Counteracting coagulation

Thesis cover and layout design

One of my favorite things is when my medical background informs my design work. The cover and layout design of this thesis by my wonderful coworker Amal is a good example.

Amal focused her research on the development of inhibitors in hemophilia A. Hemophilia patients lack a protein that is necessary to form blood clots. Treatment of hemophilia includes administering the missing protein on a regular basis. However, in some (but not all) cases, the body develops antibodies against the treatment. Amal’s work explores why this happens, in order to find ways to prevent and combat this problem.

During our first meeting, Amal explained that among the first doctors to write about hemophilia was a 10th-century Moorish surgeon from Andalusian Spain. This little nugget of medical history, combined with Amal’s cultural background, inspired the cover design. While sketching the pattern, I incorporated a “Y” shape to represent the antibodies (which is how they are usually stylized). The result is a cover design where the main research focus meets the warm colors and intricate motifs of Andalusian architecture.

The inner layout has a calm, minimalist design. We used the cover pattern on the title pages, and red accents throughout the book.

Working with Amal was a breeze. She is a clear communicator and always came very well prepared (she even made me a moodboard to work with!). This made it really easy for me to visualize her ideas.

If you would like to know more about Amal’s research, you can find her thesis on the Amsterdam UMC website.