Psychology Today

Psychology Today

A deep look into the just-shipped October issue of Psychology Today, from Creative Director Ed Levine:
Psychology Today's October issue is an example of the exciting conceptual challenges the art department regularly tackles. Many of the articles are abstract, about things that cannot be observed by the eye and require creative problem solving. The solutions are a result of close collaboration with our great contributors, thought provoking editorial material, and Kaja Perina, Editor-In-Chief.
A closer look at the cover and several features after the jump...

Cover: 'What Signals Are You Sending?' is about the differences between how we think about ourselves and how others may perceive us. Having the model act as a canvas for a range of personality types seemed the most direct way of communicating the multiple ways we can be 'literally' read. The model was hand lettered with a fresh lively energy by James Victore and photographed by Henry Leutwyler.

Mixed Signals: We illustrated the cover story inside with photographs by Karjean Levine of real people holding signs, first introduced on the opening spread without any descriptive words, then allowing the subjects to weigh in on the turn pages in their own words. I wanted the portraits to feel warm and honest. They were photographed in what they wore to the studio.

Escape Artists: Photographed by Fredrik Broden, the goal was to convey in a suspenseful noir setting the drama of avoidance and procrastination. Fredrik and I have collaborated frequently over the years and he always delivers wonderful work. Based in Dallas, TX email plays a big role in our process.

The Wholesome Guide to Misbehaving: For this feature photographed by James Worrell on how we can all benefit from adding a little mischief to our lives so we don't get stuck in a rut, I wanted a humorous juxtaposition of objects symbolically contrasting safe with naughty, spicy and fun.
The opening image of the horned headband was something I asked prop stylist Jen Everett to construct. The naughty-sweet contrast and costume element capture the psychology of trying out different ways of being.

Catching the Blues: Illustrating this feature required finding and assigning different photographers across the country to take portraits of subjects who have lived with or knew someone who struggled with depression. These features can be challenging because we do not assign the project to a single photographer and need to rely on local photographers with similar sensibilities so the art is cohesive.

The Psychology Today creative team includes
Edward Levine : Creative Director
Katherine Bigelow : Art Director
Claudia Stefezius : Photo Editor

Hey! You've probably got some NEW WORK to share, and we want to see it! We'll welcome anything that's gone to the printer recently, something you're especially proud of and think might be inspiring to the membership and readers of Grids. We'll note the credits and the publication and shine a little light on the latest and greatest in publication design.

Please reduce your layouts to no larger than 1200 pixels wide and don't forget to include all relevant credits and a little background (if you feel like). Send your submissions to and we'll post them as we get them.

PREVIOUSLY: Runner's World
PREVIOUSLY: Popular Mechanics

  • Grant Glas
  • mon_stdnt

    Didn't Esquire do something like this a month ago with James Victore?

  • Neil Jamieson

    Really great work Ed, as ususal your team has managed to communicate these tricky concepts with striking clarity. Smart and beautiful! Bravo

  • Wilbert Gutierrez

    Awesome work, love to see fresh ideas. Go Kat!

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