COSMOPOLITAN is looking for an exceptionally strong and senior creative director. You should be fun-loving, boundary-pushing and excited to drive innovative visual communication across all media platforms for COSMOPOLITAN’s local Millennial and Gen Z target market.
We are looking for someone with a positive “can-do” attitude, who is highly capable and skilled in mixed multimedia design and art direction. You should be able to elevate the brand’s digital visual footprint, direct on location cover shoots, manage a small art team, oversee commercial and client work for the brand, and put together an outstanding monthly, printed magazine. You should be calm in a high-pressure and deadline-driven environment, able to lead and motivate a team, and continually drive inspired creative direction for the brand.
- Direct a strong, creative and cohesive reader-friendly “look” for COSMO across all platforms – print, website, YouTube, newsletter, digital applications and social media – that reinforces the brand DNA.
- Develop an omnichannel identity for COSMO special projects across integrated mixed-media platforms and events.
- Oversee the visual direction of all locally produced and original shoots, on location and in studio.
- Manage the art department and liaise with external suppliers on briefs for editorial and commercial shoots.
- Work closely with the Management team on conceptual and creative pitches for AMP Alternative.
Essential duties and responsibilities
Design and Visual Direction
- To conceptualise, direct and be the custodian of a strong, cohesive and reader-friendly “look” for COSMO (print, digital, event) and all related supplements and special projects.
- To oversee (and design where necessary) the page layouts and final visual look of COSMO’s monthly magazine. The creative director must sign off all layouts before the editor receives them, and before they go to print.
- To help conceptualise, creatively direct and design the cover and cover feature layout for each monthly magazine issue.
- Work with the fashion, digital and beauty directors to creatively direct at least two main shoots each month, making sure models, locations, designers and all suppliers are diverse and representative of the COSMO reader.
- To redesign the magazine/website/newsletter/social media “look and feel” when required, in order to stay relevant and visually current.
- To direct and design/implement (when required) all digital creative assets, including COSMO’s weekly newsletter, social-media artwork (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest) and website (Cosmopolitan.co.za).
- To oversee the brand identity of COSMO’s YouTube channel, ensuring all videos are conceptualised, shot and edited in line with the brand identity, and correct fonts, backgrounds, colours, etc, are adhered to.
- To ensure the monthly “on-sale” digital assets are timeously designed and supplied to the digital team prior to newsstand distribution.
- To work with the production manager on any “on-sale” marketing material such as cover stickers, tamper bands, Instagram GIFs, etc.
- Work closely with the respective department heads (Fashion, Beauty, Digital) to conceptualise and attend shoots, ensuring all visual media (including stills and video) are on brand, and that all channel content is cohesive and of a consistently high standard.
- Liaise closely with the editor to ensure that COSMO visuals and text work together to communicate the key ideas and brand values across all the brand’s platforms.
- Regularly assess the design, look and feel and suggest to the editor any ideas for strengthening the brand.
- To do picture sourcing on stock libraries for all articles without an original shoot.
- Read all copy first to ensure that the design and the visuals selected reflect the tone of the article.
- Make sure layouts are technically sound and easy for copy editors to work on.
- Ensure all elements of the page, including flags, bylines, gutter credits and page numbers, are placed on each layout in their appropriate positions.
- Make sure, when picture editing, that COSMO’s diverse cultural demographic is reflected, and that the page-rate budget is adhered to.
Commercial and Special Projects
- To drive conceptual thinking of omnichannel pitches to advertisers to ensure that these are always in keeping with the brand values while maximising client ROI.
- Attend kick-start brainstorm meetings for client pitches when required.
- To work closely with the senior commercial designer to oversee all below-the-line (BTL) pitches and campaigns for COSMO. This includes inputting and overseeing all concepts for pitches, signing off proposal designs before they go to client, attending (if necessary) and signing off all branded content shoot visuals, and final visual identity for video, advertorial layouts, featured web images, Instagram Stories, feed GIFs, etc.
- Be the custodian for excellent branded content across all COSMO platforms.
- Direct the visual look and feel of all COSMO events, of which there are upwards of x10 per year, including all marketing media material such as video and mailers, as well as physical brand activations and installations.
- Establish a process with the editorial and special projects teams that ensures a smooth workflow as maintained by the managing editor.
- Attend the monthly brainstorm meetings with the editorial team and provide ideas and concepts for upcoming monthly editorial themes.
- Attend all pre-production creative meetings to brainstorm new ideas and concepts for existing commercial briefs/clients.
- Work closely with the managing editor to ensure that the production process happens efficiently and be flexible to adapt processes according to editorial changes.
- Liaise closely with the managing editor, art director, copy editor and digital director on workflow.
- Check proofs, send print pages to repro and liaise with the repro and production department to ensure the magazine is delivered and signed off according to deadline.
- Check the dummy book thoroughly and send it back to the printers.
- Do the colour-pass on the cover at the printers.
- Sign off cover and all pages with the editor before the magazine is printed.
- Sign off all digital elements pre-‘on-sale’ with the editor in a monthly meeting that is held by the creative director, art director, multimedia producer and digital director.
- Take responsibility for the cover and cover feature by making sure there are at least three strong cover options for every issue. Identify varied cover-shoot opportunities, poses and locations with the fashion director.
- To update the brand identity book for COSMO across all platforms to remain relevant and visually current.
- To brief photographers, illustrators and videographers with thorough references, creative direction and clear expectations upfront and pre-shoot.
- To put together a sound-shot list and visual media asset list before every cover and main fashion/beauty editorial shoot that promises to deliver content across all agreed platforms for media rollout.
- To keep a fresh and up-to-date directory of creative suppliers for COSMO that ensures cultural and racial diversity and the preference of supporting new talent.
- To ensure all rights are secured and license agreements are signed by all suppliers (visual and audio) and model agencies for both commercial and editorial work.
- To manage the art department budget alongside the managing editor and to make sure it is adhered to.
- Five to seven years’ experience as an art/creative director on relevant magazines is essential.
- A degree or diploma in design or related visual communication qualification.
- Competent in the following software: InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator.
- Good knowledge of video-editing and motion-graphics software like Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects.
- Be proficient and detail-oriented.
- Be proactive and demonstrate a creative initiative and passion for the COSMO brand.
- Be a team player who is capable of working with other departments.
- Be able to lead, mentor and motivate a team.
- Be able to work fast and independently under pressure, and work outside or a regular hours to meet deadlines if need be.
Being an AMP Employee
The character of the Company and the people within it has to build this, and that’s why we look for inspirational, courageous, provocative team players that want to be a part of the Associated Media Publishing family.
PASSION – Someone who shows enthusiasm, zeal, drive, slay, motivation, energy, inspiring, innovative.
PURPOSE – Everything we do is done with 2 specific intentions, firstly to inspire and grow our tribes, secondly to deliver opportunities for our Advertisers to engage with our tribe.
CHUTZPAH – Someone who is born of an entrepreneurial spirit and can-do attitude. Innovative thinking pro-active doing, pushing boundaries, leading by example, risk taking, innovative thinking, forever learning, trailblazing, game changer.
INNOVATION – Someone who is ideas and goal driven, impactful, value add, strategic thinking, sees opportunity, zero chill, brave, on point, bold, dynamic, revolutionary, agile, go getter, motivated, determined.
PROFESSIONALISM – Someone who is always striving for excellence, trustworthy, courteous and respectful, honest, open and transparent, always ethical, honorable and act with integrity at all times, competent and improves continually.