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Design Manager

If you are an experienced designer with hands-on skills and strategic vision who is as creative when there are opportunities for change as you are conscientious managing time and budgets, and if you’re a proactive and effective communicator who can lead teams to solve problems, then Oriel Square will give you the opportunity to shine.

Oriel Square is an equal opportunity employer. We want to contribute to a diverse and equal workforce in educational publishing, and we encourage applications regardless of age, gender, race, sexuality or any other protected characteristic.

Please apply to with a covering letter and CV by 12th October. This job is usually office-based, in the centre of Oxford. (During the current emergency most of our working days are at home.)

The role

The Design Manager is responsible for the smooth and efficient running of all design aspects of our publishing projects including typesetting, illustration, digital publishing workflow and audio visual content production. The manager will identify and recruit freelance professionals to provide these services, and will also be responsible for managing key suppliers and partners. There will be hands-on design work, for in-house as well as client projects, and you will get involved to solve problems and to develop capacity and shape process and strategy.

About you

A designer with experience relevant to educational publishing. Initiative and creative thinking are as important as a detailed and clear sighted management and commissioning of design tasks using a wide variety of workflow and content management tools and methods. We want someone who will flag potential problems early, and suggest mitigations, as well as opportunities for innovation and improvement. You will relish involvement in building a young company’s processes.

Role responsibilities

  • Schedule and QA responsibility for design projects; advise on schedule implications for prospective work.
  • Page design and makeup (where projects are partially or wholly managed in house)
  • Manage and build relations with freelancers, including securing their time. Maintain a knowledge base of available freelancers.
  • Maintain and build relations with partner organisations, for example typesetters, artists, digital content producers, AV specialists and photographers.
  • Manage and develop internal processes and capacity, with strategic input.

Your skills

  • At least four years’ publishing design experience, most of it inhouse, with demonstrable supplier management and project management skills.

  • Excellent spoken and written communication skills.

  • Illustration skills are desirable

  • Good knowledge and experience of relevant Adobe Suite tools, particularly InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop.

  • Experience working with Publishers’ Digital Asset Management systems (or similar).

  • Thorough understanding of file formats and prep for print and web production and other purposes.


Oriel Square is active in many aspects of schools and ELT publishing, and in education more broadly. We are looking for perceptive and creative input into these activities, and all members of staff can expect involvement as we grow and explore.

We will invest in the right candidates to make sure that you and we remain properly informed, experienced and skilled to react to change in the market and growth in our business and scope.

Conditions and pay

Oriel Square believes in productive hours, not long hours. This informs our 28 hour full-time policy.

  • Full time (28 hours/4 days)
  • £28–33,000 p.a.
  • 20 days holiday (equivalent to 5 weeks) + public holiday allowance
  • Workplace pension

Our full-time 28-hour/4-day working week

Our working week is shorter than that of many employers, but we get at least as much done without sacrificing quality. We believe there are huge benefits both at work and at home from keeping to regular, focused working hours. While there will always be occasions when private life can intrude, we believe that our week makes plenty of time for regular life admin to happen outside work time. And our 28-hour week doesn’t mean working less – this is a full-time job.

About Oriel Square

Oriel Square is a young and growing company delivering high-quality publishing services to UK schools and ELT publishing. From large prestigious courses to bespoke work for small institutions, we lend resource, skill and creativity wherever it’s needed in education. We’re located in Central Oxford, and have well-established links with the major UK-based global educational publishers, here in Oxford and elsewhere. You should expect this role to develop as we do.

Design Manager

Oriel Square Publishing & Strategy, Oxford
Full-time, Permanent
Design Manager
Salary description: 
£28–33,000 p.a.