Jun 23, 2008

Stereotypical Icons.

New icon concepts for All State Insurance.

A few years back All State Insurance hired me to create a few sets of icons they could use within their print marketing material. Most of the icons represented the various policies and coverage they offer. Some of the topic matters are a little tricky to define as a simplistic icon so it can be a challenge.

The most recent request for icons were for the themes:
- Stolen/Forged Checks
- Stolen Credit Card
- Wind Storm
- Hail

The style had to match the previous batch shown below. So for the new nefarious deeds of stealing checks and credit cards I decided my stereotypical villain should reprise his role in this grouping of icons.

Icons depend upon stereotypes to relay common themes and messages. But within todays PC mindset the word "Stereotype" tends to be frowned upon. Like anything there is both good and bad stereotypes and what I'll point out in this post is a few good classics.

Villain Stereotype: Sporting a newsboy cap, face mask (Think Robin), dark clothes, flash light, loot bag and if smart gloves. Has anyone ever seen a criminal like this in real life? Of course not it's a well established stereotype to relay the idea of a "Bad Guy." It just works.

If you had to create an icon for the topic of "Serial Killer" you wouldn't draw "Ted Bundy." Technically you'd be accurate but because he looks too normal, no one would get it. All be it an extreme example my point is it's not always easy to bake a topic down into a simplistic and iconic form. It's both an art and science of sorts.

Wind Stereotype: When was the last time you saw linear lines making curly cues in the sky without a plane being involved? It's a balance of figurative, metaphorical and literal when it comes to iconic artwork. You can't see the wind but everyone has experienced the wind and that is what the icon is drawing upon. (Pun intended)

Previous set of All State Insurance icons.

One thing I learned while working on these icons is that an insurance company has policies for nearly any type of situation. Here is the list of what the icons shown above represented. (I am too lazy to double check this information from my archive so I am doing it from memory the best I can remember)

Icon Definitions

Legal Expense: I suppose this is more common place now that we live in a sue happy society?

Falling Objects: Like meteorites or planes I was told. (They didn't want a plane)

Damage from Neighbors Property: Oops, your neighbor was playing Paul Bunyan.

Armed Robbery: Give me your wallet or I'll give you some lead!

Frozen Water Pipes: Stereotypical snowflake says "It's cold."

Broken Water Pipe: Yeah, so I used the same pipe art. So what?

Home Fire: Duh.

Accidental Property Damage: That's what you get for not using a bag.

Identity Theft: Our stereotypical villain has stolen Mr. Fisher Prices identity.


Juggling Jason said...

These are great!

www.bubbila.com said...

Sweat Icons. Ive used the running robber for my pay pal check out...

princelink said...

Great icons. Can I use one for my Digital SLR Photography Guide blog?

Please let me know. Thanks.


Vonster said...


Sorry can't allow that since All State owns the artwork now.

Email me what you need and I'd be willing to trade out for a Starbucks Coffee card.