Application of anamorphism in product design

DS 122: Proceedings of the Design Society: 24th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED23)

Year: 2023
Editor: Kevin Otto, Boris Eisenbart, Claudia Eckert, Benoit Eynard, Dieter Krause, Josef Oehmen, Nad
Author: Kettley, Calum; Wodehouse, Andrew
Series: ICED
Institution: University of Strathclyde
Section: Design Methods
Page(s): 0593-0602
DOI number:


This research aims to investigate the incorporation of anamorphism into product design and has resulted in the creation of a series of handheld objects with embedded anamorphic information. Anamorphism is a phenomenon typically applied to images, where it appears distorted from all but one angle. Often associated with optical illusions, its history and viability for application to product design are reviewed. This includes an assessment of different designs’ impact on the overall recognition of hidden anamorphic objects, focusing on their design attributes to determine the best at concealment. With the creation of 3D anamorphic objects, experiments were conducted to allow correlations between object visibility and design features to be identified. Analysis of the results showed that objects with vertically stretched text and wider cuts within the characters were hardest to recognise and therefore more secure. Objects with the least material made it more difficult to interpret the hidden information from positions that were not the “privileged viewing zone”. The creation of these anamorphic objects highlighted that this function of anamorphism is possible and could be incorporated within products in future.

Keywords: Anamorphism, Conceptual design, Creativity, Industrial design

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