Art Director, Graphic Design/Exhibitions

Carnegie Museum of Natural History - Oakland, 4400 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States of America Req #852
Monday, May 23, 2022
Carnegie Museum of Natural History, one of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, is among the top natural history museums in the country. It maintains, preserves, and interprets an extraordinary collection of artifacts, objects, and scientific specimens used to broaden understanding of evolution, conservation, and biodiversity. Carnegie Museum of Natural History generates new scientific knowledge, advances science literacy, and inspires visitors of all ages to become passionate about science, nature, and world cultures. Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh is interested in candidates who, through their experience and collaborations, will contribute to diversity and excellence of the Carnegie Museums community.

The CMP COVID-19 Employee Vaccine Policy requires that all employees provide proof of COVID vaccination or if not fully vaccinated, must provide proof of negative COVID-19 testing on a weekly basis. 

Expected pay range, based on experience, $50,000.00 to $65,000.00

The Art Director, Graphic Design/Exhibitions for the Carnegie Museum of Natural History (CMNH) is a key part of the interdisciplinary team working to create museum experiences. This individual will design the graphic look-and-feel, identity, interpretive labels, text hierarchy, and informational graphics for exhibitions. They will contribute establishing brand and wayfinding guidelines for CMNH, design and production wayfinding, print collateral, educational materials, and general museum and program related signage.

Education and Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience required.
  • Five years of progressively responsible graphic design experience in a museum, agency, or interdisciplinary design firm required.
  • A combination of related training, education, and/or experience will be accepted.
  • Experience working closely with production and collaborating with designers/producers across digital, interactive, and 3D/environmental design fields.
  • Hands-on knowledge of managing design and production workflow within an organization or firm, including specifying materials and finishes, developing estimates, budgets, and contracts, as well as developing graphic, proofing, production, and installation schedules.
  • Staff management experience preferred.
  • Expert command of Adobe Creative Suite (primarily Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign), and the ability to communicate rough concepts through digital or hand sketches.
  • Comfort designing for print or digital formats.
  • Familiarity with spatial design and construction, using 3D design tools such as Sketch-up or Vectorworks, and/or reading floorplans a plus.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:


  • Exceptional typographic skills and a strong visual aesthetic.
  • Expert knowledge of design and production methods.
  • Ability to quickly visualize design concepts; articulate in presenting design ideas and providing input to others; eager and open to questions and input from a range of stakeholders.
  • An understanding of multiple design disciplines.
  • Commitment to user-centered design and demonstrated knowledge of accessibility guidelines.


  • Highly organized and detail-oriented with ability to prioritize tasks, anticipate and manage conflicting deadlines (for themselves and others), coordinate complex and overlapping project schedules.


  • Genuine excitement for collaboration with colleagues across numerous departments (and museums)—and for playing a key role in fostering an inclusive, collaborative culture.
  • An interest in learning from the experiences of others is critical.


The staff sits is in a non-confined office-type setting in which they move about at will. The environment for this position is clean and comfortable but includes minor annoyances such as noise, odors, drafts, etc.

In the course of performing this work, the incumbent will:

  • Spend substantial time utilizing the computer.
  • Spend time in exhibition galleries and storage closets as needed.
  • Must travel via personal vehicle or public transport to off-site meetings and facilities.  
  • Should have valid drivers license.
  • May periodically need to lift up to 25lbs.
  • Operate a computer using Adobe Creative Suite (primarily Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign), Microsoft Office, and accounting software.

Essential Functions and Accountabilities:

  • Advocate for a great visitor experience by designing, and overseeing the design of, exhibition graphics that are aesthetically pleasing, organized, clear, and consider the needs—both emotional and practical—of our communities.
  • Work with interdisciplinary teams (across CMNH and CMP) to discuss design requirements of each project. Determines and communicates the scope, challenges, and best method of production to meet the project’s learning goals, deadlines, and budget. Present concepts for review and discussion with the goal to move toward a final design.
  • In consultation with department head, oversees and manages the design and production of all internal exhibition graphics, wayfinding, building and gallery signage, as well as special graphic design projects. Meets regularly with museum staff, design team, independent contractors, and vendors to determine project scope, review specifications, check proofs, and coordinate flow of all graphic design projects through the production, delivery, and installation phases.
  • Will oversee CMNH graphic designer(s) and work closely with print shop manager to set project priorities, schedules, and budgets. Works with these individuals to research materials and vendors, obtain quotes for services, establish design processes, as well as plan for long term growth and goals both for the staff and print shop.
  • Assists education, marketing, and exhibition developer and designer in creating design templates, and in acquisition and transfer of appropriate images and graphics to assure a consistent graphic identity for exhibitions and programs.
  • Anticipates and communicates information about deadlines, potential conflicts and delays in projects to appropriate staff and outside consultants.
  • Maintains accurate, current, and complete archival design files for the department in accordance with museum standards.
  • Supervises and manages photo and video shoots, as needed, for specific graphics or exhibitions. Works in conjunction with the developer and project coordinator to secure necessary approvals and clearances.
  • Prioritize green design solutions and ideas that improve accessibility and efficiency.
  • Other duties as assigned.
The following PA Act 153 clearances, or proof of application of clearances, are required beginning employment and as a condition of continued employment: Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Record Check FBI Fingerprint Criminal Background Check Obtaining the required clearances is completed as part of the new hire process.

Carnegie Museums is an Equal Opportunity-Affirmative Action Employer – Minorities / Females / Veterans / Individuals with Disabilities / Sexual Orientation / Gender Identity

The above job description reflects the essential functions and qualifications for the position identified, and shall not be construed as a detailed description of all the work requirements that may be inherent in the position. The job description does not constitute an employment contract and does not alter the at-will relationship between CMP and the employee.   

*GUIDANCE ON ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS:   The Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) requires employers to consider and accommodate qualified individuals with disabilities.  An individual is qualified if he or she can perform the essential functions of a job  with or without reasonable accommodation. An essential job function is any task that is a fundamental part of the job.  When considering essentiality, one must focus upon whether the function is essential to this particular job and not to the department as a whole. Some additional  guidance on essential functions  follows below.  Please note that the following guidelines are non-exhaustive.  If you have any questions or need additional guidance, please contact Human Resources. A. Is the function required to be performed on a regular basis? If the function  is rarely performed, it may not be essential. B. Is the function highly specialized? Is the incumbent hired for his/her expertise or ability to perform the function?  The need for special expertise is an indication of an essential function. C. Does the position exist, at least in part, to perform the function?  If so, the function is more likely to be essential. D. How much time is spent performing the function and how often?  Note that even functions performed 10% of the time could be essential if they are required on a regular basis. E. Would elimination of the function fundamentally alter the job?  If so, the function is more likely to be essential. F. What are the consequences of not requiring the incumbent to perform the function? If they are significant, the function is more likely to be essential.  G. Are there a limited number of employees among whom the performance of the function could be distributed if the incumbent could not perform it?  If so, it is more likely to be essential.

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  • Carnegie Museum of Natural History - Oakland, 4400 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States of America