Art Director

Apply now Job no: 495973
Work type: Staff Full-Time
Location: Denver, CO
Categories: Marketing / Communications / Media, Business Operations / Services, Admin / Executive / Office Support

The Division of Marketing & Communications (MarComm) aims to strengthen DUs strategic position locally, regionally, and nationally through data-driven and authentic storytelling across multiple channels with focused support on the university’s value drivers: academics and research; enrollment and admissions, athletics, and advancement. Whether through public or media relations, digital strategies, social media, print, podcast, issues or crisis management, community relations or thought leadership and training, MarComm drives results through narratives that involve words, pictures, and design. With true understanding of and connection with our diverse audiences, we aim to foster collaborative problem solving, creativity and innovation. MarComm speaks with a unified, authentic, and resonant voice to strategically advance the University of Denver’s brand with four goals in mind: 

  1. To promote and protect DUs reputation. 
  2. To inspire students to enroll and engage. 
  3. To increase inclusion. 
  4. To strengthen the University. 

It is a moral imperative that all staff within MarComm not only feel they are in a safe environment but also that the community is actually safe and protective. MarComm’s community-created, shared sense of belonging definition says, that “A shared sense of belonging in MarComm means building a collaborative, trusting community where we feel and are safe, valued, and appreciated being ourselves as we contribute to something meaningful.” Being safe, seen, and heard was the impetus for developing a Bias Incident Protocol and Resources Guide, which provides a clear and accessible channel for reporting incidents of bias with the division.

Position Summary

This position reports to the Senior Director of Marketing & Strategic Positioning (SDMSP) and will lend their considerable experience and energy towards creative art direction (design and photography) for all creative services work. This work encompasses all types of traditional and digital media as well as related workflows and processes. The Art Director (AD) reflects and actively supports the University of Denver's vision, values, mission, and goals, as well as the strategic goals of MarComm.

Visual Identity Management - The AD is strategic in helping lead university design and photography, optimize the brand’s visual identity, and is responsible for working alongside the SDMSP to set the tone for central marketing and communications campaigns as well as support the development of the university's many sub-brands. Under the general direction of the SDMSP, the AD oversees visual development and strategically brings creative to life as needed to support stakeholders’ objectives. It is expected that developed concepts and a managed portfolio of work is strategic, thoughtful and will push the boundaries while maintaining the University of Denver's brand standards.

Leadership This position has responsibilities in mentoring and directing the graphic design team, which currently consists of two general graphic designers, a digital designer, production artist and University photographer as well as regularly working with other unit creative staff across campus to ensure continuity in University’s brand execution and visual direction. The AD will add efficiency and design depth to the division, remain knowledgeable and hands-on in assigned projects, and communicate effectively to leadership about emerging trends that can help raise the bar on design output and further develop and maintain the team’s reputation for quality.

Campus Partner & Stakeholder Management - In collaboration with other unit managers and subject matter experts as well as MarComm’s leadership team, the Art Director is a primary contact for campus partners. The incumbent must have excellent communication skills and be able to effectively present work, ideas, information, suggestions and recommendations in compelling ways that enables others to listen and consider alternative ways to accomplish stated goals and objectives. The Art Director must be confident and comfortable in their own design decisions to present and discuss work with the SDMSP and internal teams while remaining open to the value found in different perspectives, feedback and points of view.

Essential Functions

  • Provide art direction, design and oversight of all design projects for the University;
  • Lead visual team (design and photo) and serve as lead designer (if needed) for all traditional and digital design needs;
  • Act as brand steward and leading visual identity expert with campus stakeholders and leadership; uphold and enforce University brand guidelines across University’s body of creative work;
  • Work with internal campus partners (clients), copywriters and graphic designers on various branded projects manage these from beginning to end in partnership with MarComm managers and colleagues;
  • Supervise the University’s visual identity use, contributing to the regular review of campus-created marketing, designs and merchandise materials to ensure consistent use of the brand.
  • Lead the art direction and coordination of visual teams work on the University’s flagship print/digital magazine (4x/yr.).

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Demonstrated ability to collaborate with peers, direct reports, and senior leaders in achieving objectives.
  • Expert knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite - Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign.
  • Working knowledge of Premier, After Effects, Dreamweaver, HTML/CSS and UX/UI best practices.
  • Working knowledge of Photography and Videography production (pre- and post-) and best practices;
  • Solid competency with Microsoft Office products, including Excel, PowerPoint and Word.
  • Demonstrated experience designing for digital platforms (including but not limited to social media, web and email) as well as applying best practices for digital mediums.
  • Strong understanding of grid, layout, typography, and color.
  • Experience with accessibility and ensuring design meets ADA standards.
  • Track record of success working and communicating with multiple stakeholders and ability to integrate thinking and collaborative efforts across divergent points of view.
  • Ability to generate creative ideas and lead execution of those ideas.
  • Demonstrated superb design skills and a meticulous attention-to-detail.
  • Positive outlook and professional demeanor.
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced, team environment.
  • Commitment to organizational priorities.
  • Ability to be flexible with assignments and manage multiple priorities.

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree or a combination of relevant education and work experience, or equivalent training and certification in military setting.
  • Demonstrated career success, with supporting design portfolio.
  • 7 years minimum experience in graphic design with at least 4 years client relations experience managing art, creative and working with multiple clients with different needs simultaneously;
  • Ability to communicate clearly in oral and written form.
  • Experience working with outside vendors and/or production management.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Previous supervisory experience.
  • Experience working with videographers and photographers, before, during and following on-site production.
  • Experience working in an agency environment.
  • Experience working in higher education.

Working Environment

1. Standard office environment.
2. Unexpected interruptions occur often and stress level is moderate to high.
3. Noise level is quiet to moderate.

Physical Activities

1. Ability to sit in front of a computer for an extended period of time.
2. Occasionally required to move about the office/campus with the capability of transporting objects up to 20 lbs.

Work Schedule
Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Application Deadline
For best consideration, please submit your application materials by 4:00 p.m. (MST) February 7, 2023. Applications will be reviewed until the position is filled.

Special Instructions
Candidates must apply online through to be considered. Only applications submitted online will be accepted.

Salary Grade Number:
The salary grade for the position is 14.

Salary Range:
The salary range for this position is $95,000-$105,000.

The University of Denver has provided a compensation range that represents its good faith estimate of what the University may pay for the position at the time of posting. The University may ultimately pay more or less than the posted compensation range. The salary offered to the selected candidate will be determined based on factors such as the qualifications of the selected candidate, departmental budget availability, internal salary equity considerations, and available market information, but not based on a candidate’s sex or any other protected status.

The University of Denver offers excellent benefits, including medical, dental, retirement, paid time off, tuition benefit and ECO pass. The University of Denver is a private institution that empowers students who want to make a difference. Learn more about the University of Denver.

Please include the following documents with your application:
1. Resume
2. Cover Letter

The University of Denver is an equal opportunity employer. The University of Denver prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, age (40 years and over in the employment context), religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, marital status, veterans status, and any other class of individuals protected from discrimination under federal, state, or local law, regulation, or ordinance in any of the university's educational programs and activities, and in the employment (including application for employment) and admissions (including application for admission) context, as required by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended in 2008; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; the Age Discrimination Act of 1975; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967; and any other federal, state, and local laws, regulations, or ordinances that prohibit discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation. For the university's complete Non-Discrimination Statement, please see non‑discrimination‑statement.

All offers of employment are contingent upon satisfactory completion of a criminal history background check.

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