Nature Portfolio Line stickers
We are delighted to present a series of Line stickers designed and produced by Nature Portfolio. The stickers follow the adventures of two dear friends, Lablab and Nano Kitty, in and out of the laboratory. We hope that the stickers will be useful as a communication tool with your family, friends, research colleagues, and many other people.
Lablab is a lovable Labrador researcher, who is obsessed with science. The canine researcher is a passionate and driven hard worker, but can always make time for a cup of coffee. Lablab’s puppy-like clumsiness and poor sense of direction, bring about some embarrassing situations, but also lead to some unexpected discoveries!
Lablab enjoys spending time with Nano Kitty, as they have been best friends since university. Nano Kitty thinks Lablab can be too serious, so often likes to get them involved in the funnier side of life. Together the two of them love to explore and pursue new adventures!
Lablab's adorable best friend Nano Kitty is intelligent, cute, calm and relaxed, but also has a mischievous streak. Nano Kitty has a unique ability to change to any size, so can explore almost any scientific environment, from molecular to astronomical. Fittingly, Nano Kitty has a nano-sized attention span, so easily gets bored at work, preferring the excitement of adventures with Lablab!
Stickers inspired by famous Nature papers
Three of the stickers represent important research discoveries from papers published in Nature.
- Fingerprints: On the Skin-Furrows of the Hand, published 28 October 1880, Nature 22, 605
- X-rays: On a New Kind of Rays, published 23 January 1896, Nature 53, 274-276
- DNA: Molecular Structure of Nucleic Acids: A Structure for Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid, published 01 April 1953, Nature 171, 737–738
Meet the creative team
Lablab and Nano Kitty are the creations of artist Nik Spencer, Nature’s Senior Illustrator, based in London. He spends most of his working hours producing scientific graphics and illustrations for Nature, but enjoys a bit of nerd-based humour, as can be found in his ‘Quirks of Nature ’ cartoon series.
Along with Nik, the core team includes Art Director Sou Nakamura and Group Product Manager Bob Edenbach from Nature’s Tokyo office, and Kelly Krause, Nature’s Creative Director.
A special thanks to key collaborators Wes Fernandes and Claire Welsh from Nature’s art team in London, Senior Corporate Communications Manager Ayako Miyazaki and other supporting teams in Tokyo.
Creative process behind the characters
The concept of Lablab – a laboratory labrador, came from a cartoon that I drew a few years ago that depicted a yellow labrador bursting into a lab and causing chaos. When we started thinking about the stickers, I knew that I wanted to use animals, so this seemed like a good place to start! Nano Kitty soon followed. This was the first character I sketched fully, and the look of the cute, cuddly blue kitten didn’t change much from my original concept drawing. Lablab was more difficult to visualise, and his look and style changed a lot over time.
Evolution of Lablab
Original Nano Kitty drawing
The ideas for stickers were developed over many conversations, with the creative team all providing excellent ideas for scenarios. This input allowed me to gradually develop the relationship of the characters and the art style. Lablab became the friendly, hardworking scientist (with a bit of a temper!), and Nano Kitty was soon floating amongst molecules and flying through space, wherever there was science to explore.
It was a difficult process deciding which ideas to keep, and which to leave out. We thought a lot about how scientists might use the stickers in everyday life. In the end, we wanted the stickers to have a good mix of scientific disciplines but also contain plenty of expressions that would be easy to use in general conversation. The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic also influenced the development process, so we made sure that we included a few stickers to reflect the challenging situation of the past year. We hope that the result is a sticker set that everyone can enjoy!
— Nik Spencer
All proceeds from the sale of Nature Portfolio Line stickers in the Line Store will be donated to a charity benefiting students in pursuit of higher education in Japan. Springer Nature is proud to take this fun initiative and hopes it will benefit students who wish to pursue their dreams in science.