An on-going collaboration between a graphic design researcher, Gill Brown, and the Centre for Neuroimaging Sciences at King’s College London, instigated by Dr Mattia Veronese. The collaboration started in May 2017 and will last for one year.
The aim of the collaboration is to understand the issues involved when producing conceptual figures and to suggest means of addressing them, while bearing in mind the conventions and restrictions associated with visual communication within scientific peer groups.
Using upcoming research papers as a case study, the collaboration is working on:
- An online gallery of visual elements, linked to a library of high resolution files and editable Adobe Illustrator files. These elements are specifically designed to be easily adapted and refined by the scientists themselves, who can include or remove details, and add text and annotation, to create bespoke conceptual figures. Examples of these elements are shown in the header images of this webpage and a pilot image gallery has been created to test this approach. The gallery will be built on and revised throughout the collaboration.
- Workshops to give hands-on instruction in the use of Adobe Illustrator, with emphasis on the creation and editing of visual elements for use in conceptual figures. The workshops also highlight some of the issues that scientists face when creating conceptual figures. These include adapting figures for different audiences and media, reproducing colour figures in black/white, and the use of anatomical versus diagrammatic representations. Two pilot workshops were run in November 2017 and, based on feedback from participants, the workshop content will be revised for future sessions.
The introduction of the image library provides an opportunity to give papers and presentations a consistent and recognisable appearance, to improve visual communication and enhance scientific authority.