From idea to Kickstarter – enamel pins

One day in the lab my friend Andrew briefly mentioned that someone he knew had kickstarted cute enamel pins, this idea firmly planted itself in my brain. Could I produce microbiology enamel pins?

The idea quickly became too big when I started to imagine not one. Not two. But 6 designs…

For every bacterium I wanted to highlight interesting features. Caulobacter has the lifestyle switch between swarmer cells and stalked cells. Bacillus has spores and asymmetric division. Streptomyces are mycelial with long spore chains. In Staphylococcus aureus I showed the secretion systems. In Vibrio cholerae I highlight the chemotaxis array. E.coli is our lab workhorse with a cute flask.

Buuut… six pins are way too expensive to produce. So I asked Twitter which ones people liked most! I thought that this would help me reduce the number of samples but they were all well-liked. Now what?… I ended up finishing 5 out of the six designs and made a set of mockups. Note, they have not been produced yet. I went heavy with photoshop to produce an image of what they *would* look like.

There are several reasons I am excited about pins and wearable images of bacteria. First is because I love them and think they are cute. But second, normally bacteria are invisible. This contributes to most of the population not really knowing what to think about when we talk about bacteria, but at most imagining some scary illness. I believe that visualising the invisible world can help the general understanding of science. How can we expect people to understand what we are talking about if they don’t have an image to form in their mind?

At the time of writing this, my project is under review by Kickstarter and I hope to launch it the 8th of January, 2021! It will run for a month, until the 8th of February, and I will order a crazy amount of pins if it all works out!

Thank you all for supporting my journey as a Science artist, I can’t wait to see how this will work out!

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