Saturday, May 2, 2020

Amino Acids Thank You Cards

Nerdy is the new cool. I don’t know when it happened but at some point, it became trendy for science-related themes to be represented in crafts and hobbies. Maybe it’s because so many of us draw strict lines between work and leisure that it becomes a pleasant surprise to see a blending of the two in a fun way. I am certainly not complaining because I have always adored my knitted DNA fingerless gloves (thanks, sis!).

When it comes to work though, there isn’t often the occasion to be giving out crystal beaded animals or origami stars. However, the working world can never have too many thank you cards. I especially enjoy giving one with a science theme because there is the added sense of comradery that comes with sharing an in-joke.   

I can’t take any credit for the innovative use of amino acids in this card design. I was inspired by seeing these cards being sold on Etsy: The clean, precise design is a brilliant reflection of the exactness of science. As much as I admired the tidy graphic quality of the image though, I thought it lacked sparkle (everything can be improved with a little glitter!).

The oxygen and nitrogen molecules were obvious spots to add rhinestones which completely changed the entire look of the cards. Another big change was that I hand sketched all the lines. Printing the cards would have given more exact lines but I was happy to live with the more organic feel of hand-drawn (reminds me of my university biology notes). I was able to reproduce the same design multiple times with a little innovation of my own: a makeshift light table using a lamp placed under a glass coffee table.

I experimented with different sized pen lines and was impressed with how dramatic a difference 0.15 mm can make.

The thin lines looked significantly more professional.

For those of you who can't remember your amino acids from undergrad, they are (T)hreonine, (H)istidine, (A)lanine, (N) Asparagine, (K) Lysine, and (S)erine. I like that this card idea is adaptable to multiple other occasions since the amino acid letters can be used to spell a variety of messages. Of course, that is just as long as you do not need to use B,J,O,U,X, or Z – now that is the real test of creativity.

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