As part of the end-to-end services we provided for DanStem in advance of its on-site evaluation by an international scientific panel, we were asked to guide with figure selection, to design and illustrate graphics, and to develop a colour palette and layout in keeping with DanStem’s logo and organizational identity.


Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Stem Cell Biology (DanStem), University of Copenhagen


A comprehensive and well-designed self-evaluation report, accompanying appendices, and strategy document (80, 126 and 30 pages, respectively).

DanStem self-evaluation cover

We developed the creative concepts for the DanStem (the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Stem Cell Biology) documents and implemented an attractive design to enhance the text and improve readability.



Graphical profile
At Elevate, we believe that well thought out and clear graphics and design can help readers better appreciate the content and improve readability, particularly for large and content-heavy documents such as reports. In this case, we first reviewed DanStem’s background material (e.g., annual reports, other overview documents, website and logo) and spoke to key DanStem staff members about the Center’s identity and growth, following which we put together a graphical profile for the documents. This profile included a colour palette that expanded on the logo colours, cover designs that embodied biological order, patterning and DanStem’s research themes in an abstract way, and a design mockup of sample pages. Combined, these decisions and documents provided guidance for how to generate and visualise text and graphical material.

Creative specification and graphics
We provided a creative specification that worked in tandem with the editorial specification for the self-evaluation, appendices and strategy documents. Here we explained the options for the types of graphics that would complement the text and abide by the funder’s guidelines, and the type of data needed for each graphical item. We then developed almost 30 graphics in accordance with the graphical profile; the graphics clearly illustrated concepts such as the Center’s embedment within its local and national environment, international collaborations, achievement timelines, organograms, and staff gender and diversity.

Following the finalization of the text and graphics via an iterative process between us and DanStem, we proceeded to the layouts. For this, we used the design mockup as a guide. Through an iterative process, we made adjustments to the placement of graphics, the heading hierarchy and section and line spacing, until a final version was agreed upon. Finally, we proofread the document and developed print-ready files.

How the project was received

“We enlisted Elevate Scientific to support our preparations for an evaluation by the Novo Nordisk Foundation that included the preparation of written materials (a self-evaluation report, strategy document, and the supporting appendices) as well as a site visit with a panel of international scientific peers. Support by Elevate included guiding us in a framing workshop, advising on the focus of the content, developing the layout and graphics, and providing editorial support. The result was three high quality publications and presentation quality graphics documenting the eight years of the Center’s activities, all materials that brought positive feedback. Elevate's support combined a deep understanding of the scientific process with strong science communications skills. Importantly, communication with the Elevate team was always professional, fast, and comprehensive, creating a great working relationship.
We are happy to highly recommend Elevate to colleagues and have already used Elevate's expertise and services in other projects.”

Gretchen RepaskyChief Operating Officer, Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Stem Cell Biology