News: News Archives
TwoScience Covers and the AAAS/Science Human Genome T-Shirt Win Art Awards
The cover of the 21 December 2007 issue of Science: Breakthrough of the Year: Human Genetic Variation.
© 2007 Science
When the Science art staff considered cover options for the issue proclaiming human genetic variation the 2007 breakthrough of the year, the artists sought a new visual to attract readers. They wanted a magazine cover that linked the early human genome data published in Science in 2001 with newer research showing how genomes differ between people. In a sort of democratization of the genome, the art staff wanted the cover to personalize the human genome with an image that was still recognizable by many readers.
Then Kelly Buckheit Krause, the journal's art director, thought to turn the human genome into a T-shirt—and now her design has won an award in the apparel category in the 59th annual Art Directors Club of Metropolitan Washington show.
"We were trying to think of a way to make the genome apply to everyone," Krause said. The striped appearance of the genome inspired Krause to suggest the multi-colored sequences of the genome be put against a white background of a T-shirt as a way to illustrate the genome on an individual level. Through the capabilities of the software program Photoshop, the photo-illustrated T-shirt and the person wearing it became the cover of the journal's 21 December 2007 issue.
When the issue came out, hundreds of people around the world asked how they could get the shirt, not knowing that it only existed in a digital form. "We knew we'd really succeeded when readers wanted to know how to purchase the T-shirt," said Monica Bradford, executive editor of Science. "So, of course, we were determined to find a way to produce the real thing."
The AAAS marketing staff got involved in turning the cover into an actual T-shirt, which has the genome wrapped around the white short-sleeved shirt and "Science" printed on one of the sleeves. The shirt went on-sale during the 2008 AAAS Annual Meeting in mid-February. "Sales skyrocketed in late February when the T-shirt was mentioned on blogs," said Darryl Walter, marketing manager in the AAAS Office of Publishing and Membership Services. More than 1500 shirts have been sold so far, and there continues to be a steady stream of sales.
Apart from its popularity as a clothing item, the human genome T-shirt has also been a popular Science cover image. On 10 June, the T-shirt cover won a bronze award in the magazine photo-illustration category at the prestigious EXCEL awards, distributed by the Society of National Association Publications. "The cover is an example of a great photo-illustration, which requires photography and manipulation," Krause said.
Freelance graphic artist Joe Zeff crafted the cover by starting with an image of a man wearing a fitted white T-shirt with his hands in his jeans' pockets. Zeff then used Photoshop to embellish the plain shirt with human genome data. Shadows and wrinkles in the fabric added with further Photoshop manipulations made the T-shirt look real. "From afar, it looks like a striped shirt," Krause said.
The cover of the 3 August 2007 special issue of Science on immunology
© 2007 Science
Krause said that the T-shirt cover for the human genetic variation issue created "a tremendous response," which prompted her to enter the cover in the EXCEL awards. "I got more feedback from readers on it than any other cover I've done at Science," she said.
Another winning Science cover at the 28th annual EXCEL awards was the 3 August 2007 special issue on immunology. The cover features a circle of seven immune cells against a white background. At the EXCEL awards, the immunology image won first place in the journal cover illustration category. Christopher Bickel, a technical illustrator at Science, created the cover for the "Challenges in Immunology" issue using various digital tools to draw common immune cells such as macrophages and antibody-producing B cells.
The immunology cover was effective in attracting readers' attention to a field that can be intimidating due to its specialized vocabulary. "Immunology is such an important aspect of human health," said Bradford. "The illustration by Chris was effective in drawing the reader into the special section, and it was intriguing enough to counter the intimidation factor of immunology."
24 June 2008