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Control through graphic design ?


New Member
Hi guys,

Can design influence human behaviour? The urinals in the men’s toilets at
Amsterdam airport have a fly etched in the bowl, just above and slightly to
the left of the drain holes. Why? Well, believe it or not, the etched flies cut
down the cleaning needs of the toilets by 80%. How? Men aim at the flies
and therefore don’t splash on the floor—it’s as simple as that!
This innocuous graphic device has, quite simply, controlled the process
of male urination. Without being aware of it men are being told – ‘you watch
where you’re peeing and we’ll save money’.

Can you think of any other ideas that present 'control through graphic design' ?
The word "SALE" in white or black on a bright red background exhumes prolific levels of excitement and joy to the human brain of most people......

Nice observation on the Urinal though...that's....very odd but interesting lol!
I suppose everything can in some way to some degree or other - isn't that the whole point behind it in the first place?

Down to the way that certain colours can elicit particular emotions and so on, it must all be connected.
Yea pretty much the above. Graphic design is the practice of communicating visually, so if you can get someone to respond to what you are communicating then you are directly influencing their behaviour. This can be done both consciously and unconsciously. So the effectiveness of a design can be measured by how much it influences behaviour (in the intended way of course).
Design is supposed to evoke a response that serves a purpose. So all design influences human behaviour maybe not in such an extreme and conscious way as your example. But all the same it created a reaction, whether it was to piss on a fly or by a chocolate bar it evoked a reaction which lead to a disireable out come.

Have you ever watched the Darren Brown episode where he manages to get people to rob a bank Van? Its not overly relevant but may give you some interesting ideas on human behaviour and how vulnerable it can be. Can't remember the exact name of the show though! But he used alot of visual imagery to do it. It was really interesting. Is this a college/uni question or just a discussion topic?



New Member
It's a uni question, and I had the idea of human behavior on rubbish, and how people tend to put their rubbish on streets and present it somehow.