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Creative Director


The Morton Arboretum is seeking a strategic and visionary Creative Director to provide innovative design leadership in its second century. Help advance our mission to plant and protect trees for a greener, healthier, and more beautiful world by leading a talented in-house design and photography team. Partner with colleagues to collaboratively advance a broad range of creative work. This is a hybrid-eligible position with competitive benefits.

Position Summary: Provide conceptual design leadership to elevate The Morton Arboretum’s brand and advance its mission. Lead a team of creatives to provide strategic and brand-supportive design solutions, from concept to completion, for all Arboretum departments. Manage creative development across a wide variety of media including print, digital, web design, advertising, and photography. Evolve and steward the visual identity of The Morton Arboretum, ensuring organization-wide brand compliance.

Essential Functions:

Lead, conceptualize, and produce design solutions to meet objectives while consistently reinforcing brand identity. Art direct the development of clean and compelling designs for print and digital communications, with a focus on usability and accessibility, inclusion, and addressing marketing strategy through design.

Provide direction to the design team and internal partners based on design principles and best practices.

Share, evaluate, and implement emerging design trends, new technologies, and best practices that enhance the Arboretum brand and embrace innovation.

Assess and determine team project commitments annually and quarterly to optimize department workload and workflow. Work collaboratively with the Marketing and Communications management team, to ensure projects are completed on time, on budget, and on strategy by communicating with internal partners, producers, developers, and designers.

Manage the Arboretum’s use of photography and images, including working with the Photographer and Head of Knowledge Management to build a world-class library of nature and landscape photography and developing recommendations for ways to more efficiently store, catalog, and manage images on file, e.g. through a digital asset management system.

Oversee brand identity and image use across the Arboretum, ensuring compliance. Provide brand guidelines and training for internal partners and external vendors and freelancers. Work with Arboretum departments to review and approve external use of the Arboretum logo, including branded promotional items.

Lead the team of Graphic Designers, Photographer, and freelancers. Duties include recruitment and selection, scheduling and job assignments, performance feedback, recognition, and staff development and training in keeping with the Arboretum’s policies and procedures.

Manage the annual design budget.

Physical Demands and Work Environment: The physical demands and work environment characteristics described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform these essential functions.

Physical Demands: Requires some physical activity: limited lifting and carrying (up to 20 lbs.), traveling around the Arboretum buildings and grounds with photographers. Some local travel for press checks.

Work Environment: Fast-paced office environment. Work is performed primarily indoors, with occasional outdoor activity for photo shoots. This position is designated as a hybrid-eligible position, allowing for some work to be performed off premise, during regular hours of work.

Equipment: General office equipment, digital and video camera, scanner, design tools, golf-cart.

Schedule: Work requires periodic extended work hours, including early mornings, evenings, and weekends.

Additional details

In need of a full-time Creative Director to provide innovative design leadership in its second century, helping to advance our mission to plant and protect trees for a greener, healthier, and more beautiful world.

Skills Experience

Qualifications: Bachelor’s degree in graphic design required. 8+ years of relevant professional experience required. Supervisory or management experience required. Excellent organization, communication, and analytical skills required. Highly experienced and proficient in Macintosh platforms, Adobe Creative Suite, and color correction required. Excellent creative direction skills required including art direction of typography, photography, illustration, as well as experience with all print and digital production processes. Knowledge of web and digital design principles is required. Knowledge of 3D design principles is beneficial. Must possess a valid driver’s license, which is subject to insurability and an annual Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) report.

Success Factors: Ability to think and work both strategically and conceptually. Effective time management skills, with the ability to meet deadlines and lead multiple projects simultaneously. Creative, collaborative, innovative, and a knack for thinking “out of the box.” Enthusiastic, energetic, and an outgoing attitude with a strong work ethic. Ability to lead teams, delegate, and communicate effectively with various internal partners and external vendors. Skilled in delivering feedback on creative work. Customer service oriented with the ability to relate effectively with people internal and external to the Arboretum. Strong interest in acquiring a thorough understanding of the Arboretum, its mission, programs, and staff. Ability to embrace and align with the Arboretum’s employee core values to be inclusive, take ownership, work together, keep learning, and make the Arboretum exceptional.

To Apply

To apply, visit:

For full consideration, please include a link to a portfolio, resume, and cover letter with application.

All Arboretum employees will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and provide proof of that status in order to maintain their employment.

The Morton Arboretum is a champion of diversity, supporting a culture of inclusion that attracts, inspires, and engages people to achieve success. The Arboretum is committed to hire and develop employees based on job-related qualifications irrespective of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, or veteran status. To increase diversity in professions related to the public garden realm, we encourage applications from underrepresented minorities, persons with disabilities, and veterans.

The Morton Arboretum is dedicated to complying with our obligations as an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All applicants are guaranteed equal consideration for employment.


$95,000 – $100,000 annually, commensurate with experience

Benefits/ Perks

Comprehensive benefits package with medical/dental, general paid time off, flexible work arrangements, and 401(k) with match.

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