IDEO.org is a nonprofit design studio on a mission to design a more just and equitable world. We partner with nonprofit organizations, foundations, governments, companies, and communities to design programs, products, and services focused on improving health, economic mobility, and wellbeing.
Over the past 10 years, we have worked hand-in-hand with communities and local organizations to design programs, products, and services that improve people’s lives. Examples include launching an incubator in Kenya for girl-led solutions to reproductive health, working with communities in Southern Dallas to improve access to social benefits, and building a collective of leaders to advance health equity in the U.S. We’re currently looking for a Design Director with a background in visual communication design to join our team. This person will lead by demonstrating excellence, guiding others to elevate their work, and growing and mentoring our design community. The role is a unique blend of Creative Direction to imagine brave and beautiful ideas, Art Direction to bring those ideas to life in emotionally compelling and visually engaging ways, and Storytelling to ensure messages resonate deeply.
This role would be a fit for you if you are passionate about growing and nurturing creative teams and have the ability to advance our practice of design—leveraging visual design and communication to advance equity in communities across the U.S. and around the world. You may have started your career as a graphic designer, working at an agency, or creating film and video stories, but now you’re comfortable with the full design process—from research to strategy to implementation—and are looking to help grow a diverse multidisciplinary design team. Your passion lies in creating compelling experiences that shift hearts and minds. You champion beauty in all its forms and are adept at telling stories that transcend language and culture through emotion and human connection. You're excited to demonstrate, inspire, and model creativity, inclusivity, and rigor in order to build impactful solutions.
Design Directors at IDEO.org are involved in the work in a number of ways—guiding and mentoring teams, cultivating our creative culture, and applying their skills directly on projects. Our ideal candidate has a breadth of experience, and can easily transition between a mode of teaching and mentorship to directly designing services and experiences alongside our teams, partner organizations, and communities.
Inspire great design, and lead by example – 70%
- Sit on IDEO.org’s Global Design Leadership team—working with our cohort of directors across studios to craft a vision, tools, culture, rituals, and processes for defining and elevating design excellence IDEO.org
- Collaborate with multidisciplinary design teams to develop new products, services and campaigns—from research and prototyping through implementation support and stewardship
- Bring both a strategic eye and a depth of craft in brand and communication design to projects
- illuminate the difference between “good” and “great” work, and work alongside teams to get there
- Guide creative work across diverse mediums, including print, digital, video storytelling, brand identity, and space design (ideally you have personal experience working in 2-3 of these mediums)
- Continuously inject inspiration into the design community
- Communicate the story of IDEO.org’s work with partner organizations and funders
Steward designers’ growth and our creative culture – 30%
- Manage and mentor a set of designers in our New York studio, nurturing their development and performance, and ensuring they are enabled to do their best work
- Design and steward creative rituals (e.g. inspiration shares, critiques) that fuel great design
- Collaborate with our Partnerships team, providing input on project briefs and helping shape deliverables
- Model IDEO.org’s values of collaboration, optimism, and learning from failure
- Contribute to our New York studio culture
- 8+ years of professional experience in a design consultancy, agency, or equivalent position leading multidisciplinary design teams
- Fluency with Figma and Adobe Creative Suite
- A diverse portfolio featuring a range of mediums
- Strong design fundamentals (color, form, type, layout) and the ability to experiment and teach others through your craft
- An obsession with what design and innovation can do for people and systems
- Experience managing clients and partners—from early stage companies to mature organizations
- An approach to design that is medium-agnostic—willing to step out of your core skill set or discipline to find the correct solution to a challenge
- A passion for synthesizing data, distilling complexity, and storytelling
- Fluency in the human-centered design process
- Willing and able to travel ~30% of the time
- Cultural sensitivity, creativity, and resourcefulness
- A thoughtful, yet playful approach to creative process and applied design
What You Can Expect from Us
- A diverse and multidisciplinary team that is passionate about designing a more just and inclusive world. (Over 50% of our team identify as BIPOC and over 50% identify as women.)
- A team of creative collaborators across San Francisco, New York, and Nairobi focused on advancing systems design and community co-design
- Generous benefits including medical, dental, vision, 4% 401k match, commuter benefits, phone plan coverage, and parental leave
- Endless Summer Fridays—ending the workday at 1:30pm on Fridays, in recognition of the emotional labor of the work we do
- An unlimited vacation policy, plus nine paid holidays and additional dedicated days each year focused on local activism, volunteering, or civic engagement
- A five-week paid sabbatical after every five years of service
- Relocation reimbursement available as needed
IDEO.org’s Commitment to Diversity
At IDEO.org, we are committed to the work of advancing diversity, equity and inclusion within our organization and in the world. Our mission to design a more just and inclusive world is directly connected to our ability to bring many different perspectives to the table. This applies to our candidates, the people we hire, and the partners and communities we work with.
As a human-centered organization, we are committed to working with and designing for people of every race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, socio-economic status, physical ability or attribute, religion, national origin, or political belief. We recognize that this commitment requires ongoing work and sustained attention, as well as a culture where people representing many diverse backgrounds and identities can all feel a sense of belonging.