Case Study

A golden ticket behind the scenes

PROJECT DATE: 2014-2015

As director of design, I helped to create Shelf Life, a delightful monthly video series from the American Museum of Natural History, exploring a massive collection of over 34 million specimens and artifacts across a kaleidoscope of scientific disciplines. Each episode is a golden ticket behind the scenes in the institution and its world-renowned archive, with Museum scientists and staff as guides. 


cutting-edge science meets Classic design

I collaborated with series producer Erin Chapman and animator Jason Drakeford to define a distinctive look for the marketing collateral and online content, based on the opening title sequence for Shelf Life. I utilized the Museum's incredible visual archives, research collections, and a bold color palette to introduce each episode.

The iconic coral specimen that we selected for the central image of Shelf Life was wrapped in layers of red and featured in several prominent publications, including an advertisement in the inaugural redesigned issue of New York Times Magazine


The series for curious minds

Each episode has its own distinct look and graphical treatment that I had the opportunity to define in a series-specific style guide. I led the team to produce a full package of interactive web features, marketing materials, and the video itself, often highlighting visually compelling objects from the Museum collections that represent the theme of the episode itself.

A research collection is a place of discovery. You can walk around the corner and see something no one’s quite observed that way before.
— MICHAEL NOVACEK, American Museum of Natural History

350k views and counting...

I helped to produce twelve episodes in Shelf Life's award-winning first season. The series was featured on The Guardian, New York Times, Wired, Mental Floss, Laughing Squid, and screened at live events at the Museum and beyond.