The Illustrated Lab
Scientific Illustration by Jennifer Colquhoun
SCRM-Glossary.jpg

SCRM BSL Glossary

A series of illustrations created to accompany a glossary of British Sign Language terms relating to stem cell research.

A Glossary of Illustrations

The Client: Dr Robin Morton, Science Communication Manager, MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine, University of Edinburgh

The Brief

To create a series of illustrations which would go on to accompany a British sign language glossary of stem cell terms created by the University of Edinburgh. The client wanted simple, yet easy to understand illustrations which would aid in the explanation of each glossary term. So as not to mix languages, it was important that the image worked as a stand alone explanation of each term.


Rough sketch for Adult Stem Cells

Cell Division -    click for BSL term

Cell Division - click for BSL term

Stem Cell -    click for BSL term

Stem Cell - click for BSL term

Mutlipotent Cells -    click for BSL term

Mutlipotent Cells - click for BSL term

Haematopoeitic Stem Cells -    click for BSL term

Haematopoeitic Stem Cells - click for BSL term

Rough for somatic cells


The Outcome

A collection of 35 images were created in total. The figures were produced using watercolour, so as to create a simple yet stylised look to the illustrations. Each of the terms was checked by a developmental biologist for accuracy.


Client’s Summary

We engaged Jenni to work on 35 illustrations of sign language terms relating to stem cell research. Jenni took a collaborative, proactive and flexible approach to the project, delivering on time and on budget. We discussed different styles and, while we had originally thought line drawing would be our preference, Jenni’s vibrant and beautiful watercolour images were overwhelmingly popular with the project team. A particular challenge with the project was a desire not to use English labels, so it was important that Jenni’s images told a story in their own right, something which she achieved very well. In my opinion Jenni takes her work beyond illustration, ensuring that while the images provoke imagination, they also accurately represent the science.

Dr Robin Morton, Science Communication Manager, MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine, University of Edinburgh.