Graphics Specialist

The University of Chicago

About Us:

The University of Chicago is an urban research university that has driven new ways of thinking since 1890. Our commitment to free and open inquiry draws inspired scholars to our global campuses, where ideas are born that challenge and change the world.

We empower individuals to challenge conventional thinking in pursuit of original ideas. Students in the College develop critical, analytic, and writing skills in our rigorous, interdisciplinary core curriculum. Through graduate programs, students test their ideas with UChicago scholars, and become the next generation of leaders in academia, industry, nonprofits, and government.

About the Department:

Since its origins in 1890 as one of the three main divisions of the University of Chicago, the University of Chicago Press has embraced as its mission the obligation to disseminate scholarship of the highest standard and to publish serious works that promote education, foster public understanding, and enrich cultural life. Through our books and journals, we seek not only to advance scholarly conversation within and across traditional disciplines but, in keeping with the University of Chicago's experimental tradition, to help define new areas of knowledge and intellectual endeavor. The University of Chicago Production and Design Department is responsible for the design, production, and manufacturing of new books and reprints, in print and electronic form, for the Press Books Division.

Position Details

Graphics Specialist
Chicago Illinois
Chicago, IL

Job Summary:

The Graphics Specialist coordinates and performs design-related tasks for approximately 100 new titles and reprints per year. This includes interior and jacket design of books in all disciplines, and the coordination of projects with freelance designers.


  • Prepares type specifications for new text material to be added to in-house reprints and out-of-house paperbacks. 
  • Adapts jacket keylines into cover keylines for in-house reprints; creates electronic keylines in Adobe InDesign. 
  • Coordinates freelance book and cover designs; serves as liaison between Press and the freelance designers hired by Design + Production Director. 
  • Cover design, title page design, and opportunity to design new, straightforward manuscripts. 
  • Trains and becomes adept at electronic page make-up/typesetting using Adobe InDesign. 
  • Assists with departmental tasks at discretion of Design + Production Director. 
  • Assists in efficient workflow procedures with minimal supervision. 
  • Acts as an informal resource for associates with less experience. 
  • Responds to delays, errors, or quality issues. 
  • Resolves usually typical problems working within defined procedures, using judgment to determine the best approach. 
  • Performs other related work as needed.

Minimum Qualifications:


  • Minimum requirements include vocational training, apprenticeships or the equivalent experience in related field (not typically required to have a four-year degree).

Work Experience:

  • Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through 5-7 years of work experience in a related job discipline.

Preferred Qualifications:


  • Bachelor's degree.


  • Prior experience in art/graphic design. 
  • Monograph, trade, and illustrated book design experience with portfolio of typographic and illustrated text and jacket design examples.

Technical Skills or Knowledge:

  • Adobe InDesign, Adobe Illustrator and Adobe PhotoShop. 
  • Background with Macintosh platform. 
  • Competence with Adobe InDesign, Adobe PhotoShop, and Adobe Illustrator. 
  • Working knowledge of Quark XPress, Oxygen. 
  • Skilled with ebooks (EPUB/MOBI formats) and HTML.

Preferred Competencies:

  • Excellent typographic sense and skill. 
  • Up-to-date knowledge of current typesetting and graphics arts processes. 
  • Demonstrated conceptual and design ability. 
  • Work creatively within limited budgets. 
  • High degree of organization and the ability to handle a number of overlapping projects. 
  • Excellent interpersonal skills in relating to peers and superiors. 
  • Accomplished written and verbal communication skills.

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