Position Description

Art Director
Location Sierra Club Headquarters, Oakland, CA
Job Code 302-19
# of Openings 1
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Job Title: Art Director

Department: Sierra Magazine

Reports To: Editor in Chief         

Supervises: Senior Associate Art Director and Photo Editor

Context: Oversees all aspects of artwork and design--including illustrations, typography, photography, and layout--in Sierra magazine and Manages the magazine’s art department.

Scope: From conception to completion, serves as Sierra’s visual steward, ensuring that the publication and its print and online editions are designed and illustrated to inspire and engage readers. Oversees the artistic vision for Sierra magazine in print and online, maintaining top professional standards for all aspects of the publication’s design, photography, graphics, and typography.  Hires, supervises, and mentors other staff in the art department as well as freelance illustrators, photographers, and designers. Collaborates with editorial staff on ideas for photos and illustrations.


Job Activities:

  1. Works with editor in chief and other editors to prepare the year’s editorial calendar and to conceive each issue of Sierra.
  2. Makes decisions about artwork and design direction, including researching, assigning, and supervising the preparation of original art.
  3. Provides forward-thinking, cutting edge vision to the magazine; keeps Sierra’s design and cover looking and feeling lively, engaging, and ahead of its time, producing an eye-catching design that competes with large circulation, consumer magazines on the newsstand for readers’ attention.
  4. Directs all technical art work, including font and color selection, page layout, selection and sizing of photos, color correction and inspection of color proofs.
  5. Supervises staff by assigning work and establishing priorities; conducts formal performance planning and evaluation; makes recommendations in hiring, termination, and salary decisions.
  6. Prepares and monitors the art permissions budget, ensures adherence to Sierra Club protocols regarding budget and engagement of independent contractors.
  7. Identifies and manages a pool of quality contract resources to hire, including existing contractors.
  8. Stays abreast of current trends in magazine and web design, attending professional seminars and conferences as required, and reports to staff on best practices.
  9. Oversees design of the magazine’s various digital versions, including its website and digital replica.
  10. Works with editor in chief and other editors to conceive, develop, and publish multi-media projects for our online and digital-replica editions.
  11. Performs miscellaneous duties as directed.


Knowledge & Skill:

  • 5 years experience conceiving and executing magazine layout/design, art-directing illustrations and maps, and experience in color/color separations.
  • Knowledge of current and emerging trends in print and online magazine industry, and a strong desire to create cutting-edge designs.
  • Expert knowledge of design, typography, and color correction. Design sophistication and keen eye for detail.
  • Must have extensive experience with the most common programs currently used in magazine publishing, including InDesign, InCopy, Illustrator, Photoshop, and Acrobat. Must also be familiar with web-design software.
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced environment on multiple projects under tight deadlines and production benchmarks.
  • Demonstrated experience leading a team of designers and writers to creative excellence
  • Must be conversant with and stay abreast of current design-related tools and technologies
  • 1-2 years experience with management/supervision of staff and/or vendors, freelancers, or consultants
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.


The Sierra Club offers competitive salary package commensurate with skills and experience plus excellent benefits that include medical, dental, and vision coverage, and a retirement savings 401(k) plan.


This is a category 3 exempt position.


Sierra Club is a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization. Sierra Club employees are not eligible to participate in the Federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program.  Sierra Club does not sponsor H1B visas.


The Sierra Club is an equal opportunity employer committed to workforce diversity.


Explore, enjoy and protect the planet.


*If you are applying for more than one position with us, please attach your job-specific cover letters in the 'Attachments' section



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