Pratt BFA Communications Design Thesis

Alexa Finkelstein Illustration

Illustrated Guide to Psychoanalysis

Editorial Design
Publication Design

Throughout my studies in my psychology minor, I have found the subject of psychoanalysis⸺the theories of the unconscious mind⸺the most interesting; psychoanalysis is the basis of many areas of psychology, and though the theories may not always accurately depict the mind, they certainly reveal a lot about society and its impact on the individual. However, I have also found psychoanalytic theories the most difficult to study, as they are often translated from other languages and the concepts are so abstract. This semester, my intention was thus to create an illustrated glossary and guide to some of the most famous theories in psychoanalysis.

The glossary contains illustrations of some of the most famous concepts of Sigmund Freud, Anna Freud, Jacques Lacan, Carl Jung, and Melanie Klein, with summaries and definitions explaining the terms’ meanings. In addition, it also includes famous case studies which may be used to help explain some of these terms. The book is designed with high school- and college-aged students in mind, offering a condensed guide to psychoanalysis that can be used to aid studying. The finished images are created primarily in linocut, with digital techniques being used to add color and textures. I took inspiration from surrealism, as the first surrealists were inspired by psychoanalysis and surrealist art often incorporates abstract imagery which I felt was helpful to explain the concepts. Overall, I aimed not only to make psychoanalysis easier to understand, but also to excite readers and encourage them to engage with the strange, yet valuable theories which come from it.