At ITHAKA, design matters. We recognize that design is vital to shaping people’s experiences and perceptions. Although great design is too often undervalued by those who must invest in it, it is always appreciated by those who experience it. Because design affects how people feel when using a product, reading a website, entering a building, or viewing a piece of art, it is a critically important communications component. People love fantastically designed products, buildings, and spaces. At ITHAKA, we believe in extending the principles of design beyond graphic design, to being an integral part of our larger commitment to building great experiences for our general audiences, product users, and team members. As Creative Director, you will lead ITHAKA’s efforts to be an organization that raises the bar for quality design in education.
You will have overall responsibility for the impact and culture of design, both visually and functionally, on user perception and experience with all of ITHAKA’s brands. You will operate in a matrixed environment; for example, you will have designers and user experience specialists supporting the various product lines with reporting responsibility to you while having dotted line responsibility to the Vice President for Product and direct accountability to their product teams.
Your days might include the following: putting together a creative brief and identity system for the brands; formalizing a creative and conceptual framework for product design; developing interface and interaction guidelines that reinforce the ITHAKA brand perspective; working alongside an engineer or technology architect to test and refine a new product feature; building a multi-channel design strategy playing out across direct email marketing, events, advertising and public-facing websites; working with a business-line managing director and marketing lead to develop a strategy for improving awareness of key product attributes; and overseeing collateral workflow in support of events. You must be a visionary, energetic, deadline-driven person who loves to work as part of a team to make great things happen – and in this role, you must lead by example. Design lives and dies through execution, and your close partnership with the Product team, in particular, will advance the culture of design at ITHAKA.
Primary Duties and Responsibilities
You are an established design professional who understands web-based products and services and is passionate about delivering creative value in service of organizational goals. You have vision, leadership, creativity, an analytical mind, a user-centered orientation, and a positive outlook that inspires those around you.
- Establish, direct, and guide a living brand experience for ITHAKA and its related brands, reporting through Marketing, and working closely with the VPs of Product and Communications.
- Set the creative strategy and direction that provides the framework for a sustainable brand infrastructure that can support marketing, communications, and other outreach teams.
- Set the creative strategy and direction that provides the framework for a sustainable product design infrastructure that can support evolution in the visual, tonal, and interactive aspects of ITHAKA’s new and existing products.
- Facilitate and build a culture of design within ITHAKA through internal strategic initiatives, mentoring of designers (including hands-on exercises) and user experience professionals, and finding new forms of overlap between visual design, content development, technology, and experience. Work in conjunction with human resources and internal communications to manifest this culture in ITHAKA’s physical environments.
- Successfully integrate user experience and design into an iterative product development process that reveals user needs through experimentation and analysis of evidence.
- Engage the wider design community to build a positive reputation for ITHAKA to attract passionate and talented individuals to help ITHAKA’s cause.
- Lead, facilitate, and ensure the successful and timely completion of major projects requiring content creation, design, and execution for ITHAKA’s analog and digital properties that support the goals and KPIs of our organization and product lines.
- Manage and ensure that projects are completed on time and within budget.
- Superb creative, organizational and interpersonal skills.
- Excellent design and written communications skills.
- Experience overseeing design and production of online and offline marketing materials and publications.
- Demonstrated success overseeing the design of engaging, useful, coherent products that thrill users and customers.
- Experience delivering multiple challenging projects simultaneously while meeting deadline and budget targets.
- Experience delivering useful, usable, and desirable design best practices and process.
- Success motivating and managing a design team distributed over multiple locations.
- Expertise in Adobe Creative Suite and understanding of the web production process.
- Working knowledge of the scholarly publishing and library communities is a major plus.
- Strong project management skills; demonstrated ability to work and lead independently.
- Capable of working proactively with multiple departments to achieve results.
- Minimum 10 years of experience in design related positions, with some of that experience coming in the not-for-profit, higher education sector.
- Bachelor’s degree required, with a concentration in a design-related, industrial engineering or product development field preferred.
Work for us
Come join our team of talented and dedicated people with great ideas who want to make the world a smarter place. Individuals will be rewarded with excellent career development and a fantastic benefits package that includes:
- Choice of two medical plans, one at no cost to the employee
- Employer paid dental, vision, life insurance, and employee assistance programs
- Employer contributed retirement and much, much more