Associate Design Director

AKQA, New York, NY

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At AKQA we believe in the imaginative application of art and science to create beautiful ideas, products and services. With an entrepreneurial and collaborative approach, we design adaptive digital services and applications that capture the imagination, delivering impressive returns for our clients. You will work in an environment that fosters a meritocratic culture, surrounded by some of the brightest minds in their fields.

The Associate Design Director at AKQA will approach every brief with fresh eyes. Avoiding familiar solutions, the Associate Design Director will create and inspire work that is distinctive, effective and truly remarkable.

Responsibilities and Expectations:

Direct. Directs the effort to develop creative concepts and implementations in a cross-disciplinary manner. Works with planners and strategists to establish strategic and creative approaches for a given assignment. Works in a hands-on capacity internally and externally; helps develop the strategy, vision and concepts.

Creative craft skills. Sets creative direction and provides hands-on guidance throughout the duration of client team projects. Displays a cohesive understanding and can execute the principles that make innovative and effective digital communications, interface design, and interaction design.

Idea generation. Leads by example to consistently inspire creative colleagues to create world-class, pioneering ideas that conceptualize world-class solutions. Generates useful, usable ideas across all existing and emerging digital platforms. Continually develops practices and processes to inspire, innovate, and harness new ways of thinking. Creates solutions that will have a business impact on clients as well as a cultural impact on consumers.

Leadership. Acts as a strategic and conceptual leader on projects. Has an extensive understanding of all creative disciplines, including conceptual and executional (art direction, user experience, copy, and motion). Inspires and leads by example, setting professional standards for the team and the department. Evangelizes and represents AKQA by interviewing potential new employees; able to articulate the creative vision of the company. Able to lead and manage 5–10 creatives on an ongoing basis.

Mentoring. Actively trains, mentors, and manages junior- and mid-level creatives. Proactively identifies and resolving issues. Acts as a career manager: Responsible for managing and guiding junior- and mid-level creatives’ careers within AKQA (including regular one-on-one check-ins), writing and delivering annual performance reviews, and taking responsibility for on-boarding new employees and guiding him or her through a successful tenure at AKQA.

New business development. Creatively leads new business pitches. Responsible for ideas and creative work, and competently presents pitches.


  • Exceptional communication skills: Verbal, written, interpersonal and inter-departmental
  • Superb professionalism and mature presence in all aspects of team and client relationship-building
  • Thought leadership: A strong point of view; ability to contribute to the strategic development of an assignment; creative ideas and the ability to promote conceptual thinking among the team
  • A strong ability and experience in leading, directing and managing a group of cross-disciplinary teams
  • A solid understanding of digital media as well as the marketing industry at large; an ability and a desire to adapt to the changing landscape of technology
  • A minimum of 8 years’ experience in the creative industry
  • A solid academic background in and a mastery of one or more of the following disciplines:
    • User experience, user interface, information architecture, interaction design, or product design
    • Advanced degrees are a plus
  • All candidates must possess an excellent portfolio



About AKQA

About us The imaginative application of art and science. AKQA is home to 2,100 professionals in 23 studios across the USA, Europe, Asia, and Australasia.

Want to learn more about AKQA? Visit AKQA's website.