Senior Graphic Designer

  • Chicago, IL
  • Full-time

Company Description

The Chicago Architecture Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing public interest and education in architecture and design. The Chicago Architecture Foundation presents a comprehensive program of tours, exhibitions, lectures, special events, and adult and youth education activities, all designed to enhance the public’s awareness and appreciation of Chicago’s outstanding architectural legacy.

Job Description

The Senior Graphic Designer will Provides creative leadership and utilizes strong design skills to work as the
creative lead for our various institutional marketing communications, collaborating with multiple departments serving a variety of audiences. This is a hands-on design position, as well as a creative leadership position.


Brand Management

  • Maintain the CAF brand on all internal and external print communications and advertising; serve as a creative consultant for web and email communications as needed
  • Update and manage CAF's graphic style guide; develop and maintain a knowledge of CAF branding in collaboration with the other marketing staff as applied to new visual communication initiatives

Graphic Design

  • Serve as production designer, art director (in collaboration with various departments), and, for larger initiatives, creative director.
  • Design a wide array of visual communications, including all CAF ad campaigns , brochures, a quarterly member magazine, direct mail campaigns, event branding and materials for Open House Chicago and other festivals/events, shop merchandise, annual reports and other institutional proposals/presentations, and large-scale environmental design (in collaboration with outside vendors).
  • Develop innovative concepts and design directions, and present work clearly and effectively to internal staff, with a willingness to continue exploring conceptual options.


  • Collaborate with and provide art direction as needed for in-house web/email staff and outside vendors (i.e. long-form publications/books).
  • Work with various departments throughout the organization to provide graphic support for projects as requested, while helping to manage project timeline, completion and final delivery.
  • Maintain relationships with a variety of vendors and oversee quality of final print files and products; collaborate with internal staff to assist in other areas of visual communication quality control as needed.
  • Manage pricing to ensure CAF is getting the most competitive rates from freelance designers and printing companies .
  • Serve as a knowledgeable consultant on the annual graphics budget, helping make overarching decisions about possible directions of CAF visual communications.


Education and Experience

  • BFA in Graphic Design or Visual Communications (or equivalent 4-year degree)
  • 5+ years in a mid-to-senior level design position
  • Experience working with an in-house marketing staff is preferred
  • Experience with mission-driven nonprofits is preferred, or an interest in philanthropy and community engagement

Skills, Knowledge and Abilities

  • Ability to communicate creative direction both visually and verbally to internal staff as well as external vendors
  • Excellent attention to detail and flexibility to meet complex and ever-changing deadlines, while still understanding the established visual communication needs
  • Expert knowledge of Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator
  • Familiarity with HTML and additional software applications (i.e. video software) or a willingness to learn in order to complete simple tasks
  • Very strong understanding of typography, branding, multi-page layout and the experiential design of event materials
  • Excellent final pre-press print production skills (i.e. choosing paper stocks, editing photos, etc.)
  • Superior customer service orientation and skills
  • Must be a proactive and enthusiastic team member and team leader
  • Excellent listening, speaking and writing skills

Additional Information

Chicago Architecture Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer.