King Features Syndicate, Inc. (a Division of Hearst) is a print syndication company owned by Hearst Communications that distributes about 150 comic strips, newspaper columns, editorial cartoons, puzzles, and games to nearly 5,000 newspapers worldwide. King Features Syndicate is a unit of Hearst Holdings, Inc., which combines the Hearst Corporation's cable-network partnerships, television programming and distribution activities, and syndication companies.
We have an opening for a Junior Art Director in our New York City office.
This role will be responsible for setting KFS on the path to becoming a licensor of “Creative Excellence” by providing creative support to its marketing and licensing departments. Junior Art Director must be a natural visual thinker who brings prior experience to the table but is ready to expand their skill set and grow within the role over time. Will assist the Brand Marketing team in developing brand identities and creative asset libraries for King Features’ portfolio of classic characters and ensure those IDs are properly adhered to across licensed product, live events, marketing materials, social media and new content, globally.
DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES
• Generate original visual executions that are exciting, creatively attractive, and on-brand (brand presentation templates, pitch decks, POS/retail displays, product mockups, etc.).
• Develop design concepts that protect and perpetuate the company’s corporate identity (trade ads, online ads, websites, trade shows/exhibits etc.).
• Enlist and direct outside creative agencies through the development of required creative tools (style guides, trend guides, packaging guides, logos, supplemental art etc.) needed to support market KFS marketing/licensing business functions, with supervision of the Brand Marketing Director.
• Recruit talented illustrators/agencies capable of creating consistent character line art (new poses) based on a character model or other reference and proactively guide the development process.
• Serve as the liaison between brand marketing team and outside creative agencies and production houses to ensure projects are completed on time and within budget.
• Ensure all items detailed in Scope of Work are met and deliverables received and saved
• Circulate new assets for approval so that all required parties review and sign off.
• Copy/edit final files to ensure information accuracy and proper grammar usage before release.
• Deliver final creative assets to Brand Assurance Associate so they can be loaded to the Style Guides/Creative Asset Center, labeled with metadata and shared with licensees/Int’l agents for use.
• Conduct annual audit of KFS creative offerings in system by brand and provide go-forward recommendations to Brand Marketing Director.
• Provide Brand Assurance Associate and key partners with creative direction/insights to elevate product design/development and ensure a variety of on-trend, on-brand product in the global market.
• Manage KFS Product Approvals system when Brand Assurance Associate is out of office.
• Act as the brand ambassador when reviewing/approving content developed by the social media, digital marketing, e-commerce and entertainment teams; flag issues to Brand Marketing Director
• Maintain detailed creative project tracker that includes project specifics, key deadlines, current status, next steps, responsible parties for approval, etc.
• Contribute creative ideas in brainstorming sessions with licensing, brand marketing, digital marketing and social media teams.
• Identify future creative trends using research and own insights to help bring KFS’ consumer products into the fore of that trajectory.
QUALIFICATIONS & SKILLS
• College degree required with 5+ years of relevant work experience.
• Detail-oriented team player with highly productive work ethic and a proactive attitude.
• Capacity to work within tight timelines without compromising work quality.
• Appreciation for the importance of process and efficient workflow.
• Ability to effectively and tactfully communicate.
• Knowledge of brand marketing, licensing, consumer product development and creative services
• Good working knowledge of apparel/accessories and character trends; able to translate and adapt to global and local trends. Previous experience with character and licensing business is strongly preferred.
• Demonstrated ability to execute creative design/layout across multiple formats that meet the business needs of the end user – must have a strong, dynamic portfolio that showcases a finely tuned aesthetic.
• Understanding of how to prepare creative files for final production (print/web/video) and the ability to troubleshoot issues quickly
• Experience with character art development/illustration (both 2D and 3D applications)
• Familiarity with core style guide components and an understanding of their purpose/function
• Ability to ideate and execute original creative concepts, and confidently communicate those ideas (sell them) to peers and partners; flexibility to adapt ideas to suit “client” expectations.
• Solid network of creative partners and freelance designers, photographers & illustrators.
• Expert proficiency in recent computer tools and applications including Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator and Acrobat Pro. WordPress, Final Cut Pro, Maya all a plus.
• Intermediate proficiency in programs that facilitate organization including Microsoft Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, Google Docs, Dropbox, and Slack; both Mac and PC. Mediabox experience a plus.
• Studio, production company or entertainment marketing experience is helpful.