The Associate Director of Creative Services and Brand Management is the manager of the Northern Illinois University’s creative service resources, a hands-on graphic designer and the primary liaison between the Creative Services department and the wider campus community. This position is responsible for the first line management of the university’s needs for graphic design services and organizes all creative resources to meet those needs. The Associate Director supervises the creative services staff, managing the workload and workflow of the team, and collaborates with colleagues within the Division to serve clients. This position makes daily critical decisions in managing, protecting and promoting the creative direction of university communications for informational, educational or promotional purposes in support of all areas of the university, consistent with its mission and recruitment and retention initiatives, and all within the standards of the university’s brand. This position has potential to offer a flexible working location.
General Duties and Responsibilities
The Associate Director of Creative Services and Brand Management is responsible for the graphic design team and the creative direction of the communications designed to meet university marketing goals. The person in this role has the proven leadership and talent to translate marketing objectives into creative strategies and designs and collaborates with employees across functions and departments to ensure the creative output of the department consistently and effectively meets these goals. This position coaches the Creative Services team and serves as a brand ambassador and key collaborator with both internal and external partners and stakeholders to elevate the brand and the communications that support it.
Education and Experience Preferred
1. A minimum of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution in graphic design, art, illustration or a related field and at least 5 years of professional experience as a graphic designer. An inspiring portfolio that demonstrates a passion for and ability to design to meet strategic marketing goals and problems with breadth, attention to detail and creativity.
2. Leadership experience as a manager of design projects and teams and an outstanding visual and interpersonal communicator who combines a keen understanding of how to inspire collaborators to accomplish goals. Expertise in planning, prioritizing and goal setting including the ability to manage multiple projects, determine project urgency, create detailed action plans and organize/supervise schedules, people and tasks.
3. An excellent project manager with superior organizational and time management skills and a breadth of experience leading multi-faceted design projects within a matrixed institutional structure. An outstanding collaborator, with the ability to liaise with clients to set expectations, define goals, monitor progress, set boundaries, follow through, and establish the department as the university’s creative experts. Individual who is strategic, creative, flexible and customer-service oriented.
4. Knowledge and experience directing and creating art and graphics for multiple clients simultaneously. Detail oriented and proficient with current and emerging software and hardware for graphic design, illustration, photographic work and publishing, especially Adobe Creative Cloud Design apps, to produce creative assets for print and digital communications on time and on brand.
5. Demonstrated experience in managing a variety of workflow and project management systems including creative identity systems.
6. A visionary who maintains a high-level of energy, a sense of humor and a calm temperament.
7. Flexibility to work beyond the scope of normal university hours of 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. including evening and weekend work.