• Senior Graphic Designer

    New Brunswick
    New Jersey
  • Overview

    Position Summary

    Reporting to the Director of Visual Identity within the Department of Foundation and Alumni Communication, the Sr. Graphic Designer (GD) is responsible for the creation of original design (for print, web, and emerging formats), branding of templates and signature initiatives, concepting, pitching, photo research, and vendor management.


    As a member of the department’s visual identity team, the GD will play a key role in creating strategic, on-brand communication collateral for the university's highest engagement and fundraising priorities and will:


    • receive strategies, target audience, positioning, channel information, and content,
    • concept, pitch, tailor, and design graphics to sell or inform (e.g., advertisements, brochures, direct mail campaigns, display materials, digital and new media, event assets, infographics, printed publications incl. Rutgers Magazine, proposals $1M+, signage, social media, videos, web pages, etc.)
    • steward the brand’s physical manifestation across channels,
    • continually evolve/adapt approach to meet an individual's expressed needs/values,
    • educate partners on design and department processes,
    • develop guidelines, templates, training for staff and partners,
    • hire, train, oversee freelancers, interns, and vendors,
    • stay abreast of industry trends and best-practices,
    • help plan team budget, and
    • may be onsite for events.


    The GD will be responsible for understanding the brand ideal, the brand’s visual identity and related standards, the audience, the visual elements that differentiate the brand, and the visual approaches that create an emotional connection with the audience at various stages of brand contact and decision-making.


    The GD also will be responsible for photo research and managing and organizing a production system of templates that empower foundation and alumni association staff and university partners to accomplish their daily activities in a brand-safe way. He/she will be responsible for maintaining top-quality standards and high attention to detail for all designs. Will work in a highly collaborative environment within the department and across the organization. The GD will go on press for print runs, attend photo shoots and have knowledge of photography, and adapt to the evolving graphic design needs of the organization. The GD will also interact, coordinate, and manage print production venders, mail-houses, photographers, and design freelancers as needed and must be well-versed in print production terminology.


    Key duties & expected outcomes


    Designing - The GD will create visual concepts, by hand or using computer software—such as the Adobe Creative Suite—to communicate ideas that inspire, inform, or captivate current and prospect donors, alumni, friends, and family of Rutgers. The designer will develop the overall layout and design for multiple print and web designs and assets such as advertisements, brochures, event materials (e.g., invitations, programs, signage), social advertisements, web graphics, and fundraising reports, and info graphic/information design. The GD will also be responsible for managing and organizing a system of templates for proposals, brochures, event materials, and other standard collateral that can be quickly and easily edited and reproduced by freelancers, vendors, and foundation and alumni association staff.


    The GD will support the evolving design needs of the foundation and other departments such as, Alumni Relations, Annual Giving, Athletic Development, Gift Planning, Donor Relations, internal department design pieces, and school and unit template material. Some of the necessary duties to be performed and skills needed are:


    • Meet with partners, project managers, and/or the Associate Director of Visual Identity to determine the scope of a project
    • Advise partners and department on strategies to reach a particular audience through design
    • Determine the message the design should communicate
    • Create on-brand designs that clearly communicate the RUF and RUAA message and voice
    • Develop visual concepts for partner buy-in and pitches on large initiatives
    • Select colors, images, text style, and layouts based off RUF, RUAA, and Rutgers visual guidelines
    • Present the design to partners, the Associate Director of Visual Identity, and leadership
    • Incorporate changes as needed into the final design or working files
    • Review designs for errors before printing or publishing


    Photo Research- Responsible for managing the photo library as well as photo-editing and categorizing photos for print, web and video, the GD will be aware of all photos kept in the department’s library and mindful of which types of photographs have been lacking or overused in an effort to coordinate well-planned photo shoots that will replenish the collection. The GD will need to be aware of all departments using photographs within the library in order to strategically make design decisions on print, web, and multimedia pieces.


    The GD will be responsible for hiring photographers for projects that he or she is working on in coordination with the associate director of visual identity. He or she will also collaborate with Rutgers University Communications and Marketing (UCM) on collecting new, useful, or necessary photos for projects as they work with university photographers and archivists.


    Vendor Management - The GD will have a constant relationship with one or more print, mail-house, graphic design freelancers, and/or photographer vendors at any given time. Building a trusting relationship with well-vetted vendors is key to the department functioning and producing work in a fast-paced environment. An understanding of established internal processes and workflows is needed to clearly communicate the timelines and scope of work to each vendor or freelancer.


    GD will manage freelancers or vendors with the assistance of the project management team and must be able to clearly communicate desired expectations to ensure on-brand results. He or she may manage trafficking, reviews and approvals, and hand-offs from the vendor or freelancer to a project manager within each project.


    Education, Experience, Skills, and Special Conditions:

    Requires a BA or BFA in Design, or a related field, or an equivalent combination of education and experience plus a minimum of three to five years of direct design experience or a strong portfolio. Excellent design skills are essential as well as knowledge of photography, photo retouching and editing, and using a D-SLR. Must be proficient in InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, and Bridge. Must be well-versed in print production terminology. Must have experience managing project timeframes, budget restrictions, and vendor/freelancer interaction.


    The graphic designer will be expected to utilize and power-use the fundamental programs within the Adobe Creative Suite on a daily basis. Knowledge of basic hot-key commands for these programs will aid the designer in tasks and projects. The designer will need to be familiar with Apple and Windows PC platforms, as well as Creative Cloud basic functionality. The following is a list of programs and subscriptions that will be used and/or managed by the Graphic Designer:

    • Adobe InDesign CC
    • Adobe Illustrator CC
    • Adobe PS CC
    • Adobe Bridge CC
    • Adobe Acrobat reader/writer or DC
    • RoboHead Project Management
    • Fotolia stock photo library
    • Photo book production software
    • Microsoft Windows (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook)
    • Wacom tablet programs (optional)


    Design experience in social media design, mobile and responsive, website design, and animation are highly preferred.





    The Rutgers University Foundation and Alumni Relations Sr. Graphic Designer will need to manage multiple design projects at a time and typical activities include:

    • Meeting foundation and alumni association partners to discuss project objectives and requirements;
    • Estimating the time required to complete the work and working with vendors to providing quotes for budgetary reasons;
    • Developing design briefs, thumbnails drafts, and/or sketches that suit the partner’s and organization’s purpose and need for the particular project;
    • Thinking creatively to produce new ideas and concepts and developing interactive design;
    • Using innovation to redefine a design within the constraints of cost and time;
    • Presenting finalized ideas and concepts to partners;
    • Working with a range of media, including computer-based design, illustration, and hand-drawn design and keeping up to date with emerging technologies;
    • Proofreading and spell-checking to produce accurate and high-quality work;
    • Demonstrating illustrative skills with rough sketches and working on layouts ready for print or web usage;
    • Hiring freelance illustrators and photographers when appropriate and project budget allows;
    • Working as part of a team with multiple designers, copywriters and editors, photographers, project managers, and marketing specialists.
    • Working with D-SLR cameras and various photo equipment on a project-by-project basis.
    • Communicating clear vendor instructions for print, freelance design, and photographers


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