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Graphic Designer #000084

Western Carolina University
Cullowhee, NC
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Job Details

Posting Number:


Quick Link for Internal Postings:

Classification Title:

Visual Arts Specialist

Competency Level:


Working Title:

Graphic Designer #000084



Position Summary:

This position is on site at our Cullowhee campus.

The Graphic Designer will be responsible for creating design approaches and finished work across a range of platforms. S/he will plan, design, and coordinate the production of materials for print, social, web, and other communication needs. Using established visual identity guidelines, this full-time position will serve as a liaison overseeing the visual creative elements of the University. Our dream candidate not only has stellar design chops, but also an innate understanding of the craft and strategy of design, branding, and bringing creative ideas to life. You love trying new tools, trends and techniques, and rarely default back to a solution because you ‘already know it works.’ You get excited when pitching ideas to leadership and client stakeholders, while graciously accepting critique on your work.

Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities Required for this Position:

- Concept, design, and prepare artwork and other elements in support of client needs and that are consistent with visual identity guidelines. Produce compelling and differentiated materials that will be utilized both internally and externally.
- Have the ability to design a print brochure, a social media engagement campaign, an infographic, a web page and an outdoor advertising campaign, among other things. You won’t be bored, but we expect you to be able to jump in with your keen design aesthetic and strategic vision whenever necessary.
- Contribute to the look and feel of social media campaigns as the University brand’s online voice
- Serve as a resource in established University branding and assure consistent execution of University brand elements across marketing and communications materials
- In collaboration with other members of the Marketing & Communications Department, develop and implement creative projects that enhance the reputation of the University and are consistent with university priorities and strategic goals
- You will be a content creator. Not only will you be designing, but you’ll be gathering interesting content from around campus to build into social and print campaigns. We need you to be able to strategically understand the creative needs and be able to jump in to create the content needed.
- Provide high-quality, elegant yet modern professional design, along with valuable consulting and customer service. Develop and maintain good working relationships with clients. Recommend solutions and design pieces for meeting objectives.
- Provide recommendations that will improve efficiency, reduce costs and elevate the effectiveness of University communications. Provide recommendations and/or solutions to improve and/or enhance the university’s creative quality and capabilities
- Archive digital assets, including print job files and photos in the digital asset management system
- Work with our digital project management system and be astute and competent in working with naming conventions and processes related to streamlined project management
- Collaborate with copywriters, the web team, photo/video team, social media team, communications team, and fellow content creators across campus
- Image source, retouch & modify images/content as needed
- Ability to function as a productive member in a team-focused, collaborative environment.
- Manage and mentor student designer workers so they are best utilizing their skills and talent, and encourage them to think outside the box. Work with them ensure that they feel they are a valuable part of the team, and inspire them to elevate their work at every opportunity.

Minimum Qualifications:

High school diploma or equivalency and two years of visual/graphic arts experience related to the area of assignment; or equivalent combination of training and experience.

Preferred Qualifications:

- Minimum of an Associate’s Degree in Graphic Design or related field; Bachelor’s Degree preferred
- A minimum of 2 years of proven experience in conceptual graphic design
- Experience working in a variety of different media, including print, digital/social/mobile and video
- Deep knowledge and proficiency in Adobe’s Creative Cloud software, specifically InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop. Experience with Adobe Sketch, Premiere Pro, and After Effects preferred
- Experience with presentation, design, and narrative storytelling
- Ability to clearly articulate your design decisions
- Strong work ethic and the ability to not get overwhelmed easily
- Strong organizational skills, extreme attention to detail, and commitment to producing excellent work
- MUST HAVE an editorial eye for the use of typography and color, layout, and visual communication hierarchy
- Experience with video production and editing a plus (for our social content)
- Experience in printing processes a plus
- Demonstrated successful work experience in a customer-driven, organized, creative, results-oriented environment
- Experience in magazine layout and production a plus
- Experience curating content to each various platform. For instance, you should know the difference between the kind of content we would create for TikTok vs Facebook vs Instagram, and come up with ideas in how to best engage our target.
- Knowledge and interest in emerging technologies; openness to new approaches to communicating; solid understanding of latest graphic and web design principles and aesthetics
- Experience in the preparation of digital files for press
- Basic copywriting/storytelling a plus

Anticipated Hiring Range:

$38,680 - $48,000

Position Type:

Permanent Full-Time

Number of Hours per Week:


Number of Months per Year:


Salary Band Range:

$27,761 - $63,744

Salary Grade:

For administrative purposes during the implementation of Career Banding this journey level position is considered a Salary Grade 65.

Open Date:


Close Date:


Open Until Filled:


Special Instructions to Applicants:

Applicants must apply online in order to be considered.

Please include a cover letter, resume, portfolio, and a list of references (with complete contact information).

Applicants must upload a DD-214 if claiming Veteran’s Preference.


If no applicants apply, who meet the required Knowledge, Skills, Abilities/Competencies and Training and Experience requirements, then management may consider other applicants. Effective October 1, 2015 all new hires into positions subject to the State Human Resources Act (SHRA) will serve a 12 month probationary period as defined by the North Carolina Office of State Human Resources (OSHR).


Final candidates are subject to criminal & sex offender background checks. Some vacancies also require credit or motor vehicle checks.

Western Carolina University uses E-Verify to confirm employment eligibility of all newly hired employees. To learn more about E-Verify, including your rights and responsibilities, please visit Proper documentation of identity and employability are required at the time of employment.

Credential Verification:

All new employees are required to have listed credentials/degrees verified within 30 days of employment. All new employees who will be teaching are required to provide official transcripts within 30 days of employment. Transcripts should be provided for the highest earned degree and/or the degree which is being used to satisfy credential/qualification requirements.


Western Carolina University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race; color; religion; sex; sexual orientation; gender identity or expression; national origin; age; disability; genetic information; political affiliation; National Guard or veteran status, consistent with applicable federal, state and local laws, regulations, and policies, and the policies of The University of North Carolina. Additionally, the University promotes the realization of equal employment opportunity for minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and veterans through its affirmative action program.
Persons with disabilities requiring accommodations in the application and interview process please call (828) 227-7218 or email at [email protected]

University Safety:

The Western Carolina University Annual Safety Report is available online at University Annual Safety Report or in hard-copy by request at the office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, 227 HFR Administration Building, Cullowhee, NC 28723 (828-227-7147) or the Office of University Police, 111 Camp Annex, Cullowhee, NC 28723 (828-227-7301). The report, required of all universities participating in Title IV student financial aid programs, discusses crime statistics, procedures for reporting suspicious or criminal activity, security, police authority, crime prevention strategies, university policies on substance abuse and sexual offenses, workplace violence and fire safety.


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About Us

Western Carolina University offers a collaborative community of faculty and staff eager to partner together to support the success of our students and our institution. We attract employees who are inspired to work in higher education because of the difference we can make together in the lives of the more than 10,000 students who study at WCU. For a few other reasons WCU is a great place to work:

Do you like being involved in the local community? So do we. We have robust service learning and community outreach efforts that invite students, faculty and staff to serve our local community in an ever-growing number of ways.

Western Carolina University has been named the Top Adventure College in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic. Our main campus in Cullowhee is situated 15 minutes from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway. We have a biking and hiking trail on campus and many more in the area.

We attract students who are eager to excel. WCU has the oldest and largest Honors College in the UNC system and is consistently among the Top 5 institutions nationally for undergraduate research projects accepted to the National Conference on Undergraduate Research.

We are a cultural hub for the region. Our College of Fine and Performing Arts produces professional-quality theater under the direction of Broadway star Terrance Mann, and our music programs are recognized as some of the best in the state. Our Pride of the Mountains Marching Band has been invited to the Macy's parade and the Tournament of Roses Parade.

Our healthcare programs are some of the most competitive in the southeast and are housed in an incredible LEED-certified facility complete with some of the best technology in teaching along with community clinics for applied learning.

For more information, please visit our website at


Western Carolina University (WCU) has been honored in multiple areas demonstrating our commitment to our students, faculty, staff and our community.  Our distinguished faculty includes national award-winning authors, nationally and internationally recognized experts, and winners of Emmy, O’Henry, and National Endowment for the Arts awards – to name a few.  WCU has been named a Top Green College by Princeton Review, is among the Top 5 for Undergraduate Research in the nation, and has been named by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance as a Best College Value.  Blue Ridge Outdoors magazine has named WCU the Number 1 Outdoor Adventure College for three years running.  The WCU Pride of the Mountains Marching Band is a Sudler Trophy recipient, having led the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Rose Bowl Parade.  WCU is ranked by U.S. News & World Report in the Top 12 Best Online Programs for the Military as well as #27 among institutions in the South for Best Colleges for Veterans.

Faculty and Staff are honored annually with a broad range of Teaching, Scholarship and service honors.  For more information, please visit our website at


Western Carolina University offers a wide array of high quality benefit plans from which to choose. These include comprehensive health and welfare insurance plans, a choice between two retirement programs, both of which provide a valuable retirement benefit, as well as optional retirement savings opportunities. Employees also benefit from a generous leave program. For more information please visit our benefits page at UNC Benefits

Diversity and Inclusion

Western Carolina University has a commitment to recruiting and retaining diverse employees who bring to our campus varied perspective and cultural understanding. Our Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity Programs aspires to strengthen diversity as an integral component of excellence at WCU. Among public universities, our institution leads the region in student body diversity, and our diversity metrics are growing.

Mission and Vision

Our Mission (who we are):

To improve individual lives and enhance economic and community development in our region, state and nation through engaged learning opportunities in our academic programs, educational outreach, research and creative activities, and cultural activities. 

Our Core Values and Guiding Principles (what guides and inspires us):

Excellence in Scholarship, Teaching, and Learning

Collaboration with and Respect for our Communities

Free and Open Interchange of Ideas

Responsible Stewardship and Organizational Effectiveness

Organizational and Environmental Sustainability

Cultural Diversity and Equal Opportunity

Our Vision Statement (who we want to be):

To be a national model for student learning and engagement that embraces its responsibilities as a regionally engaged university.

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