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Western Carolina University
  • Position Number: 2367531
  • Location: Cullowhee, NC
  • Position Type: Fine and Applied Arts - Graphic Design

Visual Arts Specialist

Position Summary
This position is on site at our Cullowhee campus.

The Graphic Designer will be responsible for creating design approaches and finished work across a range of platforms. S/he will plan, design, and coordinate the production of materials for print, social, web, and other communication needs. Using established visual identity guidelines, this full-time position will serve as a liaison overseeing the visual creative elements of the University. Our dream candidate not only has stellar design chops, but also an innate understanding of the craft and strategy of design, branding, and bringing creative ideas to life. You love trying new tools, trends and techniques, and rarely default back to a solution because you ‘already know it works.' You get excited when pitching ideas to leadership and client stakeholders, while graciously accepting critique on your work.
Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities Required for this Position
- Concept, design, and prepare artwork and other elements in support of client needs and that are consistent with visual identity guidelines. Produce compelling and differentiated materials that will be utilized both internally and externally.
- Have the ability to design a print brochure, a social media engagement campaign, an infographic, a web page and an outdoor advertising campaign, among other things. You won't be bored, but we expect you to be able to jump in with your keen design aesthetic and strategic vision whenever necessary.
- Contribute to the look and feel of social media campaigns as the University brand's online voice
- Serve as a resource in established University branding and assure consistent execution of University brand elements across marketing and communications materials
- In collaboration with other members of the Marketing & Communications Department, develop and implement creative projects that enhance the reputation of the University and are consistent with university priorities and strategic goals
- You will be a content creator. Not only will you be designing, but you'll be gathering interesting content from around campus to build into social and print campaigns. We need you to be able to strategically understand the creative needs and be able to jump in to create the content needed.
- Provide high-quality, elegant yet modern professional design, along with valuable consulting and customer service. Develop and maintain good working relationships with clients. Recommend solutions and design pieces for meeting objectives.
- Provide recommendations that will improve efficiency, reduce costs and elevate the effectiveness of University communications. Provide recommendations and/or solutions to improve and/or enhance the university's creative quality and capabilities
- Archive digital assets, including print job files and photos in the digital asset management system
- Work with our digital project management system and be astute and competent in working with naming conventions and processes related to streamlined project management
- Collaborate with copywriters, the web team, photo/video team, social media team, communications team, and fellow content creators across campus
- Image source, retouch & modify images/content as needed
- Ability to function as a productive member in a team-focused, collaborative environment.
- Manage and mentor student designer workers so they are best utilizing their skills and talent, and encourage them to think outside the box. Work with them ensure that they feel they are a valuable part of the team, and inspire them to elevate their work at every opportunity.
Minimum Qualifications
High school diploma or equivalency and two years of visual/graphic arts experience related to the area of assignment; or equivalent combination of training and experience.

Preferred Qualifications
- Minimum of an Associate's Degree in Graphic Design or related field; Bachelor's Degree preferred
- A minimum of 2 years of proven experience in conceptual graphic design
- Experience working in a variety of different media, including print, digital/social/mobile and video
- Deep knowledge and proficiency in Adobe's Creative Cloud software, specifically InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop. Experience with Adobe Sketch, Premiere Pro, and After Effects preferred
- Experience with presentation, design, and narrative storytelling
- Ability to clearly articulate your design decisions
- Strong work ethic and the ability to not get overwhelmed easily
- Strong organizational skills, extreme attention to detail, and commitment to producing excellent work
- MUST HAVE an editorial eye for the use of typography and color, layout, and visual communication hierarchy
- Experience with video production and editing a plus (for our social content)
- Experience in printing processes a plus
- Demonstrated successful work experience in a customer-driven, organized, creative, results-oriented environment
- Experience in magazine layout and production a plus
- Experience curating content to each various platform. For instance, you should know the difference between the kind of content we would create for TikTok vs Facebook vs Instagram, and come up with ideas in how to best engage our target.
- Knowledge and interest in emerging technologies; openness to new approaches to communicating; solid understanding of latest graphic and web design principles and aesthetics
- Experience in the preparation of digital files for press
- Basic copywriting/storytelling a plus
Anticipated Hiring Range $38,680 - $48,000

Salary Grade
For administrative purposes during the implementation of Career Banding this journey level position is considered a Salary Grade 65.

Special Instructions to Applicants
Applicants must apply online in order to be considered.

Please include a cover letter, resume, portfolio, and a list of references (with complete contact information).

Applicants must upload a DD-214 if claiming Veteran's Preference.


If no applicants apply, who meet the required Knowledge, Skills, Abilities/Competencies and Training and Experience requirements, then management may consider other applicants. Effective October 1, 2015 all new hires into positions subject to the State Human Resources Act (SHRA) will serve a 12 month probationary period as defined by the North Carolina Office of State Human Resources (OSHR).

Final candidates are subject to criminal & sex offender background checks. Some vacancies also require credit or motor vehicle checks.

Western Carolina University uses E-Verify to confirm employment eligibility of all newly hired employees. To learn more about E-Verify, including your rights and responsibilities, please visit Proper documentation of identity and employability are required at the time of employment.

Credential Verification
All new employees are required to have listed credentials/degrees verified within 30 days of employment. All new employees who will be teaching are required to provide official transcripts within 30 days of employment. Transcripts should be provided for the highest earned degree and/or the degree which is being used to satisfy credential/qualification requirements.

Western Carolina University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race; color; religion; sex; sexual orientation; gender identity or expression; national origin; age; disability; genetic information; political affiliation; National Guard or veteran status, consistent with applicable federal, state and local laws, regulations, and policies, and the policies of The University of North Carolina. Additionally, the University promotes the realization of equal employment opportunity for minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and veterans through its affirmative action program.

Persons with disabilities requiring accommodations in the application and interview process please call (828) 227-7218 or email at

University Safety
The Western Carolina University Annual Safety Report is available online at University Annual Safety Report or in hard-copy by request at the office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, 227 HFR Administration Building, Cullowhee, NC 28723 (828-227-7147) or the Office of University Police, 111 Camp Annex, Cullowhee, NC 28723 (828-227-7301). The report, required of all universities participating in Title IV student financial aid programs, discusses crime statistics, procedures for reporting suspicious or criminal activity, security, police authority, crime prevention strategies, university policies on substance abuse and sexual offenses, workplace violence and fire safety.

To apply:

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