Creative Director/Art

Design · Remote Position - HQ Oakland, California
Department Design
Employment Type Full-Time

Message Lab, an award winning content agency with a specialization in brand journalism, is looking for a creative director who can help us conceive and execute ambitiously engaging storytelling and lead our efforts to create editorial experiences.

We have a strong point of view for how editorial, design and data work together in the service of a singular goal. It starts with identifying great stories that support the ideas our clients care about and bringing them to life in a range of formats. As creative director, you’ll lead a team of designers and art directors. You’ll also be expected to work closely with a team of journalists and editors with backgrounds at the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Bloomberg and other top publications. 

We’ve studied closely how millions of people engage with editorial content. And through this work, we understand how important the experience of a piece of content is to getting someone to spend a meaningful amount of time consuming it and to making them decide to take a next step. 

The right candidate is as excited about the strategic challenge of using UX and visuals to increase how long people engage with a story as they are leading the creation of an interactive graphic or video series. They’ll be a spokesperson for Message Lab’s point of view and inspire clients to care more about design. On a similar note, like a successful publication, our work for our clients focuses on building and sustaining a relationship with people over time — not on any single experience. As such, the creative director needs to be innately interested in patterns of engagement and creating a range of experiences. 

We’ll make big things and small things. We’re format agnostic and we want to create things with ambition. But we’re not the agency for someone whose dream is to make a Super Bowl ad. Similarly, we want to be the best agency in the world when it comes to designing and building publishing sites and digital magazines. But we don’t share that aspiration about product sites.

A strong candidate could have worked in an art direction or creative capacity at a digital publisher like the New York Times, Vox, or Buzzfeed, and also has agency experience. 

The creative director is expected to be part of Message Lab’s leadership team, and have a voice in most agency matters. You will report to Message Lab’s CEO, and manage (and help build) a team of designers and other creatives. This team needs to be able to execute a range of work, including high-end design intensive multimedia projects and day to day production and design support for Message Lab’s internal efforts.

Our headquarters are in Oakland, California, but the job can be remote or based out of satellite offices in Boston or Portland, Oregon. 

You must have:

  • 12+ years of design experience (preferably agency and/or editorial) and a solid understanding of design principles and key tools   
  • Experience in managing and leading creatives 
  • Big picture thinking — the ability to understand a project scope and work with the project manager to set milestones and be able to articulate the time/conditions needed for successful delivery 
  • Experience from concept to execution/design for editorial storytelling
    • Strong conceptual design thinking: Ability to come up with ideas and talk through the logic and design principles behind them
  • Experience working with creative professionals in a range of mediums, with the ability to identify and articulate the medium that will work best for a particular story
    • E.g. print, graphic, interactive, data visualization, animation, video, and photography
  • Experience in branding, visual identity and design systems
    • Ability to distinguish editorial design nuances to those of branding/marketing
  • Advanced understanding of the web design process, from sitemaps to wireframes to full visual design and dev delivery. With a solid understanding of design systems and component/symbol efficiencies. 
    • Familiarity with Wordpress or other CMS a plus.
  • Organizational skills, be able to manage projects in conjunction with the project manager, work under pressure on tight deadlines, be mindful of project scopes and budget
  • Excellent communication skills: You work both autonomously and as part of a team — you’ll need to do both here, so we need people who can get their marching orders and go as well as communicate and collaborate
  • Strong attention to detail. Be able to work across multiple clients while maintaining sensibilities to each client’s visual guidelines and aesthetics.

Skills & Requirements: 

  • High level of proficiency in Figma, Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign (Plus if you know Sketch, Principle or After Effects)
  • Highly collaborative with excellent communication skills
  • Strong presentation skills, with experience selling through your vision and ideas
  • A portfolio demonstrating a high caliber of work 

What you can expect:

  • Competitive compensation
  • Benefits including medical, dental, vision, and paid time off
  • A flexible work from home policy as needed (even post COVID)
  • A growing team that’s motivated to create high quality, industry leading work

A fun environment that includes lots of laughing, outings, and camaraderie 

Thank You

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  • Location
    Remote Position - HQ Oakland, California
  • Department
  • Employment Type