Like many of the themes for issues of Harvard Medicine, Surgery did not easily lend itself to simple illustration analogies. The final concept proved to be in opposition to earlier ideas showing actions like cutting or sewing, concepts that seemed too literal and, often, somewhat disturbing. In the end, we thought that illustrating the precise removal of a small but important part of something larger reflected the essence of what surgeons do every day: take as much care as possible when interrupting the original object (or body) so as to not affect essential function.
Paul DiMattia is the design director in the HMS Office of communications and External Relations.
Video file: Jill Carrico