Art Director

About Vital City

Vital City produces a quarterly policy journal, regular online commentary, original research, public convenings and more. In doing so, we seek to bring to life the best ideas about how New York and other cities can be healthy, vibrant and safe. We aim to make these solutions — and the facts behind them — understandable for all, as knowledge and debate are the cornerstones of democracy. Our contributors, who represent a broad range of political perspectives, include award-winning researchers, journalists, government practitioners and others. Vital City is committed to a bold and distinctive visual identity, with an emphasis on photography.  The look and feel of Vital City is meant to reflect the organization’s belief in the creativity and diversity of urban life. 

Job Description

Vital City is seeking a full-time Art Director to oversee all aspects of the organization’s visual presentation to the world. 

The successful candidate will have strong design instincts, a great eye for photos, close attention to detail, the flexibility necessary to work in a startup environment, and the ability to shift gears frequently between our quarterly print magazine, our website, and other brand collateral. Experience working in an editorial environment, for a newspaper, magazine or website is a plus, as is experience with data conceptualization and design.

The Art Director will report directly to the Managing Editor. He or she will also work closely with other senior Vital City staff and partners, including our co-editors and design consultants at Design for Progress. 

Importantly, the Art Director should be self-motivated and highly organized. A successful candidate must be able to manage multiple projects concurrently, keep a firm handle on deadlines and be able to adapt to shifting priorities.

Vital City seeks to create an organizational culture that is kind, decent and ambitious. We are looking for an Art Director who shares these qualities. Another important quality that we are looking for is an interest in Vital City’s mission of improving urban life and trying to move beyond polarized political debates. 

Job Overview

The Art Director will be a trusted voice in Vital City decision-making, helping to shape the artistic direction of the organization. The Art Director will be responsible for taking on a variety of projects as the lead designer. Primary responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

Photo Editing: Photo selection is a crucial component of the job. We are looking for someone who can understand Vital City’s aesthetic and editorial point of view and make photo selections that are consistent with our perspective on the world. The Art Director would source and select photography for all of Vital City’s editorial needs, including web articles, the quarterly journal and special projects. We are also interested in cultivating relationships with working photographers and publishing original and exclusive, as well as archival photography.

Design: The Art Director will help conceive and execute branding and visual identity projects including advertising materials and merchandise design. The Art Director would help conceive and lay out print journals, reports and one-pagers. The Art Director would also create design assets for public events and modify existing brand templates as needed. 

Web: The Art Director will work with Vital City staff, web developers and design consultants to help ensure the organization maintains a compelling online presence via its website, email newsletter and social media.

Data: While the precise extent of the Art Director’s role in this work is to be determined, Vital City is especially interested in talented design professionals with skills, talent and interest in building engaging data visualizations.  The communication of data is an important part of Vital City’s work.


Qualifications and Qualities


Work Environment

Salary and Benefits

To Apply

Please send resume, cover letter, and examples of art/design products to: with the subject line “Art Director.” 

Vital City is an equal opportunity employer. It is operated as a project of the Fund for the City of New York, which serves as Vital City’s fiscal sponsor.