Magazine article Guitar Player

The Rich Leeds Era. (Soundhole)

Magazine article Guitar Player

The Rich Leeds Era. (Soundhole)

Article excerpt

If you've ever been transfixed by a GP cover, thrilled by some amazing photos of your favorite artist, or seduced into reading an article by a kick-ass layout, then you probably have art director Rich Leeds to thank for your moments of delight. Rich has been this magazine's not-so-secret weapon for years, and now he has chosen to share his formidable artistry with the world as the owner of his own business, Big Wig Design. I'll miss him a bunch, and so will many of you.

For 16 years, Rich has visualized and energized the look and feel of this group's publications--first with Keyboard, and then with Guitar Player. He has worked with company icons such as Jim Crockett, Tom Wheeler, Dominic Milano, and Tom Darter, and, because of this, he has been GP's conceptual bridge between its past, present, and future. And this was never just a gig for him. A snippet from his farewell e-mail to the staff reveals his passion for these magazines: "In 1976, I tore an ad for the new Ibanez Artist out of GP and tacked it to my bulletin board. I worked all summer to buy that guitar. About 11 years later, I was on the staff and standing on a stage at the magazine's old Cupertino [CA] office playing guitar with Jerry Garcia. Unbelievable!"

During Rich's marvelous tenure here, he has won numerous design awards, nurtured a vast community of photographers and illustrators, trained some brilliant assistants (many of whom became art directors themselves), and secured the respect of all who have worked with him. …

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