Design Director/Lead Graphic Designer

Job description

Equal Opportunity and Nondiscrimination Statement                                    

In addition to its commitment to a harassment-free educational and working environment, the College is an equal employment opportunity employer. The College is committed to a policy of equal employment opportunities for all applicants and employees and complies with all applicable state and federal laws on the matter. The College does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including gender, pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), gender identity, gender expression, national origin, ancestry, age, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition or medical leave, marital status, sexual orientation, or any other category protected by law. The College also prohibits the harassment of any employee on any of these bases.



Claremont, CA


Job Posting Title:

Design Director/Lead Graphic Designer


Job Details and Requirement:


This position is responsible for visually communicating the college’s distinctive liberal arts mission to internal and external audiences as the lead designer and manager for the College’s graphic design needs.



The Design Director/Lead Graphic Designer will be an active participant in the college community, developing relationships with academic departments, research institutes, student organizations, and other campus departments to develop a strong understanding of the college’s identity. From that foundation, the Design Director/Lead Graphic Designer will work with the Office of Public Affairs and Communications (PAC) team to design graphic materials that synthesize design, photography, writing and keen brand awareness. The Design Director/Lead Graphic Designer will act as both a principal designer and a unifying creative implementer, combining the work of PAC writers, editors and photographers into design vehicles that communicate the college’s programming, mission and objectives to students, staff, faculty, alumni, parents and prospective students. Reporting to the Associate Vice President for Public Affairs, the Design Director/Lead Graphic Designer will be a primary producer of design work as well as a team leader engaging multiple constituencies.



  • Serves as lead designer for projects, and provides direction to contracted agencies, designers, and internal departments
  • Design a wide array of digital and print materials including invitations, ads, brochures, event programs, newsletters, email headers, logos, social media graphics, merchandise, and web content
  • Develop and execute design strategies for projects, including the CMC Magazine
  • Engage campus constituencies such as Admission, Advancement and academic departments on graphic production planning and desired outcomes
  • Cultivate new campus clients by offering attractive design solutions for communications needs
  • Align design projects with the college’s mission, brand identity, strategic plans and annual objectives
  • Oversees and executes design and visual identity for Claremont McKenna College
  • Oversee and execute all aspects of projects including conceptualization, design work, revisions, approvals, print production, and overall project management
  • Develop optimal systems for project intake and completion for multiple campus clients
  • Coordinate and secure all design elements for projects including photos, text, graphs/tables, maps, etc.
  • Work with the Associate Vice President for Public Affairs and Communications to create and maintain guides for visual identity standards
  • Assess and plan staffing, budgeting, and contracting needs for design work
  • Manage and cultivate relationships with freelance designers, printers and other outside vendors


The successful candidate will also be able to perform the following essential functions:

  • Regular attendance.
  • Take and follow directions.
  • Work cooperatively with others.
  • Receive and respond appropriately to constructive criticism.
  • Display a positive attitude.
  • Balance multiple tasks and priorities
  • Performs other essential duties and tasks specific to the position.


Other Responsibilities: Other duties as requested






Bachelor’s degree, preferably in fine arts, graphic design, or a liberal arts discipline.



The successful candidate will have 7-10 years in design and related experience in a higher education, agency, or non-profit setting.


Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

Individual must possess the knowledge, skills, and ability to be able to successfully perform the essential functions of the position, or be able to explain or demonstrate how the essential functions will be performed, with or without reasonable accommodation, using some other combination of skills and abilities.

  • Established track record in graphic design
  • Demonstrated experience in publications design
  • Prior management/supervisory experience
  • Ability to train junior designers
  • Demonstrated experience conceiving projects with clients and managing projects through execution
  • Familiarity with processes for design feedback, taking direction, incorporating feedback into design work flow
  • Thorough understanding of brand and graphic standards to ensure college identity across web and print properties
  • Experience leading branding initiatives preferred
  • Able to communicate and collaborate with campus constituents
  • Ability to work with cross-functional teams
  • Expertise in Adobe Creative Suite
  • A discerning eye for branding aesthetics and meticulous attention to detail in design layouts, colors, typefaces, photography and images.
  • Understanding of higher education communication, campaign and marketing needs.
  • Must understand and communicate the mission and history of the College’s liberal arts environment
  • Working knowledge of web development and experience in basic HTML and CSS, JavaScript a plus
  • Strong organizational skills, managing and archiving photos, images and brand asset libraries.
  • Ability to inspire clients and colleagues in the creative process
  • Able to work calmly under pressure or with short deadlines
  • Willingness to learn and take on new tasks as needed
  • Operate computers with basic Microsoft Office software (such as Word, Excel, Outlook, Access, and PowerPoint) and associated professional software (such as CX CARS, Internet research, menu-driven databases).  Demonstrate understanding of the use of technology/devices/equipment in assessing and improving division systems and processes to achieve annual goals and maintain confidentiality.
  • Prioritize and perform multiple projects/tasks, meet deadlines/timelines, respond to others in a timely manner, and work both independently and as a collaborative member of the College with a high standard of integrity and ethics, in support of the College’s strategic vision and the division’s/department’s annual goals.



A valid driver’s license or equivalent means of reliable transportation to off-site meetings and events is required.



The regular hours for this position are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday to Friday.  Hours may vary due to needs of the College or department.


Classification and Status: 

This is a full-time, 12 month, exempt level position.  This position is benefits-eligible.


Supervisory Responsibility:

This position may supervise additional designers.


Reports To: 

Associate Vice President for Public Affairs and Communications



The successful candidate will be required to undergo a full consumer background check.  Employment is contingent on the satisfactory results of the aforementioned, in addition to compliance with requirements cited in this job description.


Grooming and Appearance:

The Claremont Colleges seek to maintain a neat and professional image at all times.  Professional attire and grooming is a must.



Sedentary (up to 10 lbs.)


Background Check

The successful candidate will be required to undergo a full consumer background check. Certain positions will require the successful completion of a post-offer physical agility test. Employment is contingent on the satisfactory results of the aforementioned, in addition to compliance with requirements cited in this job description.


This job description defines the essential or fundamental job duties of this position. It is assumed that employees hired for this position can perform the essential functions of this job without imposing risk of substantial harm to the health or safety of themselves or others. It may also include marginal functions, generally defined within Title 1 of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

DISCLAIMER: This job description has been designed to indicate the general nature and level of work performed by employees within this classification. It is not designed to contain or be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities and qualifications required of employees assigned to this position. When duties and responsibilities change and develop, the College will review this job description and make changes of business necessity.

AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT:  Employment with the College is “at-will” meaning that the terms of employment may be changed with or without notice, with or without cause, including, but not limited to termination, demotion, promotion, transfer, compensation, benefits, duties, and location of work.  There is no agreement express or implied between the College and you for continuing or long-term employment. While the College has every hope that employment relationships will be mutually beneficial and rewarding, employees and the College retain the right to terminate the employment relationship at will, at any time, with or without cause.  The President is the only person who can modify or alter the at-will employment relationship.

Claremont McKenna College hires and promotes individuals on the basis of their qualifications, consistent with applicable state and federal laws, without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, breastfeeding or related medical condition, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, age, marital status, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic characteristic or information, military and veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by state or federal law.  Inquiries may be directed to the Director for Human Resources, 528 N. Mills Avenue, Claremont, California 91711-4015, (909) 621-8490.  All applicants must complete and submit an online application to be considered for an open position.

Employment is contingent upon new employee providing documents verifying U.S. citizenship or, for aliens, documents verifying legal permission to work in the United States, applicant's acceptability for positions requiring use of a college vehicle is contingent upon a driving record acceptable to the College's automobile liability insurance. Promotion from within is encouraged whenever qualified employees of Claremont McKenna College are available. Interested employees of the College are urged to contact the Office of Human Resources if qualified for any open position. Please do not contact departments directly.


Disability Accommodations                                                                                    

In compliance with applicable laws ensuring equal opportunities to qualified individuals with a disability, CMC will make reasonable accommodations for the known physical or mental limitations of an otherwise qualified individual (applicant or employee) with a disability if the disability affects the performance of essential job functions, unless the accommodation results in an undue hardship for the College. Employment decisions are based on the merit and not an individual’s disability.               

An applicant or employee who requires an accommodation should contact the immediate supervisor and the Human Resources Office. If multiple accommodations are identified that do not pose an undue hardship for the College, the selection of an accommodation will be at CMC’s discretion. To request disability accommodation for any part of the application or hiring process, please contact Human Resources at (909) 621-8490 or [email protected] for assistance.




Diversity Profile: University



View more

Learn more on Inside Higher Ed's College Page for University

Arrow pointing right
Job No: REQ-1927
Posted: 8/6/2019
Application Due: 10/5/2019
Work Type: