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University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign
  • Position Number: 5162898
  • Location: Urbana, IL
  • Position Type: Fine and Applied Arts - Graphic Design

Senior Design Coordinator - Hybrid/Remote
University Press

Job Summary
Develops and maintains the visual and aesthetic identity and standards of the University Press. Administers all design tasks, including books, journals, and marketing materials. Oversees design staff and the recruitment, training, and management of work assigned to professional design staff, interns, and independent contractors. Provides professional expertise and keeps current with design trends. Position requires supervisory experience and a thorough knowledge of typography and book design standards.
Duties & Responsibilities
  • Oversee all design aspects of the manuscript-to-book/journal process for annual output of approximately 100 new book titles and approximately 90 journal issues. Balance conceptual, aesthetic, technical, and managerial demands; grasp the arguments of academic and trade publications and interpret the content in an appropriate way when coming up with cover and interior design concepts and art directing the work of other designers.
  • Oversee the design budget, allocation of resources, and advise on budget preparation when necessary. Work closely with the managing editor and production manager regarding list management, schedules, and provide reports, data and information for administrative purposes.
  • Recruit, train, and supervise staff designers, freelance designers, and design interns. Responsible for setting goals and objectives for staff and coordinates the training and management of work assigned to staff.
  • Balancing expertise and collaboration, communicate, plan, consult, and negotiate with Press colleagues, University of Illinois purchasing department, and outside vendors to obtain the best possible results. Successfully communicate design considerations to nondesigners.
  • Consult with academic authors about their preferences for cover art and design treatment of text, illustrations, and covers and jackets. Advise authors on art preparation.
  • Formulate, implement, and interpret operating policies and procedures related to design and office resources, and participates in setting department objectives and long-range planning.
  • Ensure that appropriate and consistent layouts and/or thorough type specifications are provided to the compositor for unique interior designs. Periodically review library of format interior designs to meet a range of manuscript requirements.
  • Oversee typesetting for design-intensive books.
  • Identify and purchase suitable art and permissions for book jackets and covers. Ensure that covers are provided to the printer in electronic form with graphics files in place.
  • Work with Marketing colleagues to schedule advance design of covers as needed for two seasonal catalogs, satisfying the demands of the cover committee, authors, strict permissions requirements, and strict deadlines.
  • Provide preliminary castoffs and, as needed, rough design sketches for complex or design-intensive projects, to be used in obtaining production estimates.
  • Review and assess manuscripts and art programs as appropriate prior to transmittal to editing.
  • Keep abreast of developments in relevant computer technology and software applications, and pursue professional development opportunities to expand knowledge. Select software and hardware for purchase for design staff, and provide staff with program knowledge and expertise of procedures, technical specifications, related to the field.
  • Design at least 25% of new book covers and non-format designs as needed, delegating remaining covers/designs/marketing materials to design staff/freelancers as appropriate.
  • Design marketing materials in relation to books and journals, including social media and website graphics, for both marketing and authors, as well as marketing print materials as relates to conferences and book promotions. Design journal interiors and covers, catalog covers, and additional promotional materials as needed.
  • Update art guidelines and checklists as needed and maintain these on the Press's Web site.
  • Acts as the point of contact with campus, and other University departments, and performs other duties appropriate for a senior design manager position.

Minimum Qualifications

1. Any one or any combination that equals thirty-six (36) months from the categories below:

A. Credit for progressively more advanced college or art-school course work that would lead to a major in graphic/visual arts communication and/or design
  • 60 semester hours equals 12 months
  • 90 semester hours equals 24 months
  • 120 semester hours or a Bachelor's Degree equals 36 months

B. Work experience and/or on-the-job training that provided knowledge of progressively more advanced, generally accepted principles, theories, practices, and methods used in graphic designs and their applications to visual communications problems that are/is comparable to the training provided in the programs such as graphic/visual arts communication and/or design

2. Twenty-Four (24) months of experience comparable to the Graphic Designer level that included assisting in the supervision of work operations

** A Master's Degree in visual design, with emphasis in visual arts communication or a closely related field, meets the requirements of this Minimum Acceptable Qualification.

Preferred Qualifications
  • Bachelor's degree in graphic design or related field.
  • Portfolio of at least ten published book cover designs and five published book interior designs.
  • A total of seven (7) years in education, training and/or work experience in the area of specialization inherent to the position, of which at least one year needs to include supervisory experience. (Note: Master's Degree in an area consistent with the duties of the position may be substituted for one (1) year of work experience.)
  • Experience and awareness of print publishing developments and issues.
  • Experience and awareness of electronic publishing developments and issues.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
  • Knowledge of design standards for trade books and for specialized scholarly manuscripts.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Superior skills in negotiation and organization.
  • Broad academic background or evidence of broad intellectual engagement.
  • Ability to understand and deal effectively with manuscripts containing such diverse elements as mathematical formulas, sidebars, historical photographs, color illustrations, and foreign languages.
  • Independent decision-making ability that reflects good judgment and discretion.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills to establish and maintain effective working relationships with University staff and external agencies.
  • Ability to prioritize work assignments to produce accurate, detail-oriented work while meeting stringent deadlines.
  • Expertise in Adobe Creative Suite for the latest Macintosh OS, especially InDesign, Photoshop, Acrobat, and Illustrator.
  • Excellent problem-solving skills to address difficult, complex issues.
  • Proven ability to work in a team environment as well as independently.
  • Strong general computer skills, including the ability to effectively use additional software packages such as Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, and Safari.
Appointment Information

This is a 100% full-time Civil Service 3681 - Graphic Design Manager position, appointed on a 12-month basis. The expected start date is as soon as possible after 5/20/2024. The minimum salary for this position is $62,000 and the salary is commensurate with experience and qualifications. System Office jobs such as this one are not eligible for the Referral Program.

Sponsorship for Work authorization is not available for this position.

For more information on Civil Service classifications, please visit the SUCSS web site at
Application Procedures & Deadline Information

Applications must be received by 6:00 pm (CST) on April 29th. Apply for this position using the Apply Now button at the top or bottom of this posting. In order to be considered as a transfer candidate, you must apply for this position. Applications not submitted through will not be considered. If required by the position, transcripts or other documentation of credentials are to be provided no later than the first day of employment. For further information about this specific position, please contact Bree Smith at For questions regarding the application process, please contact 217-333-2137.

The University of Illinois System is an equal opportunity employer, including but not limited to disability and/or veteran status, and complies with all applicable state and federal employment mandates. Please visit Required Employment Notices and Posters to view our non-discrimination statement and find additional information about required background checks, sexual harassment/misconduct disclosures, and employment eligibility review through E-Verify.

Applicants with disabilities are encouraged to apply and may request a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (2008) to complete the application and/or interview process. Requests may be submitted through the reasonable accommodations portal, or by contacting the Accessibility & Accommodations Division of the Office for Access and Equity at 217-333-0885, or by emailing

Requisition ID: 1023387
Job Category: Technical

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