AAUP Production Managers Meeting Report

The AAUP Production & Design Managers meeting was held in Chicago, May 7-10, 2008, at the Hard Rock Hotel, in the beautiful Carbide and Carbon Building. Built by the sons of Daniel Burnham, legend has it that this building was designed to resemble a dark green champagne bottle with gold foil at the top.

A record number of attendees, 174 in total, enjoyed this landmark setting, including 109 individuals from 50 member presses (29 from Chicago), 13 freelancers, and 52 individuals representing 39 vendors. We were delighted and grateful to have had so many in attendance.

The session topics included digital asset management, building a freelance pool, book design, type (discussed by Jonathan Hoefler), proofs, and short-run digital printing. The concurrent roundtable sessions included discussions and demos on various databases such as the online production schedule, Phoenix (an acquisition and production database), BiblioVault, art evaluation, typography, cover design and cover art resources, and digital asset submission manager. There were also available tours of the Newberry Library and the Chicago Digital Distribution Center and BiblioVault.

We did a few things differently this year. Vendors were asked to participate in sessions rather than set up exhibit booths. The AAUP Book, Jacket, and Journal Show was on display throughout the meeting. We also asked presses to contribute F&G's (folded and gathered sheets) for students in the Master Bookbinding class at Columbia College's Center for Book and Paper Arts to create eight sets one-of-a-kind bindings. The original bindings were on display at the reception held at the Art Institute of Chicago, and one set was raffled off to a very lucky winner.

We think the meeting was a huge success, and thanks to everyone who helped, from our colleagues at North Carolina and Duke Heidi Perov and Deb Wong, who so graciously passed along their notes and advice from last year's meeting, to Betsy Litz at Princeton, who brought chocolate bars to the staff at the registration desk, to our generous vendors, and last but not at all least, to the staff at Chicago who worked tirelessly, productively, and creatively to host a great meeting!

Sylvia Hecimovich
Design and Production Director, University of Chicago Press