Creative Design Manager - Waterloo | Wilfrid Laurier University | | 08/07/22
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Creative Design Manager full-time

Location: Waterloo
Salary: $77,188 - $106,133
Company Name: Wilfrid Laurier University
Category: Design
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Job Title: Creative Design Manager

Department: Advancement and External Relations

Job Type: Continuing

Full-time/Part-time: Full Time (>=1249 hrs/year)

Campus: Waterloo

Reports to: Director, Marketing

Employee Group: Management

Application Deadline: August 3, 2022

Requisition ID: 4544

Wilfrid Laurier University is a leading multi-campus university that excels at educating with purpose. Through its exceptional employees, students, researchers, leaders, and educators, Laurier has built a reputation as a world-class institution known for its rich student experience, academic excellence, and global impact. With a commitment to Indigenization and commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, Laurier’s thriving community has a place for everyone.

Laurier has more than 19,000 students and 2,100 faculty and staff across campuses in Waterloo and Brantford, as well locations in Kitchener and Milton. The university is committed to providing an inclusive workplace, a flexible work policy and employing a workforce that is reflective of local and national demographics. Our locations are situated on the traditional territories of the Neutral, Anishnawbe, and Haudenosaunee peoples. We recognize the unique heritages of Indigenous peoples and support their intentions to preserve and express their distinctive Indigenous cultures, histories, and knowledge through academic programming and co-curricular activities. Laurier’s Centre for Indigegogy is one example of how Laurier honours Indigenous knowledge.

Position Summary

Wilfrid Laurier University is looking for a new Creative Design Manager as part of the central Marketing team in External Relations. The Creative Design Manager should be a creative leader with a passion for brand building and a proven track record of developing impactful marketing creative that delivers results. We are looking for a strong relationship-builder that is collaborative, solution-oriented, and passionate about developing creative team talent and morale.

The Creative Design Manager is responsible for leading the LAURIER brand’s creative and design strategic direction. This includes leading and mentoring a team of talented design and multimedia professionals to develop creative concepts, ideas and recommendations – and ensuring delivery of exceptional work that brings the brand to life to meet organizational goals. As a master of design, the Creative Design Manager will both help create and execute impactful design materials – and will inspire, coach, collaborate with and oversee the team’s work to ensure a consistent and cohesive brand experience for our audiences. And as the lead brand champion for the university, the Manager will guide and enable the campus communities to strengthen the brand (and its distinctive brand assets) through consistency.

This position has a university-wide mandate and is based at the Waterloo Campus.  The incumbent provides leadership in a multi-campus environment, requiring regular interaction, communication and collaboration with staff and stakeholders at the Waterloo Campus, Brantford Campus and Toronto office and external partners. The Manager will ensure the unit’s policies, programs and services are delivered equitably across all campuses and reflect the needs of local stakeholders.


Brand Expert & Champion:

  • Work closely with the Marketing Manager and wider Marketing team to contribute to strategic marketing plans, brand positioning, marketing campaigns, content, and support through creative leadership and execution

  • Responsible for setting the standard for and being a champion of the LAURIER brand’s visual identity across the organization and with partners

  • Ensure our brand promise resonates in a clear, compelling manner across content – to deliver a consistent and cohesive brand experience and visual identity across the organization and its channels

  • Elevate the LAURIER brand in design quality with the team of talented designers and producers, spending dedicated time specifically on the overarching university design strategy

  • Develop and present communication materials to educate and empower campus partners with the LAURIER brand visual identity, design best practices, and available tools/templates/processes/resources to support their needs

  • Build relationships and tools/processes with agency and vendor partners to communicate the LAURIER brand visual identity to ensure consistency across all executions

  • Work with team members to develop on-brand tools and templates to share with campus partners to enable consistent marketing execution across the university

Creative Direction, Development and Concepting:

  • Develop/enhance the creative vision for all LAURIER marketing and brand projects through a strategic approach that is designed to achieve business objectives, starts with an audience-first lens to engage our target audience(s) across key channels, and builds the Laurier brand

  • Lead the ideation, creation, and production of eye-catching/thumb-stopping design solutions, from initial concepts through to production of final assets that generate interest and drive results – across digital, video and print

  • Work with team members to create or spearhead the initial concepts of a project (via storyboards, illustrations, descriptions, etc.); conceptualize and pitch fresh approaches that connect our creative and content to our strategy and will deliver results – and ensure collaboration and buy-in of concepts by stakeholders

  • Lead with an audience-first approach to developing materials; leveraging research, data and stakeholder-insights to build positive audience brand experiences

  • Leverage current and emerging industry best practices and trends to develop creative products that will breakthrough, attract attention and drive action, including best in class digital-first solutions

  • Work closely with internal team and external agency partners as needed to develop desired creative direction and execution

  • Help direct photo and video shoots – including ideation, developing creative concepts and providing on-site direction; support excellent execution via preparing pre-production direction of shot lists, casting talent, prop management, defining and staying within budget, etc.

  • Provide a high level of brand review and quality assurance on all assets – and share and consult with Director via regular updates

Creative Team Leadership:

  • The Creative Design Manager is responsible for leading a team of talented creatives (designers, videographer and multimedia producer), including mentoring, coaching, inspiring, and developing the team’s talents, morale and successes.

  • As an experienced creative leader, the Manager will help create a positive creative culture that is conducive to creating excellent work, and supports the team to ensure every project they’re working on reaches its potential

  • Accountable for the team’s output and high quality of work

  • Encourage and develop the team to explore out-of-the-box approaches to our creative executions

  • Work to improve the team’s performance by pursuing and recommending opportunities for continuous learning and creating a safe environment for constructive feedback

  • Stay current on design and video trends, digital/social media trends, market trends and audience preferences and use it to inform our creative work

  • The Manager leads brainstorming and creative sessions to generate ideas

Project Leadership:

  • Responsible for overseeing and providing daily management of the creative output of your team, including guiding design direction, interaction, and methodology and ensuring it consistently delivers high quality results

  • The Manager manages the workflow and day-to-day operations of the creative team, including setting priorities, assigning resources, and ensuring project goals are achieved

  • Proactively plan for content direction and needs

  • Identify opportunities for improved workflow/processes and support the introduction/optimization of project management tools and systems

  • Oversee budget and invoices for design projects - Help define project scope and provide guidance on estimates and project budgets

  • Provide support to create, maintain, and organize a library of project designs and files, resources, assets and documents to use for future projects

Partner Management & Collaboration:

  • The Creative Design Manger plays a key role in building and maintaining strong relationships with colleagues, campus partners, partner agencies, and vendors

  • The Manager oversees the intake of project needs from campus partners - including:

    • Leading partner discussions to understand strategic objectives

    • Helping shape high-level creative briefs

    • Translating project needs into creative concepts and work with your team to deliver impactful content

    • Diplomatically communicate suggestions to strengthen projects, and/or provide alternate solutions

  • Confidently steward new ideas through the organization on behalf of the team

  • Identify opportunities for internal collaboration and consultation with faculties and departments on creative direction, creative planning and execution of creative opportunities

  • Work closely with vendor partners to obtain quotes, execute large-scale projects, manage budget, and oversee execution for excellence

  • Work closely with colleagues across External Relations to infuse creative strategy into other, high-impact areas


Experience and education:

  • 5-8+ years of relevant experience in design, including 1-2 years of experience leading a group of creative professionals as a manager, creative lead, art director, or similar leadership position

  • Degree or diploma in design, visual communications, or related field

  • A master of the Adobe Creative Suite and video editing tools

  • Familiarity with Web Accessibility standards and designing for inclusive experiences

  • Excellent understanding of both digital media and the print production process (pre-press, typesetting, file packaging, and quality assurance)

  • An eye for motion and how to use it to compliment the design

Experience and passion for marketing and design:

  • Strong portfolio demonstrating an ability to conceptualize, design and execute strategic, results-driven, thumb-stopping/eye-catching creative suited to engage audiences across multiple channels and platforms (traditional/digital, print/video/graphic/photo, etc.)

  • Keen interest in and awareness of current and emerging technologies, design trends, and brand marketing best practices

  • Experience expressing a brand identity across a range of channels and campaigns

  • Detail-obsessed with a keen eye for typography, composition, design principles, colour theory and application, visual identity systems, and UX/UI

  • Strong presentation and stakeholder management skills—proficient at building a narrative around your work and guiding stakeholders through the creative process, including advocating for the work, influencing, and upskilling

  • Expert understanding of design best practices

  • Strong understanding of AODA and WCAG standards

Skilled in building relationships and leading a team:

  • An energetic, motivated, and creative individual with fantastic interpersonal and relationship-building skills

  • Compassionate leader with experience guiding a multi-disciplinary team through conception, design and production phases

  • Must foster a positive team atmosphere

  • Team player who is excited to also roll up their sleeves for any task

  • Experience in leading through change management

  • Excellent interpersonal and presentation skills

  • Excellent communication skills

  • Proven experience successfully managing the day-to-day operations of a creative team, guiding designers

  • Strong ability to prioritize work and resources across multiple projects based on short- and long-term needs

  • Ability to manage and work on multiple projects at the same time and with tight deadlines

  • Excellent time management, organization, analytical, problem solving, and listening skills

  • Demonstrated experience making commitments, setting priorities, and delivering results on time

  • Detail oriented to maintain file management, project oversight and timelines

  • Ability to quickly and consistently absorb and shape a brief, understand the audience, see the different needs of each channel to translate to creative needs and solutions

  • Ability to listen, persuade, and interpret feedback and come up with creative solutions

  • Excellent client service and presentation skills

Hours of work: The normal hours of work are Monday- Friday, 8:30 am- 4:30pm. Some flexibility in hours may be required due to high work volumes.


Position Grade: MG-2B

Rate of Pay: $77,188 - $106,133

All Laurier employees and students are required to comply with the University's Covid-19 mandatory vaccination policy. Effective May 1st, Wilfrid Laurier University will pause its proof of vaccination requirements. Should these recommendations change, vaccination requirements can be reinstated on short notice. Community members should remain up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccinations.

Wilfrid Laurier University endeavors to fill positions with qualified candidates who have a combination of education, experience, skills and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position while demonstrating Laurier's Employee Success Factors.

Equity, diversity and creating a culture of inclusion are part of Laurier’s core values and central to the Laurier Strategy. Laurier is committed to increasing the diversity of faculty and staff and welcomes applications from candidates who identify as Indigenous, racialized, having disabilities, and from persons of any minority sexual and gender identities. Indigenous candidates who would like to learn more about equity and inclusive programing at Laurier are welcomed to contact the Office of Indigenous Initiatives. Candidates from other equity deserving groups who would like to learn more about equity and inclusive programing at Laurier are welcomed to contact Equity & Accessibility. We have strived to make our application process accessible, however if you require any assistance applying for a position or would like this job posting in an alternative format, please contact Human Resources. Contact information can be found at

Should you be interested in learning more about this opportunity, please visit for additional information and the online application system. All applications must be submitted online. Please note, a resume and cover letter will be required in electronic form.

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