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USC is a leading private research university located in Los Angeles – a global center for arts, technology and international business. As the city’s largest private employer, responsible for more than $8 billion annually in economic activity in the region, we offer the opportunity to work in a dynamic and diverse environment, in careers that span a broad spectrum of talents and skills across a variety of academic schools and units. As a USC employee, you will enjoy excellent benefits and perks, and you will be a member of the Trojan Family - the faculty, staff, students and alumni who make USC a great place to work. Think you’ve got what it takes to join us? We invite you to search our open positions and apply!

Senior Art Director

Univ Adv - Advancement Communications Los Angeles, California

The University of Southern California (USC), founded in 1880, is located in the heart of downtown L.A. and is the largest private employer in the City of Los Angeles. As an employee of USC, you will be a part of a world-class research university and a member of the “Trojan Family,” which is comprised of the faculty, students and staff that make the university what it is.

The division of University Advancement of USC seeks an experienced, creative and versatile Senior Art Director to join its Advancement Communications team that is committed to high-quality design, efficient communication service, and client satisfaction.  Reporting to Senior Executive Art Director, the incumbent will conceptualize, create and develop a variety of high-priority visual communications, with an emphasis on digital media and assets, microsites, email campaigns, online features, branding campaigns, special event packages, and other deliverables to meet the department’s marketing and communications needs. The incumbent will also be responsible for managing creative projects and initiatives from inception to completion, producing quality design work under tight deadlines with multiple projects and shifting priorities and collaborating with other members of the communications team to recommend visual and creative digital and print solutions.

This is primarily a hands-on design and art direction role, and requires design project management and delegation skills.  Well-qualified candidates for this position will exhibit outstanding creativity, design expertise and the ability to organize and work on multiple assignments and should be a problem solver, a strategist, a team player and an innovator.

Job Accountabilities

  • Directs the design, strategy, art direction and overall execution of projects. Generates ideas and visual concepts, and conducts presentations to clients, in accordance with university editorial standards. Consults with and advises faculty/staff regarding visual media services.
  • Produces effective campaign for projects and creative initiatives. Ensures a high standard of visual execution across all media and campaigns. Acts as the liaison between creative department and clients or other stakeholders. Develops strategies for effective communications of assigned projects.
  • Reviews the work of creative teams and provides direction and feedback. Schedules, assigns and prioritizes workloads of staff supervised, including designers, photographers, administrative support, etc. Ensures timely completion of publications and projects.
  • Determines detailed design specifications and requirements, and provides final approval for execution. Develops, manages and administers department and or project-specific budgets, providing financial status reports. Recommends and/or makes budgetary and resources allocations. Creates financial projections and/or cost estimations, as needed.
  • Informs management of trends and developments in field. Provides creative- industry best practices advice and counsel regarding current developments.
  • Analyzes and evaluates current and potential vendors and freelancers. Reviews, modifies and negotiates contracts and agreements, and makes recommendations and specifications for bids. Selects appropriate vendors for each project, supervises jobs in progress and ensures vendor payments.
  • Establishes and maintains appropriate network of professional contacts. Maintains currency of emerging and new media trends through professional organizations and publications. Attends meetings, seminars and conferences; makes formal presentations.

Performs other related duties as assigned or requested. The university reserves the right to add or change duties at any time.

Job Requirements


At least seven years of experience with proven excellence in design skills required.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Demonstrates creative problem-solving skills and strong artistic design, color and typography sensibilities in all media.
  • Experience using Adobe Creative Suite for Mac OS, particularly InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, After Effects and Adobe Premiere to design print and digital materials
  • Strong understanding of digital technologies (as they relate to creative concept development and design), interaction and experience design
  • Experience with web design and publishing
  • Experience designing for social media platforms
  • Knowledge of presentation tools, including Keynote, and standard office software packages
  • Expert knowledge of methods, procedures, techniques, and media available for design production.
  • Ability to give and receive constructive design direction.
  • Organizational and planning skills, acute attention to detail.
  • Client relation skills.
  • Strong interpersonal and team skills to interface with a broad range of clients, staff, and external vendors. 

Minimum Education

Bachelor’s degree in graphic design, marketing, advertising or related field.

Required Documents and Additional Information

Resume and cover letter required (may be uploaded as one file). Please do not submit your application without these documents.

USC has excellent benefits, including health benefits for staff & their family with access to the renowned university medical network; eligibility for retirement plans with employer contributions after six (6) months of employment; tuition benefits for staff & their family; free professional development online courses; central Los Angeles location with easy access to commuter trains, buses & free tram pick up services; discounts to football, basketball & other campus events.

The University of Southern California values diversity and is committed to equal opportunity in employment.

Minimum Education: Bachelor's degree, Combined experience/education as substitute for minimum education Minimum Experience: 7 years, Combined education/experience as substitute for minimum experience Minimum Field of Expertise: Possesses thorough understanding of digital media and evolving online platforms. Knowledge of user experience, website utilization, responsive and motion design, photography, typography and printing. Ability to communicate effectively to support ideas and concepts. Demonstrated creativity to generate original ideas and visual concepts. Knowledge of social media management, editorial design, desktop publishing systems and latest art and design packages.

REQ20084214 Posted Date: 12/20/2019

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