. Favor more abstract versus realistic anthropomorphic forms, as realistic depictions often decrease, not increase, aesthetic appeal. Use feminine body proportions to elicit associations of sexuality and vitality. Use round anthropomorphic forms to elicit babylike associations, and more angular forms to elicit masculine, aggressive associations.

Related Topics: Baby-Face Bias, Contour Bias, Uncanny Valley, and Waist-to-Hip Ratio.

References

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