Design Manager

Creative Team San Francisco, California Los Angeles, California Remote, United States

Earthjustice is the premier nonprofit environmental law organization.  We take on the biggest, most precedent-setting cases across the country.  We wield the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect people’s health; to preserve magnificent places and wildlife; to advance clean energy; and to combat climate change.   We partner with thousands of groups, individuals, and communities to engage the critical environmental issues of our time and bring about positive change. We are guided by a passionate, ambitious vision for the future for people and our planet: until justice stands for all, we will never rest. We are here because the earth needs a good lawyer. 

Founded in 1971, Earthjustice has a distinguished track record of achieving significant, lasting environmental protections. We achieve this by hiring people who share a passion for justice and a healthy environment. Our headquarters are in San Francisco with offices in Anchorage, Juneau, Los Angeles, Chicago, Tallahassee, Honolulu, Houston, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, Denver, Seattle, Bozeman, Miami and Washington, D.C.

We are looking for a talented and passionate Design Manager to join our Communications Department. This role leads Earthjustice’s design program, overseeing the visual expression of the organization’s brand in our flagship print, digital, and display productions. The Design Manager leads art direction on major projects, ranging from the annual report and quarterly magazine to donor event collateral and national advertising campaigns. As a senior member of the Creative Content Team within the Communications Department, the Design Manager oversees the visual brand strategy and resource allocations of the Graphic Design Team. They will serve as a thought partner and collaborator for teams within Editorial, Multimedia, Marketing, and Development, as well as for major public affairs initiatives where visual storytelling is critical for advocacy. 

The Design Manager leads the Design team, with direct supervision of two designers and a design producer. They also oversee vendors and contractors. This position reports to the Director of Content Strategy in the Communications Department.

This role can be based out of San Francisco, CA, Los Angeles, CA (preferred) or Remote. Earthjustice staff are working two days a week in the office. After six months, the Executive Leadership Team will evaluate whether to adjust our hybrid work plan. 


Design Leadership and Strategy (60%)

  • Leads the graphic design program, overseeing design expression, and evolution of the organization’s brand in print, digital, and display productions; establishes goals, strategies, and metrics for the design program.
  • Leads art direction and concept development on major projects, including campaign storytelling initiatives for Public Affairs Communications; digital and print collateral for Creative and Digital; advertising for Marketing; concept designs for donor initiatives, events, and capital campaigns for Development; institutional materials for Operations, Internal Communications, and DEI.
  • leads efforts to develop visual brand guides, templates, and collaboration tools for the organization.
  • Leads discussions, workshops, and reviews in branding and visual design best practices as it applies to ethics, tone, treatment, and more.
  • Provides design guidance and support to Design team on concepting and final drafts for brand and advocacy campaigns.
  • Applies systems thinking to optimize staffing, workflows, and processes to meet the organization’s design needs and make space for creativity.
  • Build cohesion across the Creative Content team by providing leadership, collaboration, and team building to group efforts.
  • Steps in on occasion to directly produce design work. 

Management (40%)

  • Supervises the Design team including two mid- to senior-level graphic designers and a Design Producer.
  • Assigns design team members to projects and manages project stakeholders.
  • Manages vendors and contractors, including the negotiation of contracts and payments.
  • Leads regular team and individual meetings, holds team-building events, and promotes welcoming work environment by modeling inclusive behavior.
  • Conducts ongoing supervisory duties, including performance reviews, budget management, and timecard approvals.
  • Recruits and hires qualified candidates who match position requirements and the work culture.
  • Develops staff by identifying and encouraging training and professional development opportunities; acts as a coach and mentor.
  • Promotes change in terms of the expected benefits, as well as removing or lowering the impact of potential obstacles.
  • Sets clear team direction that aligns with Earthjustice strategy, mission, and vision.
  • Provides staff with consistent performance feedback – both positive and constructive – and acts as a coach and mentor.
  • Creates a learning culture, by encouraging debriefing after completion of significant stages of projects.
  • Ensures that any direct reports who have supervisory responsibility are properly executing those functions.
  • Creates a respectful and inclusive work environment for team and models respectful and inclusive behavior.
  • Resolves interpersonal conflict among team members and brings in outside facilitators as needed.
  • Promptly addresses micro-aggressions and other concerns brought to their attention.
  • Communicates regularly with existing employees and encourages staff to raise concerns and to provide ongoing feedback.
  • Creates or identifies strategic opportunities for team building and individual and overall staff engagement with one another to strengthen teamwork, interaction, and collaboration.
  • Values and uses individual differences and talents to improve employee satisfaction and the quality of collective work.
  • Celebrates successes and helps team members to understand and manage setbacks. 


  • BA/BFA in Visual Arts, Visual or Graphic Design – or equivalent combination of training and design experience required; MFA preferred.
  • Minimum of 10 plus years of professional experience in the field of graphic design; minimum of 3 years of management and supervision of direct reports.
  • Deep expertise with Adobe Creative Suite (InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Bridge) and Microsoft Office (PowerPoint, Word, Excel, and Teams).
  • Thorough knowledge of visual design principals, including photography, typography, iconography, color theory, and grid theory across both print and digital mediums.
  • Solid understanding of marketing principles and brand identity; experience managing and curating a large, organizational brand; experience working with DAMS to organize brand assets are a plus.
  • Strong command of project management skills and tools; organized, productive, and able to prioritize, multitask and delegate.
  • Ability to have big vision of an organization’s visual brand identity and its evolution; ability to lead strategy on high-level concept development.
  • Exceptional management skills with demonstrated experience managing small teams; Excellent verbal and written communication skills along with ability to deliver clear, constructive feedback and guidance in a respectful way; able to effectively manage staff, stakeholders, and vendors in a positive, collaborative team environment.
  • Excellent problem-solving skills to identify and assess project needs and prioritize resources effectively to execute against deliverables – and/or manage expectations accordingly.
  • Demonstrates an awareness and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds and orientations.
  • Contributes to recruiting, hiring, developing, and retaining a diverse and inclusive workforce.

Management (Essential Skills)

  • Ability to effectively manage and lead a diverse team with emotional intelligence (self-awareness and understating of the impact of their behavior) and cultural humility (an understanding of the need for additional learning about different cultures, backgrounds and orientation and implementation of that learning daily management practices).
  • Ability to give and receive regular formal and informal feedback in a timely, constructive, respectful, and consistent manner and to incorporate debriefing into the team’s operations.
  • Strong team mentorship and communication skills
  • Understands the individual and team strengths and areas for development and develops plans accordingly. 
  • Commitment to and experience in developing team skills and talents to meet the evolving needs of an organization.

We offer a mission- and employee-focused work environment and a competitive compensation package, including excellent benefits. Earthjustice is an equal opportunity employer and highly values diversity. As a 501(c)(3) organization, Earthjustice is a qualifying employer for purposes of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program.

Compensation is based on experience and location. 

Salary range for San Francisco, CA: $105,500 - $117,200

Salary range for Los Angeles, CA: $100,300 - $111,400

*Salary range for Remote (US): $89,700 - $117,200

*Salaries in remote US cities may vary. Applicants should indicate in their application the city and state from which they will be working to confirm the precise salary range of that location.

To Apply

Interested applicants should submit the following via Jobvite:

  • Resume
  • Cover letter
  • Link to a portfolio (include in a document and attach the document or add to your cover letter)

Please reach out to [email protected] if you are having technical difficulties submitting your application. No phone calls, drop-ins, or hard copies.

Earthjustice is driven by a passion for justice, partnership and excellence. Our core values lead us to seek a broad range of perspectives and backgrounds to achieve our mission and to maintain an inclusive environment where all staff are valued and respected. As an equal opportunity employer, we are committed to employment practices that ensure that employees and applicants for employment are given equal opportunities without regard to race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, religion, physical or mental disability, medical condition, veteran status, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information or any other factor that is not related to the position.

For positions located within the City and County of San Francisco: Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.

For positions located within the City of Los Angeles: We will consider qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with the Los Angeles Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring.