Mark Spencer has something of an usual job – he’s a Forensic Botanist who works with police and forensic departments on cases where an extensive knowledge of plants is key to the investigation. Spencer is apparently just one of two such practitioners working in the UK.
Fieldwork Facility were asked to design an identity for his company and the result combines an eye motif with the detailing of a ‘skeletonised leaf’ that references the process of decay.
“In Forensic Botany the main tools at Mark’s disposal are his observational skills and his vast botanical knowledge,” says FF’s Robin Howie who photographed a leaf that the studio believed had good ‘eye’ qualities and then created the design by hand.
“From there we started drawing,” says Howie. “We knew for the print processes we had in mind [that] the final logo needed to be vectorised, so there was no way we could just work with the source photograph.
Clearly any sane person would try to use software to automate this process and convert the photo to vectors but the fidelity was lost … there was no way around it!”
Spencer also works as a field botanist, public speaker and television personality, so FF took the decision to omit the word ‘Forensics’ from the identity – leaving his different spheres of work to be conveyed further through two phrases that appear on other printed material: ‘Plants Hold Secrets’ – for Spencer’s forensic work – and ‘Plants Tell Stories’ for his public-facing work.
“We commissioned photographer Robin Friend to join us with Mark Spencer on a walk through the British countryside simulating a forensic investigation,” says Howie. “For Plants Hold Secrets we photographed plants that are often useful in forensic investigations and for Plants Tell Stories we photographed plants that are non-indigenous to the UK.”