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13 May 2022

Full-Time Art Director (Full – Time, Regular)

San Diego Natural History Museum – Posted by San Diego, California, United States

Job Description

If you’ve always hoped your work would appear in a museum someday … here’s your chance. 

As Art Director for The San Diego Natural History Museum (The Nat), you’ll shape the design aesthetic for one of San Diego’s most popular and loved cultural attractions. You’ll be responsible for the Museum’s visual design direction for external communications as well as branding components onsite at the museum.

You’ll need to be adept at a wide range of design challenges, from a giant building banner to a tiny display ad to a branded product for our store. You’ll need to be equally comfortable working in the digital space as you are at a press check. And most of all, you’ll be able to translate our conservation and education work into compelling materials that help communicate The Nat’s brand story.

You’ll be that rare species of designer known as “Someone Who Can Do It All.”

This position reports to the Senior Director of Communications and works closely with others from across the organization to support business goals and continually strengthen The Nat brand.

Graphic Design (70%) 
  • Contribute to and have high-level understanding of the organization’s graphics standards, techniques and methods. Participate in the development and implementation of logos and branding elements as assigned.
  • Work with Communications team on brainstorming marketing and advertising strategies, and assist with copywriting and messaging to keep creative fresh and compelling.
  • Lead larger graphic design projects from conception with client through iteration process, through approval, print, quality assurance and delivery.
  • Design or supervise the design of all graphics needs for the Museum, including:
    • Advertising and marketing collateral: Traditional and digital advertising, print collateral stationery, and brochures/publications.
    • Exhibition design: Graphic identity for exhibitions, and design and execution of exhibit components (title wall, panels, and labels, etc.)
    • On-site graphics: Posters, banners, and operational signage
    • Store and promotional products: Develop artwork that will be applied to store products and merchandise (both on-site store and ecommerce) and promotional products
    • Digital media/multimedia: Creative direction and design for websites, social media graphics, and email marketing program; manage photo or video shoots and assist with video editing/production where needed.
Print Production (15%)
  • Produce high quality, industry-standard, electronic pre-press files by creating, managing and collecting appropriate electronic files, fonts and support graphics.
  • Create and maintain graphic templates.
  • Coordinate assembly (or multi-piece projects) and mailings with mail house to ensure materials arrive to recipients on deadline.
  • Review press proofs and provide appropriate feedback; schedule and attend press checks for quality control when appropriate.
  • Facilitate schedule with printers, mail houses, and other trade vendors to ensure deadlines, brand goals and budgets are maintained.
Management (15%)
  • Regularly interface with department heads, project managers, and museum leadership to participate in strategy discussions as well as outline your own visual campaign strategies, pitch ideas and concepts, and clearly articulate artistic intention.
  • Direct the work of the Production Designer and occasional freelancers. Manage and maintain relationships with vendors and subcontractors as needed (printers, videographers/photographers, etc.).
  • Manage departmental workflow, including project management/ticketing system.
  • Oversee file management processes.
Skills and Qualifications
  • Ability to multi-task, prioritize, juggle numerous projects on various time frames, and work quickly and efficiently in a fast-paced environment, toggling between big picture strategic work and smaller projects w/ quick turnarounds.
  • Strong problem solver and project manager with stellar customer service, presentation, and communication skills. Ability to confidently interface with leadership team as well as internal clients across disciplines.
  • Demonstrated understanding of industry trends and creative tools: expertise in Adobe Creative Cloud, with a strong focus on InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop; working knowledge of HTML and CSS; experience developing and publishing web content using CMS systems and email marketing platforms; UI/UX knowledge and experience with Adobe Premiere Pro a plus.
  • Self-starter who takes initiative.
  • Existing relationships with print vendors and strong understanding of print production processes.
  • Strong understanding of branding and advertising strategy as well as creative/ad principles for both digital and traditional communication platforms. Demonstrated understanding of web and digital trends and best practices and how to tell a story through both traditional and digital media. Copywriting experience a plus.
  • 5-7 years of experience in a strategic supervisory or management role: Overseeing and leading staff members/direct reports to manage their successful accomplishment of ongoing functions and their roles in furthering the organization’s mission; assisting in translating organizational vision to departmental goals and monitoring implementation of goals, making necessary adjustments and informing higher levels of management regarding significant changes.
  • Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design or related field preferred.
  • Agency background and/or museum/exhibition experience a plus.

In compliance with the San Diego Natural History Museum’s mandatory vaccination policy, the Museum requires proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 as a condition of employment. Accommodations based on medical and religious exemptions will be considered.

Pay Range

Salary commensurate with experience, will range from $65,000-73,000.

This is a full-time, regular, exempt position eligible for benefits such as health insurance, vacation, 15 paid holidays, free admission into all of Balboa Park’s museums as well as free admission to the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park.

A little more about us. 

The San Diego Natural History Museum (The Nat) was founded by amateur naturalists in 1874 and has played a major role in the conversation of our region. Having recently completed a strategic roadmap, The Nat is looking forward to an exciting new era as it approaches its 150th anniversary, focused on innovative audience engagement and an increased role in conservation.

How to Apply

A cover letter, current resume, and online or PDF portfolio are required for all applicants; please send to  No phone calls or drop-ins, please.

Job Types: Full-Time. Salaries: 60,000 - 80,000.

Job expires in 36 days.

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