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Creative Director

Job Details

American Psychiatric Association HQ - Washington, DC
4 Year Degree
Media - Journalism - Newspaper



The Creative Director of Psychiatric News (PN) provides superior graphics design for a variety of news products on print and electronic platforms and has outstanding design skills and mastery of software packages to carry out those designs. The Creative Director works with staff reporters to create original artwork, charts, and tables and proofs for accuracy of data. The incumbent must know computer languages such as XML and HTML and be able to maintain the PN website, build e-publications, work well with others as part of a creative team, and work under extremely tight deadlines.


  • Create and complete the design work for each issue of PN using InDesign, Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and Acrobat in consultation with the Executive Editor and individual reporters.
    • Design and create page layouts, including cover and photo pages.
    • Design and create or procure art to accompany news and feature articles.
    • Maintain accounts with Associated Press and stock image agencies/services, negotiate price/use license, and download images.
    • Design and create charts, graphs, etc., using Adobe Illustrator.
    • Color correct or otherwise manipulate digital photos and other graphics for quality and consistency.
    • Work with reporters to ensure timely receipt of data for charts, tables, etc.
    • Proof charts, tables, etc., to ensure accuracy before returning them to reporters for proofing.
    • Place articles, photos, art, and charts into InDesign layout.
    • Take photographs.
    • Maintain professional and technical knowledge by attending educational workshops, reviewing professional publications, establishing personal networks, and benchmarking state-of-the-art practices.
  • Supervise print production of PN.
    • Maintain PN’s print production workflow and monitor all steps of the process.
    • Assist in the production and troubleshooting of PDF files for transmission to printer using InSite prepress portal.
    • Give final approval to pages of each issue of PN for printing.
    • Review PN’s print quality with printer reps, investigate reproduction problems, and offer solutions.
    • Ensure operation of the printer communication and contract proofing hardware/software by timely upgrading, calling for repairs, and evaluating new equipment and techniques. Provide accurate color calibration of the contract proofing system.
    • Keep abreast of IT developments (publishing platforms), design and page makeup programs, communication and color proofing systems, and alternative workflows.
    • Resolve publishing system problems by analyzing data, investigating issues, and identifying solutions.
    • Educate and direct production manager on the use of relevant software, equipment, and other resources and ensure compliance with established policies and procedures.
  • Supervise production manager.
  • Support production manager in creating issue imposition.
  • Verify advertising for compliance with PN specs/separations.
  • Assist with troubleshooting problematic advertising materials and communicating with PMI regarding fixing/replacements.
  • Provide direction in laying out issue, including story, chart, and image placement.
  • Assign the creation of charts, tables, department icons, and other print and web images and graphics; give clear directions during the creation process to assure quality, accuracy, and timeliness of the final product.
  • Help with other assignments as needed.
  • Troubleshoot other production problems when they arise and provide solutions in timely manner.
  • Serve as backup of production manager when necessary.
  • Supervise PN’s online content manager and oversee and assist as necessary in the conversion of PN from print version to web version and production of the PN Update enewsletter, PN Alert (daily e-mail and RSS News feeds), and other electronic communication products as needed.
    • Prepare graphic images and other files as necessary for posting on the PN website and weekly enewsletter to ensure files are accurate and look attractive in the web environment.
    • Review article files on the web provider’s CMS, point out corrections that need to be made, and offer solutions as necessary.
    • Support PN staff in creating/troubleshooting PN Alert posts and their email delivery.
    • Create web pages, banners, and other web design elements as requested, upload files to the web server, troubleshoot HTML/XML, as necessary.
    • Maintain accounts, domain, software/file system, and MySQL database at PN’s web vendor and oversee software/file system and email databases for PN’s Alert and Update products with respective vendors (FeedBlitz, Paramount Communication Group).
    • Reviews coding and website addresses in PN’ weekly table-of-contents email.
    • Serve as backup to the online content editor.
  • Other computer design and production duties.
    • Oversee and participate in the design or redesign of PN’s electronic products.
    • Troubleshoot computer problems on PN’s computers and train staff as necessary.
    • Create PowerPoint presentations.
    • Create PDFs of pages, articles, etc., as requested by APA staff or members.
    • Serve as backup to the production manager.
    • Provide graphic assistance to other departments as necessary.
  • Other duties as assigned.



  • Bachelor’s degree in graphic design or related field with a minimum of 12 years of related experience in desktop publishing or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Demonstrated excellence in desktop computer publishing and graphic design.
  • Advanced mastery of InDesign, Photoshop, and Adobe Illustrator or similar desktop publishing programs.
  • In-depth knowledge of Internet file formats (including XML, HTML) and Web software (currently DreamWeaver) to design, build, and maintain Web pages and other e-publications.
  • In-depth knowledge of typography, color theory, four-color print production, and web color environment.
  • Supervisory experience.

EOE, including disability/vets


The anticipated start date for this position is December 2023.