HeLa T-shirt and button design contest

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Wanna put your mad Photoshop skillz to a good non-profit cause?

Rebecca Skloot, author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, (and I) need your help for scientist give-away items to support The Henrietta Lacks Foundation. Scroll down to the end of the post for information on the Foundation’s mission or just click here.

I’ll be at the 102nd Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in Orlando during first week of April and will be manning a booth to promote the Foundation to raise awareness about our mission and, hopefully, cultivate philanthropy among individuals and companies who may care to support the cause (Disclosure: I am a non-compensated member of the Foundation’s Board of Directors).

We want to offer two types of promotional items that are beyond my graphic design skills:


1. Two sets of buttons, both 1-inch diameter (2.54 cm) with the words:

a. “Thank You #HeLa” or “I Love #HeLa” centered, and
b. “I [heart] HeLa” centered

both with the text of the URL, henriettalacksfoundation.org, around the bottom rim of the button

The font can be of your choosing.

2. A black T-shirt using the following HeLa immunofluorescence image on the front with accompanying text, “Thank You HeLa,” and the reverse with “henriettalacksfoundation.org” on the back. Once again, the font can be of your choosing.

What would be lovely is to have the three cells in the center as the primary graphic with the other cells ‘shopped out. However, we’re totally open to whatever design wizardry strikes you.

Right-click on the image or open in another tab to get the full 1024 x 765 px version. Photo credit: Dr. Omar Quintero, Penn State, Hershey, College of Medicine

Update: some folks have asked about whether the image needs to be the exact photo of the cells or whether they can be an artistic rendering of the cells using the photo as a model.  Absolutely – use your artistic license and show us what you’ve got!

If you wish to offer your assistance, you may send your graphics files to me via Gmail to abelpharmboy.

The reward for the selected images will be a T-shirt with said design and a personally-inscribed (by Rebecca, not me) first-edition hardback version of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. And, of course, you’ll have the satisfaction of contributing to a Foundation that aims to give education and medical support to deserving individuals.

Yes, I am so challenged as to not even be able to figure out how to make circular text around a button template. Hence, I simply want to be in a position to just hand off the image files to a printer and get our promotional items printed without me fumbling around with Photoshop and a billion different fonts.

Thank you for considering helping out with this effort. If you have any questions, you can comment below, Gmail me at abelpharmboy, or tweet me @davidkroll.

The Henrietta Lacks Foundation

The Henrietta Lacks Foundation strives to provide financial assistance to needy individuals who have made important contributions to scientific research without personally benefitting from those contributions, particularly those used in research without their knowledge or consent. The Foundation gives those who have benefited from those contributions — including scientists, universities, corporations, and the general public — a way to show their appreciation to such research subjects and their families.

The Foundation has already awarded several grants, including grants covering tuition and book expenses for five descendants of Henrietta Lacks, and health care expenses and emergency needs of several members of her immediate family. The Foundation’s goal is to continue to help the Lacks family as well as others with similar needs who may qualify, such as descendants of research subjects used in the famous Tuskegee Syphilis Studies, those injected with sexually transmitted diseases without their knowledge by the US Government, and others. To be eligible for a grant, an applicant must prove financial need and have made, or be the descendant of someone who has made, a significant contribution to scientific research as a research subject, including those who have unwillingly or unknowingly been used in research or contributed biological materials for research.

The Henrietta Lacks Foundation, Inc. is a public charity that is exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Internal Revenue Service has determined that the Foundation’s tax-exempt status is effective as of December 10, 2010; accordingly, donations received by the Foundation prior to December 10, 2010 will not be tax-deductible.

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