// loading

33 Principles of Hidden Persuasion icons


illustration, icons, poster


mar, 2016


school project Communication & Multimedia Design


With this project we where challenged to make a set of icons for the 33 principles of hidden persuasion discussed in the book by Andrews, van Leeuwen & van Baaren. In this book 33 principles of secret persuasion are named and discussed that are used in the everyday world of branding and commercials. The students of CMD where asked to come up with an idea for a set of icons that each describe one of the principles.

The challenge was that they had to be a set, a system. This system had to make sense both for the user and the designer, but could not use litteral translations. So for example the "foot-in-the-door" method couldn't be an illustration of a foot in a door. The concept had to be deeper than that.

<span>the 3 different styles I started this project out with</span>


When we started the project one of the authors came and gave a lecture about the book and the idea behind it for some clarification and inspiration.

After that we started working on the concept. We had one week to come up with 3 ideas for different directions for the set. The first concepts I came up with where a set of tools (hammers, saws, screwdrivers etc.), a set with all kinds of constellations and one where each principle would be represented by a chinese-inspired writen character. But the problem with these was that it was hard to come up with a system.

The tool-concept was the first to be dropped, due to the fact that I simply couldn't come up with enough tools and a logical distribution among the princples.

I went on and started to work out the chinese-writing concept, but came to the conclusion that all the characters looked to much alike and where a little boring too.

But when I went trough my old sketches and notes again I found my holy grail. One of the first things I wrote down was that the principles reminded my of machines, each one made up of different parts that all rotated and twisted to produce a result.

This become my new and final starting point. The next thing was the system, but with the new concept all the pieces came together and this was done in no-time.

<span>for the system to work, I had to make some rules first</span>


The final result is the two posters above. One poster had to show a close-up of one of the princples and on the other all 33 had to be shown. At first I started out with a old, rusty, industrial style but found this to be to crude. A lot of these principles where more sophisticated than that.

In the end I decided to go with the style of the old blue-prints designers used to draw for buildings. This would still have some link to the industrial but it would look a lot nicer. I tried to make the final poster look as much like these old drawings and it worked out pretty good.