Face Up: Psychology Today
Issue: August 2009
Publishing Company: Sussex Publishers, LLC
Editor-in-Chief: Kaja Perina
Art Director: Ed Levine
Photographer: Andrew Eccles
Capturing a facial expression to represent the theme of an issue isnât as easy at it looks. New Yorkâs January 21-29, 2008 double issue, âPeace + Quiet,â featured an outline-less womanâs face with eyes closed, exuding relaxation and escape; more recently, Esquireâs 2009 commemorative issue featured the âHopeâ headshot of a pensive Barack Obama that read âWhat Now?â
For Psychology Todayâs August cover, art director Ed Levine wanted to use an iconic image, âsomething that was strong graphically and emotionally,â to convey the cover story âJealousy: Why Itâs Really About You.â
Levine opted for a simple green and black color palette so as not to distract from the cover image. An important consideration, however, was the modelâs make up. âI gave the makeup artist instructions before the shoot, and said the âmost important thing is that the model doesnât look Halloween-ish, like Shrek, or like the Wicked Witch of the West from the Wizard of Oz.ââ
Achieving the shiny green glow required the makeup artist to combine green foundation with a binder to thicken it and apply shine over it, in addition to green lipstick. The green tongue was a product of Levineâs post-shoot Photoshop handywork. However, the constraints of a one-day shoot offered little time to experiment with alternative shades of green.
While initially Psychology Today considered âmaking her [the cover modelâs] eyes green to represent jealousy, as in the expression âgreen-eyed monster,â it was actually distracting,â says Levine. The full-on green cover may be better suited to the expression âgreen with envy,â but, as Levine says, âenvy and jealously are often confused.â
The overarching goal was to ensure that the cover didnât take on a synthetic quality. âWe wanted it to have a natural feel,â he says. âOften, I try to create a poster impact, but as PT is a general interest magazine, weâre essentially selling the idea of being a person. I wanted to tie the cover to the gut emotion of jealousy.â
âVisually, this is a very arresting cover. The image is bold, yet simpleâthe cover lines are catchy and easy to read. Even though the cover has a lot of information, it doesnât feel cluttered to me, but informative. My only criticism is that the image seems to have little to do with the coverline. Yes, sheâs green with envy (...not actually the same as jealousy...), but she looks like sheâs proudly belting out the last note of a rock ballad. I donât get a sense of the emotional confusion and spite that jealously brings out in a person. But, maybe Iâm just envious.â
Karen Player | Art Director | Harvard Business Review
âAs for the image, jealousy is the âgreen-eyed monster,â not the Hulk. In order to convey jealousy, it would work to have her eyes open and green, and keeping her face âun-green.â Eyes have a tendency to really attract people and draw them in, so having her eyes closed isnât adding anything to the cover. Her crooked mouth is also kind of disconcerting. I do love the + and - signs that the art director uses; they really work graphically. I also really like most of the coverlines. One that could use some work is â5 Dating Shake-Ups for Singles,â since I donât know what a âshake-upâ is; also, the coverline â10 Laws of Great Art.â I thought the point of art is that whatâs good is subjective. The word âlawâ is also jarring. I would space the left side coverline âWhat A Kiss Can Tell Youâ to read: What/A Kiss/Can/Tell/You.â
Thea Selby | Principal | Next Steps Marketing, Inc.