Publication designer

Job posted:
24 November 2021
Closing date:
10 January 2022
Start date:
As soon as possible
£29–£32,000, dependent on experience

We’re looking for a midweight publication designer to join our busy editorial design team based in Bath, Somerset.

In this role, you’ll be working for clients from around the world, helping to present content about a wide range of pressing policy and research topics.

This is a fast-paced role for a designer who loves working with text, enjoys current affairs, and wants to build lasting client relationships.

Here’s what you’ll be doing

  • Getting involved in a diverse range of publication projects, working with some of the world’s leading mission-driven policy, research and advocacy organisations. Expect to work with renowned experts in their fields making real changes to public policy, engaging in current affairs and delivering global missions.
  • Getting stuck into the design process at every stage – from attending briefing calls to designing visual routes and delivering print- and web-ready final artwork. Projects can range from designing a single-sided pamphlet or PowerPoint template based on existing brand guidelines, all the way up to typesetting world-leading policy papers over hundreds of pages with multiple complex graphics using in-house templates. The same level of technical expertise and exceptional attention to detail is expected across all outputs.
  • Delivering work of the highest standard to present research and policy information in a clear, accessible and engaging way. Content can be detailed, lengthy and technical, but always supports our mission to help our clients deliver knowledge and ideas that make a difference.
  • Working alongside your manager and a supportive team to ensure that the workload is shared equally and completed on time, within the allocated hours and budget. You will be responsible for direct contact with clients at every stage of the design process so excellent communication skills, good humour and a can-do attitude are essential. Customer relations are at the heart of what we do.
  • Contributing to our agency’s emerging areas of practice, including interactive data visualisation (e.g. Flourish, everviz) and digital-first publishing, where presenting long-form content in html is just as important as a beautifully printed publication. We have developed a bespoke platform to convert typeset reports from InDesign into fully-styled html, and a designer who understands (or would like to learn) the basics of XML, ePubs and similar technical challenges as well as more traditional methods, is highly desirable.
  • Playing a role in winning new business, working with colleagues on quotes, proposals and pitches.

Here’s the sort of skills and experience you’ll have

  • It goes without saying that strong typography, data visualisation and an appreciation for a well-crafted InDesign page are what gets you out of bed in the morning.
  • You’re also a versatile practitioner, able to adapt your approach and style to match a brief, getting the client onboard with your vision or knowing when to take a step back to keep a project on track.
  • You’ll have experience of working on a busy, fast-moving editorial design team, handling a range of diverse projects simultaneously.
  • You’ll be comfortable communicating directly with clients, making sure you understand their requirements, and explaining your decisions in a way that those with little experience of design can appreciate. You understand – and even relish – the importance of great customer service and will go the extra mile to help deliver a project.
  • You can use an existing InDesign template to create layouts quickly and efficiently, but you also love the opportunity to work through a flagship publication spread by spread, adding individual flourishes to each layout.
  • You’re also proficient at Illustrator and know your way around the backend of Microsoft Office.
  • You’re happy working with others as part of a team and helping collaborate to make a deadline, but also enjoy the freedom and autonomy to find your own solutions.

The role is based in our Bath studio, which is now open for a limited number of staff. We have introduced hybrid working due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and are currently in the studio on a part-time basis (two days per week), subject to government guidance and our own assessment of the situation.

We expect to continue to offer a form of hybrid working in the long-term, but the designer will be required to work in the studio on certain days as collaboration is an important part of how we work together to deliver excellence.

Here’s a bit about us

Soapbox is a creative studio for ideas that matter. We partner with forward-thinking organisations to turn knowledge and evidence into social progress. We are designers, web developers, writers, thinkers, storytellers and problem-solvers. We are passionate about the power of ideas and evidence to build a better world.

We have studios in London, Bath, Washington DC and will shortly open a studio in Berlin. Our West Country studio in Bath (where this role will be based) is on the banks of the river Avon. It’s a short walk from the station, located in Bath’s artisan district of Walcot, close to wonderful local amenities and a stone’s throw from the historic centre.

We are a flexible and fair employer and our values run through everything we do, from the clients we work with to the way we treat our staff. This has helped us to build a close-knit, hard-working and ambitious team. Many of our colleagues have worked with us for a large part of their career, advancing professionally over their years with us. And our growing roster of clients include many of the world’s leading charities, NGOs and research organisations.

Note that our planned return to studio working in November will be subject to government guidance and our own risk assessment. We do not expect employees to return to the studio full-time until well into 2022 and we will be happy to consider applicants who want to work from home (at least some of the time) on an ongoing basis.

We are committed to equality of opportunity and know that including employees with a diverse range of perspectives and experiences will improve the quality and creativity of the services we provide. We particularly welcome applications from candidates who are members of groups that are currently under-represented at Soapbox, including LGBTQ+ people, people with disabilities, and people from minority ethnic and religious communities.

Here’s what we offer

  • We offer a competitive salary and a good benefits package with some great perks, including:
  • 25 days paid annual holiday, plus a three-day Christmas closure and public holidays. You’ll get your birthday off, too.
  • Cycle-to-work scheme, tech loans and season ticket loans.
  • Flexible working around core hours with the possibility of ongoing hybrid working (splitting your time between home and the studio).
  • Generous parental leave and other family-friendly policies.
  • A calendar of regular social events.
  • Matched pension contributions.
  • A pleasant working environment where everything works like it should.

On the rare occasions we ask you to work overtime, we’ll make sure you get the time back.

Here’s how to get in touch

Think you’d be a good fit? Please send your portfolio, CV and a few words about why you think you’d be a great for the job to

Recruitment process

We will assess candidates primarily on the basis of the quality of the designs shown in their portfolio, but also taking into account their experience and their ability to communicate their reasons for wanting to work for Soapbox.

We will acknowledge all applications and let applicants know if they have not been shortlisted. Unfortunately, our job ads generate so much interest it is not possible for us to give feedback to candidates who do not get beyond this stage.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to interview with our director of editorial design, creative director and at least one other senior colleague. At the interview we will ask you to talk us through your portfolio before asking you a series of questions and then answering any questions you have for us.

We would then expect to invite two or three applicants to a less formal second interview with our other members of the team – which will also give you the opportunity to find out a bit more about us – before making a decision about whom to appoint.

All unsuccessful shortlisted candidates can ask us to give them feedback on their application and interview performance.

Like what you see? Let’s work together

Get in touch