Director of Creative & Brand Management

The DivisionofMarketing & Communications (MarComm) aims to strengthen DU’s strategic position locally, regionally, and nationally through data-driven and authentic storytelling across multiple channels with focused support on the university’s value drivers: academics and research; enrollment and admissions, athletics, and advancement. Whether through public or media relations, digital strategies, social media, print, podcast, issues or crisis management, community relations or thought leadership and training,MarCommdrives results through narratives thatinvolve words, pictures, and design. With true understandingofand connection with our diverse audiences, we aim to foster collaborative problem solving, creativity andinnovation.MarCommstrives to speak with a unified, authentic, and resonant voice to strategically advance the UniversityofDenver’s brand by focusing on the following priorities:

1. Promoting and protecting DUs reputation.

2. Inspiring students to enroll and engage.

3. Increasing equity andinclusion.

4. Strengthening the University.

MarComm’s mission, vision and values make it imperative that everyone in our community feels safe and included. The participation and input of all members should be valued and respected, while every voice should have the opportunity to be heard. The division’s community-created, shared sense of belonging definition is, “a shared senseofbelonginginMarCommmeans building a collaborative, trusting community where we feel and are safe, valued, and appreciated being ourselves as we contribute to something meaningful.” Our collective achievements are enhanced by the open exchange of ideas – particularly when diverse perspectives, backgrounds and experiences are embraced.

Position Summary

Reporting to the Associate Vice Chancellor for Marketing & Strategic Positioning (AVC), the Director of Creative & Brand Management serves as a leader, change agent and driving force behind the creative interpretation of the university brand, overseeing a creative team tasked with building a body of work that brings the DU brand to life and scales it for enterprise-wide use. The Director is responsible for overseeing creative and brand management strategy and execution, ensuring the effectiveness of day-to-day activities within the teams supervised as well as supporting the overall quality of creative work done on behalf of the institution. Under the guidance of the division’s two AVCs and in collaboration with partners overseeing marketing, media relations, communications, market research and storytelling, the Director is responsible for influencing how people around the nation and globe think and feel about the University of Denver and its ability to positively impact the public good. The Director will provide support for campus partners across the University’s two campuses and in its communities, creating impactful brand experiences and a scalable design system for all University assets. This role combines supervisory responsibilities with contribution to and presentation of big ideas, responsibility for the care and optimization of DU’s brand ecosystem, and on-going establishment of the necessary systems and process that lead to efficient and effective outcomes for the University.

Essential Functions

Creative Program & Brand System Management

  • Brand & Visual Identity System Rollout, Optimization & Evaluation
    • Oversees on-going enhancement of brand visual identity and corresponding toolkits to empower and coach everyone to live out the brand while ensuring DU remains relevant in an ever-changing market.
    • Champions and maintains DU’s brand, ensuring standards are adhered to in all channels.
    • Assists with the development and implementation of strategic communication and marketing plans by conceptualizing and proposing innovative, audience-specific, integrated creative solutions.
    • Helps DU community at large to better understand DU’s visual identity, what centralized creative resources are available to them, and how to use DUs brand correctly in their work.
    • Influences the creative and visual identity strategy for key marketing and communications campaigns.
    • Identifies out-of-brand elements across campus and works with colleagues in other units to provide coaching/identify agreeable solutions and paths forward in alignment with DU’s desired objectives and priorities.
  • Brand Licensing Program
    • Develops, evaluates and expands DU’s licensing program and product placement to elevate DU’s visibility across nation.
  • Branded Content Library
    • Leads the delivery of high-quality design, photography, videography and templates to meet the needs of a large marketing community.
    • Actively leads and ensures maintenance of DU’s DAM system to support campus community.
  • Experiential Marketing & Branding Program (co-lead)
    • Partners on the development of, implementation and execution of DU’s wayfinding and environmental branding system.
    • Aids in the ideation and creation of branded experiences, ranging from events to signage to AR/interactive digital to marketing activations, to ensure each is leveraged as a strategic touchpoint and reinforces DU brand attributes and differentiators.

Creative Team Lead

  • Supervises the activities of direct reports including hiring, performance evaluation, directing daily activities, training, scheduling, etc. Focus will be placed on directly managing central MarComm design, multimedia and photography teams, building working relationships among direct and non-direct reports, and guiding a cross-campus community of creatives as they adopt a holistic, research-driven, contemporary design approach that to meet objectives, and establishes DU as best-in-class in branding, marketing and communications executions.
  • Provides project planning and management for creative jobs and serves as the back-up to supervised managers to ensure continuity of service.
  • Provides creative direction for the visual storytelling that demonstrates the DU brand story.
  • Constantly monitors and oversees workflow, proactively looking for opportunities to resolve process or procedures issues to provide all creative staff with the most efficient and effective framework to work within.
  • Evaluates the success of delivered collateral, utilizing data and assessment.
  • Helps staff understand and negotiate change, encouraging them to be adaptable and flexible as projects arise, work procedures change, roles realign, etc., so each staff member can grow and thrive as an active and contributing member of the team.
  • Serves as initial reviewer of team’s work and stands behind all work performed by creative and marketing teams, presenting and defending team’s work to internal and external constituents as appropriate.
  • Gathers and manages production teams for special projects as requested by AVC, ensuring that the members gathered for such projects understand roles and responsibilities even when working outside their normal teams.
  • Leads brainstorming workshops to generate new creative ideas and gathers relevant references for creative brand growth across all media.
  • Leads in a highly organized way to help a team plan for and meet deadlines.

MarComm Infrastructure, Creative Operations & Campus Support

  • Stays abreast of developments in production resources, pricing, technology and industry trends in higher education and beyond to advise on mid-cycle adjustments.
  • Meets with MarComm leadership to talk about new projects and monitor ongoing work to ensure the smooth and efficient operation of the division.
  • Coordinates with members of other DU units and represents creative staff in the exchange of information and deliverable needs up and down the communication stream.
  • Develops, implements and maintains work unit identity, design standards, policies, and procedures to ensure appropriate use of financial, administrative and staffing resources.
  • Working with other directors, creates system for quality control complete with internal checks and balances to ensure high quality, consistency and effectiveness of division’s output.
  • Contribute to the implementation of and on-going utilization of DU’s PM system by ensuring team maintains workflows within the system.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Must have a depth of technical and practical knowledge of design and branding to understand, exercise and advance the fundamentals of brand, advertising and editorial design and orchestrate a results-driven, service-oriented, cross-functional team in an environment that fosters collaboration, transparency, teamwork, flexibility and creativity.
  • Demonstrated mastery of graphics software, specifically Adobe Creative Suite.
  • Commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion; collaboration, cultural sensitivity, and a passion for equitable strategic practices are critical.
  • Experience leading multimedia projects and creative executions in a variety of mediums.
  • Ability to quickly digest and synthesize complex information to activate teams swiftly appropriately.
  • Ability to condense complex messages into consistent, easy to understand messaging, along with the ability to vary delivery to match audiences.
  • Team player, willing to pitch in on tasks that may be outside of usual responsibilities without ego.
  • Attention to detail, organizational skills and project management experience a must.
  • Commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion; collaboration, cultural sensitivity, and a passion for equitable strategic practices are critical.
  • Deep understanding of marketing/creative best practices with a proactive approach and demonstrated ability to create and improve processes and plans.
  • Superior presentation skills with excellent ability to persuade through a variety of mediums and gain respect with a variety of stakeholders.
  • High level of integrity, trustworthiness, respect, and ability to think creatively to solve complex problems.
  • Demonstrated ability to work on several projects at once in a fast-paced, deadline-driven environment.
  • Experience creating and improving processes as well as adapting to change.
  • Knowledge of brand management and stewardship as well as developing and maintaining identity standards.
  • Ability to create and maintain working relationships and collaborations.
  • Experience in directing, designing and delivering complex creative campaigns across media that include photography and information graphics. Portfolio that demonstrates this ability is expected.
  • Evidence of effective communication in visual, verbal and written formats.

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelors degree in Graphic Design, Visual Design, Fine Arts, Communications, or in a related commercial arts field plus seven (7) years of experience in graphic design and/or website design, which includes three (3) years of supervisory experience; OR, eleven (11) years of experience in graphic design and/or website design, which includes three (3) years of supervisory experience; OR, Any equivalent combination of education and/or experience from which comparable knowledge, skills and abilities have been achieved.
  • Experience in directing, designing and delivering complex creative campaigns across media that include photography and information graphics. Portfolio that demonstrates this ability is expected/required with application materials.
  • Evidence of effective communication in visual, verbal and written formats.
  • Proven experience generating positive results and outcomes through work.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience in a higher education setting or other complex organization.
  • Experience contributing to brand efforts from conception through implementation.
  • Experience in using technical and organizational tools to foster an environment of collaboration.
  • Experience in effectively developing and managing contractor deliverables to ensure adherence to established deadlines and quality standards.
  • Experience working with and within flexible, non-hierarchical teams and managing non-traditional personnel, such as agencies, student employees and contractors.

Working Environment

  • The successful incumbent must live or be willing to relocate to the Denver metro. The Division of Marketing & Communications has a flexible work arrangement with its employees, allowing for both community and culture building in office and remote work from home.
  • Activities are primarily performed in an environmentally controlled office setting subject to extended periods of sitting, keyboarding and manipulating a computer mouse (75%); frequently required to move for varying lengths of time and travel moderate distances to perform work (25%)
  • Regular activities require ability to quickly change priorities, which may include and/or are subject to resolution of conflicts
  • Ability to clearly communicate required to perform essential functions
  • Regularly performs work which requires traveling on uneven surfaces and exposure to external environmental conditions as part of photo and video shoots.
  • Receives regular managerial review of objectives.
  • Provides supervision of contracted vendors for completion of project/program related tasks as needed.
  • Some travel as well as occasional weekend or after-hours work will be required to fulfill duties.

Physical Activities

  • Some lifting may be required to support experience activities.

Work Schedule
Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Application Deadline
For best consideration, please submit your application materials by 4:00 p.m. (MST) May 25, 2023.

Special Instructions
Candidates must apply online through to be considered. Only applications submitted online will be accepted.

Salary Grade Number:
The salary grade for the position is 14.

Salary Range:
The salary range for this position is $105,000-$125,000

The University of Denver has provided a compensation range that represents its good faith estimate of what the University may pay for the position at the time of posting. The University may ultimately pay more or less than the posted compensation range. The salary offered to the selected candidate will be determined based on factors such as the qualifications of the selected candidate, departmental budget availability, internal salary equity considerations, and available market information, but not based on a candidate’s sex or any other protected status.

The University of Denver offers excellent benefits, including medical, dental, retirement, paid time off, tuition benefit and ECO pass. The University of Denver is a private institution that empowers students who want to make a difference. Learn more about the University of Denver .

Please include the following documents with your application:
1. Resume
2. Cover Letter

The University of Denver is an equal opportunity employer. The University of Denver prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, age (40 years and over in the employment context), religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, marital status, veterans status, and any other class of individuals protected from discrimination under federal, state, or local law, regulation, or ordinance in any of the university’s educational programs and activities, and in the employment (including application for employment) and admissions (including application for admission) context, as required by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended in 2008; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; the Age Discrimination Act of 1975; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967; and any other federal, state, and local laws, regulations, or ordinances that prohibit discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation. For the university’s complete Non-Discrimination Statement, please see non-discrimination-statement .

All offers of employment are contingent upon satisfactory completion of a criminal history background check.

Advertised: May 11, 2023
Applications close:

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