Senior Art Director in West Lafayette, IN

$100K - $150K(Ladders Estimates)

Purdue University   •  

West Lafayette, IN 47906

Industry: Education, Government & Non-Profit


5 - 7 years

Posted 56 days ago

The Senior Art Director creates a wide variety of compelling and strategic visual communications; directs multi-platform creative processes; manages and supports the design staff; and integrates visual and content resources across platforms and channels. This is an exciting opportunity to guide and align a new and evolving brand and design strategy for one of the nation's premier higher education brands and join an energetic creative team that is growing and engaged in bold, creative leaps.

Serving as a senior member of the creative team, the Senior Art Director is a strategic, innovative, positive, hands-on, and effective brand and communications champion and a strong visual lead. The position helps lead, create, and present complex and nuanced strategic and visual direction; develops and presents visual creative briefs; and inspires the design team to effectively explore, enhance, and expand on skills and creative approaches. Our creative mission is to inspire and influence the university's most important and valued constituents: prospective students, current students, faculty, staff, alumni, donors, friends, and the general public with compelling brand and integrated communications initiatives in print, web/online, social media, video/multimedia, photography, and the campus environments.


Comprehensive Design Development, Direction, and Execution

• Develops innovative, creative, comprehensive, and integrated visual approaches to support and enhance Purdue Fort Wayne's multi-tiered branding, marketing, and communications campaigns.

• Works in a collaborative environment to manage and direct the work of the design team, as well as to individually maintain a portfolio of high-priority individual design projects.

• Helps direct and execute a wide variety of assigned and shared design, brand, and communications projects from conception through production to final execution and delivery.

• Provides leadership to support strategic content and visual goals with inspired art and design direction. Possesses superior technology knowledge and mastery, as well as industry-leading production guidance in a variety of media. Engages in development and continued evolution of visual standards guidelines. Models and advances high-level and brand-appropriate aesthetic choices across platforms.

• Major projects include design and direction for publications, advertising, magazines, student recruitment materials, fundraising campaigns, institutional identity and brand development, magazines, web sites, and related collateral.

• Provides art direction and helps coordinate creative alignment across multiple assets and media deliverables, including photo and video shoots, web and digital assets, and print and environmental properties.

Strategic Duties and Leadership

• Serves as a senior member of the creative team in the Office of Communications and Marketing and is accountable for contributing to assigned departmental initiatives, such as project direction, creative management, project management, and process enhancements.

• Works closely as a strategic and creative partner with the Associate Vice Chancellor for Communications and Marketing and the Director of Marketing Services, who together with the Vice Chancellor for Communications and Marketing and other senior leaders, set the overall tone, strategy, and agenda for brand direction and communications and marketing initiatives.

• Supports strategic initiatives, planning, management, budgets, operations, personnel, and decision-making as required.

• Demonstrates strong ability to develop and communicate ideas, vision, and project guidelines to a diverse and integrated staff, university partners, and vendors.

Staff and Operations Management

• Successfully manages and mentors members of the design team.

• Helps evaluates work for quality, alignment, and direction; and provides direction and guidance on assignments from conception through production to final execution and delivery.

• Supervises and monitors staff performance related to time management, deadline adherence, use of resources, consistency in project tracking, and brand alignment.

• Establishes clear measures and key indicators for monitoring accountability and effectiveness of assigned staff and projects.

• Responsible for consistently developing, monitoring, and evaluating processes for effective work-flows and outcomes.

• Helps recommend, source, and manage freelance designers, photographers, and illustrators that may be required for additional capacity or to achieve specific creative objectives. Supervises freelance and part-time staff, as necessary.

Project and Identity Management

• Works closely with Marketing Services, Web Services, Operations and Administration, and Multimedia staff members to ensure that projects, tasks, assignments, schedules, deliverables, and key performance indicators are fully captured, completed, and monitored within project management systems (currently Basecamp).

• Helps provide visual and design direction and support on brand, marketing communications, and design issues to campus communicators and other key partners.

• Advises on direction of identified environmental design and wayfinding, signage, and information systems campus-wide, as needed.

• Helps define and create an evolving portfolio of university marks, logos, visual identity systems, and brand identity standards to achieve strategic objectives.

• Helps guide the evolution of the university's style guidelines and brand standards.


  • Bachelor's degree in design, art, communications, or a highly related field
  • Four to five years of highly-relevant, hands-on experience in design, branding, communications, marketing, creative direction, and advertising.
  • Demonstrated superior creative and technical skills in a wide variety of evolving and integrated creative areas, including graphic design, art direction, photography and video direction, web design and user interface knowledge, social and mobile environments, branded environments, and visual systems.
  • Comprehensive knowledge of processes of creative development, advanced principles of marketing, branding, and design to successfully drive communications and marketing initiatives.
  • A strong commitment to collaboration and the ability to work intuitively, flexibly, and effectively in a fast-paced, in-house agency environment.
  • Experience working in a highly creative team environment typified by honest and constructive feedback.
  • Demonstrated strength in conceptual and analytical skills with the ability to effectively evaluate/critique creative work and advise/provide direction to others.
  • Excellent interpersonal, written, and verbal communications skills.
  • Exceptional organizational skills.
  • Superior skills in advancing creative teams.
  • Ability to manage and thrive in a complex environment while fostering a highly productive and creative studio culture.
  • Effective client management skills; ability to build effective partnerships.
  • Expertise in managing multiple competing priorities in a fast-paced, deadline-driven environment.
  • Demonstrated proficiency in large-scale and multi-faceted project management. Proven ability to set priorities, allocate resources/assets, create and manage timelines, work with vendors, manage expectations and deliverables.
  • Ability to think and act both strategically and tactically. Excellent judgment, impeccable integrity and reliability, and high ethical standards that engender trustworthiness.
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity and building and supporting inclusive communities.
  • The position sometimes requires presence and commitment before 8 a.m, after 5 p.m, and on weekends, both on- and off-campus. Some local and regional travel required for meetings, events, and conferences.
  • This position may be required to be in communication with other Communications and Marketing staff and senior administrators, and/or perform key work tasks, in off-hours or off-location conditions as required to execute special projects or critical communications as conditions may demand.


  • Previous experience in higher education communications or an in-house agency/marketing environment

Valid Through: 2019-10-14