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Art Director

Location: Chicago-Paper Source Headquarters


Art Director
The Art Director reports directly to the CEO.
    Position Summary

This position is the leader of our design team and responsible for the creative vision and direction of the design team at Paper Source.  From idea inception to execution, the Art Director will manage thru the creative process, and partner with several other cross functional teams to execute design and product development initiatives and projects. In this role, The Art Director should embody the Paper Source values of Creativity, Collaborative Leadership, Customer-Centricity, Entrepreneurial Spirit, & Passion for the Brand as articulated below.

Essential Job Responsibilities and Accountabilities
Creativity & Passion for the Brand
  • Exceptional creative talent and the ability to develop interesting and innovative ideas and products.
  • Inspire a passion for paper, color, craft,  fine art and expert craftsmanship – which results in a strong desire to create and innovate.
  • Efficiently manage the designs of all original artwork in a wide variety of media for salable product - painting, drawing, hand-lettering, digital illustration and typographic treatments, to be applied to the design development of proprietary Paper Source stationery, greeting cards, wedding invitations, rubber stamps, stickers, calendars, gift wrap & bags, kits, textiles and hard goods.
  • Continually infuse new ideas and impart functional knowledge that is derived from an awareness of current and emerging trends and techniques in fashion and art, requiring the same from the team.
  • Artistic aesthetic and approach is a fit for the brand. 
Collaborative Leadership & Customer-Centricity
  • Ability to organize and direct the work to result in designs that are unique and compelling - with the ever present goal of maintaining Paper Source as a distinctive and influential category leader.      
  • Absolute commitment to inspire, assess and mentor the team throughout the creative process.   
  • Expectation for self and team to deliver highest standard of creative work, from inspired start, to the last small details of finished work.
  • Develop and keep a requiring, yet fulfilling pace, that delivers to and at times leads the demand in the creation of new, fresh and expressive designs that results in customer passion and purchase/return visit urgency.   
  • Promote team camaraderie and keep a pulse on the well-being of the individual team members.
  • Intentional focus and plan to promote opportunities that prepare the team members for in position and future career growth.
  • Accountable to recognize talent and make smart and appropriate hiring choices for artistic, brand and team fit.
  • Foster accountability for design team, respectively collaborating with key cross functional partners on product production, sales success, and GTM calendar adherence.
  • Serve as a brand ambassador – ensure that the brand vision and its voice align in ways that will generate brand loyalty and deliver sales in all channels of the business.   
  • Provide clear and constructive visual input on color, composition, typography and content to designers to keep cohesion to the brand.
  • Effectively communicate the brand vision, and ensure that the team develops exceptional, innovative and creative product that is in line with this vision.
  • Work across the organization, facilitating timely and outcome driven communication between the design team, MPA, Marketing and VM.
  • Cross-functional partnership with buying, web and store operations departments to share the inspiration and direction of the product development.
  • Seek and register feedback from others, including sales data and customer/store hind sights and appropriately integrate these insights into the work - be it processes, the designs themselves, or, product development.   
Entrepreneurial Spirit
  • Exceptional organizational and time management skills that are guided by self-discipline, personal accountability and participation / partnership; can prioritize and handle multiple projects to meet tight deadlines while maintaining a professional and positive attitude.
  • Accountability to the company calendar & deadlines, as well as the administration of team & individual project schedules. 
  • Meet all budget and financial stewardship responsibilities.
  • Adhere to full cycle performance management of your direct reports. 
  • Lead and participate in twice weekly design reviews, collaborate with buyers. 
  • Responsible to remain on trend, market competitive and abreast of technology.  
  • Bachelor's degree in Graphic Design or Illustration, or Fine Art with Design experience. MFA a plus.
  • Background and knowledge in fine art, painting, drawing, sculpture, crafting and art history.
  • Proficiency in Adobe Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator, with knowledge of various paper printing processes.
  • Experience creating salable printed or hard goods such as stationery, calendars or surface patterns for textiles.
  • Knowledge of prepress process to prepare files for print, and build final files for output.
  • Strong strategic/analytical and decision making skills.
  • Proven team leader and mentor.
  • Ability to draw, paint and create realistic interpretations, and create patterns in repeat.
  • A demonstrated passion for Paper Source, our products, our values, and, a commitment to design products that engage our customers toward our motto: “Do Something Creative Every Day”.

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