Senior Designer

The University of Chicago


ARD Design

About the Department

Alumni Relations & Development (ARD) engages alumni (~190k), current students, parents and friends of the University through intellectual, professional and social activities on campus, around the world and online. ARD raises $550 Million annually to support faculty and researchers, practitioners and patients, and students and programs across the University. Our work supports priorities in every division, school, department, and institute. The ARD Communications team works with ARD partners to shape and brand communications to engage, steward, and inform alumni, donors, and friends of the University of Chicago. The design team, which supports this group, utilizes communications and design best practices to shape impressions for signature events and other programming that supports ARD philanthropic goals and strengthens the University’s identity in the world. This position has a hybrid work schedule which includes weekly in office presence located in Hyde Park at 5235 South Harper Court.

Position Details

Senior Designer
Chicago Illinois
Chicago, IL

Job Summary

The job provides professional support and solves straightforward problems in a range of design projects. Works within defined processes and procedures to develop design standards and concepts for University advertising and communications materials. Completes a variety of assignments, as needed.


  • Support the University brand and strategic goals through the use of graphic design best practices and creative innovation to engage with our audiences. 
  • Display professional skill in the use of the Adobe suite of design software including InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, Acrobat (XD and Premiere Pro familiarity helpful), in order to conceive, design and produce printed and digitally based tools such as brochures, periodicals, event identity and invitations, websites, social media posts, direct response marketing, and signage. Ability to create small scale animations and animated gifs highly valued. 
  • Research, develop and lead conceptual and stylistic direction for ARD direct response campaigns based on client objectives while supporting the University brand. 
  • In addition to being able to work independently, designer must be willing to collaborate with manager, designers, editors, writers, and interactive developers to meet the department's goals by prioritizing workloads and producing professionally designed materials that are in strategic alignment. 
  • Contribute to creative critiques and brainstorms, and while demonstrating a high regard for teamwork and the collective achievement of departmental goals, be willing to evaluate overall success of team efforts. 
  • Exhibit leadership qualities, including: the abilities to both delegate and to execute plans; leading by word and by example; Resolving conflicts and building consensus; and Contribute to a positive work environment, which includes a commitment to client satisfaction. 
  • Cultivate and manage relationships with clients from ARD and other University departments and divisions. 
  • Act as resource for colleagues with less experience. 
  • Ability to identify, negotiate with, and manage outside vendors such as printers, photographers, illustrators, etc. 
  • Maintain archives of all projects, graphic files, photography and printed samples. 
  • Applies interpersonal and communications skills which include the ability to listen, speak, and write effectively in a professional context. 
  • Seek opportunities for professional development that will enhance job performance and team creativity. These include attending webinars, seminars, building networks within the University and with colleagues at peer institutions. 
  • Conceptualizes and creates graphic artwork, such as charts, graphs or illustrations, for various publications, advertising materials and/or customers with limited supervision. 
  • Coordinates all graphic production scheduling, including preparing final layouts for print. 
  • Uses on-the-job experience to complete a variety of assignments, such as coordinating production support with outside vendors, as needed. 
  • Works within processes to ensure that graphic projects are completed on time, within budget, and to the user's satisfaction. Acts as a resource for colleagues with less experience. 
  • Performs other related work as needed.

Minimum Qualifications


  • Minimum requirements include a college or university degree in related field.

Work Experience:

  • Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through 2-5 years of work experience in a related job discipline.

Preferred Qualifications


  • Bachelor’s degree. 
  • Advanced degree.


  • Minimum two years of experience in Graphic Design, Production Design or similar professional work experience. 
  • Minimum two years of experience leading a project team or managing staff.

Technical Skills or Knowledge:

  • Demonstrated skill and knowledge of, or ability to learn quickly, the internal workings of the University as well as the technology tools available to the Office of Alumni Relations and Development, including the University's donor relationship management system, Microsoft Windows computer environment and the Microsoft Office Suite. 

Preferred Competencies:

  • Act with integrity, professionalism, confidentiality, and tact. 
  • Work collegially and collaboratively in a team setting. 
  • Prioritize multiple projects and independently follow through with detail. 
  • Outstanding interpersonal and communications skills characterized by the ability to listen, to speak, and to write effectively. 
  • Self-motivation and the ability to take initiative.

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