Harvard University

1350 Mass Ave
Cambridge, MA 02138

Date Posted:
March 06, 2020

Eastern Massachusetts



Art Director, Communications


Reporting to the Assistant Dean and Director of Communications and Public Programs at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, the Art Director plays an essential role in directing how the school, its prolific output of ideas, its values, and its community are communicated to its many publics. As a member of the Department of Communications, this role shares the goal of strategizing effective and inventive ways of communicating to varied global audiences about the GSD’s faculty and students and their respective research initiatives and practices, showcasing their success and impact in the context of the wider field of design and ensuring a coherent institutional identity across a wide array of print and digital media.

In addition to having an exceptional eye for design, it is vital that the person who fills this position bring a keen interest in and skillset for developing a visual and strategic continuity across communications that bear the school’s brand. Toward that end, the Art Director will actively lead the design of a variety of print and digital projects of different scales, principally the school’s website but also including external communications for different offices and departments across the GSD. The Art Director either will undertake the design work on their own, or, as will often be the case, manage the work of external vendors to complete it. The Design Manager may also be called upon to collaborate on editorial projects produced by the Department of Communications, including Harvard Design Magazineand its digital channels, for example.

In leading the ongoing design of the school’s website, it is also vital that the person who fills this position have strong project management skills and an enthusiasm for collaborating with colleagues of varying levels of expertise, and be able to translate technical and aesthetic requirements and other project needs clearly and appropriately. This is especially true for the school’s website, which is maintained by an in-house development team and routinely updated with content by a community of editors located in different offices across the school. The Art Director works closely with both groups: prioritizing design work for the development team while also educating the school’s editor community in the site’s capabilities and guiding forward future design enhancements their needs might inspire. Continuing to rally these groups in a common direction—and with clear expectations and quality standards—will be an important ingredient in the Art Director’s success toward the overall goals of this position.

Lastly, while it is assumed that the most qualified candidates for this position will be designers and will have a deep background in graphic design, candidates who have demonstrated success in leading or otherwise managing the visual design of high-profile communications projects in an environment of high aesthetic standards are also strongly encouraged to apply.


  • Actively produces new and inventive means of communicating visually how the school, its prolific output of ideas, its values, and its community are communicated to its many publics.
  • Develops a strategy for and ensures continuity in the visual application of the school’s graphic identity across print and digital communications.
  • Directs the ongoing design of the school’s primary website, collaborating closely with the school’s internal development team to plan and prioritize design projects into discrete development sprints, while also collaborating closely with the school’s community of content editors on design-related challenges, as they emerge.
  • Collaborates with other colleagues in the Department of Communications on the design and/or art direction of content across the GSD’s public digital channels and with external content partners.
  • Cultivates a network of external graphic designers, developers, and other digital producers to collaborate with on a project basis.
  • Leads or consults on design for ad-hoc communications projects, as assigned.
  • Serves as a member of the school’s digital governance committee and helps maintain the university’s digital accessibility standards.
  • Performs other job-related responsibilities as needed



  • Bachelor’s degree required, with 5+ years working as part of an in-house design team or in an agency environment, with exceptional skills in both print and digital design.
  • Expert experience with Wordpress and Adobe Creative Suite.
  • Demonstrated ability to translate an institutional graphic identity and/or brand values to a wide array of print and digital applications.
  • Demonstrated success in managing a variety of vendor and/or client relationships.


  • Master’s degree in graphic design or in a field with direct relevance to the nature of this role, preferred.
  • An eagerness to stay abreast of, experiment with, and incorporate new tools and technologies.
  • Strong project management experience—experience with agile development workflow preferred.
  • Must be comfortable working in a fast-paced, high-pressured environment and be self-motivated to bring projects to completion on time and without compromises in quality.
  • Must be able to work independently and be enthusiastic, respectful, and diplomatic about engaging with and across groups of highly ambitious individuals operating near or at the tops of their professions.
  • Must be committed to contributing to and helping to cultivate a professional environment underpinned by respect for colleagues and their expertise; open dialogue and a collaborative approach to work; openness to feedback; and a common commitment to doing excellent work.
How To Apply:
Please apply to the Harvard Careers website. Job seekers, search jobs, external hires, and search Art Director, Communications. https://hr.harvard.edu/search-jobs
Apply by:
May 01, 2020
About this Organization:
Harvard University is devoted to excellence in teaching, learning, and research, and to developing leaders in many disciplines who make a difference globally. The University, which is based in Cambridge and Boston, Massachusetts, has an enrollment of over 20,000 degree candidates, including undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Harvard has more than 360,000 alumni around the world.

Harvard University is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity.