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Art Director, Children's Fiction

We are looking for a highly experienced, dynamic, confident design leader, specialising in children’s fiction, working across all age ranges from illustrated young fiction, middle grade through to YA. This is a newly created role for a talented designer with vision, to help steer our fiction list into the future, delivering growth in line with strategy.

The Bloomsbury children’s fiction list is middle-grade focused and proven experience in this area is essential. We want to create confident commercial brands and strong author/ illustrator partnerships. Our aim is to be market leaders rather than followers on the fiction shelves and tables. Your current portfolio should reflect design flair, innovative creativity and commercial awareness.

The Bloomsbury Children’s Fiction list already publishes highly acclaimed, award-winning authors such as Katherine Rundell, Catherine Doyle, Jessie Burton, Sarah Crossan, Neil Gaiman and Meg Rosoff. Author care is at the heart of our ethos, and we are committed to nurturing new author and illustrator talent.

Apart from excellent design skills, the role may involve management of a designer, being responsible for mentoring and managing their workload, as well as finding and briefing freelance resource.

The Art director will support the Creative Director, acting on their behalf when absent. The supporting role will be required to oversee the daily running of the department and the chairing of meetings on behalf of the Creative Director.

This role reports to the Creative Director.

The role

  • Developing and overseeing projects from initial designs to final print-ready files, creating original front list jackets, bespoke designs for Special Sales and re-imagining back list, while always maintaining the quality and integrity of our publishing
  • To be able to make considered illustrator selections for projects and source and develop new talent in illustration
  • Effectively managing your list and meet critical path requirements
  • Working within a team, with shared objectives of delivering growth through quality publishing and brand extension
  • Manage and mentor more junior members if the team
  • Engage and manage freelance designers
  • Maintaining excellent relationships with illustrators, agents and external stakeholders
  • Negotiate fees and drawn up contracts with Agented illustrators
  • Committed to maintaining our high standards of quality and integrity as we deliver growth
  • To be a Bloomsbury ambassador

Skills, knowledge, experience

  • Highly creative designer with a proven wealth of experience in specialising in Children’s Fiction. Ideally you will currently be in an Assistant/ Deputy Art Director role and have experience in managing and mentoring junior colleagues.
    We will also consider applications from talented Senior Fiction Designers, with at least 5 years Senior experience, who are able to demonstrate they are ready to progress to the next role level.
  • The ability to problem solve and find solutions to design challenges, in order to deliver materials on schedule.
  • Possess great presentation skills and the ability to inspire confidence in your work and design choices.
  • Current commercial awareness of UK and global markets
  • The ability to work within a team, collaborating with Editorial, Sales, Rights and Marketing and Publicity
  • Proven experience of working with author and illustrator brands and a track record of sensitively managing important relationships is essential
  • Technically proficient in all creative suite programmes: InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator
  • Solid experience of 4 colour and mono printing processes. Proficient in creating open files (including cover finishes) and print ready PDF’s for repro and print.
  • Strong, clear, confident communicator
  • Practical, highly organised and ambitious to deliver the very best results

Additional information

The role is a full-time permanent position

The role is based at our London office 50 Bedford Square, London, WC1B 3DP on a hybrid working pattern of 2 days office based / 3 days home based (or fully office based if preferred).  Allocated office days for this role are: Monday and Tuesday

Please apply with a CV and covering letter addressed to Human Resources (Word or PDF format only) via the ‘APPLY NOW’ button detailing how you meet the requirements outlined above for this role by 8th April 2022.

Bloomsbury reserve the right to close the role early if we exceed the required number of applications

Bloomsbury Benefits

As well as a fantastic opportunity to join a global award-winning organisation, Bloomsbury offers the following competitive benefits package:

Working Pattern

  • hybrid working pattern of: 2 days office based / 3 days home based (or fully office based if preferred)


  • 25 days holiday
  • 3.5 days Christmas company holiday

Other Benefits:

Flexible Fridays – take Friday afternoon off by working an additional 3 hours and 45 minutes earlier in the week

Season Ticket Loan

Sharesave Scheme

In-house Doctor

Eyecare Voucher Scheme

That Day – online fitness classes, mindfulness, cookery classes, workshops etc.

Company culture! – Employee Voice Meetings, Staff Networks (BAME, Disability, Mental Health, LGBTQ+ and Parents, Guardians and Carers), 15 Mental Health First Aiders trained across the UK offices, Publishing Events and access to free Publishing Resources

For additional benefits see below

Bloomsbury is a place where anyone of any background, race, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, gender identity, age, ability, or socio-economic status can thrive, feel comfortable, and be heard and accepted. We are an equal opportunities employer and welcome applications from all sections of the community.

We are willing to make any reasonable adjustments throughout the recruitment process, please flag to the recruitment team if required

Applicants must have the legal right to work in the UK. 

The Company

Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.

Bloomsbury Publishing is a leading independent publishing house, established in 1986, with authors who have won the Nobel, Pulitzer and Booker Prizes, and is the originating publisher and custodian of the Harry Potter series. Bloomsbury has offices in London, New York, New Delhi, Oxford and Sydney. Within Bloomsbury’s Academic division, it publishes under Bloomsbury, as well as under a number of prestigious and historic imprint names. Read Our Story for how it all began. 

 Bloomsbury is committed to creating a working environment that stimulates creativity and collaboration, is respectful of difference, is inclusive and ethical in its practice, and promotes well-being. We are determined to nurture and develop our employees to reach their highest potential, and we know that our success is down to the passion, commitment and hard work of our talented people. We recognise the urgent need to attract and support applicants from all backgrounds and identities to become part of the global publishing industry, allowing diverse voices to reflect and shape our culture and society.

Please read more on our Missions and Values here.

Please read our environmental policy here.

Art Director, Children's Fiction

Full-time, Permanent
Administration, Publishing, Training, Production, Communications, Design, Business Development, Project Management, Product Management
Art Director, Children's Fiction
Salary description: 

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Highly creative designer with a proven wealth of experience in specialising in Children’s Fiction. Ideally you will currently be in an Assistant/ Deputy Art Director role and have experience in managing and mentoring junior colleagues.