Graphic Art for Science

I am sooooo excited to share this with you! The other day I reached out on Twitter to see if any graphic designers would be interested in helping me create a graphic/logo using one of my lab's camera trap photos of a snow leopard. Fortunately, @mistydyne jumped on the idea and created this awesome graphic! Check it outtttt.


These logos will be used for research posters, website-related visuals, and maybe on some customized, reusable water bottles down the road (plastic free for wildlife, yo). I'm very excited to have these for my current branding efforts, and am so happy with how they turned out. @mistydyne is phenomenally talented, so I'm shouting her out for those of you in need of any graphic art! She's great at missions, logos, vectors, and specializes in animals and science! Talk about #sciart.

This is relevant to science given the rise of the graphical abstract, which is a visual summary of the main findings of an article. Graphical abstracts appear in online search results as a secondary promotion of the journal article itself and is designed to encourage browsing. What's better, using pictorials in your science creates multi and interdisciplinary collaboration, and it helps viewers more quickly understand the goals and results of a given project. Plus, they look cool!

As a science communicator, I'm always aware of how things look. Well-lit photos, perfectly-arranged posters (groan), color-coordinated concepts, and clarity are all very important to me and so many others who want to share their science. Visual representations of your work aren't limited to a graphical abstract- they are also great for website branding, social media, and making your work identifiable to the public. Do you study brains? You need a brain graphic. Are you a salamander researcher? A marbled sally logo would be cool. Are you super hyped about snow leopard genetics? Well, hopefully you can find me more easily to talk about it as a result of this new visual!

Science and art are so intertwined. Science IS art, and vice versa. My mother is an artist, and I grew up painting. As a result I see everything in organized, yet chaotic color. Visual learning is often under-utilized, in my opinion, which makes graphical abstracts, artistic visuals, and logos essential to making science digestible. More importantly, I think it makes science fun!

I'm using one of these visuals in a poster presentation on Monday for my university to summarize my dissertation research and represent our lab. Check back for the photo- I'll add it to this post after the seminar!

If you are a scientist and have worked with a graphic artist, leave their name in the comments so others can find them. If you are a graphic designer/artist and want to connect with more scientists to collaborate, drop your name and links to your site so others can find you!