PBJ Editorial Illustrations
Porto Biomedical Journal is a free bimonthly publication based in Porto (Portugal) dedicated to divulge scientific knowledge on all biomedical fields, published by Elsevier and entirely written in English. In 2017 they contacted Snack to develop editorial illustrations for the covers of several of their bimonthly issues. This is a small selection of the work I did for them during my time as a partner at the studio.
Vol. 1, Issue 1 · Why medical community should take biodiversity loss seriously?
The content for the November/December issue cover was about the impact of the biodiversity loss (specially the microbiodiversity - the loss of microorganisms) on the human being and its relationship with the origin of allergic, autoimmune and degenerative pathologies. In order to unify the general idea of the article into a single image I though of creating a DNA double helix made of microorganisms that gradually starts to fall apart due to the loss in biodiversity. I started by designing several microorganisms, some simple and some more complex, with multiple variations each. After I reached an acceptable visual diversity I arranged them all into a DNA double helix, to create a correlation between the microorganisms and the human genome, and finally created a visual loss in diversity over time by gradually removing some of the more complex organisms along the helix.
Vol. 2, Issue 3 · Rituximab in generalized Myasthenia Gravis: Clinical, Quality of Life and Cost-Utility analysis
The content for the May/June issue cover was about the use of Rituximab, a medication used to treat certain autoimmune diseases and types of cancer, in the treatment of Myasthenia Gravis, a chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disease that causes weakness in the skeletal muscles, which are responsible for breathing and moving parts of the body, including the arms and legs. Due to the highly technical aspect of this article and the disease itself, I decided to exclude any form of representation of the external symptoms and decided to depict the events that occur at a microscopic level in the neuromuscular junction instead. The illustration shows how the antibodies (Y-shaped elements) disrupt the nerve impulses to muscles by blocking and damaging the ACh receptors (protruding tubular elements) present in the muscle tissue (inferior pink area) and impeding them from gathering the acetylcholine (ACh - green spheres) emitted from the nerve cell (yellow area).
Vol. 2, Issue 4 · Cardiovascular precision medicine: Bad news from the front?
The content for the July/August issue cover was about the recent findings in cardiovascular precision medicine and why it may not be the breakthrough which everybody hoped for. Precision medicine are treatments targeted to the needs of individual patients on the basis of genetic, biomarker, phenotypic, or psychosocial characteristics that distinguish a given patient from other patients with similar clinical presentations. My inicial idea was to design a silhouette of a human heart by using various forms of medicine (syrup, tablets, capsules, lozenges, etc). The silhouette would symbolise that although the medicine was apparently different It was still all prescribed for cardiovascular diseases, and I drawn them like they where being thrown or juggled in the air because the article mentions "bad news", so I wanted to convey a feeling of unrest into the composition.
Unfortunately this idea had to be scrapped due to the lack of free space available on the cover, so I opted for a simpler depiction of my inicial plans. I abandoned the heart silhouette in favor of a more fluid composition and ended up adding a heart symbol to the syrup bottle instead.
Vol. 2, Issue 5 · YES Meeting 2017
The content for the September/October issue was about a medical convention held in the city of Porto - the YES Meeting (Young European Scientists Meeting). In the last 12 years, this convention brought to Porto some of the biggest world-class names in biomedical sciences, so they wanted the cover to feature a fusion between science and the hosting city. Without wanting to impose, they suggested that we could use the image of the event's poster, a typical cityscape of Porto's Ribeira (riverside), as a reference for the illustration.
I ended up using the image as reference to build a reinterpretation of the cityscape using only laboratory equipment and objects related to biomedical science.
CLIENT · Porto Biomedical Journal
ILLUSTRATION · Carlos Meinedo (Snack Studio)