In a nutshell:

IDEO Shanghai is in search of a Senior Communication Design Lead who will guide, inspire and move both teams and clients using the craft of visual communication. Your creative leadership will be required to create compelling stories to add context and texture to meaningful business strategy that starts with people.

Why is this role important for IDEO’s work?

Senior Communication Design Lead makes the biggest impact in solving complex challenges by helping to bring ideas to life visually. We count on them to consult, art direct and deliver good design. In this role, you’ll work through complex client challenges and tackle all aspects of the design process, from user research to prototyping and communicating the overall project story to the client team. You’ll have the opportunity to work on a diverse portfolio of projects that involve experience, interaction, product, business, and service design. Your contributions at IDEO will take on various forms and expand your experience as a designer; this may include brand strategy, brand expression, storytelling, user interface, packaging, and environmental design. 

Once here you will:

  • Provide and teach excellent craft application to our work, understanding the client's needs and leading others through demonstrable depth and breadth of your skills and capabilities.
  • Lead diverse teams and engage clients through the entire project journey. Serve as a trusted advisor and consultant to our clients. Build an understanding of IDEO’s client organizations, and partner with clients to drive change and innovation within their teams and organizations
  • Create concise and compelling brands, from strategic foundations to visual identity systems and expressions.
  • Lead the visual communication design process and collaborate with designers with different backgrounds such as design researchers, industrial designers, business designers, and interaction designers to develop a holistic design for our clients
  • Get exposure to and involvement with all aspects of the design consultancy projects: research, inspiration gathering, brainstorm, strategy defining, concept development, prototyping etc...

What does IDEO offer you?

IDEO is a place unlike any other. It’s a place where you can solve diverse, complex challenges for our clients or the organization, alongside thoughtful, intelligent individuals who lead with curiosity, empathy, and optimism. Sure we work hard, but we also intentionally craft moments that allow our community to pause, create, and connect. We encourage our community to bring their whole selves to work, respect the need for work-life balance, and allow for autonomy in the design process and your career.

IDEO has been in China for over a decade and our mission is to create new value by enabling enlightened leaders to answer the right questions and to tackle systemic challenges. These can range from working with ambitious Chinese enterprises, multinationals and enterprising entrepreneurs on challenges to do with healthcare, mobility, education or food safety. Over the years, we have grown in the scale of our influence and impact, and we are now looking for talented individuals who share our mission and sense of purpose to join our vibrant and dynamic Shanghai location.

Some previous projects to check out:

Society of Grownups: A storefront designed to connect the MassMutual brand to young adults through focusing on their money-spending habits over great food and conversation.

Pill Pack: An IDEO startup-in-residence. We helped build a venturing strategy for its prescription home-delivery system. IDEO refined the company's brand vision, strategy, and identity across channels and used this framework to redesign PillPack’s website and private dashboard for customers.

Relevant experience and mindset:


  • Design craft: 
    • Bring a wide range of experiences in multiple fields within communication design including: Visual Identity, Brand Identity, Editorial Design, Information Graphics, Typography, Packaging Design, Exhibition Design. 
    • Experience connecting thoughts and ideas in a compelling way. Examples might be mobilizing a team around a narrative or clearly articulating the decisions behind design choices for external stakeholders. 
  • Diverse experience: you have been in the creative industry for minimum 10 years, and have worked on a variety of industries and projects, preferably had experience in different international markets.
  • Business & Strategy: you are a strategic thinker, always trying to connect the dots between business, organizations and how design can make impacts.
  • Leadership & Consultancy: you had a minimum 3 years of experience being in client-facing and consultative roles, including mentoring junior designers, leading through craft (art direction), managing teams of multidisciplinary designers, and/or client management.
  • Career Aspirations: You’re looking for a place that will challenge your curiosity. You want to blur the edges of your craft in an environment where you will constantly be learning from others and doing work that will have real impact in the world.
  • Culture: you are comfortable working in an ambiguous and dynamic environment and comfortable with non-hierarchical organizations.
  • Language: you are fluent in both Mandarin and English.

It’s a bonus if you have knowledge/skills in illustration, prototyping, photography, brand strategy, and/or combining graphic design and motion design. 


  • Desire to collaborate across multiple disciplines 
  • Ready to learn from failure and design critiques and then iterate to learn faster. Take chances without being afraid to fail and learn along the way
  • Curious and proactive — a desire to learn about people’s needs and the ability to generate ideas, and get things done. Ready to pitch-in on tasks, big or small
  • Generate, collect, and synthesize ideas with a curious and creative attitude

Application requirements and instructions:

To apply, please submit your resume, cover letter (yes, we read them!), and your portfolio. In your portfolio, we particularly want to hear about the process involved in developing the design or project and how your impact as a leader influenced the process & end result. 

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