Genetic Art Reviews for DNA11

£159.00

At a Glance

Editor's Rating:
5 out of 5 stars
Customer Service:
5 out of 5 stars
Clarity of Results:
4.5 out of 5 stars
References Cited:
5 out of 5 stars
Value for Money:
4.5 out of 5 stars

Summary

DNA11 provided a fun and different way to explore the information hidden in my DNA. I was able to customise my DNA portrait down to colour, size, canvas thickness, and frame, and could have contacted them for further personalisation if I wished.

The artwork they created was vibrant, minimalist, and in perfect condition. From the explanation of their process in the provided booklet, I was satisfied that the art created was truly unique to myself. In any case, it definitely made for an interesting conversation piece, or a unique gift!

Full Review

DNA11 was founded in 2005 by Adrian Salamunovic and Nazim Ahmed, and is based in London, UK. The company is devoted to creating bespoke works of art that are both customised and personalised.

Product Expectations

The DNA11 website was sleek and stylish. In addition to the DNA Portrait, which I planned to get, I could also order a portrait of my pet’s DNA, a couple’s combined DNA portrait, a Fingerprint Portrait, or a KISS Portrait (yes, of my kiss!).

On the homepage, they explained that the DNA sample would be taken using a cheek swab (no blood), and I could view the complete contents of the kit they would send. There was also a video that went through the process of swabbing your cheek, the laboratory process, and the digital design process that would produce my genetic art.

There was a “Gallery” page showcasing their art, which was useful as it gave me an idea of what to expect, and also all the different colours and sizes I could get, as well as ideas for how I might hang mine in my home. (It’s worth checking out – I scrolled through a few times before noticing that one picture showed Elijah Wood holding what was presumably his own portrait!)

Ordering Experience

It was simple enough to order through the DNA11 website. I first had to select what sort of art I wanted: in this case, a DNA portrait. I found I could combine up to four people’s DNA, and the portrait came in a range of four sizes: 30x41cm, 46x61cm, 61x91cm, and 91x137cm. The price increased by size.

I could also choose whether I wanted to add a frame, and whether I wanted my portrait to be 2cm or 4cm deep. A colour swatch would be sent with my kit so I could choose, and I could pay extra to add my signature and for a digital copy to download.

To order, it was necessary to provide a full name, email address, phone number, and street address. I had to pay for shipping for both the DNA kit and the portrait in advance. I could pay with credit/debit card, PayPal, or a gift card if I had one.

I wasn’t asked to agree to the Terms and Conditions or Privacy Policy, and so I sought these out myself. Both were pretty straightforward. I’d wanted to know what would happen to my genetic information once I’d sent it to them, and whether it would be shared with third parties. I couldn’t find any mention of this in either policy, but I found a page in the footer called “Privacy Guarantee”. Here, I learned that my DNA or print sample would be destroyed once it had been analysed, that my sample would be identified using a barcode (and not my name), that my information would not be shared with third parties, and that my portrait would not hold any “forensic-level information” that could identify me.

I’d seen that they had a “100% Satisfaction Guarantee”. Clicking on “Satisfaction Guarantee” in the footer, I learned that I could get a refund or swap my artwork for another piece within five days of receipt, though I would have to pay for shipping and handling costs. I thought this was fair, since the customer won’t know what their art will look like until they get it!

Once I’d placed my order, the DNA kit arrived within a week or so of ordering (I’d been told it would take up to a week to ship, and then up to another week to arrive).

The kit resembled the slim metal box I’d seen pictured on the site, and contained a cheek swab, instructions, a DNA portrait booklet, a return envelope for my sample, and a colour swatch.

Taking the cheek swab sample was easy and painless. There were 12 different colours on the swatch to choose from: Infrared, Firesky, Citron, Deep, Dusk, Black Ice, Northern Lights, Citylights, Ice, Cotton Candy, Positive, Redlight, Atomic, Aquatic, Passion, and Glacier. I could also choose a combination of two colour schemes.

I chose “Aquatic”, which was a turquoise-blue colour with green stripes.

I’d read on the site that the portrait would be delivered about four weeks after the lab received my sample, and so it was about five weeks after returning my kit that a package arrived containing my art!

The Results

My artwork came in a sturdy package, and arrived in perfect condition (shown below).

Click to see larger
My DNA Portrait.

My DNA Portrait.

The colours were as I’d expected from the choice I’d made, though I wasn’t sure what the different dashes represented. I searched for the booklet that had come with my kit, and found that it described first the DNA extraction process, and then how the DNA portrait was made.

From what I understood (“A Kiddies’ Guide to DNA Portraiture” might have been more helpful in my case!), they used a process called “Gel Electrophoresis” to separate the bands of my DNA so that the largest pieces would appear on top of the sample card, and the smaller strands closer to the bottom. This put my DNA into a unique order.

They then stained my DNA with an ultraviolet dye to make it visible, illuminated it, and captured the image using the biological-grade camera. One of DNA11’s graphic artists then took this image, cleaned it up, and coloured it to resemble the colours I’d chosen.

The overall effect was striking, and my DNA portrait’s minimalist appearance gave it a sleek, modern art sort of feel. I was sure it would make for a good conversation piece. I’m not usually a modern art kind of girl, and so anyone coming to my house who saw it would be bound to ask questions, only I’d probably need to dig out my booklet again to explain…

Summary

DNA11 provided a fun and different way to explore the information hidden in my DNA. I was able to customise my DNA portrait down to colour, size, canvas thickness, and frame, and could have contacted them for further personalisation if I wished.

The artwork they created was vibrant, minimalist, and in perfect condition. From the explanation of their process in the provided booklet, I was satisfied that the art created was truly unique to myself. In any case, it definitely made for an interesting conversation piece, or a unique gift!

Please note we were invited to review this product free of charge.

See a description of this DNA test from DNA11 >