Lead Designer / Graphic Designer

Website earlham1847 Office of Marketing and Communications

Please note that we are open to accepting applications for this role at the Graphic Designer level, for those with fewer years of experience and a more limited scope of professional responsibility. At the Graphic Designer level, this position would work with more oversight and input from the assistant vice president of Marketing and Communications and departmental director, and would not manage direct reports.


The lead designer is responsible for concepting, driving, refining and evolving the visual expression of Earlham’s brand across all media. Working in print and digital formats, the lead designer develops innovative ideas that assist Earlham’s strategic marketing efforts and brings innovation and creativity to the Marketing and Communications team. The lead designer is at once independent, with the ability to work on a variety of projects simultaneously, and highly collaborative. Relationship-building and teamwork, particularly among departmental colleagues, is essential to the lead designer’s work.

The lead designer reports to the assistant vice president of marketing and communications and will work closely with our copywriter/content strategist, senior editor and media relations director. The lead designer will also manage the web developer and multimedia producer/videographer.

The focus of our team’s work is to inspire viewers to take an action — helping prospective students envision what their life would be like as an Earlham student and helping prospective donors envision how their generosity will impact students and campus life. The Lead Designer does this through compelling visuals and compelling design, consistent with Earlham’s brand and values. This lead designer will be part of a highly collaborative team that is laser focused on Earlham’s enrollment marketing goals.

This is an in-person role, but Marketing and Communications staffers can work from home one day a week. Our team is driven, but we also like to have fun. Though we take our collective work seriously, we have a serious sense of humor. Earlham’s culture is vibrant and inclusive — guided by our Principles and Practices. In our collective work, we strive to create an environment of community and mutual respect.

About Earlham

Earlham is a Top 100 national liberal arts college in the heart of the Midwest. An Earlham education prepares students to become catalysts for good in a changing world. In turn, the marketing team is committed to sharing that message — for good. If you are interested in creative work and driven by the desire to create positive change, we’d love to hear from you.


  • Evolve and be a steward of Earlham College’s visual brand standards.
  • Provide leadership to departmental colleagues and campus partners in the implementation of visual standards through dialogue, workshops and critiques.
  • Create templates for campus partners interested in producing branded materials.
  • Design eye-catching, branded layouts for print and digital work, including but not limited to websites/microsites; print collateral; video assets; digital, print and outdoor advertising; promotional materials, apparel and swag; and social media.
  • Interact with clients/campus partners to understand their needs and develop visual solutions that achieve their goals.
  • Communicate with writers and project leads about concepts, ideas and desired outcome of the project to ensure a shared understanding of goals.
  • Maintain print and vendor relationships.
  • Works with vendors to obtain cost estimates for projects within quality specifications, financial constraints, and time schedule for projects
  • In partnership with department leadership, negotiate and coordinate outside freelance design, photography and illustration work.
  • Review work created by campus partners to maintain the quality, creativity and brand integrity of design projects.
  • In collaboration with the website developer, develop and implement the visual design of WordPress templates and other visual website interfaces.
  • Prioritize and work independently on a variety of projects simultaneously to ensure that all deadlines and client expectations are met.
  • Conduct industry and competitor benchmarking of design work.
  • Stay current on the latest technology and strategies in graphic and web design.


  • Bachelor’s degree in graphic design, visual communications, communication design or other related field and 3-5 years’ experience in graphic design, art direction and/or multimedia communications.
  • A passion for design, a commitment to the College’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion work, and an understanding of Earlham’s Principles and Practices.


  • Experience developing and working within visual brand systems, including a deep understanding of the ways in which typography, color palette, marks, logos, and glyphs inform and support a brand.
  • Knowledge of print specifications, materials, pre-press and printing processes
  • Experience with multimedia design, including design for websites, social media platforms, interactive presentations, video assets and other media
  • Experience in a higher education setting preferred

Required skills

  • Strong attention to detail and time management
  • Strong interpersonal and communications skills including tact and diplomacy
  • An understanding of how design facilitates the sharing of information and how design choices affect the interpretation of that information by the end user
  • Familiarity with project management software, understanding the lead designer’s role in getting a project to completion
  • Proficiency in Adobe Creative Suite, Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and WordPress
  • Some experience with Premiere Pro and After Effects
  • Some experience with UX/UI
  • Basic understanding of web languages (HTML, CSS, JS, PHP, SASS) preferred

Application instructions

Candidates from diverse backgrounds are welcome. Please submit the following application materials in a single electronic file:

  • Cover letter;
  • Resume;
  • 300-500 word statement on diversity, equity, and inclusion in which you concretely detail how your values and professional experience would contribute to Earlham’s commitment to DEI.
  • Contact information for three references.

All materials should be submitted to the Earlham College Office of Human Resources at [email protected]

The review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.

Earlham College requires all employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or apply for and receive a qualified exemption within two weeks of the employment start date.

Earlham utilizes E-Verify to confirm employment eligibility for all newly hired employees within the United States.

Equal Opportunity Employer

Earlham College is an equal opportunity employer committed to building a diverse community, one that reflects the makeup of society at large and that particularly welcomes and supports individuals from groups that have been historically marginalized because of factors such as race, ethnicity, sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, socioeconomic class, and physical ability. The College strongly encourages applications from women and people of color. As an institution with a Quaker identity, the College also solicits applications from members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).