August 6, 2019
People of the Press is back this week! Inspired by the Association of University Presses celebration of the people of AUPresses, we would also like to celebrate our dedicated publishing professionals throughout our 60th anniversary year.
Today, we’re featuring our Art Director, Leigh McDonald.
Hello Leigh, what do you do for the Press?
I am the Art Director for the UA Press. My role includes a wide variety of production and design work, including book cover design, typesetting and interior book design, and art management. I also work with our printers to choose formats and materials and get the books made.
How long have you worked at the UA Press?
A very lucky thirteen years!
The University of Arizona Press is committed to helping contribute to an informed society and enlightening readers. What’s one thing you’ve learned from your work?
One of my favorite things about working at the Press is that I get to learn a little bit about the wide variety of important scholarship we publish. Aside from staying current on the hottest topics in Anthropology or Border Studies, probably the best thing I have learned—and keep learning!—is what’s happening in the art world related to all these different disciplines. Whether I’m being introduced to an up-and-coming young Native painter or rediscovering some fascinating vintage Space art, our books keep me learning every day.
What would people be surprised to learn about your work?
Everybody loves books, but not many people think about the work that goes into them behind the scenes! Everything you see when you pick up a book, from the choice of paper stock and color to the font, margins, image placement…everything but the content was a decision made by someone like me.
Tucson has a thriving literary and scholarly community. What’s one of your favorite spots to hear authors, find a good book, or just curl up and read?
I do most of my book purchasing at either Bookmans or Antigone, but to just curl up and read there’s nothing like enjoying the shade of a tree in a nearby park.