Before joining the design staff here at Mt. Lebanon Magazine, Christopher Leeper was a design intern for Psychology Today in New York City and was a graphic designer for Century 21 Department Stories in New York, Dreamware Inc. in Florida and NutriMost in Pittsburgh. He started in the spring and came to us with a diverse portfolio of work, from magazines to websites to logos and photography. He also works freelance for several clients and plays the drums and guitar in two bands.
Please join us in welcoming the newest (and coolest) member of our team! Get to know Chris in the interview below.
Where are you from?
I grew up in Greensburg, but in my late 20s moved to New York and Florida before moving back to Pittsburgh.
Why did you decide to become a designer?
That’s a tough question to answer. It seemed the most natural thing for me, although, I don’t consider myself good at the visual arts. There was never a moment where I thought “graphic design is what I want to do.” I questioned whether I was on the right path the whole way through school. It was more of a decision to go 200 percent into it and have no regrets.
Why did you decide to settle down in Pittsburgh?
My wife always loved it here, not to mention living is a lot cheaper than most places. We were living on Ft. Myers beach, and I loved that, but we both missed having seasons. Christmas never felt right.
Name one artist who has influenced you.
I usually go through phases with what interests me. Masanobu Hiraoka is an animator I recently came across, and I’m really into his work.
How would you describe your vision for the look of the magazine?
Modern, upscale and friendly. Design is about communicating, and I want to make sure that, through the design of the magazine, you get the feeling of the area. If that makes any sense…
Describe your personal style.
It depends on the occasion. I love wearing suits, and get them tailored. But I am also comfortable in a t-shirt with cut off sleeves and my leather jacket.
What is your favorite song?
It’s been a while since I’ve obsessed over a single song. I’ve always loved “Feelin Good” by Nina Simone.
Tell us about your dog, Cosmo.
He’s a black pug with a white spot on his chest. He’s an ornery little [guy], but he’s still my best bud.
What’s your favorite color?
My favorite color is the best color for the project.
What was your first job?
I did Quality Control for a medical parts factory in Latrobe. We worked 12-hour shifts and you were only allowed to sit if you worked a specific machine, and every five weeks the shift switched between day and night.
What is your favorite place you have visited?
I think my favorite place I still have yet to visit. I’ve never been out of the country, so I’d love to go to some place exotic and have a truly impactful religious experience. There aren’t a lot of places in the U.S. like that.
How do you take your coffee?
I used to take it black, and I love dark coffee, but my stomach can’t take it anymore, so I use just a little bit of Almond Joy creamer and stevia to sweeten.
Name one person who has made a difference in your life.
Obviously my wife, Julie. I don’t like to think about where I’d be without her.
How do you unwind after a long day?
Totally depends on the season. Since its a cool rainy day, I’ll probably sit on my porch with a blanket and something hot to drink.
How do you feel about pineapple on pizza?
You mean pizza nightmare?
What have you learned so far as a staff member at Mt. Lebanon Magazine?
Government jobs are weird, but I hope to be here a long time!