Highlands College Creative Director
Highlands College is a biblical higher education institution that exists to supply the church with leaders of character, competence, and spiritual maturity, holistically trained to live lives of eternal impact by fulfilling the Great Commission. Now in our tenth year, Highlands College is experiencing an accelerated period of transformation with the achievement of significant vision milestones that include state approval to award a degree, entering the final stages of a national accreditation process, and the completion of a world-class, cutting-edge new campus. Simultaneously, we seek to shape a public identity that is as distinctly collegiate as it is innovative, while raising our profile among key audiences.
Summary of Responsibilities
The Creative Director will help lead the visual expression of this transformation through the development and management of creative vision, visual brand identity, and creative solutions for Highlands College. Reporting directly to the Executive Vice President of Communications and Marketing, the Creative Director leads the design vision in collaboration with cross-functional marketing and communications teams. Collectively, this group will conceive and develop creative ideas and concepts for campaigns as well as content that will have positive, measurable audience impact across owned, shared, and paid channels. The Creative Director will lead and manage a new team of in-house designers, video producers, creative professionals, project managers, and, as necessary, freelance talent, vendors, agencies, and partners. Together, this team will work collaboratively and creatively to reach, grow, and inspire audiences that are increasingly external while continuing to serve the internal operations and goals of the institution.
The Creative Director will report directly to the Executive Vice President of Communications and Marketing.
Specific Duties and Responsibilities
Develop Creative Strategy to Raise Profile
- Collaborate with peers in Marketing and Communications to develop comprehensive content strategies to raise awareness among growing external audiences.
- Create advertising and visual communications concepts across all channels and media.
- Participate in collaboration on key projects through the development of storyboards, wireframes, inspiration boards, style guides, and brand standards.
- Contribute to, and conduct, creative concept presentations to leadership and others.
- Provide foundational vision on larger brand projects, while directing and supporting the design team as well as encouraging independent exploration.
- Provide the art direction necessary for campaigns, photo shoots and illustration assignments.
Steward Visual Brand Identity to Serve College Goals
- Serve as the steward of the College’s visual brand identity and brand guidelines; ensuring they are consistently applied and integrated into myriad use cases, applications, projects, and campaigns across this institution.
- Provide branding and visual identity leadership by maintaining the Highlands College brand image, and ensuring all creative outlets representing the institution are reflective of our brand standards and guidelines.
- Develop effective strategies to educate and inform internal as well as external stakeholders on brand standards. Promote visual and identity guidelines to these groups, and ensure guidelines are up-to-date and responsive to the College’s needs.
- Provide expertise to department leadership, college administration, and other Highlands College stakeholders on the effective use and execution of brand guidelines and visual identity, including guidance on the most effective approach to the creative work.
- Collaborate with, and provide design oversight to, creative partners, agencies, and vendors, as needed, to ensure alignment with the college’s project goals and brand standards.
Lead Creative Team to Achieve Excellent Results
- Recruit and hire talented team members who are committed to the mission and vision of Highlands College.
- Provide personal and professional development for team members to cultivate healthy and effective individuals and team.
- Develop a vibrant team culture that brings the best out of each person; drawing team members closer to each other and the College, stirs faith in Jesus, and encourages professional growth and exploration.
- Lead regular team meetings to discuss the status of all current on-going projects, and the needs of the team.
- Facilitate internal project check-ins to steer projects and represent departmental goals by bringing clarity to the strategic direction. Listens to, and helps to solve team needs, and ensures studio expectations in terms of quality of work as well as balancing form and function in all materials.
- In tandem with the project manager, reviews team resourcing, capacity, and project schedules in preparation of assigning new work while keeping on track for current projects.
- Provide hands-on support for challenging and sensitive projects.
- Facilitate and participate in the formal and informal critiquing of work to ensure the quality of deliverables are consistent throughout every phase of a project, regardless of practitioner.
- Elevate creativity through review, feedback, and working sessions. Pushes creative solutions based on understanding of project needs, teams abilities, and strategic value.
- Encourage and support teams in exploring new approaches, solutions, and programs to design problems.
- Create hourly estimates for work to be used in scoping projects.
- Plan and brief projects for the creative team with hourly estimates applied in order for projects to stay on track and on budget.
- Build and optimize team workflows and systems to keep to project strategy, goals, budget, and timeline.
- Research, implement, and maintain creative software solutions that extend the capabilities of the design team while efficiently facilitating the design workflow and approval process of jobs and projects.
- The ability to work collaboratively on creative projects and have strong design skills on an aesthetic that demonstrates an understanding of current and emerging trends.
- Extensive knowledge and proficiency with the tools of Adobe Creative Suite and emerging technologies.
- Ability to conceive and implement comprehensive multimedia campaigns for distribution across a spectrum of channels.
- Ability to advise, from experience, on the best combination of media and channels to support a strategy and accomplish its goals.
- Ability to lead a project from concept to production, meeting deadlines while producing the highest quality product.
- Ability to work independently, while simultaneously managing multiple projects and deadlines.
- Excellent interpersonal skills and a commitment to collaboration, with an ability to communicate to co-creative and communications professionals as well as the broader college team.
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills, for clearly relaying vision and feedback to the team.
- Strong leadership, collaborative, and managerial skills, but also the ability to work autonomously and be accountable for the final work product.
- Ability to work and thrive in an inclusive, intellectually challenging, and complex academic environment.
- Ability to develop work you’re proud of while maintaining a posture of humility and service towards all stakeholders.
- Ability to build and maintain a culture of service and humility within a team of creative professionals.
- Because of the central role Church of the Highlands plays in the mission and vision of Highlands College, it is required that the Highlands College team members actively participate in the ministry functions of both Highlands College and Church of the Highlands. This includes leading small groups, serving at weekend services, and attending key conferences.
- A Bachelor’s degree in a design and/or creative-related field.
- 5+ years relevant experience in a design or creative field.
- 2+ years of supervisory experience of managing a creative team, designers, or artists within a professional organization.
- Experience developing successful multi-channel marketing campaigns.
- Affirm the Statement of Faith and uphold the Core Values of the College, exemplifying them by word and lifestyle.
- Lead a Highlands College or Church of the Highlands small group.
- 8+ years relevant experience in a design or creative field.
- 3+ years experience in a creative agency.
- 5+ years of supervisory experience of managing a creative team, designers, or artists within a professional organization.
- Experience developing brands and brand guidelines for multiple entities.