Design Lead

Job title: Design Lead
Contract type: Full-time
Location: Portland, Oregon, OR
Discipline: Creative
Remote: No
Reference: 404155
Contact name: Rianne McDonough
Job Published: January 01, 1970

Job description

The Design Lead works directly with the design director and creative director while mentoring and supporting other team members in delivering exceptional creative work in a high-volume environment. This design lead position is a master in typography, photography, illustration, iconography, color, pattern, and form. Clear communication and inspiring others are critical to this position’s success.

The lead will bring experience, talent, technique, and an unflinching pursuit of excellence. The role requires a track record of exceptional work, yet still driven to hone new skills and experiment with new tools and new techniques. 

The Design Lead will create and execute digital campaigns alongside other designers, writers, and developers and in collaboration with client services, the clients, and other partners. Collaboration with teammates to constantly pursue an environment that far surpasses expectations. You should care intensely about your work without conflating work ego with personal ego. While you’ll be working closely with clients, our agency’s integrated teams collaborate equally and share accountability, in failure and success alike. Be prepared to let the best ideas rise to the top.

An experienced Design Lead obsessed with every detail of the craft. You use any visual means necessary to communicate ideas, and you’re willing to start anywhere, with anything, and iterate your way to the right thing. You find inspiration in unlikely places and spread it throughout the room. You set the bar high and show your team how to aspire to that level too. Whoever works with you is inspired to bring their best game. Your influence comes through the design work first and foremost. You unlock visual, experiential, and conceptual opportunities through execution, sell your ideas passionately, and elevate the work of the entire team through active mentorship.

As a worker, you will have blue-sky thinking while staying grounded and keeping clients’ goals in mind. You are not afraid of conflict, actively working with colleagues and/or partners to resolve issues. You are trusted by your coworkers, collaborative with partners, and the management team. You keep a level head under pressure. You take initiative and leap at leadership opportunities. You effectively communicate with all parties involved in the projects you’re on. You have the ability to understand the big picture while zeroing in on the details. You are comfortable making judgment calls as necessary, knowing when to consult colleagues and management. You communicate and present work effectively, collaborating closely with clients and team members from discovery through delivery. You lead designers in a way that allows them to show up for the team. You lead small, focused teams to pitch smart, beautiful, and impactful creative to clients.


You will own these characteristics:

  • Curiosity: You leave no stone unturned in the pursuit of better work.
  • You are passionate and experienced about leading small teams on multiple projects simultaneously.
  • You can articulate design strategy and present both internally and to clients.
  • Quality: You produce your own work and model excellence to the team.
  • Drive: You own your output and design because you love it.
  • Detail mastery: You nerd out on type styling. Image selection and composition are in your veins.
  • Flexibility and adaptability: You’re no one-trick pony. You’re ready to mix it up and make it better anytime there’s a new opportunity.
  • You give and receive feedback well.
  • Jump in attitude: You’re willing to contribute wherever needed, without hesitation. No task is too small or too big.
  • Team player: You don’t win on your own.
  • Self-starter: Work independently and within a team to deliver compelling, well-crafted work across a variety of media.
  • Be hands-on in every step of the creative process, from concept to delivery.
  • Lead portions of project work wherever needed.
  • Think broadly about your work to establish consistency across projects and deliverables. Mentor design team members and encourage skill development.
  • Grow beyond your core competencies.


As for experience, you need

  • Bachelor’s degree in design or fine arts (or comparable experience)
  • Six-plus years of experience in a design studio or agency (or comparable experience)
  • A portfolio and work experience that demonstrate your skills, design sensibilities, and range
  • Experience working on global brands
  • Solid core design competency, including drawing/sketching, typography, ideation, color theory, use of texture, spacing, scale, visual presentation development, and layout
  • Strong familiarity with current trends in color and design
  • Experience leading design teams and mentoring designers
  • Effective and clear presentation skills
  • Experience with prototyping tools like Invision and Flinto
  • Experience or demonstrated interest in motion graphics, 3D graphics, VR, or other areas of digital creative work
  • Experience retouching at a global brand level
  • Expert knowledge of industry-standard software (Adobe CC, Sketch, Keynote, etc.)
  • Basic knowledge of the Google Suite (Drive, Docs, etc.)
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