The map of medical statistics


This week’s medical infographic poster explains common medical statistics terms. Since statistics is a little lacking in the illustration department (compared to anatomy or chemical reactions), I got to have a lot of creative freedom with the project.

I knew I wanted to illustrate all of the drug trial types with actual people, so I pitched the project as an isometric “Land of Observational Studies.” At first I wasn’t planning on a river divide between the three sections of the poster, but after talking with Arun I really liked his idea to emphasize the differences in complexity between sections.

I think most people work on isometric art in vector programs like Illustrator, but I decided to draw this particular poster in Photoshop. I laid out an isometric grid for reference, and then filled in each of the buildings following the reference grid. The pixel cows are probably my favorite decoration.

  • Sources

  • First Aid for the USMLE Books 1 & 2 (2015). Tao Le and Vikas Bhushan. © 2014 McGraw-Hill Education.
  • Fonts: Pixel Emulator by Pixel Saga. </ul>
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A compendium of abnormal red blood cells


This week’s collaboration with Nerdcore Medical is an ornamental poster showing the different kinds of abnormal red blood cell shapes. The style I picked for this poster was inspired by hand-woven rugs and Rococo stucco work.

When I started this project it was really hard to figure out what to do with the simple shapes of the red blood cells. I kept trying to make the design more interesting by adding details or shading or patterns to each cell.

But finally I stopped trying to make the cells more complicated than they needed to be, and went with the complete opposite approach. For the final design I made the cells extremely minimal, and then piled on detail everywhere else.

To make the decorative pattern I drew everything first in pencil, and then scanned it into Photoshop to copy and paste together. I originally drew this poster in navy blue - and then had a real “why didn’t I think of that” moment when Arun suggested red to match the red blood cells. Needless to say we went with red for the final poster.

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Rough drafts and sketches: EKG Infographic


Yesterday I published a sunrise-inspired infographic about human heartbeats. I thought I’d make a quick follow-up blog post taking you behind the scenes on the project.

When I started the heartbeat poster I knew I wanted to make the color gradient the focal point. So I spent a lot of time trying out different color options for each blocked section. I kept track of all of the different color schemes and strung them together into one timeline to show you my entire decision process.

All of the text on the poster is white, so I was looking for a series of 15 colors that would look good together and also contrast well with white text. When I finally decided on the blue-to-pink gradient it still wasn’t dark enough, so I ended up adding a black overlay underneath the white font. I also added black shading below the border of every color. During the project we actually shifted some of the original information to a different poster, so the final design has 12 color blocks instead of the planned 15.

After collecting all of my progress pictures into this graphic I was surprised at the number of iterations I needed. Almost two thirds of the different versions were just slightly different attempts at the same general blue/pink theme. Although I’m happy with the end result I realized I should probably work on being a little more decisive when working on projects.

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