Leah McDowell

Art Director & Freelance Graphic Designer

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  • LocationUnited Kingdom

Projects

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About me

 

My name is Leah McDowell and I'm a print designer and art director based in Edinburgh, Scotland. I love telling stories, but I’ve never been much of a wordsmith. It's my job, however, to communicate stories of all sorts; be it a work of fiction born of an author’s imagination, or the history and values of a hard-earned business. Lucky for me, there’s that saying about how pictures speak a thousand words. My experience in design and art direction in book and magazine publishing has granted me skills in print design, illustration, branding, typesetting, production and art direction. Let me help you to tell your story to the people who matter. I'm always excited to talk about new projects, so drop me a line if you are too.

Skills

 

  • Print Design
  • Art Direction
  • Typography
  • Creative Direction
  • Illustrator
  • Indesign
  • Photoshop
  • Book Cover Design
  • Typesetting
  • Branding Identity
  • Illustration Digital/traditional Illustration

Work history

Currently

Art Director

Floris Books

May 2012
  • Design duties include: -- Creating cover concepts for 60 new titles per year spanning the 0 –12 children’s fiction market and adult non-fiction markets. -- Designing – and sometimes illustrating – book covers and interiors in response to brand, format, target market and end-user using Adobe Creative Suite. -- Unearthing new illustration talent – most notably through the creation of a new book cover design competition, the Kelpies Design & Illustration Prize. -- Commissioning, briefing and managing illustrators through the children’s book cover design process and the creative processes involved in children’s picture books. -- Taking the creative lead on all titles and contributing ideas for new formats and cover finishes. -- Branding new children’s lists as and when they are created. Production duties include: -- Preparing specifications for print estimates, managing costs and supervising all titles in production, ensuring all are produced on budget and are delivered on time. -- Maintaining strong working relationships with printing partners across the globe. -- Initiating partnerships with new printers as and when the need arises. -- Maintaining the high level of quality required of all Floris Books printed products. -- Leading/collaborating on co-production projects with foreign language publishers. -- Managing outsourced eBook conversion process, monitoring costing and ensuring quality standards are met. -- Taking the design and production lead on new novelty products when the need arises. Management duties include: -- Managing two full-time members of staff. -- Implementing workflow modifications as and when needed ensuring continued efficiency. -- Representing Floris Books at international book fairs.

Education

2012

MSc Publishing

Edinburgh Napier University

Aug 2011 - Sep 2012

    2011

    BA(Hons) Illustration

    Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design

    Aug 2007 - May 2011