SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER
for Print Marketing & Design

Posted: January 3, 2023 Status: OPEN

Thank you for your interest in the Graphic Designer position at Zine. In order to make our search for the “perfect” employee (and your search for the “perfect” job) as efficient as possible, we’ve clearly set out in this job posting what this position is all about so that even before you decide to send us a resume, you make the decision whether or not this position is a good fit for you. This job is not for everyone, however, it will be the “perfect” job for someone.

It’s important that you read the entire posting. Yes, it’s longer than most, but that’s because we want you to get a clear picture about this opportunity. Instructions on how to apply are at the end.


The Bottom Line

Start Date As soon as we find the “perfect” person.

Description This is a senior position at a small but busy design and marketing agency. You will be using your skills to manage and complete design and marketing projects from concept to creation to execution. You will also be interacting with clients to ensure they receive our high standard of service to exceed their expectations and their experience with us. Our marketing programs have a diverse and interesting range of projects that require your creative talent, marketing expertise, and project management skills. 

This is an ideal position for a design or creative professional who

  • wants to expand their career by learning about marketing for business growth,
  • increase their knowledge of design and communication, and
  • gain valuable, real-world experience applying design and marketing principles to help businesses succeed.

Work Days Monday – Thursday, hours are approximately 9:30am – 4pm. Fridays are flex days where you may be required to work or be on call. Hours are flexible and total hours could go up. But to start with, we need you between 28-32 hours a week on a fixed schedule.

Work Environment We offer a hybrid on-site or virtual-only arrangement. Our headquarters are located in the Tysons Corner area in Northern Virginia. We offer a quiet work environment where you can focus on your work and be free from distractions. Social interactions are minimal yet meaningful. If need a high level of social interaction at your job, then this isn’t the job for you.

Pay $25.00/hour during 3-month probationary period. $30.00/hour after 3-month probationary period, plus opportunities to advance in your role and your position. Paid leave available. Group health benefits are not available at this time.

If the above sounds OK, then please keep reading.


About Us

Zine was founded in 2004 within the walls of a small print shop. It started as a way to offer higher value design services to print customers. As technology advanced and the business landscape changed, Kia reinvented Zine several times to meet the needs the market and help her clients get meaningful results from their marketing investment. Today, Zine is a world-class agency that offers a boutique experience to entrepreneurs and small and medium-size businesses in North America, Europe, and Australia. We specialize in print marketing, brand strategy, and business growth for professional services practices.

Read our Why Us statement and view our Core Values to get a sense of our Culture and Expectations.


About You

This is where you should be real honest with yourself, do some reflection, or ask a trusted friend or family member if you are a right fit for this job. Probably the first thing about you is that you’re not interested in “only getting a paycheck”, but in developing your skills and your career, and making a positive contribution to a business establishment and the community it serves. You understand the challenges of operating a small business, and welcome them as valuable learning and growing opportunities. You understand what it means to be hard worker and are able to withstand the pressures of a fast-paced, deadline-driven work environment. Also, all applicants will undergo mandatory background checks and drug testing. If you are unwilling to sign the authorization for these and perform the drug test, you should not apply to work here.

So, are you still here, and reading? Great! We’ve got lots more to say…

Your Skills

You have excellent time management and organizational skills that enable you to work efficiently within a team in a project-based environment. You have a background in print marketing design such as newsletters, books, editorials, brochures, postcards, print ads, and booklets. You also have a deep understanding of brand development. We do not design websites, but we help clients integrate their offline marketing with their online presence. You are proficient in Adobe’s Creative Suite applications on Mac platforms. You are comfortable using project management software, or diving in and using new software and new equipment. You should have a strong command of the English language, both written and verbal. You are conscious of maintaining a professional appearance, including in how you speak and how you act. This professionalism extends to your online appearance and background environment on video conference calls.

Your Competencies

Your strongest competency should be the ability to successfully manage multiple projects and complete your work on time, with minimal supervision, and with a high level of excellence. Your projects will vary in scope and requirements. It’s what will make your time here interesting and fun instead of dull and routine. Most projects will be related to the client’s marketing needs. There will also be opportunities to work on internal marketing and business development.

What sets you apart is your ability to see each project in the context of the client’s overall business goals, fill in gaps when required, extrapolate information, and provide intelligent feedback to the client to ensure they get a solution that meets (or exceeds) their needs.  To this end, you should be able to successfully prioritize your time and work load without extensive supervision.

We need you to be tenacious and not give up easily when faced with challenges. You are extremely detail-oriented. If you’ve been described as a perfectionist or get on people’s nerves for pointing out the tiniest details, consider yourself well-qualified for this job. You are articulate. You have a good sense of humor and a cooperative attitude. You show kindness, patience, and respect to all human beings. You are ethical and honest, even when no one is watching. You are punctual. You are able to take constructive criticism and correction without getting defensive. You look for solutions, not excuses. You are an avid learner, and extremely resourceful in finding solutions. You are a problem solver, not just a problem reporter. Oh, and did we mention you should be detail-oriented?

Your Work Ethic

Since we’ll obviously be paying you to work, this section is pretty important. You enjoy working and are grateful for opportunities to use your God-given talents and skills to make a positive influence, and to earn a living. You don’t view your job as an interruption to your life, but as a natural part of your life. You understand that you are not getting paid just for being at work, but for how you spend your time at work (i.e. the value you bring to the business and your contribution to moving the business forward). You understand that the reason the business exists is to make a profit, and ALL who work there (employees and owners) must make that their foremost responsibility. Otherwise, the business will not be able to pay or keep employees. You are scrupulous about using the time you are getting paid, for the purposes of the business, and not for the purposes of your personal life (checking emails, social media, surfing the internet, etc). Finally, you understand the risks a small business owner faces everyday that the business is open, and are cooperative with the decisions that he makes, whether they suit you or not.

Still here? Great, keep reading... We don’t mean to sound harsh, we just don’t like any surprises as we're sure you don’t when it comes to starting a new job. We have extremely high standards for the quality of our work, and strive for excellence in all that we do. Our clients know this, and they keep coming back.  We need someone who will be able to keep up with us. We don’t have the time nor do we enjoy having to micro-manage you. We will clearly set out our expectations, and remind you if you forget and if you fail to meet them.

We want you part of our team, and not just a worker here. We want to give you autonomy, and we want to let you be free to do the work that you are getting paid to do, and that you ENJOY doing.


So What Are Your Responsibilities?

Your responsibilities will be diverse, but clear. Some will be creative, some are administrative, but all are necessary to keep the business operating profitably. It is important for you to understand that you will be managing multiple projects with many moving parts and deadlines, all without compromising excellence. The deadlines are not ridiculous, but they must be met. It can be stressful at times, but we expect you to push through it because that’s how you grow. There is always help when you need it. We don’t expect you to know how to do everything that is required (heck, we even don’t know sometimes), but we do expect you to be observant, resourceful, and always learning. It is extremely gratifying when you complete a project successfully, present it to the client with ooh’s and aah’s, and they unleash it into the world. If you need to know exactly what your duties are everyday and you need ample time to get things done comfortably, then this is not the place for you. If you like variety in your work, thrive when challenged, and take pride in your accomplishments, then this job will provide it.

Overall Responsibility:

  • To support the delivery of Zine’s signature marketing programs through the design and development of print marketing assets.

  • To provide strategic creative support to the project team so they can deliver excellent client experience through the programs.

  • To collaborate on building and improving systems and processes for administering marketing programs and delivering services.

Project Management/Client Support

  • Follow established processes to support onboarding of new clients.

  • Build relationships with clients to understand their businessand provide professional solutions.

  • Follow through completion of projects, with minimal supervision.

  • Follow all standards and established operational procedures and processes.

  • Use ClickUp to maintain and communicate status of all current projects.

  • Actively participate in program development and improvement efforts.

Graphic Design

  • Understand client project requirements, and apply design and marketing principles to provide a solution that meets all agreed upon requirements.
  • Collaborate with project team to develop design concepts for marketing collateral such as newsletters, books, flyers, postcards, and other print assets.
  • Understand the client’s brand message and communicate it through visual design.
  • Provide content and editorial layout for magazine, books, and guides.
  • Understand the pre-press process to confirm requirements are met.
  • Follow through on all projects to the end and beyond to ensure everything was satisfactory.
  • Grow in knowledge and expertise in design and marketing principles through online courses, books, meetings, seminars and other educational materials.
  • Daily put in practice the new skills and knowledge learned in design, marketing, and print production.

Why Would You Want To Work Here?

If you’ve made it this far, then we congratulate you. You’re either close to being the “perfect” fit, or you’re just plain curious. We’re not trying to scare you, we just want to be very clear with our expectations so neither of us is disappointed. Frankly, this is what success looks like. It’s hard work. It’s pushing the envelope. It’s being comfortable with discomfort. If you did a reference check on us, you’ll discover that although we are direct, we are extremely friendly, kind, and caring people. We will treat you like family, because this is a family-owned business. Although we work hard, we like to have fun, we like to relax, we are very understanding, we treat you with respect, and we care about your experience with us. We believe you will naturally excel when you’re challenged, especially if love what you do, where you work, and the people you work with. We believe we can offer that opportunity to the right person.  Just for giggles, in your cover letter, tell us in just a couple of sentences what you think about this unusually long job posting

Read what our long-time designer, Kim, who’s been with us for over 10 years now has to say about working here:

I got my dream job straight out of design school.When I was in design school, I dreamed of working in a small studio-like environment where my ideas and skills were valued and respected. I didn’t want to get pigeon-holed into doing the same kind of project over and over, and I definitely wanted to avoid the kind of stressful, cut-throat environment I’d heard was not uncommon.Leading up to graduation, I did everything a good design student should do. I invested a small fortune in my portfolio, FedEx-ed perfect promotional pieces to over 30 firms, and applied to countless online postings. After all that, I found my perfect job on Craigslist, of all places. I came across a graphic designer & marketing assistant position for Zine Graphics, and it felt like the job was tailor-made for me.I was wary of the unconventional approach at first, but I followed Kia’s crazy directions and scored an interview. After meeting Kia, my initial reservations disappeared. I knew that Zine was where I belonged. Kia has killer design and marketing instincts, paired with uncompromising integrity. Needless to say, I got the job, and couldn’t imagine being anywhere else. (I was so sure that I turned down full time senior positions at two other design firms, much to my parents’ chagrin!)Nine years and a couple of promotions later,Kia and I work closely on developing design and marketing strategies for the most challenging client projects that come in the door. There’s a kind of magic that happens when I take her concept sketches and turn them into high-end designs.The work we do is exactly the kind of work that I love – the more complex, the better. I get to design newsletters, brochures, books, direct mail, logos, corporate identity materials… the list goes on and on. That isn’t to say that every project is a walk in the park, or that I love the way everything turns out after the revision process. (Sometimes you just have to give the client what they want!) But, I do truly love the work I do every day and creating pieces that matter, and that make a difference in the lives of our clients.


Other Benefits To Working Here

  • Exposure to a variety of small business functions and management issues.
  • You get the benefit of gaining valuable experience in small business management and marketing, without the risk of actually owning your own business.
  • Opportunity to increase your skills and your portfolio in a printing environment. We are a gold mine of new and interesting projects. You’ll have the opportunity to work on a variety of design and marketing projects using your own creativity and ideas.
  • Growth and education in small business marketing principles and skills, and the opportunity to apply those skills at your workplace and in consultation to your clients.
  • Opportunity to meet and interact with success-minded, quality people in the community.
  • Opportunities to promote yourself in our newsletters and marketing materials.
  • Opportunity for massive contributions to the success and growth of the business, and take massive credit for it.
  • Flexible, but consistent schedule.
  • Lots of autonomy
  • Fun, nice, and easy going people to work with.
  • Free parking
  • Comfortable office environment, no cubicles.
  • Great, central location, close to everything.

The world is constantly changing, and it’s changing at a faster pace than ever before. Those who will be successful are those who understand how the business world operates—especially the small business world.

If you are selected to work at Zine, you will not only expand and grow your own talents, but you will be exposed to the “best marketing practices” of a variety of small businesses. Small business is the economic engine of America. Working for a small business such as ours means you cannot avoid learning a ton about small business itself.

This job is not for everyone! If you like being a small part of a giant business (with all the good and bad that goes with that), and prefer to take directions and do only what you’re told, you won’t like it here. If, however, you want to be an important player in a growing world-class yet small business, then carefully follow the directions below to “raise your hand” and let us know who you are.


Contact Us

If you’d like to be considered for this job, email your resume and samples (if applicable) of your work with a cover letter telling us why you responded to this job posting in particular. 

We are not interested in a standard cover letter. We want to know why this job posting spoke to you, why you think you’re the right person to join our team, and what you want to get out of this job should you get it. We will be looking at not only your qualifications, but your written communication and your presentation style.

To apply for this position: email your application as described above to [email protected] Please do not call, email, fax, or visit us to apply or to inquire about this job. Just email us your application as instructed.

We look forward to hearing from you!