Position Summary: The art director advances the interests of Middlebury and all its entitiesthe College, Institute for International Studies, Language Schools, Schools Abroad, Bread Loaf School of English and Writer's Conferences, and School of the Environmentby concepting and developing compelling designs to drive strategy for a wide range of marketing/communications efforts. Working closely with the vice president for communications and marketing and key colleagues, the art director will help evolve the visual vocabulary of a complex institution whose mission, and the people advancing it, are engaged in vital issues in education and in our world. The art director will bring inspired leadership to a talented team of graphic designers working on behalf of all of Middlebury's entities in a high-volume, deadline-driven environment for a variety of purposesmarketing, editorial, brandand work across platforms and media including web, social media, print, photography, illustration, event collateral, and more. The art director has vision and the skill to guide big-picture design strategy; encourages exploration and risk-taking in the design team; works symbiotically with writers and editors; is a story-teller who can bring rigor, wit, and smarts to the work; and has deep appreciation for the value of higher education, diverse and inclusive communities, global perspectives, and a robust public sphere.
Essential Functions: Offer is contingent upon successful completion of a criminal background check.
Determine communications and marketing priorities in partnership with the VP for communications and marketing and Communications Leadership Group. Define and refine Middleburys visual vocabulary to project authentic Middlebury to stakeholders and the public in collaboration with the VP for communications and marketing and key colleagues. Lead, supervise, and manage the design team, nurturing creativity, spark, and attention to fulfilling the business goals of every project. Establish art department standards for production, productivity, quality, and client service. Ensure that the art team adheres to current practices and processes, identifying opportunities for continuous improvement. Oversee the concepting and development of compelling designs to drive strategy for marketing and communications efforts, from ideation to final products. Concept and develop an ambitious personal portfolio of designs for marketing and communications efforts, from ideation to final products. Be a resource for colleagues across Middlebury by providing graphic arts expertise and products to enable them to achieve their business goals while reflecting Middleburys overall identity. Determine, when necessary, which freelancers and vendors are appropriate for particular projects and orchestrate the work of outside designers, illustrators, photographers, and others involved in the development of a project. Ensure that the Middleburys identity is expressed appropriately and with highest standards in print and electronic mediums. Assign design staff to creative teams, when necessary, and determine individual assignments. Consult with project management staff to manage design team workloads and schedules. Actively participate in discussions with the VP and Communications Leadership Group on how to foster a supportive and creative work environment. Manage department budgets and inform budgetary decisions.
General Responsibilities: Perform other duties as assigned to assist the department in fulfilling its mission.
Qualifcation Education: Degree in graphic design, fine art, communications, or a related discipline or comparable professional experience.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities: Big-idea-thinking and creating across print, digital, social, and integrated campaigns demonstrated in a robust portfolio. Strong creative vision with an understanding of business objectives. Highly skilled in leading a team of creative talent. Proficiency in Adobe CC and related software, understanding of current UX best practices and how they relate to accessibility standards as well as responsive/mobile-first design concepts, and the ability to give clear creative direction across all mediums including print, digital, audio, video, and editorial. High proficiency in project management, attention to detail, prioritizing work, and organizational skills in a deadline-driven environment. Ability to enforce deadlines and process and problem solve in a professional manner and with a positive attitude. Exceptional capability with typography, layout, and prototyping. Demonstrated proficiency in magazine art direction, design, and production. Excellent interpersonal and relationship-building skills and ability to interact with clients. Ability to effectively work with a diverse range of individuals and as part of a team to achieve a common goal. Ability to work in fast-paced, high-pressure environment while exercising diplomacy and tact. Strong work ethic and ability to handle confidential and sensitive materials as required. A self-starteraction-oriented, resourceful, and groundedwho can take a project or program from start to completion. Experience in working in a highly decentralized environment is desirable. Must be flexible and available outside of normal business hours. May be required to respond to urgent matters at all times of the day and/or on scheduled days off. Knowledge of design directions and trends in online and print communications.
Experience: 10+ years of professional design experience with 5+ years of experience as an art director or senior designer with direct responsibility for managing a creative team. Previous experience in higher education and in setting the design direction for an organization preferred.
From its proud history spanning more than two centuries, Middlebury College has emerged as one of a handful of the most highly regarded liberal arts colleges. Middlebury is unique among these schools in being a classic liberal arts college that also offers graduate and specialized programs operating around the world.