Isabel Romero Calvo 

The effective communication and perception of scientific data can be significantly improved with the appropriate use of color. However, the indiscriminate use of color is common throughout the science literature. The successful application of color allows scientists and scientific illustrators to successfully communicate results, highlight main ideas, and differentiate data sets. A meaningful understanding of the fundamental pillars of color use are key to effective scientific communication. One key component is the comprehension of how various hues are perceived by the human eye. The biology of color perception is important for understanding the impact of various hues in both the normal and color blind human eye. Another critical component is appreciating the link between color and emotion. Understanding how color is linked to emotion can help one select an appropriate color palette. Lastly, it is valuable to understand how to best use color within a composition. The use of color composition can visually organize content and direct the attention of the viewer. These three pillars of color use are essential for both scientists and scientific illustrators towards enhancing the communication of data.


[Keywords for this session: color, data communication, human eye, color blind, emotions, scientific communication] 

Speaker Bio

Isabel is a biomedical illustrator who is skilled in the process of communicating intricate scientific ideas through visualization. ​ Isabel grew up in the historic town of Granada, Spain. She earned her PhD in 2013 from the Biochemistry Department of the University of Granada. After that, she worked as a cancer biology researcher at the University of Chicago. Throughout her scientific career she has always been passionate about communicating science through art. She has used every opportunity throughout her education to illustrate science, such as her dissertation, scientific papers, presentations, and in the classroom. Isabel is currently a second year Master’s student in the Biomedical Visualization Program at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and is looking forward to her graduation in the Spring of 2019, and to be moving forward in this exciting vocation.