Category Archives: Design

Vintage Drug Ads

Vintage Drug AdsGreat collection of vintage drug ads published from 1935 to 1970. Obviously, these were created long before direct-to-consumer advertising and are aimed at the medical community. It’s interesting to notice how the graphics in some of these ads seem to be intended to evoke a consumer-like emotional response in physicians who would be more likely to base decisions on the results of large, prospective, randomized, double-blind clinical trials.

[via Boing Boing]

Slice of Life

Slice of LifeAn annual conference at which medical and health science educators and developers gather from around the world to explore and share the uses of multimedia and information technology in medical education. The focus is on cutting edge developments, implementation of courseware, eLearning, web enhanced curricula, wireless mobile computing, graphic design, animation and digital video. Curricular integration, sharing and evaluation are central themes.

The 2005 conference was in June but there is a low-volume mailing list that distributes information about their activities and events that I joined. Maybe I can make next year. It looks like there were about ten sessions I would have liked to attend (“Virtual Reality and Anatomy Learning”, “Managing Your Digital Multimedia Assets: The HEALster Project”, “Story-Telling, Emotion, and Media in Technology-Based Medical Education”…). Of course, I would have had to have gone from the HeSCA meeting to InfoComm then straight to Slice of Life.

The BioArt of Dr. Frank Netter

The BioArt of Dr. Frank NetterHow the heck did I miss this? I stumbled across the site yesterday and it was, of course, too late for me to make plans to see it today. It would have been nice to see the old neighborhood. USP is right across the street from my first apartment. I’ll have to keep an eye on the Marvin Samson Center for the History of Pharmacy for future exhibits. It looks like it was a great show.

University of the Sciences in Philadelphia (USP) is exhibiting a selection of original medical illustrations by Frank Netter, M.D. (1906-1991), a world-renowned anatomy artist who is regarded by many as the most accomplished and influential medical illustrator of the 20th century.

“The exhibition at USP consists of 47 unique gouache—watercolor—paintings from a corpus of more than 4,000 of Dr. Netter’s works that display various aspects of illness, trauma, anatomy, development, malformation, pathology, medical testing and diagnosis, and patient care. Many of his impressive illustrations, commissioned by Ciba-Geigy Corporation over several Woman with Dermatosisdecades, appeared in Clinical Symposia, a well-known quarterly clinical monograph used by primary care professionals as a teaching aid and reference.

CDC’s Disease Trading Cards

CDC's  Disease Trading CardsI’ll trade you a Cryptosporidiosis and a Cyclosporiasis for two Ecoli O157:H7 Infections.

The Center for Disease Control is offering 31 disease trading cards. The cards are very nicely designed and laid out. The images are compelling. The only thing I don’t like about them is that there is no way to download all the cards at once. Each individual card is in it’s own PDF file.

Cover Art: Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal

Cover Art: Emerging Infectious Diseases JournalArt images for the cover of Emerging Infectious Diseases are selected for communication effectiveness, audience appeal, artistic quality, stylistic continuity, and technical reproducibility. Art is drawn from many periods (ancient to contemporary) to ‘humanize’ and enhance the scientific content by creating order and harmony, showing chaos, revealing truth, raising consciousness, immortalizing, surprising, fantasizing, illustrating ideas, stimulating the intellect, and firing the emotions. … Emerging Infectious Diseases is not about art. The journal has a cover to protect the scientific content from the elements. But as a communication tool, art seems to work. Our readers enjoy the covers. We don’t know exactly why. But as Georges Braque once said, ‘There is only one valuable thing in art: the thing you cannot explain.’

[Via eyes of the goof]


ContestsThe Frank Netter Award

For the Vesalius Trust, developing and supporting research and education in visual communications means more than simply raising and dispersing funds. It also means raising the awareness of the health-care community about the value and impact of visual communications, and encouraging researchers and educators to effectively use visual communications.

The Frank Netter Award for Special Contributions to Medical Education annually recognizes the person or persons who have recently developed visually oriented educational materials with either proven or potential impact on the way health sciences are taught and/or practiced. The Award was established in 1990 to honor Dr. Netter’s lifetime contribution to medical education, which greatly aided the advancement of visual communications in the health sciences, and contributed immeasurably to the promotion of medical illustration as a profession.

Entrants have come from around the world, exemplifying excellence in the integrated use of visual communications and instructional technology in medical and health science education.

The application deadline for the 2004 Dr. Frank Netter Award is December 10, 2004.

The 2005 HeSCA Media Festivals

The Health and Science Communications Association is proud to announce the 31th annual HeSCA Media Festi­vals. The Festivals are an international forum for health sciences media. Our goal is to showcase and recognize those individuals and organizations whose works represent the very best in health sciences media production.

Productions entered in the competition are subjected to a demanding peer review using standardized judging criteria. A select number of these entries are presented prestigious awards at special ceremonies held in conjunction with the HeSCA Annual Meeting in Seattle, Washington, June 4, 2005.

All productions are highlighted in the HeSCA Media Festivals Catalog, which has become a standard media reference for the health sciences. Selected entries may also be presented in the “Winners Festival” at the HeSCA Annual Meet­ing. The Catalog, including a list of winners, will be posted to the HeSCA website ( immediately following the Annual Meeting.

The HeSCA Media Festival Catalog offers access to your work to a concen­trated group of health science communications profession­als while providing a widely disseminated, permanent media reference.

Entries, Forms & Fees must be Received by January 31, 2005

PowerPoint Live

PowerPoint LiveRobert Linstrom, author of Being Visual and fellow member of the ICIA’s Presentations Council, recently wrote a comprehensive wrap up of PowerPoint Live for the InfoComm website.

PowerPoint® transmogrifies! explores many of the issues crucial to communications professionals in today’s working environment and reviews the technology exhibited at the show that’s extending PowerPoint into realms no one would have even considered plausible a few years ago. I think it’s been fairly obvious that Microsoft has been attempting to position PowerPoint as a Flash analog with a somewhat less daunting learning curve and a much broader user base. The tools and technologies seen at PowerPoint Live seem to confirm the viability of this trend.

Mother Nature is not the only one capable of madcap experiments with new life forms. The progression of Microsoft® PowerPoint® from a lowly, black-and-white-only electronic presentation tool to a ubiquitous, media-rich facilitator of tens of millions of presentations per day is one of the strangest tales in the history of computer software. From annual meetings of FORTUNE 500® companies to digital scrapbooks of the family vacation, PowerPoint® has shown itself to be surprisingly adaptive. … The morphing of PowerPoint into an enhanced media-communications platform could be called the dominant theme at this year’s PowerPoint Live conference, though such a claim did not appear in the conference literature. Nearly 200 users and 20 vendors gathered Oct. 10-14 in San Diego to share tips, tricks and strategies. Overall, the effect was that of a fan club meeting genetically blended with a professional development conference. The attendees were a mix of serious PowerPoint groupies and communications gurus — roughly equivalent to the Star Trek fans who attend conferences in full Klingon regalia — and avid newbies, who aspire to be masters of the Master Slide.

I also would like to recommend Rob’s most recent project: Being Spherical. It’s one of those books that can really change the way you look at everything.

Blue “Blood”

Blue BloodAndrea Seigel (author of Like the Red Panda) deconstructs imagery used to create the “aesthetic of fear” which has become increasingly prevalent in the marketing of feminine hygiene products. The comments related to her post, as well as those related to the Cup of Chicha post that point to it, cite many other good examples. One particularly insightful comment does a pretty good job of explaining why blue is the color of choice when a representation of menstrual fluid is required. I wonder how they specify exactly what shade of blue they want to use. What would be the appropriate Pantone color?

Mad Andrew : “There was TEXT EVERYWHERE”

ALT TEXTMad Andrew presented a poster and shares the experience in this LiveJournal entry. “There was TEXT EVERYWHERE. Period. Around the plots. In the plots. Under the plots. Not a square inch of the posters were bare. ARG!” Although it sounds like the event he was presenting at wasn’t related to the health sciences, his comments are worth a read no matter what your field of study is. For what it’s worth, I usually recommend that presenters refrain from laminating their poster unless it’s going to several conferences. It makes the poster more difficult to transport and nine out of ten posters end up in a hotel room trash can. If your heart is really set on lamination, I strongly suggest specifying a matte finish so glare from the lights in the room don’t interfere with the poster’s readability.