Creative Director
Ottawa, ON

Stiff is looking for a creative director. Specifically, we’re after more than someone who lives at the intersection of business strategy, engaging design and compelling copy. We’re after someone who can move between these worlds seamlessly, and who gets what it means to elevate a good idea into greatness. If that’s you, read on.

Here’s a little bit about us. We’re a full-service communications agency based in Ottawa. We’ve been in business for more than 30 years. We serve a vast array of clients: start-ups, non-profits, government departments and agencies, multi-billion dollar enterprises. And we serve them in as many ways. And we compete against (and beat) the world’s largest agencies all over the globe.

Leading our creative team, you will work alongside our Head of Strategy and with the design team to develop creative concepts and directions for brand strategy, marketing materials and strategic campaigns across multiple projects for multiple clients. You’ll make conceptual and stylistic decisions, and create layouts, mockups and prototypes to bring great ideas to life for Stiff and for our clients. And you’ll manage and develop an exceptional team of designers, illustrators and animators.

Quality control is an essential component of our work here at Stiff. It’s fundamental to everything we do. You’ll be responsible for the final check on every piece of work we deliver. In other words, you’ll ensure our work is absolutely and perfectly suited to our clients’ brands and messaging, and in accordance with our own ISO-inspired systems.

Finally, we’re expecting you to stay ahead of the proverbial curve. In an agency like ours, it’s never enough to know what’s hot; we need to know what’s next. We’ll expect you to not only be well informed about the latest trends in marketing, design and technology, but also know what’s coming up—so that we can continue to be our clients’ trusted advisors.

If you’re interested in joining our team, we’d love to hear from you. Check out the specifics below and get in touch. And read them thoroughly. The detail is in the detail. Send us your resume, best cover letter and three exceptional work samples. (Send us a variety, please; we’re looking for depth and breadth.)

What you’ll do

  • Build, lead, and review work of the creative team in the production of all web, print, and digital marketing collateral
  • Spearhead and manage content strategy for both small-scale and large-scale projects, harnessing strategy, digital and brand design, compelling content, and technology
  • Collaborate with the strategy department in developing marketing plans, analyzing results, and identifying opportunities
  • Develop internal marketing campaigns that translate marketing objectives across business units into clear and motivating creative strategies
  • Analyze brand tracking, market trends, consumer need, and the competitive landscape
  • Meet budget standards by forecasting and managing expenses
  • Develop basic presentation approaches by reviewing materials and information presented by our clients
  • Determine production requirements by reviewing client requirements and considering scheduling factors
  • Determine production schedules by working with our CEO, and the heads of art and writing; outline basic presentation concepts; coordinate creative activities
  • Determine project content by reviewing and approving art and copy materials developed by our teams
  • Obtain client approval by presenting final layouts
  • Enhance our reputation by accomplishing new and different requests, and exploring opportunities to add value to job accomplishments
  • Help clients by answering questions and responding to requests
  • Supervise a cross-functional team of graphic designers, copywriters, social media experts, photographers/videographers, and project managers in the strategic development of messages and deliverables
  • Prioritize work and resources across engagements based on short- and long-term needs, establishing production schedules by collaborating with designers, copywriters, and production departments
  • Conduct brainstorming sessions with creative team, maintaining strategic and creative thinking to develop innovative and actionable creative initiatives in a fiscally responsible manner
  • Review and approve art and copy developed by the team, ensuring deliverables that effectively address marketing goals and challenges
  • Produce fresh, innovative work that translates complex ideas into compelling print materials and digital experiences for visually sophisticated audiences
  • Present, or oversee presentation of final concepts, and obtain approvals for deliverables

What you need

  • 10 years of related experience with 7+ years of creative direction in agency or corporate setting
  • Long experience creating marketing/advertising campaigns from developing vision and the message platform to overseeing production on time and budget
  • 5+ years managing a team
  • Understanding and past experience creating integrated content across all marketing channels from digital, social media, paid media, mobile, but also understand offline and print
  • Proven experience with concept development
  • Highly skilled with leading a team of creative talent
  • Strong creative vision with an understanding of business objectives

Preferred Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in marketing, business or design
  • Prior experience with copywriting, design, or production
  • Prior project management experience, with a focus on creative direction
  • A deep knowledge of design practices such as brand development, user-centred experience design and digital design
  • High degree of proficiency with Adobe Creative Suite applications
  • Strong knowledge of social media platforms and trends
  • Exceptional knowledge of marketing practices
  • At least 15 years’ graphic design experience

Job Type: Full-time