Good Design is in the Details (With Plenty of White Space in Between)

by Kristen Knight

Released in March 2015 with approximately 1,200 pages and 26,000 entries, the APA Dictionary of Psychology, Second Edition, is a behemoth of a book by any definition. But it was the smaller details in the text that garnered the attention of judges when they awarded it first prize in the typographic text category (large nonprofit) of the 2015 Washington Publishers Book Design and Effectiveness Awards.  Those details included good column width, the use of guide words and rule at the top of each page, and cleanly executed thumb tabs for easy navigation.

“We gave the nod to your dictionary because the design is technically effective and successful in all of the ways that dictionaries need to be,” said awards judge John Guthrie, who is the managing editor of the book program at the American Diabetes Association. “I’ve worked on dictionaries before, so I am fully aware that the apparent simplicity of a well-designed dictionary belies the amount of planning, skill, and expertise that goes into creating an effective one. We commented frequently during the judging process about how good design also exhibits restraint. The design of the APA Dictionary of Psychology represents creativity, attention to purpose, and restraint.”

Guthrie also praised the dictionary’s effective use of font size, boldface, italics, and small caps, along with the “incredibly descriptive” guide to format for readers, which appears in the front matter of the book.

DoP2 Award_Inside spread graphicFor you font nerds out there (yes, they exist!), this second edition of the dictionary was typeset in 9-point Photina. The design and composition of the text were produced by Anne Kerr at Market House Books, Ltd., in Aylesbury, England. With almost 45 years of experience in creating specialty dictionaries for various publishers, Market House is perhaps the premier reference compiler in the United Kingdom.

“The font was selected for clarity and economy of space,” Anne said about the design. “I think the font is easy to read and, as using this font meant we needed less space for the text, we were able to increase the interentry space. From the design point of view, the white space is as important as the text itself!”

Anne typically offers APA reference editors several samples to review prior to the production phase for a dictionary. “Generally, there will be different typefaces and variations in type size, leading, and kerning from which to select,” explained our Reference Director Ted Baroody. “For the APA Dictionary of Psychology, Second Edition, we chose the specs that seemed most generous for ease of reading while also being most closely aligned with our desired overall page length. It was a great plus for APA and Market House Books to be able to land on such an aesthetically pleasing set of specs.”

The collaboration between APA and MHB goes back more than 16 years, dating to work on the critically acclaimed first edition of the dictionary and encompassing several subsequent derivatives, among them the well-received APA College Dictionary of Psychology and APA Dictionary of Statistics and Research Methods. Ted describes the partnership this way: “It is certainly not overstated to note that APA Reference staff has learned substantially about the profession and art of lexicography from our English colleagues, and, perhaps, MHB staff has even learned a little bit about psychology from us!”

As you might guess, producing such a considered and inclusive second edition required years of effort on the part of a large team of psychologists and allied health professionals, editors, and designers. The reference team at APA is pleased that the Washington Publishers Association award recognized the result, and specifically the way in which all of that knowledge is so effectively presented for readers.

Reference

VandenBos, G. R. (Ed.). (2015). APA dictionary of psychology (2nd ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

This Land is Your Land

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by Katie ten Hagen

My friend DJ was in Washington, DC, on June 26, when the US Supreme Court finally legalized gay marriage nationwide. At midnight, he joined an elated crowd outside the White House, celebrating the victory and the powerful sight of the rainbow flag projected against the White House. That sight was soon surpassed by something even more powerful:  A man standing beside him spontaneously broke into song. He began singing “This Land Is Your Land” in a strong, unwavering voice that silenced the crowd. A minute later, a woman rode up on a bicycle and began to harmonize. Their impromptu duet riveted the crowd. And then it was over. The singers hugged and parted.

This land is your land. The marriage equality decision represents the culmination of a campaign for equality that has been remarkable and unprecedented in its speed and success. It means real change that affects countless lives for the better, and offers hope that the world is becoming a more equal and accepting place. Here at the APA offices just around the corner from Capitol Hill, we’ve been right in the thick of celebrations. This Day in June, published by our sister imprint Magination Press—a book that won the 2015 Stonewall Children’s and Young Adult Literature Award for exceptional merit relating to the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender experience—describes the vibrant and joyful celebration of a Pride Parade through a child’s eyes.

47365798At the same time, the world is not yet perfect. Legal does not necessarily mean accepted, and accepting those different from ourselves has been a hurdle for the human race for as long as we have existed. Just as the end of legalized racial discrimination did not eliminate racism, homophobia will remain long after gay marriage becomes the law of the land. In recognition of this, we recently published Happy Together: Thriving as a Same-Sex Couple in Your Family, Workplace, and Community, a book to help couples work together to identify, develop, and use their strengths and skills to successfully navigate relationship stress, while confronting external prejudice within families, in the workplace, and elsewhere.

Some prejudice is obvious, but sometimes it takes more subtle forms. Sometimes it is ingrained so deeply in our social interactions that it’s difficult to even notice—unless you are the one targeted. Seemingly inconsequential slights, as simple as a word, phrase, or tiny action, accumulate over time and weigh on members of targeted minority groups with feelings of victimization and exclusion. That’s So Gay! looks at the scholarly literature on microaggressions directed at LGBTQ people, and offers readers a blueprint for developing a culture of acceptance, instead of exclusion. An upcoming book from Magination Press, Ouch Moments: When Words Hurt, takes a stark and realistic look at microaggressions as they occur between children. Ouch Moments will be released in September 2015.

The world is not perfect, and it never will be. On June 26, we celebrated a momentous step forward. The work continues.

What is Human Systems Integration?

by Trish Mathis

I get upset when things don’t work. Cars breaking down, computers and cell phones going haywire, household appliances malfunctioning—life’s technical challenges can really frustrate me. For the most part though, these occurrences are mere nuisances. But imagine a crew of firefighters deep in a tunnel at the scene of a subway fire. Engulfed in hazy smoke, they slowly make their way to the stopped subway train filled with trapped, panicked passengers who are desperate for help. Now imagine that the firefighters can’t radio EMS personnel maneuvering simultaneously though the tunnel, or police officers coordinating the rescue effort above ground, or any other first responders on scene: The recently upgraded firefighter communications equipment cannot interact with the older communications system still used by most responders. A technological incompatibility has left the firefighters unable to contact anybody, and in turn nobody can contact them. Instead of simple aggravation, we now have potential injury and loss of life.

38853352Fortunately, the field of human systems integration exists to help prevent such disasters. Professionals in this discipline are trained to look at the whole picture—not only the task of interest but also the people who are involved and the tools they use—to make sure everything functions together properly, without failure, without confusion, without complicated training. Human systems professionals understand our strengths and weaknesses and use that knowledge to guide design processes. They create objects and spaces that complement us rather than constrain us; they anticipate problems and devise solutions; they implement changes in response to evolving needs; they evaluate progress and recognize success.

But most of all they mitigate risk by creating safe, efficient operators and reliable environments. Although the field of human systems integration is young, its practitioners are ambitious. Their goal is nothing less than to have harmonious systems of people, tasks, and tools. Think about it: a world that we can navigate instinctively, with items that are easy to use and don’t break down and that work together? I know I’d like that. I’m sure the people on that subway train would too.

Reference 

Boehm-Davis, D. A., Durso, F. T., & Lee, J. D. (Eds.). (2015). APA handbook of human systems integration. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. http://www.apa.org/pubs/books/4311517.aspx

APA Books Authors at the 2015 APA Convention


Are you attending the 2015 APA Convention? Don’t miss these APA Books authors:

APA Books are for sale in the APA Convention bookstore on Thursday and Friday from 7:30-5:00, Saturday 8:00-5:00, and Sunday 8:00-12:00.

If you are an APA Books author with a session at #APA2015, let us know, and we’ll add you to the list above!

What Are APA Handbooks in Psychology?

RKelaherby Chris Kelaher

In April of 2015, APA Books proudly released the APA Handbook of Human Systems Integration, edited by Deborah A. Boehm-Davis (George Mason University), Francis Durso (Georgia Tech), and John D. Lee (University of Wisconsin-Madison). This most recent addition to APA’s Reference list is also the latest entry in our growing APA Handbooks in Psychology® series.

The Handbooks program is an integral and growing component of APA Books. With a steady focus on and commitment to best science and best practice, these handbooks address core subdisciplines in the field (e.g., educational psychology, counseling psychology) or specialized content areas within subdisciplines (e.g., aging, sexual behavior and identity). The series launched in early 2010 with the three-volume APA Handbook of Industrial and Organizational Psychology (Sheldon Zedeck, Editor-in-Chief).

Each APA handbook addresses the key reference interests and essential needs of researchers, clinicians, and practitioners in psychology and allied behavioral fields, as well as graduate students in the relevant areas. The series includes 16 titles now available in print and electronic formats, with some dozen more currently in development and several under discussion.

APA Handbooks in PsychologyThe APA Handbooks in Psychology series is coordinated by the APA Reference Department, under the direction of Ted Baroody. Editing and development of manuscripts is handled through a back office peer-review and tracking system, managed internally by Reference Project Editor Lisa T. Corry, Senior Reference Editor Kristen Knight, Reference Project Editor Katharine Lenz, and Reference Editorial Manager Trish Mathis. The products vary in size, from one volume (e.g., APA Handbook of Human Systems Integration) up to the four-volume APA Handbook of Personality and Social Psychology (with the first five-volume set due in 2016). Each set or single-volume focuses on what is currently known in the area of study, including basic historical reviews, and identifies the most pertinent sources of information in both the core and emerging literature. Individual chapters pinpoint practical issues, probe unresolved and controversial topics, and present future theoretical, research, and practice trends. Cross-referencing among chapters within and across volumes leads the user to a clearer understanding of the complexities of each field.

In the classic reference model, the handbook sets take a meta-analytic approach, surveying the field broadly but in as much detail, and with as much balance given to varying perspectives and controversies, as space allows. The series is not intended to promote any research or clinical bias within fields but, rather, to lay out a well-balanced and comprehensive statement about how each field has developed, where each field currently stands, and where it may be heading.

Carrying the imprimatur of the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States and the largest association of psychologists in the world, the APA Handbooks in Psychology® series is the indispensable and authoritative reference resources for researchers, instructors, practitioners, and field leaders alike.

Currently released titles in the series

APA Handbook of Industrial and Organizational Psychology ©2011 (3 volumes)

  • Editor-in-Chief: Sheldon Zedeck

APA Handbook of Ethics in Psychology ©2012 (2 volumes)

  • Editor-in-Chief: Samuel J. Knapp

APA Educational Psychology Handbook ©2012 (3 volumes)

  • Editors-in-Chief: Karen R. Harris, Steve Graham, Tim Urdan

APA Handbook of Research Methods in Psychology ©2012 (3 volumes)

  • Editor-in-Chief: Harris Cooper

APA Addiction Syndrome Handbook ©2012 (2 volumes)

  • Editor-in-Chief: Howard J. Shaffer

APA Handbook of Counseling Psychology ©2012 (2 volumes)

  • Editor-in-Chief: Nadya A. Fouad

APA Handbook of Behavior Analysis ©2013 (2 volumes)

  • Editor-in-Chief: Gregory J. Madden

APA Handbook of Psychology, Religion, and Spirituality ©2013 (2 volumes)

  •  Editor-in-Chief: Kenneth I. Pargament

APA Handbook of Testing and Assessment ©2013 (3 volumes)

  • Editor-in-Chief: Kurt E. Geisinger

APA Handbook of Multicultural Psychology ©2014 (2 volumes)

  • Editor-in-Chief: Frederick T.L. Leong

APA Handbook of Sexuality and Psychology ©2014 (2 volumes)

  • Editors-in-Chief: Deborah L. Tolman and Lisa M. Diamond

APA Handbook of Personality and Social Psychology ©2014 (4 volumes)

  • Editors-in-Chief: Mario Mikulincer and Phillip R. Shaver

APA Handbook of Career Intervention ©2015 (2 volumes)

  • Editors-in-Chief: Paul J. Hartung, Mark L. Savickas, W. Bruce Walsh

APA Handbook of Forensic Psychology ©2015 (2 volumes)

  • Editors-in-Chief: Brian L. Cutler and Patricia A. Zapf

APA Handbook of Clinical Geropsychology ©2015 (2 volumes)

  • Editors-in-Chief: Peter A. Lichtenberg and Benjamin T. Mast

APA Handbook of Human Systems Integration ©2015

  • Editors-in-Chief: Deborah A. Boehm-Davis, Francis T. Durso, and John D. Lee