Themes of Psychoanalysis
Themes of Psychoanalysis
Themes of Psychoanalysis
Themes of Psychoanalysis
Themes of Psychoanalysis
Themes of Psychoanalysis
Themes of Psychoanalysis

Themes of Psychoanalysis

FBA. - Ferrand, Bicker & Associados, Coimbra, Portugal, 2010


Project brief: This is the Portuguese edition of a book series on psychoanalysis written for professionals but with the broader public in mind. The client requested a series of low-budget covers with graphic impact that would differentiate themselves from other books available on the subject. Although the design should differentiate these books from the self-help category, they intentionally look accessible for the majority of the audience, professional or non-professional.

Client quote: “The goal of this series was: books for impulse shopping with appeal to mental-health professionals as well as a broader audience with interest in these subjects.”

Approach: Each book in the series is dedicated to a specific subject and the cover reflects the subject matter by using simple typographic illustrations. The design is intentionally down-toned to set them apart from the “shouting covers” usually found in the self-help category. The books are small and we wanted them to seem accessible, include some wit in the illustrations and catch the eye. The covers communicate symbolically with letters but not necessarily with words, which is something we found quite amusing considering the psychoanalytic themes addressed.

Effectiveness: We consider the design successful because with few resources—one typeface and a two-color offset print; no photographs, varnish or cut-out effects—the result is still fun and playful. These books are aimed to sell as a series so the design was also developed to trigger a collector attitude.

Client quote: “The collection has a very high recognition rate among our target audience because of the size of the books, the colors and the clean and simple design. The public reaction has been positive and we notice that in the sales.”

This collection was designed in two stages: the first part (volumes 1 through 5) was designed in 2002; the second (volumes 6 through 10) was designed in 2010 after the initial success. We are sending the complete collection so the jury can see how the entire series works together.

Juror Notes

These work well formally regardless of content but once translated, the clever icons deftly enact each of the themes (e.g. an “eye” on a green background for “envy”). Further proof that great cover design doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.

Collections: 50 Books | 50 Covers of 2010
Repository: Denver Art Museum
Discipline: Book design
Format: Book, Book cover


Design firm
FBA. - Ferrand, Bicker & Associados
Art director
João Bicker
Ana Boavida
Jacket designer
Ana Boavida
Paula Valente
Project manager
Cristina Alves
Trim size
4.7 x 7
90 (average)
Century Schoolbook
Gráfica de Coimbra
Printing method
Two-color offset, plastified
Trucard, 225 gsm
Grupo Almedina