NYT The Primal Scream

“The Primal Scream” is a 2021 special section published by The New York Times examining the pandemic’s effect on mothers. Along with Mary Jane Callister and Deanna Donegan, we art directed and designed this timely collection of reporting, working with artist CsillaKlenyánszki to create a series of images embodying the precarious state of American motherhood.

The section is punctuated by a photo essay by BrendaAnnKenneally, commissioned by photo editor Tiffanie Graham, following three American mothers trying to balance their professional and family lives at the height of the pandemic.

We designed the print edition of this section in collaboration with Mary Jane Callister, creating a system of tightly leaded display type in heavy black boxes to visualize the crushing weight of responsibility carried by working mothers in America today.

Klenyánszki’s images are stacked on and under these heavy boxes, further enforcing the tensions the section examines.

Editors: Jessica Grose, Jessica Bennett, Melonyce McAfee, Farah Miller

Research: Sharon Attia, Dani Blum

Design director: Shannon Robertson

Co-art directors: Mary Jane Callister, Deanna Donegan

Print design with: Mary Jane Callister

Print production: Felicia Vasquez

Photo editor: Tiffanie Graham

Photography: Csilla Klenyánszki, Brenda Ann Kenneally