U of R Press Art Director impresses judges in major cover design award…again

By Costa Maragos Posted: February 16, 2018 6:00 a.m.

Duncan Campbell is the Art Director at U of R Press, the University of Regina’s publishing house.
Duncan Campbell is the Art Director at U of R Press, the University of Regina’s publishing house. Photo by Trevor Hopkin - U of R Photography

Duncan Campbell, Art Director at U of R Press, has done it again.

For the second year in a row, his work has been honoured by the Association of American University Presses.

Campbell’s cover design of Memoirs of a Muhindi – Fleeing East Africa for the West by Mansoor Ladha, published by U of R Press, has been selected as one of the top 50 among scholarly presses.

Memoirs Book Cover

Visit here to order this book or any other U of R Press titles.

“It's really gratifying, and a bit humbling to be recognized by your peers for your work,” says Duncan. “As the only book designer at U of R Press I'm a bit isolated, though my colleagues here are very supportive. It's different when other designers recognize your work. It feels good.”

Memoirs of a Muhindi is the story of Mansoor Ladha’s exile from Uganda, under the Idi Amin regime, and eventual settlement in Canada in 1972.

The book sheds light on the experiences felt by immigrants, the hurt of discrimination, and other hardships of displacement. Ladha, a journalist, had the distinction of being the only weekly newspaper owner of colour in Canada for several years.

At first glance of the book, readers are drawn to the boy featured on the cover.  

“The boy is emblematic of the author and his story of displacement. The author had no photos of his past, so the challenge here was to play up the documentary nature of this memoir and relay an authentic as possible experience for the reader,” says Campbell. “Documentary photographer David Hurn, in 1972, photographed many refugees fleeing East Africa at the same time as the author, and for the same reasons. We are fortunate to have one of his photos gracing the cover of the book.”

The Association of American University Presses has been holding its jacket design award since 1961.

Each January, jurors gather at the Association’s New York office to examine hundreds of submissions and select what it describes as the “very best examples of book, journal, and cover designs.”

According to the Association, jurors are “esteemed interior and cover designers appointed by the annual show committee.”

Thanks to Campbell’s award-winning cover, this U of R Press book is about to find an expanded audience.
Memoirs of a Muhindi will be included in the Association of American University Presses’ annual travelling exhibit showcasing all 50 winning entries. The 2018 exhibit will premiere in San Francisco in June and then travel to institutions and universities across North America.
Says Campbell; “I feel very lucky to work at a press that gives me the freedom to do my best work. U of R Press is an organization that understands and celebrates the importance of design and for that I feel very grateful.”

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