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5 Apr 2021


Design Manager

826 Valencia  San Francisco, California, United States

826 Valencia - jobs

Job Description

The Design Manager makes beautiful, inspiring designs for publishing and communications projects that honor and amplify students’ voices (publications, branding, fundraising, social media, environmental graphics, store products, posters, newsletters, etc).
The Design Manager skillfully manages multiple projects and production schedules at once through effective collaboration with program staff, volunteers, printers, and design staff.
The Design Manager ensures that high-quality end products are completed within fast-moving timelines.
As a member of the Design Team, the Design Manager collaborates well with team members, volunteers, other colleagues, and vendors to give and receive feedback, share best practices for effective design, and uphold standards for our brand.

Who We Are

826 Valencia is an award-winning nonprofit dedicated to supporting under-resourced students ages six to eighteen with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write. Our innovative model has inspired more than 40 like-minded organizations world-wide.

Reporting Relationships

The Design Manager reports to the Design Director and works closely with two Design Associates. The Design Manager supervises approximately six volunteer designers, illustrators, and copy editors at any given time.

Major Responsibilities

Project Management

  • Provide orientation to the 826 brand and art direction to volunteer designers, illustrators, copy editors, photographers, and staff, so designs are consistent with the style guide and meet high standards of concept, typography, illustration, etc.
  • Ensure 826 communications, branding, and publications are of professional quality, align with our organizational mission, and honor our students.
  • Create and adjust timelines for all projects as needed; coordinate effective and timely work streams among volunteers, staff, and printers; hold stakeholders accountable to strict deadlines and high-quality performance through effective coaching; develop accountability and coaching structures to support volunteers and interns.
  • Communicate clearly, professionally, and expediently with all stakeholders, in writing and aloud; manage and align stakeholder expectations. This includes giving explicit and comprehensive feedback to volunteer designers, Associates, and printers.
  • Recruit and celebrate volunteer designers, illustrators, copy editors, and photographers by organizing and hosting creative volunteer meet-ups.
  • Simultaneously track multiple project budgets, calendars, and project plans, ensuring that all projects are produced on time, under budget, and with prompt vendor payment.

Production & Distribution

  • Place printing orders and prepare files for print (including expert file preparation for various printing processes & collateral, submission, proof review, shipping/delivery tracking, onsite quality checks) using Indesign and Acrobat to minimize production errors and delays.
  • Coordinate across departments to manage distribution of deliverables.
  • Manage national distribution of two publications every year.

Support Design Team & Organizational Processes

  • Participate in and lead design critiques.
  • Maintain accessible workflow systems and asset organization (i.e., illustration, photo, design project archive).
  • Support design associates with mentorship, portfolio reviews, with a diversity, equity, and inclusion framework.
  • Assist Design Director as needed in the design and production of publications, communications, and event collateral.

Other Responsibilities

  • Attend staff meetings, participate in internal committees on diversity, equity and inclusion, the annual 826 National conference, anti-racism trainings, other professional development workshops, and performance appraisal systems
  • Meet all deadlines
  • All other duties as assigned by the Executive Director and Design Director

Education & Experience Requirements

  • Five years of professional design experience that includes at least one year of effectively managing multiple projects simultaneously
  • In-depth knowledge of Adobe Creative Cloud, Acrobat, MS Word, Google Suite
  • Expert knowledge and experience of professional printing specs and processes
  • Graphic Design Bachelor’s degree preferred
  • Experience in digital publishing preferred

Required Competencies

  • Ability to work with a culturally-diverse population and a variety of stakeholders and audiences; engage stakeholders in mutually beneficial and effective partnerships.
  • Advanced organizational skills and ability to handle multiple tasks with excellent follow-through.
  • Develops projects and/or team-wide work plans with goals and interim milestones to manage resources, time, and people efficiently.
  • Demonstrates problem-solving skills to overcome challenges and maximize limited resources.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, able to welcome and engage new community members, as well as build productive relationships with staff and external partners.
  • Inspires team to collaborate across departments to accomplish goals.
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively. Sets up strong collaboration structures and ensures roles and responsibilities are clear.
  • Excellent command of English language and grammar, both verbal and written.
  • Shares information and decisions with staff and managers in a transparent and timely manner.
  • Works with the team to identify opportunities for innovation and new possibilities amidst change; models accountability by publicly taking ownership for misunderstandings and missteps; builds team capacity to understand the impact of one’s own thoughts and behaviors on others.

Other Details

This full-time, exempt role is based at Tenderloin Center at 180 Golden Gate Ave., San Francisco. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, currently remote with high-speed Internet access needed, but will return to the office when we reopen our centers. Candidates must be located in or willing to relocate to the San Francisco Bay Area, and able to work in an open-office environment where there may be substantial ambient noise and overheard conversations. Flexible work schedule Monday through Friday (e.g., 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.) with some evenings and weekends as required.


  • $55,000 to $60,000 Annual Salary
  • Paid Time Off: 15 Vacation days per year (increases to 20 days after two years), approximately 9 Wellness days per year, 12 Holidays, and winter office closure. (Additional COVID-19 paid time off available through federal and state COVID-19 leave regulations)
  • Health insurance coverage, Employee Assistance Program, group life insurance
  • Pre-Tax Savings: 401(k) plan with <1% employer match, Flexible Spending Account for health and dependent care expenses, Commuter Benefits
  • Professional development funds (budget permitting)
  • Reimbursement for local work-related travel expenses, such as between writing centers and school sites. While working remotely due to COVID-19, partial reimbursement for high-speed Internet and utilities
  • 30% discount at all 826 Valencia stores

To Apply

Fill out this brief application:
Email your resume, cover letter, and portfolio to with “Design Manager” in the subject line by April 27.

Ideal start date is June 1, but there is some flexibility.


826 Valencia is an equal opportunity employer committed to achieving a diverse and inclusive workforce. Candidates who identify as Black, Indigenous or people of color are strongly encouraged to apply.
826 Valencia does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, age, religion, sexual orientation, political orientation, disability, veteran status, or gender identity or expression.
For more information, read the 826 Stand:



Full-Time Job in Arts and Culture:
Design Manager
826 Valencia
 San Francisco, California, United States

Job Categories: Arts and Culture. Job Types: Full-Time. Job Tags: design, designer, graphic design, manager, and media. States: California.

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