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Director of Design

Swell, Inc.

This is a Full-time position in Los Angeles, CA posted May 7, 2022.

About Swell
Swell is an award winning independent creative and marketing agency built for social justice.

Since 2012, Swell has led the policy, development, messaging and organizing for housing and services for the unhoused, enacted a minimum wage increase across California, ensured better union contracts for service workers and created permanent funding solutions for water quality and sustainability.

We seek to tame complexity, inspire people, and provide meaningful ways that everyday people can problem work to solve vexing generational problems.
Our Mission: To make the world a better place through creative marketing and strategic organizing.
Our Vision: Move people to measurable actions.
Swell is seeking an established professional who is passionate about leading a team and harnessing their creative abilities to inspire change.
The Director of Design oversees the Design Department’s overall direction to all projects, ensuring the created brands, digital assets, websites, offline, and social assets tell powerful visual stories that achieve results, meet Swell standards of excellence, and exceed client expectations.

This role leads the Design Department and reports to the Creative Director.
Key Competencies and Responsibilities

Ability to understand system levels issues and proactively determine solutions in order to improve department processes and specific project work.


Review, innovate, and create comprehensive brand or campaign identities that help to communicate brand attributes across a variety of outputs and use research to gather context and requirements for digital products.
Review and uphold standards for UX documentation and deliverables including Information Architecture, Site Maps, User Journeys, Content Maps.

Campaign Management
Contribute to cross-department brainstorms for campaign concepting and work in partnership and across departments as needed/as appropriate.
Crystalize emerging themes based on the research and prepare a responsive implementation approach.
Work in partnership with other team members (Strategy, Data and Technology), Content to ensure all touchpoints are cohesive, goal oriented, and moving the client closer to their goalposts through feedback, testing, quality assurance etc.

Client Management
Present design ideas to clients and clearly communicate the design decisions and rationale.
Support and co-lead client-facing creative briefings, brainstorm sessions, and status meetings.
Contributes to first-level support to clients and ensures that questions about our services are addressed.

Resource Management

Work with Agency Planner to leverage internal resources and be responsive when new information is shared; using smart judgment to delegate, pivot, and collaborate with internal team members and clients.

People Management

Supervise 3-4 staff being proactive about their professional development and well-being.
Takes responsibility for performance of specific projects, and supports direct reports by setting clear goals and expectations, tracking progress against the goals, giving timely corrective and affirmative feedback, and addressing performance challenges and opportunities.
Translate Swell’s vision to the work of individual direct reports.
Coach team members on internal project teams and guide more junior members through edits and refinement.

Swell Leadership
Work cross-functionally with internal teams to ensure design work moves from planning to execution (e.g., design, content development, ads/audience development, etc.).
Model excellence and share ideas to better refine our processes and deliverables.

Leadership Experience: 5+ years relevant leadership experience, including 2+ years in agency, activism and/or change work.
Work Experience: Experience working at an agency, start-up, or in-house in a director role managing creative teams.
Technical Experience: Proficiency in working with design applications: Adobe Creative Suite, Figma, Sketch, Invision, Microsoft Office, and iWork.
KPI Experience: Ability to analyze, and decipher quantitative and qualitative analytics, ads and social media.
Team Experience: Experience directly supervising and coaching staff and leading a mission focused team.
Other Preferred Knowledge:
Active member of coalitions and communities we serve.
Experience with video editing, motion, audio, and user experience.
Knowledge and understanding of the political process, power and politics.

Who Works Here:

People who find purpose in solving complex and critical social issues including homelessness, climate change, racial disparity, educational inequities, and immigration reform.

We are truth tellers, policy peddlers, messaging magicians and cage rattlers and we like to work with other impatient optimists.
Committed learners with a growth mindset.
People with a desire to leave their mark, be held accountable, leave space for others, and stay hungry for more.
People who take our work seriously, but dont take themselves too seriously.

Driven and creative problem solvers with high standards for excellence and impact.
Folks with a passion for Swells vision and societal theory of change.

Who We Work For:
Organizations who arent afraid to rattle some cages and make real change.

Or those who need a little convincing that pushing boundaries is the only way forward.

We arent here to help sell cars or razors or cereal.

Were selling a better future for our children and theirs.
Compensation & Other Perks:
Salary Range: $120,000-$145,000
As part of Swells commitment to compensation equity and transparency, we have a no negotiation policy as negotiations can introduce bias and perpetuate wage inequality.

The difference in compensation offered to candidates, within the range above, will be based on experience and track record of success.

We offer a generous benefits package, including:
10 days vacation in year 1, as well 6 paid sick and personal days;
Week off between Christmas and New Years;
Summer Fridays (half day)
Health benefits ($300/per month towards your coverage and 50% dental and vision that you choose from a host of plans)
401(k) plan with an employer contribution of 3% following of 6 months of employment;
Annual bonus available;
Hosted events like happy hours and holiday parties when it is safe to gather.

This position can be remote with the ability to visit LA every 6-8 weeks, as needed.
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