December 11, 2009
Last week I hired Micah & Caroline from WeAreaGoodCompany.com to design an extensible diybio logo and related illustrations. I gave them a quick intro to diybio and synthetic biology (see a lot of design notes here) and asked them to create artwork that could be used by diybio.org and built apon by regional groups + related organizations (diybio-nyc, bosslab, etc.). I stressed extensibility – the final design should support remixing by all interested parties.
Micah & Caroline are about halfway done and I want to show you their work so far and solicit comments and suggestions. Above all the graphics are intended to be a community resource, so they need to be built with community feedback.
They have worked on two things: an extensible diybio logo and diybio themed icons.
Micah & Caroline modified a typeface called “the mix” for the diybio logo to make it look hand-cut. When they are done they will provide the typeface for the community so that any group name can be written with it. As you can see, their current idea has been to cut out illustrations from the “golden days” of amateur science in the pattern of the typeface.
They have garnished this design with a rich wood background which I think goes far in dispelling the typical clinical, clean ethos of science imagery. But it’s also pretty “loud.”
I also asked the team to design a set of reusable icons and illustrations that represent things common to diybio activities. I wasn’t very specific.
What 10 icons should I ask them to design? This is really where feedback would be helpful. For instance, we could ask them to design:
A pipet; dsDNA; a microscope; a waste container; a falcon tube; e. coli; yeast; a petri dish; a generic chemical bottle; DNA sequence.
In this version they incorporated the icons into little bottle-cap pins to emphasize DIY approaches. (note: when they are finished they will provide the source illustrator files to maximize these kinds of reuse.)
Please please please mail your feedback to this thread on the diybio google group or in the comments below. In particular, consider these two questions:
- what 10 icons should be designed?
- what graphical concepts should comprise the diybio logo?
Go check out my notes for my thoughts. I hope the artwork will be a graphical synthesis of (playfulness + art + DIY) + (science + engineering + biotechnology).
(I’m still thinking about a retro-arcade-game theme…)
Also see these other handy links:
- OpenWetWare went through an involved feedback process when they created their logo. They paid a lot of attention to technical details, like the handedness of DNA.
- Science Creative Quarterly’s merit badges – they designed a TON.
I’ll include my feedback in the comments with everyone else.
All this stuff is licensed CC-BY.