National Geographic's Ossified Menagerie by Bose Collins
DNA is literally the building blocks of life. As far as we’ve seen, every living organism on this planet has the double helix of DNA hiding away in its cells, and amazingly most of our DNA is all the same. There is such an abundance of information, and information at that scales means that everything on the planet is more similar than we might seem. For instance, Human beings share 50% of our DNA with bananas. DNA is integral to the planet Earth, and that’s something that National Geographic wanted to feature in their latest cover story, but to visualize it effectively they asked Bose Collins to help them make it possible.
In their CGI illustrated cover, the creative collective created a literal menagerie of animals climbing the double helix together. Aesthetically, they chose the finish and color of bones, the deepest region of where our genetic information is stored, that offers another layer of organic reference. These smallest elements of genetic information are reinterpreted as their own standalone apparatus, ossified and alive. In a companion video, we see them moving up the twisting ladder in a march up the backbone of earthly life.
This kind of a project is no small feat. Each animal has to be ideated and executed separately to the behavior of that species, and each animal climbs in three dimensions as the camera moves around the spinning group. When National Geographic came to Bose Collins with this idea, they knew it wasn’t going to be easy but they had no idea how expertly Bose Collins would finish it. The Digital Creative Director of National Geographic, Emmet Smith, says, “Bose Collins took a good idea and sharpened it into a great one. They then topped that off with even better craft in execution. Unbeatable.”
Check out the cover with a companion video, as well as a video that offers a behind the scenes look at Bose Collins' process.