Some of today’s most innovative medical treatment and research is conducted at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, where they are pushing this frontier in Ophthalmology by analyzing & applying an individuals precise genetic makeup to their healthcare needs, i.e. "precision medicine." This book is the second in a series on Precision Ophthalmology™. The first volume was primarily about research and this one focuses on clinical care—thus the title “Applied Genetics." By studying patients’ unique genetic profiles, innovative care can be pioneered to address a myriad of ophthalmalogic disorders, from glaucoma to color blindness. CUIMC’s Department of Ophthalmology needed a book to highlight these exciting new initiatives. The challenge was to convey complex research and its translation into patient care in an attractive and accessible way. Also we were asked to make the book relate to, but be different from the first volume, published in December of 2017 (entered in the Graphis 2018 Annual Report competition, which rolled into the 2020 Design Annual, where it won Silver).
We illustrate the convergence of genetics and ophthalmology with sophisticated design and heavy reliance on typography. One widely known way of depicting genetic sequencing (ATCG) Is introduced on the cover. These four letters happen to appear (just one time each) in the title “Applied Genetics.” So the cover highlights them (in bright colors) where they appear in the words. This sequencing reference runs throughout the center of the book as the base element of the design, as it did in the first book. The airy, Swiss-style layout lightens the dense science, breaking it into easily digestible chunks of information, demarcating captions, introductions, and scientific passages. We used large-image, divider-pages spreads to break up the sections and add graphic interest—giving a rhythm to the books narrative. The use of diagrams, infographics and beautiful photomicrographs adds further visual impact. The department is celebrating its 150th anniversary, so we begin with a timeline across four spreads, showing the department’s impressive history of innovation.
The book was handed out to participants as they arrived at a weekend-long international conference in New York City last December. It represented CUIMC’s Department of Ophthalmology’s work in precision medicine so well that the department chairman began his introduction to the conference by walking the audience through the book in it’s entirety. Everyone loved the clever use of ATCG embedded in the cover design with spot gloss UV coating only on these letters, contrasting with the unusual soft-tough laminate on the cover. Readers found the contents to be interesting and accessible, given the highly specific science involved. The report has been a huge success in calling attention to the prestige of the department and CUIMC as a whole. Over 7,000 copes were distributed by mail and the response has been uniformly enthusiastic.