Graphic Designer

  • Salk Institute for Biological Studies
  • San Diego, CA 92121, USA
  • Apr 07, 2022
Full time Other Administrative Positions

Job Description



The incumbent will develop and produce a variety of graphic designs for printed and electronic communication materials, including marketing collateral, event invitations, programs and signage, Institute program brochures and special reports/projects. Initiates the conceptualization and design of graphic applications, manages budget and logistics throughout print production process. Leads larger graphic design projects from conception with client through iteration process, through approval, print, quality assurance and delivery. The ideal candidate must possess strong graphic design and technical skills, be highly creative with an exceptional level of personal organization and attention to detail. Understands recent science discoveries and is able to translate them into fundraising material. The incumbent must be able to communicate across all levels of management and departments and be able to work individually and collaboratively as part of a team.


Graphic Design (75%)

  • Develops marketing communications materials. Develops and maintains graphic designs (e.g., art, color themes, photographs, typography, logos, icons) to support institute's image, identity and brand.
  • Produces visual solutions for use in marketing, publication and event collateral materials.
  • Independently leads Symphony at Salk sponsorship, Spring Appeal and Salk Summit collateral.
  • Conceptualizes and creates design drafts and camera-ready art and ensures proper pagination and output.
  • Applies communication strategies to create an impression, raise awareness and encourage a positive response by institute's audience.
  • Executes design, layout and production for printed and electronic communication materials, including direct mail, ads, postcards, newsletters, flyers, invitations, posters, publications, etc., as needed.
  • Contributes to and has high-level understanding of the organization's graphics standards, techniques and methods. Participates in the development and implementation of logos and branding elements as assigned.
  • Applies Institute branding specifications to ensure work meets organizations guidelines. Ensures proper representation of institute's products, services, brand and events.
  • Leads larger graphic design projects from conception with client though the entire iteration process. Goes through approval, print, quality assurance and delivery to ensure highest quality of material.
  • Creates and/or manipulates elements of design including typography, color, grid systems, photography, illustration, symbols, etc. to achieve appropriate and compelling design solutions.
  • Creates presentations as paper mock-ups and/or in electronic format as appropriate for approval by senior designer and internal clients.
  • Carries out concepts by studying information and materials.
  • Works with Communications team on brainstorming, marketing and advertising strategies.
  • Creates visual assets for web and online content.
  • Supports web team in maintenance of Salk website and Inside Salk microsite (WordPress CMS production, image optimization).
  • Produces complex graphic designs by creating and managing electronic files, fonts and supporting graphics; identifies, determines and obtains appropriate color schemes.
  • Serves as a member of communications messaging and marketing team to keep creative and Salk brand fresh and compelling.
  • Ensures, negotiates and implements projects integrating the institute's identity and message throughout all visual use of the Salk brand.

Print Production (25%)

  • Produces high quality, industry-standard, electronic pre-press files by creating, managing and collecting appropriate electronic files, fonts and support graphics.
  • Creates and maintains graphic templates.
  • Prepares files for electronic output in appropriate format (press-quality PDFs, EPS, TIFFs, etc.) for printers, utilizing sound pre-flight procedures, verifying accuracy and integrity of file collection.
  • Coordinates assembly (or multi-piece projects) and mailings with mail house to ensure materials arrive to recipients on deadline.
  • Develops project specification and puts them out to bid for printers, negotiates bids, develops production schedules and ensures deadlines are met.
  • Represents Senior Designer in decision making, working independently on all facets of print publishing, from concept to layout and image manipulation, through the production publications process.
  • In project design making, ensures that electronic application of design and usage is considered.
  • Reviews press proofs and provides appropriate feedback. Obtains approvals as needed.
  • Schedules and attends press checks for quality control when appropriate.
  • Facilitates schedule with printers, mail houses and other trade vendors to ensure deadlines, brand goals and budgets are maintained.



  • 3+ years of graphic design experience.
  • Experience in page layout and production for printed and electronic collateral and other materials.
  • Experience quoting and managing print jobs, and thorough understanding of print production process.
  • Well versed in the use of typography, color theory and grid systems.
  • Experience with design applications used on Macintosh platform including Adobe Creative Suite and Microsoft Office Knowledge.


  • Prior experience in a larger (500+) nonprofit organization.



  •  Bachelor's degree in graphic design or related field.


  •   None



  • Demonstrated knowledge, skill, and experience with the Adobe Creative Suite in a Mac OS environment.
  • Effective written, visual, and oral communication skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to work with others to achieve organizational goals with proven aptitude for working as part of a team and understanding of the philosophy of quality service.
  • Ability to thrive in a deadline-driven environment.
  • Strong, demonstrated organizational skills, with ability to prioritize daily operations and projects in order to meet rigid deadlines, ensure smooth workflow and handle multiple tasks simultaneously, often working under pressure and with frequent interruptions while exhibiting extreme attention to detail and maintaining a high degree of accuracy at all times.
  • Proven ability to maintain confidentiality, and anticipate problems and needs of department, taking necessary actions to mitigate potential negative effects and proactively assisting where possible.
  • Demonstrated exceptional interpersonal skills to communicate and interact in a positive and effective manner with diverse clientele using a high degree of tact, diplomacy, and discretion, with emphasis on flexibility and professionalism.



  •  None


  • Must be willing to work in an animal-related research environment.
  • Satisfactory completion of the Institute's background investigation.
  • Must be willing to sign a confidentiality agreement.
  • Able to work a flexible schedule based on workload and deadlines.


This position will be constantly adjusting focus, seeing, sitting, talking, analyzing, communicating, calculating, reading, reasoning, writing and working inside. 


Application Details

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 Equal Opportunity Employer/Protected Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities


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