Design Director

PositionDesign DirectorBased out ofTenderloin Center at 180 Golden Gate Ave., San Francisco, with the option to work from home up to three days per week. Candidates must be located in or willing to relocate to the San Francisco Bay Area, and able to work in an open-office environment with substantial ambient noiseSupervises3 Design CoordinatorsCompensation$85,000-$90,000, with full benefitsStatusExempt, SalariedReports toExecutive DirectorHoursFull-Time, 40 hours per week, Monday through Friday, with some evening or weekend hoursTo ApplyFill out this short application, and submit your cover letter, résumé, and portfolio to by Sunday, May 28. Please write the position title in the subject line. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Open until filled
Position Summary
826 Valencia is a non-profit organization that supports students from under-resourced communities in transforming their relationship to writing. Visual design is a key part of how we amplify student voice and bolster student confidence and pride. The Design Director leads the Design Team, the heart and soul of our visual expression as a brand, and is responsible for the development and creative direction of 826 Valencia’s communication and publishing projects. The ideal candidate has a keen sense of whimsical design, expertly manages projects from concept to completion, collaborates across departments with a cohesive vision, and effectively manages a diverse team.
Position Snapshot
  • Direct and project-manage design for publishing and communications collateral that amplify our students’ voices and brand
  • Collaborate across teams with a cohesive vision
  • Effectively manage a diverse team
Reporting Relationship
The Design Director reports to the Executive Director and supervises three Design Coordinators.
Key Responsibilities
Creative Direction
  • Maintain the organization’s brand identity; uphold brand standards in our style guide as well as our organizational values for diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Art-direct projects in collaboration with Design Coordinators, interns, volunteers, and staff; help deliver creative solutions across a wide range of projects, including publications, branding, fundraising, social media, environmental graphics, store products, posters, newsletters, etc.
  • Work closely with Design Coordinators to select vendors and guest artists for design collaborations
  • Lead the Design Team in all aspects of design and production, including strategy, concepts, critique, and production
  • Sign off on layouts, illustrations, photography, and press proofs
Project Management
  • Create and manage annual production schedule of all projects, which include ~30 student publications, branding and environmental graphics for 2-4 events, fundraising collateral, and other printed material and products, with occasional digital assets for communications
  • Engage all stakeholders (collaborating department heads, programs staff, Executive Director, and occasionally board members) as needed; actively solicit and incorporate feedback from key stakeholders
  • Meet deadlines; effectively prioritize and assign workload to the Design Team to meet team goals
  • Manage the continual updating and archiving of all creative projects
  • Ensure quality control for all work, maintain file accuracy, and manage team expenses (including managing a budget and credit card)
Supervision of Department
  • Set the vision and goals of the Design Department; lead the team toward outcomes
  • Interview, screen and hire applicants for Design Team, including team members, contractors, and creative volunteers
  • Inspire and guide the team to creative excellence as both a mentor and a contributor
  • Conduct formal appraisals, two-way feedback, and professional development plans that help team members learn and grow
  • Foster teamwork and exchange of ideas
Other Responsibilities
  • Actively participate in 826 Valencia meetings, internal committees on diversity, equity and inclusion, performance appraisal systems, and other work events, such as anti-racism trainings, professional development workshops, the annual 826 National conference, and 826 Network meetings
  • Support programs as needed in order to gain a broad and deep understanding of our work; all non-programs staff are expected to tutor with at least one program per week (approx. 2-4 hours)
  • Meet all deadlines and support team in maintaining accurate timesheets
  • All other duties as assigned by the Executive Director
Education and Experience Requirements
  • Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design and/or 10 years relevant experience
  • Five or more years of advanced leadership, including communication and project management skills, and supervision
  • Successful track record in developing and managing creative teams of more than 3 people
  • Facility with Google Suite, Microsoft Office Suite (Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint), and Zoom
  • Able to complete a background check and Tuberculosis screening. We will consider qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records for employment, pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, but will not hire anyone with a record that includes a conviction of a serious or violent felony, sexual offense, or controlled substance offense
  • Able to provide proof of up-to-date COVID-19 vaccination including all booster doses when eligible, or participate in an interactive process for accommodations. Able to follow COVID-19 health and safety guidelines
Required Competencies 
  • Design enduring, scalable, and codified systems that plan for interdependencies, risks and contingencies; lead others in creative problem-solving to address challenges 
  • Develop and implement systems to effectively support team in developing and demonstrating management skills; develop and implement accountability and coaching structures to support team members 
  • Create a culture of professional development, continuous feedback, and mutual support among staff within purview and in collaboration with other directors; provides a compelling career progression within the department; develop and implement systems to celebrate team accomplishments
  • Develop and implement systems to take down silos within and across departments, creating formal and informal structures for cross-department collaboration that leverages differences and inspires trust among members
  • Identify and understand stakeholder perspectives; anticipate and embrace stakeholder reactions and work to address concerns in ways that resonate
  • Demonstrate awareness of cultural values, biases and differences in self and others, and tailor approach based on this understanding; apply a culturally competent lens to work 
  • Demonstrate highly developed awareness of how one's leadership and behaviors directly and indirectly impact others; anticipate and understand implications and communicate these across the organization
  • Work with the Executive Director to confidently lead the department through times of change and transition, working with the team to identify opportunities for innovation and new possibilities
Compensation & Benefits
  • $85,000-$90,000 annual salary
  • Paid Time Off: 15 Vacation days per year (increases to 20 days after two years), approximately 9 Wellness days per year, 13 Holidays, and winter office closure 
  • Employer contributions to health insurance coverage for employees and dependents (medical, dental, vision), Employee Assistance Program, group life insurance
  • Pre-Tax Savings: 401(k) plan with employer match, Flexible Spending Account for health and dependent care expenses, Commuter Benefits
  • Professional development funds (budget permitting)
  • Relocation support may be available if moving to California from another state
  • 40% discount at all 826 Valencia stores
826 Valencia is an equal opportunity employer committed to achieving a diverse and inclusive workforce. Candidates who identify as Black, Indigenous or people of color are strongly encouraged to apply. 826 Valencia does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, age, religion, sexual orientation, political orientation, disability, veteran status, or gender identity or expression. For more information, read the 826 Stand: You can read about our core values at