Graphic Designer

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Location: Headquarters, Washington, DC
Department: Communications
Supervisor: Director of Publications


Under supervision of Director of Publications create graphic designs, choose and procure photos, assist with proofing and revisions, oversee pre-press process, and work with printers and other vendors to ensure timely and on-budget delivery of Defenders’ publications for print and online, including Defenders, our full-color, quarterly membership publication, and our annual report.  Under supervision of the Publications Director, oversee print bidding, graphic design, photo editing, pre-press and production of Defenders’ reports, newsletters, brochures, ads, flyers and other printed materials. Take charge of production and printing process to ensure timely and on-budget publications. Assure that all Defenders publications maintain high standards consistent with Defenders’ branding standards and guidelines. Uphold organizational standards for accurate, non-captive, non-manipulated wildlife and wild landscape photography, providing photo researching, editing, rights-negotiating/purchasing services and captioning information and managing database of royalty-free and staff-generated images for organization-wide use.


  • Provide art direction for Defenders’ printed and online materials to ensure visually compelling graphic designs that follow Defenders’ branding guidelines.

  • Oversee pre-press operations, check color and coordinate proofing process.

  • Ensure that printing, assembly and delivery of publications meet the highest standards of quality, environmental sustainability, timeliness and economy.

  • Update the publications production calendar and keep track of all schedules and deadlines, keep all projects on time and on budget.

  • Maintain archive of designed materials.

  • Help prepare and monitor yearly budget for newsletter, annual report and other publications. Solicit and review bids from printers and other contractors, help prepare and monitor contracts with vendors and review, submit for payment and track vendor invoices.

  • Create web version of Defenders, web banner ads, infographics and other elements for on-line campaigns and post other materials to web.

  • Produce monthly departmental in house HTML-based email newsletter.

  • Respond to requests for images from communications, fundraising, membership, online, program and other departments throughout the organization. Research and edit candidate photos to ensure that images meet standards for accuracy, realism and quality.

  • Negotiate for appropriate rights and/or purchase photos, working within assigned budgets. Obtain and provide accurate credit and caption information, and ensure this information is included in final product, as appropriate.

  • Review, update and manage a database of royalty-free and staff-generated photos, ensuring that these meet standards for accuracy, realism and quality. Oversee entry and cataloging of these photos on Defenders’ digital asset management (DAM) system. Work with stock agencies and/or individual photographers to obtain images to augment this database of images staff can freely use.

  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Education: Bachelor’s degree in graphic design or equivalent graphic arts training.

  • Experience: At least five years of progressively responsible experience in print media design and
    production, magazine and annual report experience preferred.

  • An equivalent combination of education and experience may be accepted as a satisfactory substitute for the specific education and experience listed above.

  • Certifications: none

  • An equivalent combination of education and experience may be accepted as a satisfactory substitute for the specific education and experience listed above

  • Other:

  • Expertise in Adobe InDesign, InCopy, Photoshop, Illustrator, Bridge, Dreamweaver and Acrobat, font management and digital asset management. Expertise in Apple Macintosh hardware and software, able to transfer files from PC to Mac environment (and vice versa).

  • Knowledge of and experience with web design and HTML.

  • Thorough knowledge of magazine pre-press and four-color offset printing processes.

  • Knowledgeable with maintaining branding identity and consistency in all designs.

  • Organized and able to work efficiently under deadline pressure.

  • Willingness to work cooperatively and accept constructive criticism.

  • Ability to juggle many different responsibilities, make decisions and work independently.

  • Knowledge of and interest in nature and environmental issues helpful.


  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to use a computer and communicate with others while doing so.


  • General office working conditions, the noise level in the work environment is usually quiet.


Interested applicants please reference Graphic Designer position in your subject line and submit a letter of interest, along with your resume and salary history to us via e-mail at:

It is the policy of Defenders of Wildlife to provide equal employment opportunity to all qualified individuals without regard to their race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, or any other characteristic protected by law, in all personnel actions.

Defenders of Wildlife is a national, non-profit membership organization dedicated to the protection of all native wild animals and plants in their natural communities. Our employees work in an environment that is inclusive and honors each of our unique perspectives and backgrounds. We believe that the conservation of biological diversity is best advanced by the contributions of people of diverse backgrounds, experiences, beliefs and cultures.  We strive toward a collective goal of including all people in the conservation of our Nation’s wildlife and wild places. 

All employees are required to satisfactorily perform the essential duties and responsibilities of their positions. The essential duties and responsibilities listed above are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties and skills required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the job.