Providing educational resources and opportunities for all individuals involved in book and book-related publishing.

Senior Designer | University of California Press


At the University of California (UC), your contributions make a difference. A world leader producing Nobel and Pulitzer prize recipients with over 150 years of groundbreaking research transforming the world. Choose a career where you can leverage your knowledge, skills and aspirations to inspire and support some of the greatest minds in the world, and those who will follow in their footsteps. Working at the University of California is being part of a unique institution, and a vibrant and diverse community. At the University of California, Office of the President, we propel our mission through impactful work locally, in government centers and systemwide. We are passionate people, serving the greater good.

The University of California, one of the largest and most acclaimed institutions of higher learning in the world, is dedicated to excellence in teaching, research and public service. The University of California Office of the President is the headquarters to the 10 campuses, six academic medical centers and three national laboratories and enrolls premier students from California, the nation and the world. Learn more about the UC Office of the President


University of California Press is one of the most forward-thinking scholarly publishers in the nation. For more than 125 years, it has championed work that influences public discourse and challenges the status quo in multiple fields of study. At a time of dramatic change for publishing and scholarship, we collaborate with scholars, librarians, authors, and students to stay ahead of today’s knowledge demands and shape the future of publishing.


The Senior Designer is responsible for the creative design, production, and management of approximately 80–90 books per year for academic and trade market, both covers or jackets and interiors. Work includes creating original jacket designs and mechanicals for about 55% of the list; art direct and project manage projects outsourced to freelancers for the remaining 45%; creating 2–3 original interior designs annually; and modify standard, templated interior designs as needed for special editorial elements. The designer also liaises with vendors (freelance designers, prepress vendors, and occasionally, pre-press vendors); checks corrections through all proof cycles; and inspects printer’s proofs and final books. Projects range in subject matter and complexity from standard academic monographs to trade titles. The latter may require design attention such as creating original interior designs, modifying existing design templates, and author liaison, as well as navigating occasional accelerated production schedules.


55% Design Concept – Interior Design: Required to produce a series of interior page spreads based upon specific editorial manuscript needs. The designer will produce sample layouts of typographic elements using InDesign. Type Specifications: Electronically generate complete typographic specifications for all typographic elements identified within the manuscript using a computer word processing program, adapt standard design formats, design and provide specs and suggest changes to the standard design library. Jacket/Cover Design: Jacket and cover designs are to be completed on computer using Photoshop, Illustrator and Q InDesign. Responsible for preparing the final electronic mechanical file that is used by the printers in a pre-press electronic file. Manage any electronic files generated by other staff designers in order to maintain consistent department workflow and file output. Order type as necessary and make mechanicals for 40-45 book jackets and paper covers a year.


40% Design Production: Interior Production/Dummying Pages – Page dummying will be completed using electronic means for designs requiring complex, heavily illustrated page layouts. Must have a thorough working knowledge of electronic page output. Illustration Sizing: Determine final reproduction % for all interior illustrations (for both digital and reflective art), for placement in dummied pages, within gathered plate sections, or for scattered treatment in the final book. Jacket/Cover Mechanicals: Must be electronically produced as the base file to be used by the printer for color separation and final color/image registration. All typography must be composed by and copy fit by the designer from word processed, electronic files. Work closely with the Acquisitions department, Marketing Department, and author when necessary to determine treatments needed for jackets and covers, and will provide advice for project editors, production coordinators, acquisitions editors, acquisitions assistants, and authors on a variety of design related matters.


5% Art Evaluation and Proofing: Freelance Management – Determine when to subcontract work to freelancers. Maintain and develop contact with freelancers offering design and other skills and services. Manage and alter electronic files, either interior or jacket/cover, or final mechanical submitted by any commissioned freelance source. Work closely with vendors responsible for art program evaluation.


Required Qualifications

  • Proficiency in Creative Suite applications: InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, and Acrobat, as well as basic knowledge of Microsoft Word and Excel.
  • Knowledge of color proofing and printing methods.
  • Working knowledge of typography to write comprehensive type specifications and communicate clearly with outside composition vendors.
  • Must work well in a team environment and be able to resolve complex design problems elegantly, effectively, and collaboratively.
  • Strong interpersonal, verbal, and written skills to communicate effectively with other UC Press staff as well as external contacts. Demonstrated ability to articulate ideas and issues clearly and concisely using proper editorial style and English grammar. Active listening skills to ensure that important points are noted and clearly communicated.
  • Demonstrated ability to work proactively and follow through on assignments with minimal supervision; ability work collaboratively and cooperatively as part of team.
  • Able to work independently on multiple projects.
  • Project management and organizational skills to work on and monitor schedules for a large number of projects at various stages of completeness. Ability to work creatively within limited budgets.
  • Ability to write clear and concise design briefs.
  • Must have a strong portfolio in book design. A good showing of work in other design fields will be considered.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Knowledge of Google Suite.
  • Working knowledge of printing and production processes.
  • Book graphic design experience.


  • High School diploma, two years of art training, and three years of experience; or an equivalent combination of education and experience; and knowledge and ability essential to the successful performance of the duties assigned to the position.




Salary: Recommended salary range is $34.65 an hour – $41.22 an hour, commensurate with experience.

Benefits: For information on the comprehensive benefits package offered by the University visit: Benefits of Belonging



Please be prepared to attach a cover letter and resume with your application.

Candidates need to include a web link to their portfolio.


The first review date for this job is October 13, 2021. The position will be open until filled.


Background Check Process: Successful completion of a background check is required for this critical position. Background check process at UCOP

Smoke Free Work Environment: The University of California, Office of the President, is smoke & tobacco-free as of January 1, 2014. UC Smoke & Tobacco Free Policy


The University of California, Office of the President, is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status. EEO/AA Employer UC Nondiscrimination Policy

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