Art Director (Co-op Food)

To create and manage the design strategy across the Co-op Food account along with the Editor. To produce all visual content of the magazine, online platforms and all related subject matter on the account. To ensure all designs are of a consistent and high standard, adhering to set deadlines, client requirements and budgets.


  • Control all design output in print and digital channels
  • Maintain quality within all channels, from the magazine and digi-mag to recipe videos and social content, to ensure everything is in line with the editor’s vision and client brief
  • Produce and/or oversee presentations, from PPMs to strategy documents
  • Scamp up shots/storyboard videos prior to shoots
  • To ensure design excellence is adhered to, keeping designs fresh and ahead of the curve, with a strong awareness of the key design and relevant content trends, as well as what our competitors are doing
  • To continually maintain visual standards with high quality imagery, either commissioned or purchased, and ensure this quality control is maintained throughout the repro and print processes

Day to Day Accountabilities

  • To design editorial layouts for Co-op Food magazine
  • To commission photographers, illustrators and shoot production teams, seeking the best available talent in line with the brand’s visual style and budgets, and negotiate rates and rights on behalf of the client and agency
  • Manage the design budget
  • Produce strong, varied front covers for the magazine, sourcing or commissioning excellent photography for each
  • Manage schedules of art flow and ensure the subbing team have appropriate levels of layouts through to hit deadlines
  • Manage, direct and book freelancers at appropriate times within budget
  • To find the highest standard of photography from stock libraries, keeping aesthetic of output varied, eye-catching and thought provoking, while on brand and with an eye to the individual art budget
  • Agreeing rights with photographers and illustrators
  • To produce print-ready layouts and mark-up for repro
  • To be responsible for sign-off of pages for print
  • Create print-ready PDFs

Skills & Expertise

  • Expert in editorial design, with good knowledge of design practices in all relevant channels
  • Strong understanding of demands of the client and keeping up with all relevant changes within Co-op Food
  • Exceptional understanding of the brands’ readers and their evolving expectations
  • Exceptional knowledge of and passion for key trends in editorial design and Co-op’s competitors. Generally good knowledge of food and lifestyle content
  • Excellent eye for detail, with strong understanding of retouching practices
  • Fluent in Adobe Creative Suite, including InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop. After Effects desirable
  • Good relationships with photographers, illustrators and stylists
  • Excellent communication skills and the ability to present design vision and thought process to senior board members and client, when required
  • Ability to be a creative team player for The River Group, contributing to additional projects and pitches when required
  • Use of company systems – Cost Log, Asset Bank, HR website, ICAP
  • Willingness to adhere to company values and standards of service

Internal Collaboration

  • Work closely with editor in creating dynamic visual strategies for the food brand
  • Develop strong relationship with subbing team to ensure consistent stream of output from and for their department
  • Brief Senior Designer and Art Editor on work and projects
  • Work with the production department to liaise with the repro house and printers
  • Work closely with the ads dept to create strong creative solutions and maximise commercial opportunities

Resource & Talent Management

  • Manage freelance design staff, ensuring their page output meets brand visual requirements and budget

Reporting Lines & Liaison

  • Report directly to line manager Editor
  • Work under Account Director’s remit
  • Co-op Food marketing team
  • Third party suppliers: Photographers; Illustrators; Props and Food stylists; Printers; Repro House; Videographers; Digital, Advertising and Production Depts

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