Affective designs often mimic the human or animal body. However, the human or animal form often limits the forms and movements needed for other functions of a robot design. As an alternative we develop a method that is used to minimize the resemblance to the human or animal form. This approach is grounded in the roles of abstraction in visual perception, and how this connects to emotion recognition and attribution. The novelty of this approach lies in the fact that it is based on the recognition of affect, independent of the configuration of the human body and face. The research research unifies affective technology design, with affective science and the psychology behind abstract art from a pragmatic perspective. This design approach can help develop socially capable robots and other interactive machines that can benefit from intuitive affective communication, while enabling the use of widely varying form factors, beyond human and animal mimicry.