My goal for JonsBones has always been to provide an approachable, educational look at bones and the osteological trade. Because of people’s perception of bones in modern pop-culture as something macabre and scary, I sought to destigmatize this industry through imagery. Skulls and bones are often associated with things like heavy metal, goth imagery, or pirates. In order to combat this popular perception, I decided to try to make my company’s public image cute and approachable, to bridge the gap between people’s fear and this vital resource for understanding the human body.
In working with talented illustrators, I used my own image to promote bones and osteology. I feel that by being prominently featured in my promotional material, people know that they can ask me anything, and I will do my best to provide my insight to them. In each illustration, I attempt to not only address issues within the bone community, such as maceration or flesh-eating insects, but also build the lore around JonsBones. Each design contains Easter-eggs that are self-referential, and meant to build on each other.
My first sticker was my preliminary attempt at humanizing the bone trade. “Beauty That’s Bone Deep” is a statement of self worth, using purposefully cute and non-threatening colors. Illustrated by Brianna of @Bleu_tortle_art it is an old favorite.
After “Bone Deep” came “Mestid & Derr” which shows me in a cartoon caricature accompanied by two pet Dermestid Beetles named Mestid and Derr. Dermestid beetles are commonly used by articulators to delicately remove flesh from specimens. Drawn by @leia_doodels, this sticker features an Easter-egg on cartoon me’s T-shirt, referring to my last design.
This next design features me skateboarding under a bright pink Manhattan sunset with my skeleton friends behind me and dermestid (flesh-eating) beetle Derr riding on my shoulder. Drawn by @leia_doodels, you can see a “Mestid & Derr” design on the tiny me’s t-shirt.
This design is the most personal to date, depicting me with the man who first got me interested in osteology all those years ago, my late father, Jim. When Jim was young, he articulated a rat skeleton for a science project and saved it all his life, and he showed it to me when I grew to be around the same age. I was so inspired by this little creation that I decided to start articulating on my own. Unfortunately, on July 5th of 2017, Jim passed away due to cirrhosis of the liver caused by alcoholism. To honor his memory, the JonsBones team has created this design, the proceeds of which will be donated to organizations that help people struggling with alcoholism, substance abuse, and other related diseases. Drawn by @leia_doodels, this design holds a special place in my heart.
This design by Lauren Utley features a skull floating in a pot of water while being macerated. This process is meant to separate the flesh from the bone, and while in real life it is not easy to look at, the aesthetic of the design provides a much more welcoming look into the nitty-gritty parts of the bone industry.
My official logo holds a lot of symbolic meaning. Drawn by @leia_doodels, it shows me in a blue shirt holding a human skull, surrounded by animal skeletons. This represents my humble beginnings in animal skeleton articulator, and my current status as a bone dealer. The blue shirt is the same shade as the logo for Adam, Rouilly, a bone dealer in the 20th century. While I don’t do business the same way they did, they paved the way for me, and I pay homage to their legacy with this design.
All in all, every design is loaded with meaning and purposeful intent. While JonsBones is moving away from these cartoonish representations, these images hold an important piece of our brand identity, and will inspire us in the future.