JULY 29, 2009 1:14PM

Job posting: Salon's looking for an art director

Rate: 15 Flag

FYI -- pass on to anyone you think might be a good fit:


Art Director / Senior Designer--SALON

Salon is looking for an innovative, energetic Art Director / Senior Designer to join our small, talented design team and help design new products, new features and support daily production design. Your job will be to work with the editorial, product, engineering and business teams to develop new features for the site and support daily editorial art production for Salon's media properties. The ideal candidate is extremely creative, an experienced and fast-paced designer, a facile coder, a collaborative thinker, and one who can thrive in a demanding real-time media environment. Helps to be a total news fiend! This position is based in San Francisco.

• Interaction Design: define the user model and user interface for new and existing Salon products and features. Gauge the usability of new and existing products, and make constructive suggestions for change
• Visual Design: Create logos and layouts
• Editorial Art Design: select photos, create photo-illustrations and drawings
• Front and Back End Code: Solid grasp of CMS-type programming, with hands on PHP or Perl experience, ability to maintain and develop an organized HTML/CSS vocabulary
• Ad Development: Produce ad products and work them into the site

• Five years experience in all related skills
• Expert skills in HTML, CSS, Photoshop. Solid grasp of CMS-type programming.
• Photo-illustration and drawing skills a plus.
• Demonstrated talent in creative editorial design, typography, photo-illustration and production art.
• Demonstrated experience in designing usable web-based interfaces. Solid background in human-computer interaction, visual design or related field
• Strong knowledge of JavaScript for rapid prototyping purposes a definite plus
• Excellent leadership, communication and teamwork skills.
• Self-starter with proven ability to influence cross-functional teams without formal authority
• Prior experience with start-up or small company is a plus
• Passion for independent news media

We offer competitive salary, excellent benefits and stock options.

Please send cover letter and resume to Jeanne Carstensen, managing editor, jeanne@salon.com

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I wish I could even FAKE being an art director!

Seriously--that you are posting this here is impressive and appreciated.
I nominate Lonnie.
I could fake it, my technical skills are lacking. What about Duaneart?
The code (especially back-end) is the part that most designers don't really have huge expertise in. Its what would stop me from applying here - and I really know my stuff.
Hey Kerry, let me know when you have an opening for Director of Sarcasm! I also have extensive skills in the field of bacon and bacon-related activities. It's never too early to network.
It's great that you passed this on...
I passed your ad around the shelter but the only person interested was D-Tone. He said he had "mad skilz" drawing gang logos on fences and writing "shit about bitches". He also wanted me to emphasize he could "score you some rock" and that he runs like a "roided up A-Rod", though I insisted I didn't necessarily think those were assets but I guess one must keep an open mind.

D-Tone also said he didn't "know jack" about HTML, but he knew how to spell it. I hope you go easy on him in the interview process. He's got a bit of a 'tude, thinking "that racist white cracker won't hire my black ass no how" even though I assured him you were very much left wing and most correct in your positions pertaining to the political spectrum.
Kerry, thanks for posting the available job here for us to see. Regarding the qualifications: "Five years experience in all related skills" --in my experience that often translates into "maximum years" experience desired in the job applicant, too. For the right person it sounds like a fun job!
I'm IN! Sending my resume and cover letter shortly - I want to make sure it looks perfect before sending. You're playing my song!
OOO, pick me pick me!!! Oh wait, I spent 6 years overseeing the ad composing department at a daily metropolitan paper and swore I would never ever do that again.
So, reading the requirements, one apparently has to be qualified. Damn.
Dammit! Why are all the appealing jobs limited to people with job skills?
Cool job alert. I miss my younger less-tied-down days.
"Self-starter with proven ability to influence cross-functional teams without formal authority"

Wow, that sounds a lot like we want you to tell other people what to do but don't think we're going to back you up or pay you more for the title. :-D
Two words: Freaky Troll
What about Ric Tresa? Artsfish? Both are phenomenal artists...with lots of computer skills? I'll pm.
Thanks for the heads up you guys.. sadly, though, I don't have the coding skills required. Photoshop? For sure but it is only part of the whole.
Freaky was first on my mind too. Blevins is a genius when he agrees with me.
Every headhunting organization seems to fall into this trap. There are NO humans who would be professional designers AND proficient programmers at the same time.

Do NOT compromise on the look/feel and user interface of your product: hire the designer for appropriate design skills and ADD a junior programmer.

The additional costs are not that much and it is insignificant when you consider the turn-off an unprofessional design might cause.
Apache: You Go Girl! xox
I want LJ to get this so we can move to San Francisco!!
This is the first direct solution to the problem of the day.

Just because I have zero art talent doesn't mean I'm not qualified.

Discriminating against art challenged or artfully special people will not be tolerated. I will be contacting my local chapter of artfully challenged dodgers... you'll be hearing from them, or me since it's just me.

You didn't turn me down yet? Well you should otherwise my case against you won't hold up.
Funny, funny thread!
I think Harry's guy would be a perfect fit, gang signs and such would be a nice added feature on here!!!


Sorry dude. All art is immitation; and all immitation is a copyright violation.*

*Note: That's not true. But it rhymes.
I'll give it a try.
You show me?
Cut and paste.

I show you how to mash German butterballs.
That is a smaller potato that's better than gold.
I always love to make a Frosty snowman sculpture.

That will be a fair tradeoff barter.
Frosty with a green bean groin tail.
Sliced yellow summers squash toes.
Red beets for a jolly Joan Baez belly.
Joan Walsh sing civil:`Any Day Now.
Frosty puffs a corn cob pot pipe bowl.
Two eyes made from a blue birds dung.
A sculpted nose:`fingerling rose spuds.

A Way for boondocks folk to pay for booze?
I'll try to darken the words. What's a stock?
Communication, HTML/CSS~vocabulary?
I can do or fake any of those things, but I ain't leaving the DC area for SF anytime soon. : ( You'll have to include me out. But it was fun imagining another life, a really creative life, for a little while.
It's a shame that people who hire designers, rarely understand that a really good experienced AD--particularly one with a background in editorial design--will rarely have the heavy tech skills now required. Usually, there are rare exceptions, but most people are either excellent designers OR have killer tech knowledge. Generally, not both. I have been an art director/ creative director for more than 20 years and I know my way around computers and all current design software. I've designed many websites, for magazines, retailers, individuals, but I can't write code, keep things running on the back end--and a publication can't afford downtime on the web. Either this is a job for 2 people, or 1 person with mediocre design skills and strong tech knowledge, or 1 person with great design skills, who knows what will or will not work when designing on a computer for the web. Being an art director these days means you not only create and develop concepts, present options, build and storyboard prototypes and make necessary changes and updates --but also that you can and do all production until you go live, make sure your site functions well enough on PCs and Macs, loads quickly, functions without any glitches and you can fix the system when the server goes ker-plop. That's like going to you car mechanic for a tune up and asking "Are you sure you like this color? I was going to hang a dream-catcher from the rear view mirror and put a bobble-head chihuahua in the back window--or do you think that's overkill?" "Well, since you're asking," he says scratching his head, "I like hanging crystals from the rear view mirrors because they make rainbows and I prefer beanie-babies on the back window. Bobble-heads feel SO last year..." And that becomes a problem--everyone is suddenly an expert and that's why there is so much bad design on the web. When you have a growing brand to protect, you REALLY need good design. Ms. Jeanne Carstensen, please consider this a cover letter if you'd like and I can send along my resume. OR since I am not far from SF, we can "consult". The first consultation is a freebie. It would be my pleasure to speak with you.
To GalaxyMan: You know what you are saying sir. I suspect you and I have been in the same meetings together and now, share the same lifeboat. I've actually had people say to me "Well the computer really does all the work anyway. Can you show me a few more versions in the next half hour and put it to bed by the end of the day? I know it's almost 8:00 p.m. but nobody ever said this was a 9-5:00 job. Oh! And copy won't be ready until tomorrow so just greek that for now. Well need to rework it when we get the REAL copy. OK? Feel free to help yourself to the pizza in the conference room. I hope you're not a veg, 'cause it's all pepperoni. I'll bet you haven't had dinner all week."

Hey, I'm available for speaking engagements, too. the AIGA or HOW magazine should hold training sessions for head-hunters.
I find myself in agreement with many of the comments regarding the disconnect between art direction and coding skills. Sounds like a 2-person job in that it requires 2 skill sets that tend not to be compatible in one personality. In my experience, those with advanced coding expertise are not capable of originating the high aesthetic.
Most companies over-inflate the requirement to scare away the bottom feeders.
If you are a really good designer and have some strong computer skills, the other programming skills will most likely overlooked.
Also most people who have been in the graphic designe business by now are pretty tech-smart.
Plus, these days, design schools load the kids up on programming.
I am overqualified for this job. And I can't move to San Francisco.

We are redesigning Yale's science dept sites as interlocked CMS sites. We are revamping Garrison Institute's site as complex social network/event site (they are a Buddhist retreat). I did the same for NY State Veterinarians Society and many others. I use elegant but powerful prjoect management techniques to track me and my team
for every task and milestone, to the 5 min increment.

Me or not, you might consider Deliverables-based team rather than an all in one, so long as the Leader has core skills and design chops. I use talents from all over, incl Europe and India, surgically applied abased on exquisitely refined skillsets per each unique task and project. VERY cost-effective, and thus NO limits to imagination and effects.
I have also won a CLIO for design and umpty others.

So unless you get to the point where you will consider a virtual team/ mostly distant provider, etc. I will miss out on this, one of my DREAM JOBS.

But if you are curious at all? perhaps a conf call. I would let you peek under the hood of what we do. It might help guide you about where OS can go and do, with or without me. OS is about 1/5 as complex as our average projects. And I have testimonials out my respectable wazoo.

Otherwise: find someone great! (and add Ajax, accordion, chat and calendaring etc effects too! he he)
To Greg Correll: I'm just wondering--Why do you out source your work to offshore designers & techies? The lower costs are an obvious advantage, but this devalues the market for US talent. Hourly/yearly wages haven't gone up in a long time, and I have found in many cases, are even lower than I remember them being years ago. When assembling a virtual team, is the work collaborative at all? I know working globally will soon be inevitable to effectively and profitably produce and deliver good work. Do you find that your foreign workers are more conscientious about deadlines and quality? Do your clients know about your business model? I suppose when they get what they want on time and under budget, they don't care how it happened. Surely, this will be everyone's model for the future and for you, the future is here.

BTW: I love reading your work on OS. You're a wonderful writer. Yours is probably the only blog I read regularly. Who knew you had time to run a successful multicultural media mecca as well? Kudos.
but still small,i want to help you , And My experience a few.
Um... what would the hours be? Is there a lunch hour? What kind of clothes do you have to wear? Otherwise it sounds pretty good.
Cubicle? Or penthouse office? 3-martini luncheons or brown-bagging it at the monitor? Are "relations" with interns allowed? Do you have to pour on the hyper-enthusiastic corporate-speak or can you just 'tell it like it is'?
Is there casual fridays or tropical fridays or something? Can I send a resume?
Uh, I thought it over and I could do it, but I don't want to work offshore. Also I am in between cars right now, so you know... I would need a company car or a bus pass or something. Can you fax me a application? Thank you for your time and attention.
Just a question... when did graphic design and interative design merge into one career? Does the person who gets the job receive two salaries?

My degree is in graphic design, and I'm a graphic designer, and I've also ventured into learning interactive design and web design on my own. Even though some of it overlaps, graphic design and interactive design and web design all require their own set of skills... especially in the way of coding. They are different birds in the same tree.

Just sayin'.
Thanks for the Prada spam.
I'm surprised to see that this position hasn't been filled. Perhaps I'll try for it...I'd prefer to bring along a young facile coder and split the salary. I have all the languages, but I like having partners. I say young because the kids I know can code circles around me, but aren't visually gifted yet. When I met my BFF, I could code circles around him, and with his guidance, all the art I had seen in my life began to come into a rather extensive internal library...I know what I want in my head, and I'll find it...I'll make it happen. So, there's that.
um...Jeanne isn't with Salon anymore...it's Ruth now? I'm going to write to Jeanne, too...maybe she knows something that's up around. I'm an sick to near death of this grant writing. I was recently accused of being 'too fancy and splashy' for daring to suggest a Thanksgiving supper for the homeless here funded by artists and other interested parties.

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.
Another voice to add to the peanut gallery - I think it will be VERY difficult to find someone with both serious art skills AND great programming skills. I'm a freelance web developer - I've dipped my toe into and have a decent working knowledge of ALL of the above, but not what you'd call expertise. Most folks I know in the field make a decision at some point to focus on either the front end (design/layout/art) or back end (php, javascript).

I'd say focus on the ART Director piece, with a solid portfolio of Illustrator, Photoshop, and Visual Design skills with strong HTML/CSS, who also has an "understanding" of how javascript, php, and CMS fit into the overall site and then you can outsource/contract for the interactive coding/programming piece.

Unless, of course, you really need a solid programmer and then it might make more sense to split it into two or downplay the artist requirements. You also don't mention Flash or mobile programming, which seem like necessary requirements for the technical end.

Not meaning to add more wet blanket - just sharing my experience.
Good luck - it's great to see Salon expanding.

Wish you were up here in Seattle! Actually...no...I would rather be in California...let me get my cover letter written!
Still looking, eh? Why do you think that might be? It is a great opportunity to work for a cool company in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Not to mention one of the most expensive. Are you paying a living wage? Even a studio apartment in a less-than- desirable-neighborhood can cost $1400 a month and you may find that a kitchen=a hotplate and a dorm room fridge. Did you read the comments and advice below in regards to this really being TWO jobs? Maybe you need to rethink this position. The economy being what it is right now, one would think that a designer/jack-of-all-trades, would jump at the chance to work at Salon, even for low salary. Or look, why not hire two part-time staffers to split the job and the pay--one designer/AD and one back end web-ster. Maybe that would make more sense. They might be able to share an apartment, too.
Is this a post that is restricted to those who do not mysteriously dissappear?

What do I mean?

Take a look at this link on OS:

I'm sure that this job was snapped up in an instant. The amount of talented artists that would be interested are numerous and it's a wonderful offer. Start rowing your own way for once (pun intended).