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Useful Simple Trust / Thomas.Matthews
Lead Designer
Full Time




£55K - £65K


3 months ago

Location: London (hybrid working 2 or 3 days in office)

Salary: £55,000 – £65,000 p/a; 

Experience: 8 + years

Hours: Full-Time 37.5 hours

Employment: Permanent

Are you an experienced, creative, and ambitious communication designer who wants to make a difference?

This is a mid-senior role and requires effective communication, creativity, and high-level design problem-solving. You will lead on creative projects with the support of the Creative Director and be responsible for supporting the significant creative activity of the design team on a project basis. You will work with Creative Director and Project Manager to ensure that projects are delivered on time, on budget, and to the highest standards of quality, and you will be responsible for ensuring that projects achieve the aims set by our clients and in line with the Trust ethos.
The Lead Designer will communicate TM and the UST’s creative and ethical vision to design teams, clients and stakeholders and assist and supervise the complete design process and all-important technical decisions. You will have recognised specialist skills, proven conceptual development, critical thinking and design and contextual excellence, and a growing interest and capability in commercial, managerial, or business development. You will support the training and development of less experienced colleagues and will develop yourself in line with your own development plan.

As a certified Carbon Literate Organisation, we are committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2030. We are particularly interested in hearing from candidates with an interest in becoming certified.

What we are looking for
We are seeking an experienced Lead Designer/Design Director to champion creativity, lead projects, mentor people and really challenge and develop our tradition of sustainable communication design. You will be knowledgeable, aware, engaged, confident and above all creative and ready to share.

You will need to hit the ground running with creative energy, and be full of ideas, ready to try things and push for bold and innovative design. Thomas.Matthews has a long track record of delivering sustainable ideas and solutions, we would look for understanding of the importance of these principles coupled with an appetite to develop more for yourself, your team, and your clients.

You will be a responsible and competent professional, capable of leading multiple projects successfully, for example from small and fast paced marcomms to large and long-term place-based projects. You will have experience of being responsible for the creative, intellectual, and technical aspects of a team’s work as well as your own and be able to show how you manage complex projects or clients.

You will know how to collaborate with our small and mighty team and how to identify the skills and people needed for a project to really fly. You will understand the need to mentor and develop other members of your team and enjoy the opportunity. You will work alongside the Creative Director who will support your development.

You will be confident with great interpersonal skills and be able to present effectively and compellingly internally and externally.

Many of our projects and clients are for brands in the built environment so an understanding architecture and construction processes is a bonus but not essential. You will need to integrate well into wider project teams and work closely with other professionals to develop designs from early concept stage through to final production.

Essential Requirements
• Bold creativity alongside an ambition to make the world a better place.
• A conceptual portfolio highlighting your creativity, ability to think strategically, and ambition.
• Proven technical expertise and experience as a senior / plus-level designer.

Key Skills
• Able to lead a project team to deliver work that meets TM’s standard and project-specific objectives.
• Working with the project manager and other colleagues to plan and programme day-to-day work and assist that of others in a project team.
• Demonstrate clear senior leadership potential and drive to progress.
• Supporting the estimating and monitoring of resource requirements using our in-house project running software.
• Ability to successfully delegate work.
• To be recognises client contact, have established and be maintaining good working relationships with peers in external companies e.g. networking, client development.
• Capable of drafting pitches and delivering presentations for winning work.
• Able to scope and plan work, identify potential issues and to act accordingly to mitigate challenges as they occur.
• Lead, or manage, practice-wide initiatives.
• Help develop creative vision and standard of output across the team and the wider trust.

Key Attributes
• Excellent judgment and critical thinking skills, interpersonal and written communication skills, and good presentation skills.
• Good team management and leadership skills.
• A creative and pragmatic outlook on problem solving, a positive “can do” attitude, confident and outgoing.
• A good team player, with a sense of humour; flexible, responsible, and understanding of others’ needs.
• Passionate about building a better future through good design; an understanding of sustainable design practice and the willingness to contribute and grow knowledge.

Thomas.Matthews is a communication design studio committed to good design and sustainable practice. Since 1997 we have been delivering work that is useful, beautiful, sustainable, and purposeful. Our studio collaborates with global corporations, architects and planners, museums, governments and world-changing NGOs to create a full range of outcomes. We don’t have a uniform style, but there is a thread that runs through everything we create. Sustainability is always in mind, it’s not a ‘buzz word’ to us and we haven’t retrofitted it onto our list of services. It’s been the foundation of our studio from the start and we’re always pushing to do better. We love being bold, and our work has energy and a spirit of vitality. On a practical level our work spans brand strategy & identity, placemaking, marketing design and data communication all underpinned with a a rich knowledge of sustainable materials, processes, and practice.

We are part of the Useful Simple Trust (UST), an award-winning group of professional design and consultancy practices driving change in the building environment through our four brands; Expedition Engineering, Useful Projects, Useful Studio and Thomas.Matthews.

Certified as a B CorpTM, Social Enterprise and Employee Benefit Organisation, our experienced engineers, architects, designers, consultants, and strategists are dedicated to business and environmental goals, transparency, and accountability. As pioneers for sustainable design and consultancy, we are addressing the major issues of our time, including Net Zero carbon, circular economy, biodiversity gain, and social impact. Through our naturally collaborative approach, we engage our clients to deliver BOLD, valuable projects with positive impact.

UST believe in investing and growing our people as much as we do our business. We foster talent, equal opportunity, diversity, inclusion, and wellbeing to develop a high performing and sustainable workforce.

Diversity statement
UST strives to be a diverse and inclusive place where we can all be ourselves. We are working to change the lack of representation of minority groups and are particularly keen to hear from anyone with relevant skills and experience who feels they are underrepresented in the industry.

We encourage people from culturally diverse backgrounds, women, people with different abilities, LGBTIQ+ community, gender, all age groups, and those with intersectional or multiple diverse characteristics to apply. We know that diversity makes us stronger, and we are committed to creating a working environment that is inclusive and ensures everyone can be heard and valued for their contributions.

What we offer
• An entrepreneurial environment; we are open to new ideas.
• Flexible and hybrid working, including the possibility to work a compressed 9-day fortnight.
• 25 days annual leave + bank holidays.
• Service Recognition Awards.
• Working Nursery Scheme.
• Private medical insurance for you and your family.
• Annual Eyecare Plan.
• Life Assurance.
• Company Pension Scheme (grade dependant, minimum of 6%).
• Cycle to Work Scheme.
• Free access to our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for you and your family.
• Thriving Trust-wide social scene, including charitable activities and regular team events.

Please apply with your CV including your portfolio and Cover Letter.  


Job Ref: TM/UST/LD