Design Director

Pearlfisher is a world leading independent brand design agency in London. We have an exciting opportunity to join our team as Design Director, specialising in Spirits packaging and/or Identity work.
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Location Pearlfisher London

This is A senior role working alongside the Partner, Design & Experience to lead and manage design projects for influential and high-profile brands.

We need you to Direct, manage and take creative responsibility for client design projects that you are assigned to and provide clear, focused, inspirational design direction to other members of the design team.

This role requires the highest level of Conceptual thinking / Passion / Motivation / Talent / Communication / Collaboration 
/ Self-awareness / Leadership qualities 

You will show us that you have

  • At least one year’s experience working within a creative agency at Design Director level.
  • At least 8 years’ industry experience in brand and graphics design, working with high-profile 
and demanding global clients across diverse areas of branding including packaging, identity and digital work.
  • Solid, proven branding skills and conceptual thinking demonstrated across a broad client base
  • A sharp strategic mind that quickly marries up design logic and creative flair.
  • The highest ability of typography, layout, colour and the latest design software and related tools.
  • Demonstratable experience with design systems, brand architectures and guidelines.

You will definitely need to be

  • An original thinker, with impeccable communication skills who is able to communicate ideas and direction clearly throughout the creative process both internally and externally.
  • Able to give clear and considered direction throughout a project without losing sight of the original brief and goals.
  • Able to quickly identify great ideas with the ability to nurture and build.
  • Someone with an inspiring, engaging and authentic personality with a natural ambition to progress the business and people around you. An inspiration and mentor to less experienced team members and a level head under pressure.
  • A leader and implementer of a logical, strategic led approach to design and a proactive problem solver with the positive attitudinal qualities to manage all forms of challenges.
  • A demonstrated and sustained ability to create award-winning creative work with a commercial awareness.
  • Hands-on, and able to adapt across categories, brands and touch-points

The bare minimum we need from you is ideally at least one year in a Design Director role within a branding and design agency, across FMCG and Identity, although we will consider applications from Senior Designers with Spirits packaging experience moving up into the DD role.

And the technical skills we’d appreciate are A thorough understanding of latest Adobe Suite software.

Ideally, you will have experience of/exposure to Or at the very least, an appreciation of/passion for experiential design covering motion, 
digital and environmental design.

The role in detail As a Design Director, you will be measured on: 

i. Approach

  • Set and maintain the standard of behaviour you expect in others.
  • Direct highly effective, award-winning solutions with your teams and demonstrate ownership, passion and ability to deliver the highest level of creativity at every stage of a project while ensuring those around you do the same. Work that is Bold, Lucid and Unexpected.
  • Identify and lead in the nurturing of standout ideas as well as creating and maintaining creative excellence at all times.
  • Identify critical design issues in emerging ideas and be able to develop (and help others to develop) workable, creative solutions.
  • Direct and be accountable for the creative standards delivered by other members of the Design team (including freelance resource and interns) who are assigned to work with you on your 
design projects.
  • Demonstrate a full understanding of the Pearlfisher strategic approach and direct this through your projects from concept to completion.
  • Have a clear and decisive voice in the creation of sharp, engaging strategic ideas alongside 
the lead strategist and use this as the barometer that leads to award-winning creative expressions. This needs to show up as a clear and seamless narrative from the strategic intent 
to the creative output.
  • Clearly communicate the strategic ideas through an established aptitude for storytelling and visual and verbal narrative.
  • Take a lead role in design review meetings and clearly and articulately present creative ideas, providing a strong rationale for the work which is shared. Be accountable for meeting deadlines on all design projects. Take responsibility for ensuring the appropriate level of resource has been assigned to your projects and manage this resource efficiently.
  • Clearly and articulately present our work to Pearlfisher's clients. Present Pearlfisher's credentials concisely, confidently and professionally and take an active, strategic, design-led role in specific client briefings and immersions. Develop a solid understanding and appreciation of the client's business that you are assigned to.
  • Be the gatekeeper for the creative brief and ensure all work and meetings (internally, or with clients) clearly and seamlessly connect to and from the brief and remove as much subjectivity as possible from our work.
  • Have a thorough understanding of (and champion) the Pearlfisher Realisation process and ensure your work is realised in the most relevant, compelling way possible. Continually be mindful of where we can realise our clients brands through ethical, sustainable processes.

ii. Relationships

  • Collaborate closely with the Creative Director to ensure Pearlfisher maintains the highest design standards, with the aim of delivering award-winning, effective work on every project.
  • Collaborate closely with the lead strategist and key client management team to define strong, aligned responses and points of view to clients requests and briefs.
  • Develop strong relationships with key clients helping build their brands and business, driving forward the creative excellence and reputation of Pearlfisher and being instrumental in developing and growing existing client accounts by identifying opportunities.
  • Take responsibility for liaising with the Head of Studio Operations and Client Management team on any third-party needs relating to your projects, e.g. illustrators, photographers, lettering artists.
  • Work closely with your strategist and CD to ensure work retains a clear and seamless link to design strategies.
  • Work in a connected, agile and imaginative way with the broader Pearlfisher team.
  • Develop strong relationships externally to continually improve Pearlfisher’s creative voice within the design community. Examples could include speaking events, university visits and networking events. 

iii. Thinking broader

  • Demonstrate broad lateral thinking rooted in references beyond the design world and inspire people around you to do the same.
  • Demonstrate a self-awareness and ability to communicate up and down on all levels both internally and externally.
  • Ensure that Pearlfisher Compliance principles are understood and are being followed by your team during the entire design, artwork and realisation process and take full responsibility for your team’s client presentations and final files being in line with Pearlfisher Compliance principles.
  • Where possible, be part of the interview process with all levels of candidates. 
  • Help to mentor and develop designers and juniors.

NB Pearlfisher reserves the right to amend your duties slightly or provide you with additional duties within your skills and competencies.

Reporting structure You will report directly to Pearlfisher London’s Partner, Design & Experience.

Additional information

  • Employment type


Or, know someone who would be a perfect fit? Let them know!

Studios & Culture

We are based in 4 cities renowned for design excellence - London, New York, Copenhagen and San Francisco. Each of our Studios are unique but our unrivalled culture ties us together. So whether you're enjoying rooftop gigs in New York, wine tasting in San Francisco, dips in the river in Copenhagen, fireworks parties in London or one of our trips all together, we are certain you'll fall in love with life at Pearlfisher.

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