British Geological Survey

Revealing the world
beneath our feet

It’s hard being a geologist. That’s not a rock joke, it’s true, because there are limited ways to show people the world you study, so they can take interest. You can send a photographer to a jungle, a desert, or an ocean floor. But how to portray the vast world beneath our feet?


Lovers were invited to help the British Geological Survey invent some new ways to show non-geologists what’s going on deep underground. This would be a pilot project to originate at a new set of explainer images capable of capturing imaginations first.

Rock On

starting with experiments

BGS and Lovers both believed it would be possible to create some pioneering images to tell captivating geological stories, but nobody knew how we would integrate our 3D imaging approach with BGS’s data and expertise. The answer was experimentation and discussion.

The Texture

trying something new

We learned that BGS already use complex colour coding in their sophisticated 3D models. But the paradox was: when you zoom into a 3D model, the texture would always need to be shown at a different scale, so it was just avoided. That created an opportunity for something new.

What’s going
on here?

building curiosity

Designers and scientists can agree on a lot, but not everything. We realised that the primary job of these new images was to stimulate curiosity and questions from non-geologists. Why is the water moving sideways? Is that rock hard or soft? They become gateways into geology.