2021 AMI Online Salon

Scientific American: Critical Contact and the Burden on the Brain

Project Details

  • Entrant Name:  Martin Shook
  • Client:Faculty Advisor: Marc Dryer
  • Copyright: Martin Shook, 2021
  • Medium/software used:Autodesk Maya, Adobe Photoshop®, and Adobe Illustrator®
  • Final presentation format:Journal Cover
  • Primary Audience:The target audience is Scientific America readers, people interested in sports-related trauma and safe sport advocates.

Project Description

This journal cover, entitled ‘Scientific American: Critical Contact and the Burden on the Brain’, uses a visual metaphor to communicate repeated head trauma in NFL players. This design supports the journal’s featured topic on chronic traumatic encephalitis (CTE), a neurodegenerative disease linked to repeated blows to the head. CTE-related neurodegeneration afflicts many football players due to the high-impact nature of the game. The journal cover utilizes a Newton’s Cradle metaphor to communicate the repeated head impacts players may receive during play. Stadium goalposts replace the frame of the cradle, and stylized helmets substitute the spheres. A brain replaces the football team’s logo to connect the visual to CTE further. The image captures the moment before the outer helmet tackles into the row of helmets, transmitting its force through the set, launching the helmet at the opposite end. The launched helmet then tackles back into the row, repeating the blows.