2019 AMI Online Salon

Human Microbiome: The Inside Story

Project Details

  • Company/Institution: AXS Studio
  • Entrant Name: Jason Sharpe
  • Membership Type: Company/Corporation Submission
  • Other Contributors: Sonya Amin, Julian Kirk-Elleker                     
  • Address: Toronto, Canada
  • Client: Nature
  • Medium/software used: Autodesk Maya; Adobe CC (AfterEffects, Photoshop)
  • Final presentation format: Printed magazine cover 8.39′ x 11.22′ H
  • Primary Audience: General audience; Science enthusiasts

Project Description

A recent issue of Nature celebrated the completion of the second phase of the Integrative Human Microbiome Project, publishing three studies on the role of the microbiome on human health and disease.

For a cover image, Nature’s creative director and the manuscripts’ authors envisioned a single scene depicting a diversity of cells: human and microbe. For the science-savvy audience, we researched over 35 cell types mentioned in the three studies to ensure accuracy of scale and form. A key challenge was developing a show-stopping cover style that would teem with life and still feel decidedly editorial for the impossible grouping of cells, from multiple sites in the body and represented in exaggerated ratios. We took our inspiration from coral reefs, creating a scene that was a riot of color, shapes and textures to convey the idea of ‘diversity’. Translucency and an overall underwater feel were used to give the impression of a fantastic voyage.